Honesty and loyalty are the keys to success in the workplace.
The Manila Standard, which is celebrating its 32nd anniversary this year, is proud to have both–honest and loyal workers, who have stood with the company through thick and thin, and highs and lows.
Three decades of passion, love, and loyalty
Ramonchito L. Tomeldan
If you hear the editorial department laughing and see a lanky and well-dressed man joking around while taking a look at every page of the newspaper layout, you have probably seen Ramonchito Tomeldan, the down-to-earth managing editor of the Manila Standard.
One of the four loyalty awardees this year (30 years in service), Tomeldan, or Sir Mon, has jumped around different publishing companies before finally getting his niche at the Manila Standard.
“Back in the late 1980s, I was looking for job as a journalist. I worked from broadsheets after broadsheets, but I always find myself looking for more. And then came the offer from Manila Standard, where I worked as a business reporter. Then 30 years after, I am a managing editor,” said Tomeldan, who started as a hungry and passionate writer looking for the “holy grail” of the job.
“I was once asked by my editor to write a piece about how business journalists like me cope with the cutthroat competition, given the advent of fax machines and computers during that time, and the deadline pressure considering that most of us had to travel from the beat to the office. The piece saw print in one of the Manila Standard’s anniversary issues sometime between 2003 and 2004. I gave it the title ‘In search of journalism’s holy grail,’ which was about how reporters strive hard to scoop one another and get exclusive stories. Reporters strive hard to scoop one another and get exclusive stories, truly in pursuit of a passion, and the triumphant ones became the toast of the town. I myself had delivered scoops for the company, and stood out as a ‘true-blue newsman,’ in the words of a colleague,” he reminisced.
Rudyn B. Hapiz
For Rudyn Hapiz, providing for his family is his main goal and lasting for three decades in the company is just a bonus.
“My job helps me provide my family their needs, I am just happy that I was able to give my kids the proper education and that’s all that matters to me,” he said.
Hapiz started working for Manila Standard on Dec. 1, 1988, and one of the things he loves the most is the camaraderie in the office, where he has officemates, who treat each other like a family.
“It’s happy to see some of my fellow employees last this long. Others have left, but still some remained and that is the thing I cherish the most,” he said.
He wishes the company good luck and to continue striving for improvement.
Roberto S. Cabrera
Chief of photographers Robert Cabrera has been working with Manila Standard since June 16, 1989. A former OFW, Cabrera started as a photographer outside the country, before working in a photo lab for the government.
Due to his dedication and brilliance in the field of photography, the newly-established Manila Standard then took him under its wings as a field photographer and the rest, as they say, is history.
With more than 20 years of field duty, Cabrera shared that being a photographer is never easy, saying that his life is always on the line in every coverage.
“I felt that danger is always around whenever I was on assignment in the field. I remember before, I had to cover in Mindanao during the heat of terror attacks, we almost got ambushed after our escorts received intel about a possible attack. Thankfully, nothing bad happened,” Cabrera said.
But that kind of danger never stopped him from continuing doing the job he loves the most.
“I did not realize that 30 years have passed by, because this is my passion. Photography helped me feed my family and give my children their needs,” said Cabrera.
Anita F. Grefal
Officer-in-Charge of Sales and Operations Anita F. Grefal, or simply called Ma’m Annie, handles the company’s finances, meeting with prospective advertisers and plotting the financial direction of the newspaper.
Despite having a family business, Annie asked her parents if she could work with a company. Her father let her, but on the condition that she must take good care of her family name and nourish her would-be company, as if like her own child.
With almost half of her life spent working for the Manila Standard, Grefal’s determination has been tested many times. Reaching her retirement age next year, the humble officer-in-charge of the company believes that she has given her best for the company.
“My contributions for this company are, one, my loyalty. Two, I did my best for Manila Standard. And three, being true. Wherever I go, I fight for Manila Standard,” she said.
As an employee who offers her full dedication and commitment towards her work, Grefal is also a mother. Yet, she wasn’t forced to choose between the company and her family because while working for the Manila Standard, she has also fulfilled her greatest role—a mother.
“Manila Standard let me fulfill my role as a mother. The company gave me enough time to take care of my family. So while working, I was able to spend time with my daughter given that my husband was a seaman. Despite being a solo parent, we were able to survive that kind of set up and to support her studies,” she explained in Filipino.
Finding the silver lining
Just like the Manila Standard, 25-year Loyalty Awardee Guillerson or Sonny to peers, has conquered a great extent of challenges along the way, yet he never stopped to accomplish more than the things he was tasked to do.
Sonny started as an encoder for the company for months before being transferred to the editorial department as a layout artist. Years later, he was asked to be part of the IT-MIS Department as a web developer during the implementation of Manila Standard’s digital version and website, manilastandard.net.
Aside from his dedication towards his work, Alanguilan is that kind of colleague who does not have any bad blood with his coworkers. In other words, he is loved by everyone.
Somehow, if there is an award called as ‘Friend of Everyone,’ Sonny will be that person, as the website administrator is also known for his incomparable kindness to people around him.
“Staying with this company gives me the feeling of fulfillment and the excitement that the job gives everyday. Somehow, once the foundation of friendship is built, you get to know them (officemates) and you become part of one’s family,” said Sonny.
Twenty years of friendship and love
Luzviminda E. Jimenez
Spending her 20th year anniversary with the company, Luz, as called by her colleagues, recalled her most memorable memories.
“Before, I told myself when I applied here, ‘I would be just here for two years.’ Yet, here I am, celebrating my 20th year,” said the jolly layout artist, who has stayed with the company when many of her peers have jumped ship.
With the good camaraderie among the people behind the newspaper—from the publisher up to its news gatherers—many employees have decided to remain.
“The comradeship. You won’t feel that there’s a boss. Everyone treats everyone an equal. What we have here is a family—brotherhood and sisterhood. You can joke around with them and talk to them. In other companies, you can’t do that,” she added.
Maria Victoria R. Ayeng
“I still love you, Manila Standard.”
This is Vicky’s opening shot as she excitingly tells one of the reasons why she has remained loyal to the newspaper for the past 20 years.
The former encoder is now assigned to design the pages of the business section and sometimes, other pages that needed to be done.
With her 20 years of service, the fun of working with officemates who have become friends is enough of a reason to stay. Challenges have come, but opportunities have opened up for her. During her free time in the morning, she is able to tend to her other sideline, without affecting and letting go her of her job at the Manila Standard.
“Manila Standard is hard to let go. I have found a family here. I believe that ‘Tough times never last, but people do.’ Yes, there are struggles, but those 20 years are not just struggles, most of them are memories—fun memories,” explained Ayeng.
Edelyn R. Elamparo
When she entered the field of the publishing industry, just like her ‘batchmates’ Vicky and Luz, Edelyn was added to the roster of encoders of the editorial department.
“I have established myself to become a marketing officer now, even though I graduated Computer Science, which is far from what I do today. After 15 years, I have learned there’s something more than I could offer, that I can contribute to the company,” said Elamparo.
“In Manila Standard, even if you are a newly-hired employee, you won’t feel that you do not belong. The environment we have here in the company is far from other workplaces. You will feel the warm welcome from each employee,” she said.
Elvin D. Clarete
Circulation Supervisor Elvin Clarete began working for the company since February 16, 1999. And as he reaches his 20th year, Clarete recalled his early years at the Manila Standard.
“Aside from being accustomed to my tasks here at the circulation department, we have good camaraderie and I have good colleagues here—even the supervisor. Maybe, that’s what pushes me to stay,” said Clarete.
The timid young man before has turned into a confident supervisor as he has gone to different places across the country to speak with people as part of his job.
“I have learned to converse with other people. My social skills improved, because here (circulation department), you get to meet and encounter different types of people from all walks of life,” he said.
Alena Mae S. Flores
Doing the same job for 20 years can force an employee to look for another field of work for a change in scenery. But for business reporter Alena Mae Flores, she sees it as a challenge given by her journalistic passion.
“There is a saying that goes, time flies when you’re having fun. I love working as a journalist because each day offers a different challenge. I love meeting new people from all walks of life, learning valuable lessons from them,” said Flores.
She shared that being with the company for two decades surprised even her, recollecting how she applied for the position.
“It surprised me that it has been 20 years. I vividly recall walking into the office of the Manila Standard in 1998, hoping that I get the job as a business reporter, yet not knowing exactly what I was getting into. But through the years, I was able to hone my craft with the help of my business editors,” she recalled.
Rochelle V. Campos
Just like Alena Mae Flores, fellow business reporter Rochelle Campos or Othel to her colleagues, feels that 20 years have been a long journey. Rather than jumping to other companies or jobs, Campos chose to stay.
“Though I’ve searched and rocked my brains asking myself why have I ever lasted this long in this company, all I can come up with is that I’m such a tenacious being or a creature of habit, getting used to is something I excel in,” she explained.
Her love for journalism keeps her grinding her gears to continue hustling every day looking for the right story.
“I painstakingly go to every event, forum, meetings, interviews, company visits, record and transcribe every bit of information I need before finally taking a seat to write my stories. To do so, I have to wake up at dawn to catch the earliest ride from my place—the hinterlands of Cavite—to wherever there is news in Manila,” said Flores.
With the exhausting life of a reporter, Campos has chosen to stay and as she puts it, she is still ‘Fighting!’
A steady decade and a half
Julito G. Rada
The business reporter has been giving service for the Manila Standard since May 27, 2004. Of his 15-year tenure with the newspaper, July said six years of them was covering the monetary authority of the Philippines—Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas—which he considers as one of his greatest achievements.
But unlike Othel and Alena, Rada was once a proofreader for six years before he was thrust into the business field.
“It just shows how I value the company through thick and thin. In times of distress, I am proud to say that I did not ‘abandon the ship,” he said.
Rada shared that despite others’ opinion about the future of the newspaper industry due to the existence of online news agencies, he still believes that the newspaper will be able to compete in the future.
“I have heard it from competitors so many times in the past and even at present–that the newspaper will likely fold up because of some problems here and there. They are wrong because we are still here. Because of that, I salute all the people in the Manila Standard for doing their job all these years,” he ended.
A decade of a comeback
Romel J. Mendez
Home, that is how Romel Mendez or ‘Ismit,’ describes Manila Standard. He was a returning employee a decade ago, now he is the art director, in charge of the style of layout and the daily editorial cartoon.
Mendez shared that had he never left the company, he would have been a 25-Year Loyalty Awardee, too. But his artistic calling made him venture to another field to expand his arsenal and knowledge in visual designs.
“Manila Standard became a home to me, this is where I started working and this where I had the chance to put my skill into a real test. Sadly, after a few years, I felt that I needed a change and try new things. Then I decided to go find a job about digital designs,” said Mendez.
But one day, it hit him that he missed the newspapering job. Mendez returned without hesitating and Manila Standard welcomed him with open arms.
“I missed the challenge in the newspaper of creating something new every day. It made me think of an innovative design to create a uniform and appealing representation of our paper, which I am truly proud of,” said Mendez.
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The Manila Standard Team
Kagitingan Printing Press