Two Filipino Engineers Win Top Bagong Bayani Awards

DUBAI – Mary Jane Alvero Al Mahdi and Manuel Perito Jr., Filipino, two engineers based in Dubai, were presented with the Bagong Bayani-2009 awards by Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo at a ceremony in Manila, on Friday.

By Lily B. Libo-on

Published: Sun 6 Dec 2009, 10:38 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:26 AM

The prestigious award is presented to overseas Filipinos who bring honour to their nation.

Al Mahdi, CEO of Geoscience Testing Laboratory in Dubai, was the first from her country to win the Emirates Business Women Award 2008. “Lifting the morale and lives of my kababayans (countrymen and women) has always been embedded in my heart, and I will never fail them as I strongly believe that Filipinos have world-class talents and intelligence and the highest degree of professionalism,” she said upon receiving the Emirates Business Women Award in 2008.

This time, she was selected to receive two prestigious awards, the 2009 Bagong Bayani for the Most Outstanding Employee and the Blas F. Ople Award for Natatanging Bagong Bayani.

Al Mahdi, also a chemist academically, qualified as an engineer here, bagging the first runner-up spot in the professional category. Later, she received another award from the Dubai-based ‘Illustrado’ magazine. She is a certified ISO lead auditor, a dedicated certified trainer and one of the founders of Filipino Digerati Association that assists Philippine missions in the UAE to train Filipinos in computer applications free of charge.

Perito Jr, senior manager, Risk Management at Oman Insurance, was chosen as Outstanding Employee.

“I feel proud that though my achievements in my company have not been known to other Filipinos, our government recognised them, especially the award-winning Oman Series project of my company, which came out of my initiative.”

Perito Jr, a 40-year old native of Western Samar has been working with Oman Insurance Company in Dubai for five years now. He started his career in the insurance industry as risk engineer (loss control adviser) of Malayan Insurance Company in Binondo, Manila in 1991.

A licensed civil engineer alumnus of Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP-Manila), he initially served as a site engineer of Manny Villar’s HDC Company that developed Camella Homes in Cavite and Muntinlupa in 1990.

He worked his way up the corporate ladder until he was promoted as senior manager in 2008, the same year he was awarded twice internationally for his project – creating informative comics to disseminate loss control information via ‘Super Oman’ series. It garnered a special appreciation plaque and first runner-up finish in Safety Category for Ideas.

Then in the fourth quarter of 2008, he was awarded as one of the Risk Innovators in Construction/Real Estate Division by Risk & Insurance, an online and media portal for insurance and risk management based in Philadelphia.

What makes it special and unique is due to the fact that Perito Jr is the only Asian and non-US resident, who was amongst the 40 winners.

Creating Info-Comics is not new to Perito Jr, as he previously created an illustrated Komiks reading materials for World Wildlife Fund (WWF-Kabang Kalikasan ng Pilipinas) in 1997 dealing on environmental awareness about mangroves, whale and seas turtle protections.

He did his own little way of showing nationalistic character in Dubai, defying the norms of wearing suits and ties by injecting Barong Tagalog, the Philippine national costume in corporate fashion.

His wearing traditional formal attire in the office earned him the moniker of ‘Cong’ (shortened form for Congressman). He is a well-respected colleague in Oman Insurance Company and has won several awards and citations from his office, including being in the top five for leadership and employee of the year awards.

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