Posts Tagged ‘Bank of the Philippine Islands’

I suddenly miss Bank of PI. It’s where I used to work for almost twenty-two years.

This morning, Nissa and I met up in front of the building then we went to Ayala Triangle to have lunch at Banapple. 

A few days ago, Nissa posted a solo photo of hers with Bank of PI as the background. Their office has now transferred to another BPI Bldg. in Buendia Avenue. The facade has been there for almost forty years. We transferred to that site back in the early eighties. Pretty soon, it would be demolished to give way to a new and better  Bank  of  the  Philippine  Islands. She told me to pose with BPI in the background 🙂

Suddenly I am reminded of those days when I used to walk the  streets of Ayala Avenue.  BPI  lies at the corner of Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas so it was always the venue for rallies back when we were trying to oust Marcos from the presidency.  That monument  at the corner across the street is of my hero Ninoy Aquino and soldiers who accompanied him when he was assassinated at the tarmac of NAIA.

Ayala Avenue has changed a lot, more high-rise buildings, more restaurants and eateries. Back in my time,  Ayala Triangle was a vacant lot intersecting Makati Avenue and Paseo de Roxas. Now it is an oasis for tired eyes. I love the garden.

Looking at the denizens of Ayala Avenue each with  lanyards on their necks and cellphones in their hands, I suddenly miss the corporate world.  It’s now a far cry from those days. I don’t miss the traffic though. It has become a gridlock even at noon. It’s a good thing it was easier to take a UV Express going back home.



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I haven’t blogged for…let me see….almost a week.  And sometimes when you haven’t expressed your thoughts in words for quite a while, it is quite hard to write again.  I am trying to catch up on reading while having coughing fits late at night.  The nights are long and cold while the days are sunny and bright, perfect chances of having runny nose and headache. I am feeling okay now but I have gone lazy blogging. I am grateful though that readers continue to visit my blog  even without a new post.

I miss the shouts and laughter of my grandson who spent a long weekend with us. Hearing his voice asking about this and that, being so curious about everything he see are quite welcome changes to an otherwise silent and quiet household. I am just amazed of the things Nate learned for a month that we haven’t seen him.  He has a favorite word now. He would say “later” when he is not inclined to take his milk, when he is not yet sleepy and when you ask a question that he thinks would be okay for later. Hahaha, funny how you can learn something from a two-year old child. Time is of the essence of course and sometimes you think time is running out  and you do your bit of everything in a hurry. That word later made me realize that I might have done it wrong,trying to do everything in one go  but you can enjoy the moment and do things later. He would just say I want milk when he is hungry and water please when he wants a drink. Learning to relax I think is one luxury that we have somehow forgotten and the smile, warm hugs and embraces of a child reminds you to take time out from this so-called busy life and just enjoy the moment.

I told my kids that the feeling was like celebrating Christmas Eve and looking forward to Christmas day. Imagine having midnight snack of a crispy bagnet (pork belly which is the Ilocano version of lechon kawali) with steamed rice at 1am, precious moments sharing a meal at an ungodly hour and having the time of your life listening to their stories. Waking up late and enjoying a  sumptuous  breakfast accompanied by Nate’s shouts of “yummy, yummy”, what more could you ask for?

Every year, Nissa gives me a copy of Bank of PI’s planner/journal featuring selected artworks from the BPI Art Collection. This year, they have Contemporary Realism. There is a featured contemporary artist for every month along with the original picture of the paintings and enlarged copies in another page. It’s almost too good to use as a planner. The cover is a painting from my favorite artist, Manuel Baldemor.

Precious moments, unhurried time enjoying the beauty of the now, making memories, finding treasures in simple things, I guess these more than make up for the days we haven’t seen each other,  just hearing each other’s voices on the line.

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Happy 163rd Anniversary BPI

photo courtesy of kmcmaggroup.com

photo courtesy of kmcmaggroup.com

I miss this place, it has been my home for  almost  twenty-one years.  Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) is the oldest bank in the Philippines and the oldest bank in Southeast Asia. It was founded on August 01, 1851.  It is located at the heart of Makati Central Business District along Ayala Avenue corner Paseo de Roxas.


The bank was  previously named El Banco Español Filipino de Isabel 2 (The Spanish Filipino Bank of Isabel II), in honor of Isabella II, the reigning queen of Spain. Isabella II was the daughter of King Ferdinand VII, who passed away in 1833. I remember the time when all employees of the bank were given a copy of the book Legacy where it detailed the history of the Bank, the awards it garnered through the years. BPI is also known for its firsts as listed below:

  • BPI is the first bank in the Philippines, and in Southeast Asia.
  • BPI is the first bank to issue the Philippine peso
  • Introduced branch banking by opening its first branch outside Manila in Iloilo on March 15, 1897.
  • BPI financed the first rail system, telephone system, electric power utility, and steamship service in the Philippines
  • BPI established the Philippines’ first ATM system, with its ATMs being called Express Tellers. The system eventually evolved into the Expressnet ATM consortium, which has seven members
  • Expressnet is also known for its Express Payment System (EPS), which was at first the debit card system of the BPI Express Teller ATM card.
  • BPI pioneered the concept of the banking kiosk in the Philippines, with its kiosks being called Express Banking Centers or EBCs or by its older name, the Convenience Banking Center. EBCs can be found in malls, supermarkets, plazas and other locations and operate beyond normal Philippine banking hours, which are from 9.00 to 15.00 on weekdays.
  • The first local bank in the Philippines to introduce 24 hour branch banking called BPI Express.
  • BPI is the first bank in the Philippines to make use of a call center and telephone banking, known as BPI Express Phone
  • Launched BPI Express Mobile – Mobile Banking facility which enables accountholders to inquire about their deposit, credit card, auto and housing loan and BPI Prepaid Card balances, transfer funds between enrolled deposit accounts, pay bills to over 200 merchants, reload Globe Telecom and Touch Mobile prepaid mobile phones and BPI Express Cash MasterCard Electronic, and transfer money to and from Globe GCash wallet.
  • Launched BPI Express Credit Gold MasterCard with Paysafe System, the country’s first EMV (Europay, MasterCard, Visa) compliant chip card.
  • The first airline co-brand chip credit card issued in the Philippines – BPI SkyMiles MasterCard and BPI SkyMiles Platinum MasterCard with its partner Delta Air Lines.
  • The first local bank in the country to offer most number of third currencies in its products and services – Savings Accounts and Time Deposit Accounts (As of January 2010) (Australian Dollars, Canadian dollars, Swiss Francs, Euros, British Pounds, Japanese Yen and Chinese Yuan).
  • BPI issued its first Sustainability Report for 2008 along the Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, the first in the banking industry.
  • The first bank to introduce “Bank Anywhere” capability by allowing clients of the bank to transact at any of its more than 800 BPI branches ‘free of charge’
  • Introduced the country’s first branchless bank – BPI Globe Savings Bank (BanKo) using Mobile Money Technology (MMT) (December 2009).
  • Introduced the country’s first Mobile Mall – BPI Express Mobile – Mobile Mall (2009).
  • Introduced the country’s first envelope-less deposit machine – Express Deposit (2012).

Bank with Bank of the Philippine Islands, “Make The Best Happen”.

(credits go  to BPI Mag and Wikipedia for these  wonderful write-ups).

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 I just can’t resist posting this lovely painting of Anita Magsaysay Ho,  (Seated Women Sewing) a  gifted and talented artist who is known  for  “her paintings that depict figurative abstracts of women at everyday tasks.” Four years ago,  Bank of the Philippine Islands, where I used to work, started publishing pictures of paintings that they own via a lovely journal  and my daughter who works there now gifted me with a copy. She has given me copies of these journal/diary/calendar  that I collect since then. This year, it’s called A Legacy of Art (a treasury of paintings by Artists of National Prominence from the BPI Art Collection).  I am almost afraid to write on its pristine pages because I like the paintings that they publish there. Here’s one more entitled Old Farmer With Hat by our National Artist  Fernando Amorsolo done in 1929, oil on canvas. IMG_5560



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This is quite a nice surprise. I received a late Christmas greeting card this morning  from Bank of the Philippine Islands, the bank where I used to work for more than twenty years. I was credited with a 1,000 bonus Real Thrills Rewards points as a sign of appreciation from BPI Express Credit.  There is the first time I received such a gift from them.  And 1,000 points really count a lot if you are aiming for a higher-value item  in their  catalog.

Thank you BPI!


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Imagine this!   I am grinning from ear to ear (if there is really such a thing) because I got more surprises than I bargained for.  I just received a  note from my brother Noel telling me  that he just paid one more year of Premium Account at Multiply.  And that means – unlimited storage of photos and videos,  and full resolution originals are kept forever.   I am simply grateful for having a brother who  supports and encourages my writing, who is forever praising me for learning new  tools  of the trade. Lately, I learned how to make videos, another plus for me of course!  And here’s what he wrote:

Here’s your redemption code for another year of premium Multiply account.  Have a  merry Christmas!”

Yesterday, I got a surprise visit from a cousin whom I haven’t seen for quite a while.  We were classmates in grade school.  And we spent a few hours reminiscing  and  exchanging news about our other classmates  way back then.  She is a member of  The Lord’s Flock – LWUA Psalm Ministry and she gave me a copy of their  CD called Lighting  Paths, Touching Lives. It is an inspirational album  and I love all the songs in it.  I was particularly touched by the songs  People Need The Lord, Love  Is The Answer and the solo rendition of You Raise Me Up. The latter  has been my favorite since I heard Josh Groban  sing it  and when I found out that it was one of the songs played during Dad’s funeral three years ago, I can’t help but remember him every time I listen to it.  Thanks Cynthia for this wonderful gift.

And here are more surprises that I truly, truly appreciate.  Nissa gave them to me before she left for Tagaytay yesterday, a journal and a calendar for the year 2011.  The calendar  has  lovely  paintings by  our national artist,   Amorsolo.   They are from the art collections of Bank  of the Philippine Islands where she works.

Last year I received the Contempo, a collection of modern paintings from the same art collections of Bank of PI.  I even blogged about it because I found the paintings so lovely.  I remember now, one  of the artists, Ms. Phyllis Zaballero  found my blog on google and she left comments  when she saw that I included one of her paintings.  She told me that she no longer remember who had that particular painting of hers.  I am quite an  “ignoramus” when it comes to lovely works of art but I do know how to appreciate though.  When I met the great artist, Manny Baldemor  two years ago, I even became more enamoured with looking at such awesome creations by our talented artists.   How I loved to visit the 1851 Club of Bank of PI when I was still working there.  Their function rooms were full of these lovely collection.  This time,  in their 2011  calendar notebook and journal, they featured the paintings of Amorsolo, our National Artist.  He  is one of the most important artists in the history of paintings in the Philippines.  I took pictures of some of his artworks because I find them all lovely and fascinating, some of them are countryside scenery that I love.

Trade In A Colonial Shore (Galleon Trade) 1959


Burning of Manila (Ano Nuevo 1942)


Fruit Vendors (1924)


Woman Washing Clothes (Lavandera) 1947


Tinikling 1951


Hinulugang Taktak 1951


Tinikling 1953


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Got this news from MyBPIMagazine.  And I am proud to have been a part of this Bank for more than twenty-one years.

“Bank of the Philippine Islands (Philippines) wins Best Retail Bank in the Philippines and the Best Mobile Phone Banking Award for the year 2009.

Bank of the Philippine Islands wins two awards – the Best Retail Bank in the Philippines, winning this award for the 8th time, and the Best Mobile Phone Banking Award for the year 2009.
Over 120 banks and financial institutions from 23 countries across the Asia Pacific, Gulf and Central Asian regions were evaluated as part of the Excellence in Retail Financial Services Programme.

Singapore, 19 March 2010 – Bank of the Philippine Islands has won the Best Retail Bank in the Philippines and the Best Mobile Phone Banking Award in the ninth Asian Banker Excellence in the Retail Financial Services Awards Programme. The bank received the award at The Asian Banker Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards 2010 ceremony, held in conjunction with the region’s foremost retail banking event, the Excellence in Retail Financial Services Convention. The ceremony was held at the JW Marriot in Shanghai on the evening of March 18th, 2010.”

On another note, the bank’s President, is  the recipient of the Asian Banker’s Leadership Achievement Award:

“Mr. Aurelio Montinola III, President of Bank of the Philippine Islands, was the sole recipient of Asian Banker’s Leadership Achievement award for the Philippines!

The Asian Banker Leadership Achievement Awards programme is widely acknowledged by the financial services industry as the highest possible accolade available to professionals in the industry as recognized in the Asia Pacific and Gulf regions today. Established in 2001, it is one of the most difficult and most exclusive awards for any top banker or player in the financial services industry to win because of its stringent evaluation process. Given only once every three years, the award recognizes that the shape and direction of the largest institutions and the smallest processes are dependent on the calibre of the individuals entrusted to them.”

Took this shot during Bank of the Philippine Islands’ Family Day at Enchanted Kingdom, in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. I was trying to take a shot of the new BPI tag line but I could not fit it all into the frame.

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First time I’ve seen this new BPI ad on TV a few hours ago.  How nice to see the president of the bank, Gigi Montinola III personally endorsing BPI.  Back in my time, everyone calls him Gigi but today he is known to the new unibankers as ARM – Aurelio R. Montinola III.  I’ve spent more than 21 years working at BPI and I simply miss it.  Come August 1 this year, they will be celebrating 159 years of service. It is the oldest bank in the country. It was founded on August 01, 1851.

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