EVERY year, SunStar Davao Publishing, Inc. fetes its loyal employees whose long service and dedication have helped the company grow all these years.
General manager (GM) Tessie Alcoriza is this year's 20-year awardee while administrative and human resources (HR) supervisor Donna Catedrilla Cuyos and collector Alexander Rasonable are the 15-year awardees.
Ma'am Tess, as she is fondly called, is from Dumaguete City. She started as a marketing assistant on September 1, 1997 and was promoted as marketing supervisor three years later.
Former SunStar Davao president Orlando Carvajal, then seeing her potential, promoted her as general manager in February 2010.
"I love being here. I like my job and I enjoy seeing the output of my job every single day. It's never boring because it is not only the life of my co-workers that I am a part of but also that of the community," she said.
Her present position entails her to focus on the administration of the company's business side including financial, advertising, circulation, marketing and production. She formulates policies and plans to move SunStar Davao forward amidst the challenging times of print media.
She also said the company had withstood challenging times and remained resilient, like Davao City, because of its highly-competent and dependable human work force.
"During challenging times, the ones who remain or recover quickly are those who work hard and smart and we all have that in our organization," Ma'am Tess said, adding that SunStar Davao will remain significant to the community it is serving for another 22 and more years ahead.
Thus, the paper has to be aggressive and keep up with the latest industry standards. The hardworking GM said that she gives her best in everything, be it in sales or in the physical look of the paper.
"It is always my top priority to be on top and deliver the best quality to our clients and readers. I do more of the right things and quick in finding solutions to problems," she also said.
Donna, for her part, found a new home in SunStar Davao when Banco Davao, her first employer, closed down. She was editorial assistant from October 8, 2002 before she became newsroom administrative supervisor in 2005.
She was promoted by SunStar Davao president Gina Atienza and GM Tess on July 1, 2016 as HR admin supervisor. She continued and improved further administrative and HR programs of her predecessor and mentor Vic Purgatorio, who retired last year, even as she still oversees the administrative concerns of the editorial department, which she served for over a decade.
She thanked her great relationship with former publisher Antonio Ajero and editor-in-chief Stella Estremera, particularly, in supervising newsroom operations. Her current position had been offered to her a few years back, but she declined thinking that she wasn't fit yet for the job.
But she lived up to expectations in her first year, seeing to it that the company's corporate social responsibility programs are carried out and employees' needs are being met.
While she had been the heart and soul of the newsroom because of her motherly approach, she has learned to open up herself and makes herself available to the rest of the employees as she embraced her new role.
"I enjoy the culture in this company. We are just like a family. We can open up and talk our problems through. That's why I really want to give my best and weigh things properly on issues. We may be just a small company but I am proud of it," Donna said.
From the confines of the newsroom, she has welcomed the fact that her duty calls for her to be around different departments and be their listening ear.
Meanwhile, Alex joined Regency Printers, former sister company of SunStar Davao, on February 5, 2002 as a utility driver. After three years, he became a machine operator until 2008 before he was absorbed by SunStar Davao as collector when Regency Printers folded up.
The 41-year-old father of Andrei, eight, and Alexa, four, said he chose to stay with SunStar Davao while the other Regency staff put up their own businesses and joined other employers.
"Na-love na nako ang kumpanya, di na nako mabyaan ang mga tawo kay kaila na nako, dili na lisod pakibagayan og pamilyar na sab ko sa trabaho (I've learned to love the company and I could no longer leave my officemates, they are easy to go along with and I'm already familiar with the nature of my job)," Alex said.
Being a collector, he said, is risky and challenging. He has to endure riding his motorcycle under the heat of the sun or even during rainy weather.
He also figured in a minor vehicular accident. But what he considers more challenging is the daily grind of collecting payments from clients.
"Maka-engkwentro ko og cliente nga wala sa mood, makasab-an ko pero ako ra mang ngisihan. Naa pud mga cliente na pinakagahi, balik-balikan jud nako, adlaw-adlawon hangtud makulitan. Mubayad ra man pud (I encountered clients who were in bad mood and would reprimand me but I just smiled at them. There are also clients who don't easily pay. I have to go to them every day until they pay up)," he said.
Close coordination with the marketing department makes his job easier as he has to provide clients with billing statements, among other documents needed for collection.
He also said that it's not really just the compensation and benefits that kept him in the company.
"Ang importante, happy ko (What's important is that I'm happy)," he said.
The rest of the long service awardees are Leo Andrew Ocot, Noven Amar and Edwin Gipulao (10 years) and Rohmel Nacua (five years).