Teachers, police officers, soldiers named ‘Outstanding Filipinos’ of 2023

August 4, 2023 - 6:55 PM
Photo of awardees of Metrobank Foundation's Ten Outstanding Filipinos for 2023 (Released)

A TikTok influencer, an educator for special needs kids, and a cop that cleanses the police ranks are among the ten recipients of a prestigious award this year.

On August 2, four teachers, three soldiers and three police officers were awarded Metrobank Foundation’s Outstanding Filipinos 2023 for the impact they made in serving different communities in the Philippines.

The awarding ceremony was held at the Marquis Events Place in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.

Here are the ten winners and their accomplishments in different fields:


Rex M. Sario – As a teacher-in-charge of Balogo Elementary School in Bukidnon, he launched a program called iCon (Ako Nakipag Connect or Synergy) that transformed poor learning environment classrooms into hyper-flexible ones.

June Elias Patalinghug – a teacher influencer at Catalunan Elementary School in Davao City who spearheaded teaching the “Satellite-Viewing Approach” and “Reflective Nature Walks” methods to help struggling learners in their school.

Edgar Durana – a special education coordinator at the Don Ynares Memorial National High School in Rizal who advocate for the SPED of children with special needs, especially those from disadvantaged communities.

Jovelyn Delosa – As an assessment strategist and associate professor at the Northern Bukidnon State College, she spearheaded a project “Assessing What Really Matters” to train teachers in creating assessment tools to determine their students’ skills and competencies.

Police officers

Police Chief Master Sergeant Dennis Bendo – a police mentor for the out-of-school-youth and children-in-conflict-with-the law in the City of Manila.

Police Major Mae Ann Cunanan – called a vanguard of police integrity, she founded the Counter Intelligence Task Force (currently the Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group) to rid the Philippine National Police (PNP) of scalawag cops in their ranks.

Police Colonel Renell Sabaldica – a transformational leader for innovative law enforcement and community development in Quezon City.


Staff Sergeant Danilo Banquiao PA – dubbed as the peace and youth empowerment sentiment, he empowers the youth to be active peace partners and peace advocates within their localities in Lanao del Sur.

Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Bitancur PAF – a model mentor on military training at the Philippine Air Force.

Colonel Joseph Jeremias Cirilo Dator PA – as an innovator of military intelligence, he was recognized for his leadership in rehabilitating former members of the CPP-NPA.

Recognition for excellence

In a speech during the event, Metrobank Foundation President Aniceto Sobrepeña said that the foundation recognized these “outstanding Filipinos” to help amplify their advocacies and efforts to a wider audience.

“Prior to being named outstanding Filipinos, a number of our awardees are already recognized in their own fields. But why are we still doing this? Metrobank Foundation deems that their contribution and influence to be deserving of a wider audience,” Sobrepeña said.

In a separate statement, he explained that the recognition of “Outstanding Filipinos” can hopefully inspire others to go beyond excellence in their services to others.

“Outstanding Filipinos inspire us to go beyond excellence and pursue a mission that is bigger than ourselves. This year’s batch proved to us how the competence of Filipinos combined with character and compassion can positively impact other people’s lives,” Sobrepeña said.

“As educators, peacekeepers, and defenders, they have chosen to render selfless service to the community and the country even despite many adversities. We hope that their examples and their contributions to society create a ripple effect that transcends generations,” he added.  

Recipients of this year’s awards will receive a cash prize worth P1 million each, a golden medallion, and “The Flame” trophy.