Every parent’s dream is to see their children excel in whatever endeavour they choose to take. Parents’ main role is to open up opportunities for their children to develop and reach their full potential and be productive citizens of the country.
Such is the sentiment of two fathers, Nicanor Pangan and Leo Castro, as they both applied their children, Zachary and Elysha, respectively, to One Meralco Foundation’s MVP Academic Assistance Awards program. The program is a scholastic grant given to employees of Meralco and its subdsidiaries who have children excelling academically. Since 2011, the Foundation has recognized 280 dependents in the primary, secondary and tertiary levels.
“In Meralco, we want our employees and their children to feel proud and a certain sense of fulfilment as we recognize their pursuit for work and academic excellence, respectively,” said Meralco Chief CSR officer and One Meralco Foundation president Jeffrey O. Tarayao, “We believe that by doing this, we are encouraging them to reach higher and dream bigger,” he continued.
Working hard for excellence
“I feel very proud to be the father of Zachary. It makes me want to work harder so that I can give everything to my family especially to my children,” narrated Nicanor Pangan, a field representative from the Meralco Pasig Business Center.
Zachary, currently a freshman at the Pasig Science High School and awardee of the first MVP AAA, has a strong initiative to study hard. “I never asked him to study. May sarili siyang kusa. I sometimes advise him to take a rest because he studies a lot,” Nicanor continued.
Truly, the grant has proven to be an inspiring reward to Zachary and a welcome assistance to Nicanor.
“The grant has been a great help to us. I am not able to give in to their wishes every time because life is hard and there are other household expenses I am thinking of. But with the financial assistance we received, I bought him a laptop so he can use it for school,” shared Nicanor.
Leaving a legacy of excellence
The story of Elysha, a Grade 4 student at the Holy Trinity Academy, takes a different turn when her father, Leo Castro, a process analyst from the Meralco EspaÒa Business Center, passed away at an early age of 36, days before she got news of her acceptance in the program.
“Last May, my daddy had a heart attack and passed away. I am heartbroken as I wanted him to be physically present and see the joy in his face when he sees we are chosen for the MVPAAA,” Elysha reminisced. “Days after, during my birthday, mommy brought me to Meralco to receive daddy’s last birthday gift — a letter of congratulations for qualifying in the MVPAAA grant,” she recalled.
She shared how her father encouraged her to do well in school not just to get chosen as one of the program’s awardees but to understand the value of pursuing excellence at such a young age. “He guarded his own performance at work and ensured that he is one of the best Meralco employees. My father’s focus and drive at work inspired me to do my best in everything I do,” Elysha reminisced.
Despite losing her father, she became more enthusiastic than before. She vowed to follow her dream of building a hotel empire in memory of her father. “Daddy, we made it! Thank you for believing in me,” Elysha exclaimed.
Precious Castro, Elyshaís mother, was very grateful of the grant especially now that she supports the Castro family single-handedly.
“This grant is very much appreciated as this will enable us parents, especially single parents like me, to fund our childrenís education,” she shared. “This may be one of our last remembrances of being part of Meralco family, but this will truly be etched deeply in my heart and my family’s. Your kindness touched our lives. One Meralco Foundation and the MVP AAA educational grant is one proof of how kindness makes a difference in a person’s life,” she added.
Social responsibility begins at home
Aside from recognizing the dependentsí eagerness to gain knowledge, the MVP AAA also acknowledges not only the untiring support the employees have for their performing children but also these employeesí dedication to perform well at work to provide their children with the best in education.
“The MVP AAA was launched and has been sustained for two underlying reasons. To recognize the academic achievements of the dependents of the Meralco employees and second, to honor the men and women of Meralco for their hard work and commitment to pursue better education opportunities for their children,” said Meralco President and CEO and One Meralco Foundation Vice Chairman Oscar S. Reyes.
Indeed, with Meralco employees’ brand of perseverance and hard work, more employees and their children will be recognized for their joint pursuit for distinction.