Marestella sees extended career

Three-time Olympian Marestella Torres-Sunang continues to compete because of her love for country and the trust of supporters as she retains her dominant form in women’s long jump.

Photo credit with permission from Rappler

Meron pa ring mga tao na tuloy tuloy ang suporta not just for me but for the whole national track and field team. At saka iyong pagmamahal ko sa laro tuloy tuloy pa rin,” said Marestella in reference to Ayala Corporation which supports the Philippine track and field team and built, through its real estate arm Ayala Land, Inc., the Vermosa Sports Hub as home to the country’s elite track and field athletes.

Marestella, who lives in Bacoor Cavite, shared that with her training now so near her home she no longer has to go through the daily Ortigas traffic just to train. This allows her more time to focus on reaching her peak form as she prepares for the Asian Games.  And since the Vermosa oval is the only IAAF certified track in the country, she is now able to accurately monitor her performance and peg her progress based on international standards. 

Along with access to a world-class track oval, Ayala also provides the PATAFA athletes a hydration program care of Manila Water Company’s Healthy Family Purified Water, as well as financial support to help improve training and recruitment programs.

The 37-year-old Marestella goes to the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang Indonesia to be held August 18 to September 2 as one of the country’s best hope for another Asian Games gold medal.

Indonesia’s Maria Natalia Londa won the women’s long jump gold during the 2014 Asian Games in South Korea with a leap of 6.55. Torres-Sunang beats this mark by a wide margin with a leap of 6.72 during the Kazakhstan Open July 2016 which is the national record. The feat assured her participation in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

She says her giving birth to a son and motherhood are not a hindrance. Rather she draws motivation from her family and her absence when she gave birth re-ignited her passion for the sport.

Noong nag stop ako talagang na-mi-miss ko ang competition. Nag stop ako for one year. Wala talaga akong competition kasi nabuntis ako. So yon na-miss ko ang competition. So talagang naging maganda ang comeback ko dahil talagang naging eager ako na mag compete ulit,” said Marestela.

If anything, she says she is more motivated and more dedicated than ever before.

Kung ano ang motivation ko noong dalaga pa ako doble ang motivation ko ngayong may asawa na ako at may anak. Ginagawa ko ito hindi lang para sa akin kundi para sa anak ko.  Gusto ko patunayan na kahit nabuntis ako pwede pa rin. Gusto ko ipakita na kahit nabuntis ka kung ang dedication mo nandoon pa rin then kaya mo itong gawin,” said Marestella.

The native of San Jose, Negros Oriental has always had to overcome plenty of doubters and obstacles in her career. She says he has never doubted her ability to succeed.

Hindi naman naging hadlang sa akin ang mas matatangkad ang mga kalaban ko. Kasi napatunayan ko na noon pa na kaya ko mag compete against mas matangkad,” said Marestella.

The veteran has travelled the world representing the country. She is not fazed by the competition or in performing before an international audience in a world stage. She in fact welcomes the opportunity to compete against the best in the world which she says can only help her improve and be the best that she can be as an athlete.

Nakita ako sa IAAF pag nagko compete ako pumapasok naman ako among the top sa world. Every time na mag compete ako, ako yung pinakamaliit at nananalo pa rin. Marami humahanga sa akin dahil ang liit ko pero malakas ako. So doon ako nagkaroon ng confidence. Kaya ko pala kahit maliit ako. Walang nagiging hadlang sa akin.”

No doubt the support of Ayala for PATAFA’s training and sports development program will be a big help for Marestella as she continues to dominate the local scene in her sport.

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Global Compact Network Philippines Launches CEO SDG Circle Forum with Jaime Augusto Zobel De Ayala

Bonifacio Global City, Philippines – UN Sustainable Development Goals 2017 Pioneer, Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, shared the journey of Ayala on sustainability in an informal chat with an exclusive group of CEOs and high-level executives held recently at the Shangri-la Hotel at the Fort. The CEO SDG Circle Forum is one of the major initiatives of the Global Compact Network Philippines (GCNP) this year.

The GCNP is the local entity of the United Nations Global Compact, a voluntary initiative whose primary goal is to inspire and promote collaboration primarily among business corporations by encouraging the alignment of strategies and operations with ten universal principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption, and take actions that advance societal goals through the SDG goals and develop a sustainable community. With more than 9,500 companies and 3,000 organizations, based in over 160 countries and more than 70 Local Networks, it is spreading the word that companies everywhere — of all sizes and from all sectors — can play a role in improving the world.

In the Forum, Mr. Zobel de Ayala shared that he started with 15 to 20% of his time in the late 80’s to the non-profit sector. “I tried in my own way to start making a difference in non- business issues, issues that perhaps help the country in a broad way. I lead a number of initiatives such as chaired Children’s Hour initiative, and brought a consortium with the help of Ayala Foundation and brought computers in public schools….”

“My thinking continued to evolve: using the concept of shared value from Harvard School… about beginning to align the goals of the company with the development goals of the country.”

Mr. Zobel de Ayala continued to explain that he started to transform Ayala about 15 years ago and made it more relevant to the needs of the country, by developing products and services which also touch low income groups. He highlighted the importance of promoting the spirit of bayanihan and of aligning the goals of the corporation with the national development goals of the country because it makes the organization more relevant.

On the SDG, Mr. Zobel de Ayala said that “The SDG…… is an extraordinary framework. It’s clear. People are aligning to it globally. It’s United Nations-driven.” He felt that most companies are judged by Profit and Loss statements but it was equally important to look at how companies can contribute to issues like employment or health and be able to put a framework around it. He felt that it is time for private corporations to be recognized for such efforts.

Mr. Jose Teodoro “TG” Limcaoco, Chief Finance Officer, Chief Risk Officer, Chief Sustainability Officer and Managing Director of Ayala Corporation also joined the discussion and explained why SMEs can follow the sustainable path. With SMEs contributing to 99% of the employment of the country, Mr. Limcaoco explained that SME need only to take one or two

SDGs that are relevant to its business to start with. It is more important to find out what would work well for the business so that it can also help grow the business and the community it operates in.

Mr. Limcaoco also mentioned that sustainability can equal to profitability. This has been proven by the way Ayala has established its operations around sustainability. “It is about building business models around sustainability”, said Limcaoco.

For more information on the GCNP, please visithttps://globalcompactnetworkphilippines.orgor contact the GCNP Secretariat at 634-5722 and through email address

Mr. Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala as guest speaker at the recently concluded CEO SDG Circle Forum

The United Nations and the GCNP presented a plaque of recognition to Mr. Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala in the recently concluded CEO SDG Circle Forum. In the photo with Mr. Zobel de Ayala are (L-R) President of Dale Carnegie Training Philippines, Doodz Policarpio, UN Resident Coordinator in the Philippines and Local Network Representative, Ola Almgren, Philippines, GCNP Chairperson, Yayu E. Javier, Ayala Corp. Head of Group Risk Management & Sustainability Vickie Tan and Ayala Corp. Managing Director TG Limcaoco.