The “Good Hands” of Metrobank-Tacurong

The “Good Hands” of Metrobank- Tacurong

By Apolinario Villalobos


Transacting business gives me jitters, not because of anything else but because of the required IDs and people who will “handle” me. As regards IDs, I am wary about what I have because they might not be honored, and for the people who will attend to me, my apprehension is that they might be snooty, unsmiling, robotic in manner who stick to their rules to the last letter, and most of all, the ambience of the office which can give clients negative feelings at times.


During the time I was back to where I saw first the ray of light, in Tacurong, I thought of dropping by Metrobank. The transaction was simple inquiry. Looking at the imposing, albeit, simply architecture office building, I was carried back to the days when the bank was yet renting a ground space in one of the first commercial buildings in my hometown, now a city. Metrobank was the first commercial/universal bank that gave Tacurong a semblance of progress due to its presence. Before its coming, what we had was just the Tacurong Rural Bank that served the needs of the locals and those who live in nearby towns. Transactions were about agricultural loans and savings. That was during the early 70’s, as I remember that some of my batch mates were employed by Metrobank after graduation in 1975.


I left our place to work with Philippine Airlines and due to the scheduled training in Manila, was not able to join the graduation. We were the last graduates who were not less than 60, as the college department was temporarily closed due to the unrest that engulfed the province. I had the chance to take a glimpse of the steadily growing bank every time I come home for a day or at my longest stay of 4 days, Finally, I had my chance of experiencing how it felt to be in the “good hands” of the Metrobankers-Tacurong when I thought of inquiring about their offerings.


Both I and my nephew were in our best “ukay-ukay” attire – cheap walking shorts and faded t-shirt, and of course, in our favorite slippers. The smiling guards opened the door for us. We found the bank full of clients, proof that they are really “bankable”. As we waited for our turn, my nephew approached somebody if we could be attended as what we wanted was just inquiry. We were referred to the Marketing Destk…and the rest was the smooth handling that I was expecting.


My visit to the bank proved that its famous jingle which includes the line, “you’re in good hands with Metrobank”, is indeed, true.

Nanette Salvador Quincena


…and her indefatigable quest for success

by Apolinario Villalobos


What impressed me when I saw Nanette was her face which made me recall an actress who belongs to the Salvador clan. She was then, the Branch Manager of the Asian United Bank at Rotonda, Bacoor City, and when we got introduced to each other, my hunch was right. She is indeed a Salvador, a clan known for actors, actresses, directors and film editors – pillars of the country’s movie industry.


I found out too, that her grandfather, Atilano was among the directors of the late Fernando Poe, Sr., but before that, he has been known as a film editor since 1958.  Several uncles are also part of the movie industry as Director, such as, Augusto “Direk Angie” Salvador who had been a favorite director of the late Fernando Poe, Jr.;  Danilo Salvador; and Rogelio Salvador. The skill in film editing has manifested in Nanette’s elder brother, Edwin, who has been given consistent recognition for his achievements as a post-production Editor. On her part, Nanette had her share of the limelight as a model when she appeared in the advertisement of the Orient Bank. She did not pursue the call of the show business as she was more interested in the challenging banking career.


The family of Nanette hails from Lucena City, in Quezon province. Her proud parents are Edgardo and Natividad Salvador, both fortunate for having children who always find a reason to be with them as much as possible, and their reunion is characterized by a color scheme of shirts to make their reunion symbolic and memorable. The Salvador brood, aside from Edwin and Nanette, also include Neah and Edgar, both successful professionals abroad.


Nanette is married to Erwin who works with Coca Cola- Philippines. They are blessed with Nikka Angela, now 17 years old and on her second year in Civil Engineering course; Erwin Angelo who is in Grade 9; and, Nova Angeline who is in Grade 7 – all of them doing fine with their studies according to Nanette which makes her a proud mother.


Nanette balances her life as a career woman, wife, and a mother. Despite her obligations to her family, she has also shown her mettle as a manager when she joined the Asia United Bank. From her former assignment at Bacoor City which is much near her home, she took in stride and as a challenge her transfer to the newly-opened branch along Buendia Avenue extension in Pasay City.


With the new assignment, she had to wake up much earlier than before to avoid the traffic along the three choke-points such as Emilio Aguinaldo Highway in Bacoor City, the Coastal Road with its infinitesimal traffic, and the Roxas Boulevard funnel before finally turning right at the junction of the Buendia Avenue extension toward her office, the last several meters of which on unlucky days could be blocked by slow-moving buses that wait for passengers bound for Makati. She drives her way all the way from Cavite which makes her more admirable, considering that going through hellish traffic jams is no joke.


As a manager, Nanette exudes for her staff, simple and doable traits that I have observed to be natural part of her persona. She shows her colleagues in the office, that it is does not take much effort to smile, and being petite, it makes her more youngish. Added to that is courtesy which has also become deeply impressed in their service, from the way they address their customers to handing of a business card with both hands. These AUBians are really a typical breed of bankers, as they come from humble yet reputable schools that consistently shine because of their graduates, many of whom are government scholars.


Nanette who looks like an elder sister to her eldest 17-year old daughter expressed that she is happy with her life now being fortunate for having a happy family, what with a hardworking husband and intelligent children, aside from loving parents and siblings who always find ways to be together. As with Asia United Bank….it is her benefactor to which she will always be grateful for giving her a break, despite her being a graduate of a provincial educational institution which shows that schools and books do not necessarily spell success, but the drive innate in a person.

The Dynamic Streak of Asia United Bank (AUB) Reaches Buendia Avenue Extension (Pasay City)

The Dynamic Streak of ASIA UNITED BANK (AUB)

Reaches Buendia Avenue Extension (Pasay City)

By Apolinario Villalobos


The first time I was impressed by the service of the Asia United Bank (AUB) was when it took over my former depository bank at Rotonda, Bacoor City in Cavite. I almost decided to cancel my accounts but I changed my mind when I met its first branch manager. A few months later, another branch manager took over, Ms. Nanette Quincena whose typically aggressive salesmanship further bolstered my trust.


When the AUB decided to expand its operation to cover the Pasay area, it opened a branch along the Buendia Avenue extension, between Harrison and Leveriza Streets, on September 20, 2016, with the deployment of Ms. Quincena as the first Branch Manager tasked to lay down the foundation. She has been expecting a tough job as along the stretch of Buendia are also other reputable banks. Nevertheless, she considers the situation as a challenge which she can hurdle, together with equally aggressive, Ms. Gemmalou Ortega, the Field Sales Officer, with whom she confers every morning before the latter starts her sales calls.


Interesting to note is the fact that AUB pioneered the paperless transaction in the country with the use of the Virtual Teller Kiosk (VTK) which resulted to a resounding success. At the Buendia branch, the VTK occupies a prominent space which easily catches the attention of the customers. The transaction via the VTK, has likewise, reduced the queuing time considerably.


What impressed me most is how the bank starts the day with a heartfelt prayer, in which everybody joins – the guard, Utility/Messenger, the Operations staff, such as Richard Dumayas, the Service Manager; Gemmalou Ortega, the Field Sales Officer; Jowell Agaban, Counter Teller; and Jean Marie Padua who handles the New Accounts Section. I found out too, that the youthful staffs are all from prestigious schools known for their scholars – Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Pamantasan ng Lunsod ng Maynila (PLM), University of Makati (UMak), and New Era University (NEU).


According to Ms. Quincena, the bank maintains its high standards with the support of its consistent utilization of every available banking technology and young recruits who are willing to learn the intricacies of the industry and most especially, are willing to grow with their chosen benefactor. The bank’s investment in human capital so far has been successful, as consistent show of diligence on their part has been very prominent.


On October 31, 2016, Asia United Bank is celebrating its 19th year of success. By then, and onward, Ms. Quincena is expecting more challenges that she aims to clear, to significantly improve the steady growth of the Branch… but of course, with the cohesive co-operation of the whole Buendia Branch Team!


By the way, Asia United Bank is proudly 100% Filipino!





A Laudable Experience with Philippine Savings Bank…a lesson on virtues

A Laudable Experience

With Philippine Savings Bank

…a lesson on virtues

By Apolinario Villalobos

This is not a paid advertisement. My interest in the bank is limited in my meager savings with one of its branches. This share concerns how customers should be treated professionally and with compassion.

On November 19, 2014 at about two in the afternoon, I went to the bank’s branch in Imus beside Mercury Drugs and Iglesia ni Kristo to lodge a complaint about a notice that I received from their Internal Audit Group. My wait was worth the very warm and highly professional attention that I got from the Bank Officer Joram C. Villanueva and his colleauges, Catherine Bautista and Ivy Marcial. After listening to my story, Mr. Villanueva immediately sent a report to the Head Office, explaining to me the expected actions that the concerned office should do. Most importantly, I was made to expect a call from the Head Office about the matter which I took for granted as I presumed that my case was an isolated and petty one. I even presumed that for sure, it would take days before something could be done about my complaint. I was wrong.

The following day, at the moment the PSB-Imus opened, I again conferred with Mr. Villanueva and asked him to fax a formal “complaint” to the head office in addition to the report that he already sent the day before, and which he did right away. Despite what I was told about the expected action from their end, by Mr. Villanueva, I still left a reminder about my own expectation based on my just faxed letter.

When arrived home at about noontime, the messenger of the courier service agency, and who was part of my complaint arrived and after some enlightening exchange of explanations, the misunderstanding was patched up. All the while, the complaint handling machinery of PSB had been burning cellphone airwaves in calling concerned parties to gather information that will give light to what I have filed. I realized this when, in just a few minutes after the messenger of the courier service agency left, Ms. Royce Bagamaspad, of the Service Quality Department called me up. After formally introducing herself, she said, “I am sorry, sir”.

The “I am sorry, sir” that came out from the lips of Ms. Bagamaspad touched me, practically drenching me with cold water, that dissipated my dissatisfaction and irritability felt the day before. Her approach was such that she “personally” assumed whatever fault there was in their service, while at the same time, talking with sincerity as an employee of the bank. She listened to my story and gave me all the opportunities to bring out suggestions which I did. At the end, it was I who became apologetic for being rude while talking to their Customer Service representative the day before.

While I was talking to Ms. Bagamaspad, the Imus branch Bank Officer, Mr. Joram Villanueva, was on the other hand, trying to get in touch with me to inform about the email of the courier service agency on the same matter. He failed to talk to me as I was burning my line talking with Ms. Bagamaspad. Mr. Villanueva, instead sent me a text message to ask for anything that I would like to relay to the courier agency. I replied that there’s no more problem with the agency’s messenger who came back to apologize. Just like his colleagues at the Head Office, Mr. Villanueva was also monitoring the flow of communications at his end. I emphasized, though, that I did not want the messenger suspended or fired.

A few more minutes after sending my reply to the text message of Mr. Villanueva, my cellphone again rang and this time, Ms. Lina Arambulo, of the Internal Audit Group was on the line. She was again very apologetic after introducing herself to me. She told me that they are doing everything to satisfy my request which was part of the complaint that I lodged. After talking to Ms. Arambulo, I was relieved to realize that my small fund is in the good hands of hardworking and diligent bankers.

A little later, Ms. Bagamaspad called again to inform about some details to further soothe my feelings. It was only when I asked her to bide her time, did I know that she was about to take her late lunch…and it was almost three in the afternoon! Obviously, she failed to take her lunch on time as a result of her determination in coordinating with parties concerned as regards my case… an admirable extra mile of effort, indeed.

My point here is, nowadays when the world is practically polluted with brashness, it is very difficult for us to steadfastly maintain our composure while exerting much effort in upholding whatever virtues we still have in our person. It is very difficult for us to maintain a sweet smile in front of somebody with a frown and whose boiling temper shows in his flushed face. It is not easy to sound nice or maintain a “smiling voice” over the phone while talking to an irate person whose sentences are punctuated with unsavory ranting. It is very difficult for us to remain cool, while listening to somebody who just wanted to be heard by all means. Still, we may waver in our effort to show compassion for others, much more strangers, while enduring wiggling knees and grumbling guts due to the onset of hunger.

In whatever situation, the patience, temperance, compassion and any other virtues are spelled the same. The difference is in the way they are expressed. And, my experience at the hands of Mr. Joram Villanueva, Ms. Ivy Marcial, Ms. Catherine Bautista, Ms. Royce Bagamaspad, and Ms. Lina Arambulo, will never be forgotten. Since I consider my life as a journey of continuous learning, the PSBankers I mentioned have become part of it, for having left a deep impression of something to be learned about virtues that they have humbly manifested.

With the adage that “the customer is always right”, comes the fact that it is only during instances of this assertion that the golden attitude of employees with strong virtues sparkle.

My advice then is, let us be generous with appreciation to those who go an extra mile in their effort to please us. The appreciation can strengthen and inspire them more in their effort to have a share in sustaining civility in this world.