Glaiza Angsibayan completed yet another fulfilling day, doing what she loves best – delivering saba(plantains). “Masarap sa pakiramdam na in-demand ang saging na dinedeliver ko,” shared Glaiza.

Glaiza began supplying saba to SM EATS’ Mr. Turon three years ago. The inspiration came from unexpected places. After a long day trying to get a job interview, Glaiza gave herself a simple but filling treat and bought Mr. Turon at SM EATS. Upon seeing the long line, a breakthrough idea came to her. Instead of pursuing full-time employment, Glaiza simply walked in at the SM Markets Innovation Department to inquire how she can supply saba. This idea turned out to be a simple twist of fate for Glaiza and her family. She initially supplied to 17 SM Markets stores and now to 36 stores at 20 tons of saba per week. She now rents her own warehouse, purchased delivery trucks, and established a full-fledged office. Glaiza sources her saba from farmers in Cavite, Quezon, and Davao, who in turn, were able to purchase their own carabaos and tricycles. She also engaged farmers from Tacloban as suppliers in the aftermath of the devastation left by Typhoon Yolanda. “Focus lang ako sa saba at sa SM,” exclaimed Glaiza.

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

His story is likened to a telenovela. Abandoned by his father, Rey Buyco, Jr. only had his mother to care for him. Their life felt like it was spiraling down a dark tunnel when their little house burned down. Soon after, they started living on the streets. His darkest hour came when his mother died. Forced to fend for himself, he sought the aid of relatives which sadly led to physical and mental abuses. Drawing inspiration from his mother’s unconditional love, he persevered and was awarded an SM College Scholarship grant.

Today, with his past behind him, Rey is now an accountant and lives a fulfilling life as a professor at the Asia Pacific College. For every triumph he experiences, he offers it to his mother and to Tatang Henry Sy, Sr. “I want to be like Tatang so I can help others just like me,” Rey shared emotionally.

Leadership with a Heart of Service

Julie Ann Hermogeno couldn’t contain her excitement when she received the honor of being the very first associate under the SM Markets Customer Assistant’s Program. The program was designed to mold the company’s future leaders and instill in them a heart of service through extensive supermarket management training and on-the-job crisis management drills. After successfully completing the program, her career took off as she moved up to becoming Operations Manager from Customer Service Assistant in just five years. Today she is responsible for all the marketing concerns of Savemore stores nationwide.

Building Resilience to Thrive into the Future

The water levels kept rising as the rain continued to pour. The communities around the Marikina Watershed were forced to seek refuge. During Typhoon Ondoy, 3,000 people took shelter in SM City Marikina as they waited for the water levels to subside.

To better serve its communities, SM incorporated disaster resilient features in its design such as elevating the mall through stilts. It also has in place business continuity plans that allow its facilities to continue to serve customers during emergencies. It has also integrated sustainability practices like water recycling, harnessing solar energy and implementing solid waste management campaigns to mitigate the effects of climate change to its communities.

When Typhoon Ondoy struck, the mall’s resiliency averted a significant amount of damage. The employees of the mall including its agencies and tenants were able to report for work right after the typhoon. Additional costs to build a disaster-resilient mall were recouped due to the prevention of potential losses. SM City Marikina also managed to prevent severe damage that could have affected the lives and businesses of more than 1,400 mall employees, affiliates and agency personnel, over 200 merchandise suppliers as well as regular customers.

Developing the Love for Learning

It was a beautiful day in Antipolo, Rizal as the students and teachers of the Mayamot Elementary School were busy preparing for the inauguration program of their new school building through a partnership with SM Foundation. “The new school building will have great impact on the learning experience of the students and will encourage them to do their best,” said Romeo Rodriguez, principal of the Mayamot Elementary School.

Working for a Better Tomorrow

Wherever SM is present, it endeavors to be a partner to sustainable development. It believes that social progress goes hand-in-hand with business growth. To date, the company has created thousands of job opportunities, engaged small and medium enterprises in its supply chain, built public facilities like school buildings and health centers, provided scholarships to the youth and facilitated funding for green projects. Altogether, it has served more than 15 million beneficiaries. It continues to align its sustainability efforts to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals with five focus areas namely education, health and wellness, farmers’ training, environmental sustainability and financial services. These serve as the company’s drivers to create impact to the rest of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Read more about SM’s sustainability initiatives. Click here.