Philippine Consul General Henry Bensurto, Jr. (center) and his wife Madame Mariza Bensurto (2nd from right) are joined by ABS-CBN Foundation International Managing Director Jerry Bennett (2nd from left) and his wife Marcelle Bennett (left) and Hero Donor Rod Mercado of Financial Rescue. (Photo courtesy of Jean Jade Van Possel)

 

You know the saying, “Throw kindness around like confetti?” That is exactly how it felt like during the TFC Unity Cup Gala and Awards Night recently held at the South San Francisco Convention Center.

Around 300 people – community leaders, golfers, donors and friends came out to support the fundraiser for the children of Bantay Bata (Child Watch), a child rescue program under the ABS-CBN Foundation.

ABS-CBN Chairman Emeritus Gabby Lopez was pleased with the incredible show of support from the community and partners. He expressed that The Bantay Bata kids really thank the Filipino-Americans for the outpouring of support that they’ve shown us. We can see the Filipino American in America has really come of maturity. There’s a lot more of them now than there used to be, and there are a lot of them that are very successful, and they’re looking for a way to give back to the motherland.”
 


(L-R) Chairman Emeritus Gabby Lopez, Karen Coloma, Digital Partnership & Integration Head Connie Lopez, and ABS-CBN Corporation Chairman Mark Lopez at the TFC Unity Cup Gala. (Photo courtesy of PLCarrion)



The Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco came out to support Bantay Bata in full force. (L-R) Consul Jed Martin Llona; Deputy Consul General Raquel Solano; Consul General Henry Bensurto, Jr; Madam Mariza Bensurto; Consul Carlyn Monastrial; Consul Andre Estanislao; and Joy Estrella Calunsag, Secretary to the Consul General. (Photo courtesy of Charles Vilale)

 


ABS-CBN Corporation Chairman Mark Lopez (center) is joined by his wife and Digital Partnership & Integration Head Connie Lopez (left), Executive Office Liaison Officer Jay Lirio (2nd from left), Executive Assistant MJ Beggs (2nd from right), and Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation Managing Director Susan Afan (right). (Photo courtesy of Jean Jade Van Possel)

 


(L-R) Managing Director for North & Latin America Jun Del Rosario, ABS-CBN Foundation International’s Office & Development Manager Alma Magsambol, AFI Managing Director Jerry Bennett, and Regional Marketing Head for North & Latin America Pam Castillo. (Photo courtesy of Jean Jade Van Possel)

 

(L-R) MJ Beggs, ABS-CBN Chairman Emeritus Gabby Lopez, Karen Coloma, and Jay Lirio. (Photo courtesy of Jean Jade Van Possel)

 

 

(L-R) AdSales Executive Jun Guzman, Financial Rescue’s Rod Mercado, and Global Events Business Unit Head Ricky Resurreccion. (Photo courtesy of Jean Jade Van Possel)


(L-R) Consul General Henry Bensurto, Jr, Managing Director for North & Latin America Jun Del Rosario, and ABS-CBN Foundation International Managing Director Jerry Bennett. (Photo courtesy of PLCarrion)


Community leaders Sonia Delen (right) and Sydney Loyola (2nd from left) are joined by their friends at the TFC Unity Cup Gala. (Photo courtesy of Jean Jade Van Possel)


Managing Director for North & Latin America Jun Del Rosario (6th from left) and ABS-CBN Foundation International Managing Director Jerry Bennett (4th from right) are joined by the officers and staff of TFC and ABS-CBN Foundation International at the TFC Unity Cup Gala. (Photo courtesy of Jean Jade Van Possel)

 

It was an incredible evening of dinner, raffles, awards, and a show headlined by the Philippines’ Concert King Martin Nievera.  Adobo Nation’s Ginger Conejero and Global Business Unit Head for TFC.tv/TFC Online Enrique Olives, who was also lead for the golf tournament hosted the awards portion, with Lee Robin Salazar joining Conejero for the main show.

Enrique Olives joins Adobo Nation’s Ginger Conejero in hosting the awards portion of the TFC Unity Cup Gala. (Photo courtesy of Eric Pugeda)


Adobo Nation’s Lee Robin Salazar (left) joins Ginger Conejero in hosting the main program of the TFC Unity Cup Gala. Here he is with ABS-CBN Foundation Community Ambassador Noriel Adricula (right). (Photo courtesy of Jean Jade Van Possel)

ABS-CBN Foundation International Managing Director Jerry Bennett says that “For the 2nd TFC Unity Cup, we hope to raise $150 thousand and break it down to $50k for scholarship for 23 senior high school students; $50k for life-saving medical assistance for kids who have serious illnesses; and another $50k for the four-month feeding program of 833 kids. That’s money that will go to the children who need help.”

Bantay Bata is now celebrating its 21st year of existence, and with the funds raised they hope to dramatically improve the lives of hundreds of children.

The leadership and staff of Alphagraphics, one of the Champion Donors of ABS-CBN Foundation International. (Photo courtesy of Charles Vilale)


(L-R) AFI Marketing & Communications Manager Rea Lopez, Gaucha Lopez, Emilio Tuason, Mon Lopez, Almir Guimares, and Karen Coloma. (Photo courtesy of Charles Vilale)


Golfers Mila and Dr. Ron Quibilan (standing) with their friends (seated L-R), Elvie Teodoro, Mayi Vikins, and Jona Romualdez, who readily accepted the invite to support the ABS-CBN Foundation Unity Cup Gala. (Photo courtesy of Charles Vilale)

Celebrating the Champions

Winners of the inaugural TFC Unity Cup Golf Tournament were also awarded at the gala.

 Global Business Unit Head for TFC.tv/TFC Online Enrique Olives, who was also lead for the golf tournament, shared that strategy for this year’s tourney was to go for quality and not quantity. “Green Hills is limited to a field of 110 players. Hopefully next year we can hold it in a 36-hole course and have 250 players and they’re out for a good cause and we can raise even more funds for the ABS-CBN Foundation,” said Olives.

Officers and staff of ABS-CBN Foundation International and TFC, together with volunteers, at the 2nd TFC Unity Cup Golf Tournament at the Green Hills Country Club. (Photo courtesy of Charles Vilale)


The message of Bantay Bata (Child Watch) resonates with everyone: That “every child has the right to be loved.” (Photo courtesy of Charles Vilale)


(L-R) Tato Reyes, ABS-CBN Chairman Emeritus Gabby Lopez, and Global Business Unit Head for TFC.tv/TFC Online Enrique Olives at the 2nd TFC Unity Cup Golf Tournament. (Photo courtesy of PLCarrion)


Winners all! (L-R standing) Joseph Callao, Carlos Serrano, Jonathan Chong, Archie Macahito, Allan Magsambol, Rene Fortaleza, and Bert dela Rama. (L-R kneeling) Jerry Sy, Michael Fortaleza, Olan Calara, Bo Torres, and Paul Tan. (Photo courtesy of Charles Vilale)

Father-and-son team, Renato and Michael Fortaleza, won in the Best-Dressed category for the second year in a row. Their yellow shirts were purchased in the Philippines when they travelled on the PAL ticket won at last year’s raffle. The shirt design honors Michael’s mother’s side who is Igorot, and it was made by Easter Weaving in Baguio, in the northern region of the Philippines.

Renato jokes that since they are not likely to win at playing golf, they might as well arrive as the best-dressed.

Father and son tandem of Rene (right) and Michael (left) Fortaleza proudly wear their matching shirts, custom-made by Easter Weaving in Baguio (Northern Philippines). The intricate weave is a nod to Michael’s mother who hails from the region. (Photo courtesy of PLCarrion)


The Fortalezas (dad Rene on the left and son Michael on the right) hold up their trophies for being the Best Dressed at the TFC Unity Cup Golf Tournament. (Photo courtesy of Charles Vilale)

Impressive Performances from Talented Entertainers

Aside from the awarding ceremony, there were performances from local Bay Area performing group Noriel Adricula, Janelle Feraro, and the Bantay Bata Voices. Adricula himself is an ABS-CBN Foundation International community ambassador for the Bay Area. He says that his favorite advocacy is Bantay Bata, “it is a clich√©, but the children are the hope of the world and they deserve better treatment than what they are getting.”

The children of Bantay Bata Voices are joined by (standing behind) Raffy Lopez, Chairman of the ABS-CBN Foundation International, his wife, Gaucha, Community Ambassador and Founder of Bantay Bata Voices Noriel Adricula, and AFI Accounts Receivable Issa Gelasio (left) and AFI Office & Development Manager Alma Magsambol (2nd from left). (Photo courtesy of Cathy Nakagami)


Martin Nievera poses with the children of Bantay Bata Voices backstage at the TFC Unity Cup Gala. (Photo courtesy of Charles Vilale)


Janelle Feraro (front), is one of the lead singers of Bantay Bata Voices. (Photo courtesy of Charles Vilale)

 

Adricula started Bantay Bata Voices, a church-based children’s choir who shares their gift of music trough worship and by performing in benefit concerts for Bantay Bata.

Ellona Santiago, from “The X-Factor” show also wowed the audience with her show-stopping front-act performance.

Aside from being a gifted singer, Ellona Santiago has been devoting her time to good causes, like having been an active choir member of their parish and being a teen advocate for a non-profit organization that provided refurbished children’s shoes to developing countries. (Photo courtesy of Charles Vilale)

Throughout the evening, the Foundation expressed its gratitude and appreciation to their generous donors by awarding them certificates of recognition.

Donors included Philippine Airlines, Jollibee, Megaworld, Unilever, Pass-It-Forward, Seafood City, Alphagraphics, Insperity, Remitly, South Main Rejuvenation Center, Martin Purefoods, the Law Offices of Michael Gurfinkel, Financial Rescue, Goldilocks, Jazzy France, Flowers & Events by Dani, South San Francisco Conference Center, Noriel Adricula, Maribeth Lalongisip, and Chris Grande.

Susan Afan, Managing Director of Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation (center), is joined by a Jollibee representative (left) and Ad Bondoc of Megaworld. (Photo courtesy of Charles Vilale)


Hero Donors receive their recognition plaques from the Foundation. (L-R) Rod Mercado of Financial Rescue; Danileth Fandino of Flowers & Events by Dani; Fernando Solis; and Thelma Buclatan-Chapman of Goldilocks. (Photo courtesy of Charles Vilale)

The headliner of the evening, Philippine Concert King Martin Nievera, gave a delightful performance to the gala attendees. Nievera regaled the audience with his beloved songs and took time to go to the crowd and oblige them with some selfies and sing-alongs.

Nievera is a long-time believer and supporter of the Foundation. He shares that, “I believe in all of the ABS-CBN Foundation advocacies. I’m very passionate about them like Bantay Bata (Child Watch) and Sagip Kapamilya (Save the Family). Wherever there’s a need, I think we artists have a responsibility to be ready and willing when the call comes. I’m proud to help draw and encourage people to give.”

Concert King Martin Nievera performs his beloved songs and ballads in front of an appreciative crowd at the TFC Unity Cup Gala.

Hope for the Children

The gala proved to be a very inspiring evening for the organizers and the attendees.

Susan Afan, Managing Director of Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation, recounted that “Gina Lopez started Bantay Bata 21 years ago. It started with a young boy, Jessie, who she found living in a box. Since that time, the Foundation has transformed the lives of thousands of children who were helped by Bantay Bata, that is now on its 21st year.”

(L-R) Iya Afan, Karen Coloma, Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation Managing Director Susan Afan, and Dely Cu. (Photo courtesy of Charles Vilale)

They have Bantay Edukasyon scholars like John Paul Moreno, who recently graduated from the University of the Philippines, despite their unfortunate circumstances where his parents never even imagined they could afford an education for their son.  Moreno was able to realize his dream through the Foundation’s kindhearted donors.

ABS-CBN Foundation Chairman Raffy Lopez also narrates the story of Cristel Nicolas. “She was rescued and provided scholarships through Bantay Bata since second grade. Cristel is now 25 years old and is a registered nurse who serves at a local hospital in the Philippines. She is able to pay forward to others the good deed that she received from Bantay Bata.”

Daly City Mayor Juslyn Manalo (2nd from right) presents a Certificate of Recognition to ABS-CBN Foundation International for the Foundation’s outstanding commitment to address the welfare and safety of the children in the Philippines through their flagship program Bantay Bata (Child Watch). In photo are (L-R): Jun Del Rosario, Managing Director for North and Latin America; Raffy Lopez, Chairman of ABS-CBN Foundation International; Daly City Mayor Juslyn Manalo; and Jerry Bennett, Managing Director for ABS-CBN Foundation International. (Photo courtesy of Charles Vilale)

The evening’s merry festivities were matched by the generous deluge of additional on-the-spot cash donations and pledges that raised the amount collected that evening. Bennet proudly shared that “We raised more than 200K for both the golf and gala events.”

Lopez said, “Good begets good, and that’s what all of you are doing here tonight. I join the hearts, minds and the souls of all our children whose names you probably don’t even know, but whose lives you’ve touched and changed for the better. From our hearts, thank you to all of you.”

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