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Monday, July 4, 2022

The Relentless Rizaly

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

From SM Foundation scholar to SM Prime accounting manager

Twenty years ago, high school student Rizaly Lim and her four siblings would watch in awe every time they pass by the construction of the first SM City in her hometown Sta. Rosa, Laguna.  All five children, packed in the tricycle their father rides for a living, were all excitedly looking forward to happy family weekends they would be spending at the huge mall.

Today, after graduating Summa Cum Laude through a scholarship from SM Foundation, Rizaly is now a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) working as Accounting Manager for the head office of SM Prime Holdings, a leading property developer in the Philippines and Southeast Asia.

From SM Foundation scholar to SM Prime accounting manager

At a young age, Rizaly was headstrong about getting her family out of poverty. She shares, “My father was the only one who worked for our family, and because we were a large family, his daily earnings as a tricycle driver were never enough.”

Rizaly finished high school at the Balibago National High School as class valedictorian in 2005 and was already sending applications for other college scholarships when her teacher asked the top 10 students to go to SM City Sta. Rosa for an interview with SM Foundation.

Sa umpisa, hindi po ako naniwala kasi bago pa lang sa amin noon ang SM City Sta. Rosa,” she recalls. She proceeded of course, driven by the one goal of finishing college and helping her family. “Gusto ko rin po makapag-aral at makapagtapos noon. Maka-work at makatulong sa family.”

A few exams and interviews later, SM Foundation, Inc. (SMFI) went to visit her and her family at home to inform them that she will be receiving a full scholarship with monthly allowance until she finishes her course.

In 2010, Rizaly graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accountancy. She went on to pass the Philippine CPA Board Exams on first try in October 2010. The assistance of SMFI, she said, went beyond tuition and allowances. “With full scholarship grants and monthly allowances, as well as the opportunity to work at SM Store during our summer and Christmas vacations, the SMFI scholarship has enabled me to help my family financially.”


“I am the master of my fate”

While other parents were buying their college kids the latest Nokia phone back in the summers of 2000’s, Rizaly’s father gave her and her siblings weekly assignments to accomplish during the summer vacation. “Our late father instilled in us the love of reading and the value of studying,” she shared. “During summer, he would assign us English words and their meanings to memorize and asked us to recite these to him.“

Then there's the memorization of motivational poems and speeches, one of which stuck with her for life: “It matters not how strait the gate, how charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” She shared that this last stanza of “Invictus” by W.E. Henley had kept her motivated to look past the limitations of her circumstances and focus on her personal goals.


Career at SM

SM Foundation was established in 1983 by Henry Sy, Sr. and Felicidad T. Sy as the heart of the SM group. It has established programs that are focused on nurturing and caring for underserved communities where SM is present. It supports and empowers host communities through education, healthcare, shelter, disaster response, sustainable agriculture, and care for persons with special needs.

To date, SM Foundation has assisted more than 8,000 college and technical/vocational students, and has donated over 100 school buildings with a total of 334 classrooms built across the country.

Nurturing the graduates extends beyond the classroom as SM Foundation also provides job opportunities across the different companies of the SM group. The foundation organizes a Career Fair specifically designed for its scholars.

From the Career Fair organized by SM Foundation, Rizaly was able to get job offers from three companies – among which was SM Prime Holdings, one of the largest integrated property developers in Southeast Asia that offers innovative and sustainable lifestyle cities with the development of malls, residences, offices, hotels and convention centers. It is also the largest, in terms of asset, in the Philippines.


I still want to level up

“I haven't accomplished much yet, but I value what I have already accomplished and received so far,” said Rizaly, referring to the highest honors she has received in high school and college, becoming a CPA, and being promoted to manager in within only a few years of her work at SM Prime.  “These are just a few of the accomplishments for which I will be eternally grateful. I'm also proud of my daily achievements at work, such as fulfilling particular duties assigned to me. They make me happy and proud of myself, and they inspire me to do better.”

 Ang mga dating pinapangarap ko lang, nagagawa ko na ngayon,” Rizaly said as she related how she has been able to travel to Taiwan for vacation and do the tri-city tour of Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. But her biggest dreams, she said, remain centered on her family: to provide better for her family by sharing with them what she has now. “Nothing is simple. Nothing is easy. Hindi ko naman to straight line lang na na-achieve. Life is full of challenges. Just stay strong, keep the faith and always give your best effort.”

UN-Awarded ASEAN Science Diplomat Welcomes Pres. Marcos’ Science Initiatives

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What follows is the official statement of UN Sasakawa Laureate, ASEAN Science Diplomat Glenn Banaguas, on the occasion of President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr.’s inauguration as the 17th President of the Republic of the Philippines and the latter’s underscoring of science initiatives in his inaugural address to the nation.

On behalf of my colleagues in the science diplomacy corps and in the climate change and disaster risk reduction and management communities, I congratulate President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr. on the occasion of his inauguration as the 17th President of the Republic of the Philippines.

Mr. President, we welcome and take up your call to address the looming crises of climate change that perpetually cast their long shadow on the nation’s future.

Indeed, as you rightly pointed out, the Philippines is one of the most at-risk nations to climate change in the world. And even as the country struggles with sustaining and protecting itself in the face of global upheaval, so too do we also wrestle with the need to develop sustainable production systems and an eco-friendly economy for our people. Thankfully, we are not alone in this ambition: the Philippines and the rest of our fellow member-states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) thus drafted the ASEAN Plan of Action on Science, Technology and Innovation (APASTI) 2016-2025. This far-reaching plan underscores the importance of public-private collaboration, talent mobility, people-to-people connectivity, inclusiveness, enterprise support, public awareness, and STI enculturation as cornerstones for sustainable growth both within and between our brethren nations.

Mr. President, we thank you for echoing this international call for cooperation and unity in your inaugural address, and we stand ready to serve the Philippines under your stewardship. In particular, we at the Environmental and Climate Change Research Institute (ECCRI) have committed ourselves entirely to the pursuit and achievement of the APASTI and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and we are grateful to the new administration for giving these ideals their long-overdue acknowledgement and prioritization.

As a science diplomat, I have always believed that science and government policy are as paramount as they are inseparable; I remain focused on bringing these to the poorest communities and most marginalized sectors of our country. To this end, the ECCRI’s flagship program, Climate Smart Philippines: Science for Service, provides cutting-edge research, training, and capacity-building to our countrymen in order to combat climate change and disaster risks. This initiative is focused particularly on food security, sustainable energy, water sufficiency, human security, ecological and environmental stability, knowledge management and capacity development, and climate-smart infrastructures and services, climate and sustainable financing programs—all of which were touched on, directly or incidentally, in the President’s inaugural speech.

No less than the United Nations has acknowledged and honored our efforts, via its prestigious Sasakawa Award for Disaster Risk Reduction for 2022. This prestigious global honor is bestowed on institutions, groups, and individuals that promote inclusive and resilient approaches to disaster risk reduction in line with the UN’s Sendai Framework. And while we are thankful for this accolade, we continue to believe that our greatest achievement is to serve the Filipino people through our work.

So it is that we congratulate and thank you, our President, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., for paving the way towards jumpstarting our nation’s climate-smart capacity, and its disaster preparedness and resiliency.

Mabuhay po tayong lahat.

In perpetual service to the Filipino People,

Sci. Dpl. Glenn S. Banaguas

Chairman, Asian (ASEAN) Science Diplomats

Chairman, US-ASEAN Fellows for Science and Technology

Climate Diplomat, EU-Asia Expert Panel for Climate Diplomacy and Environmental Security

Founder and President, Environmental and Climate Change Research Institute

Executive Director, Philippine Council for Foreign Relations

UN Sasakawa Laureate

Asia Sustainability Leaders Awardee

The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL) Laureate

7-Eleven treats customers with up to 50% OFF on over 200 items for its #711Day SALE-bration

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

Enjoy a huge price drop on Big Bite, City Cafe, Crunch Time Chicken, and MORE from July 8 to 13

The most-awaited annual 7-Eleven SALE-bration is coming! 7-Eleven is gearing up for this year’s 7-Eleven Day with a 6-day promo-filled party from July 8 to 13 in all stores nationwide. 7-Eleven is treating customers to up to 50% OFF on over 200 items including its signature food items from Big Bite, City Cafe, and Crunch Time Chicken.

Office workers, students, loyal customers, and those residing near 7-Eleven stores, better take note! Crunch Time Chicken will start its P10 OFF promo on its 1pc. Chicken with Rice on July 6, in time for National Fried Chicken Day, until July 11.

Come 7-Eleven Day on July 11, the small size of the crowd-favorite City Cafe coffee blend is offered at half the price. This applies to all available blends: Brewed Coffee, French Vanilla, Mochaccino, Salted Caramel, and Hot Chocolate. Small Prima Americano is also available at half off. The customers’ go-to 7-Eleven snack, Big Bite Hotdog, is also at 50% off on this day. Should anyone need a quick bite or baon, then this is where to get the bang for that buck — and a delicious one at that!

From July 8 to 13, the convenience store will offer a huge price drop of up to 50% discount on snacks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, personal hygiene products for the face, body, and hair, and other grocery essentials.

While #711Day merits its own grand party, what makes this year’s celebration even more special is that everyone is finally able to celebrate together, in person after spending the past two years in quarantine.

Now that everyone is going back to work, back to school, and back to regular daily routines, 7-Eleven is also urging Filipinos to come back to their stores to regain the experience of shopping at their favorite neighborhood convenience store. Take this as an invitation to get back all the things and people we missed — because with 7-Eleven’s #711Day, it’s a celebration like no other!

Contactless payments through the CLiQQ app and GCash are available. Don’t miss out on 7-Eleven’s six-day celebration! Visit here for the list of the complete sale items available from July 8 to 13.


All time favorite 7-Eleven snacks such as Big Bite, City Cafe, and Crunch Time Chicken will be offered at a discounted price during the #711Day celebration.

Get up to 50% discount on over 200 snacks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, personal hygiene products for the face, body, and hair, and other grocery essentials during the 7-Eleven Day celebration on July 8 to 13.

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