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True bearers

(Article published in the May 28, 2008 issue of Manila Standard Today)  

        In my book, it is not our athletic champions, notwithstanding their undeniable prowess, nor our exemplary artistic performers, despite the clear superiority of their craft, nor our top placers in intellectual bees and competitions, nor even our business entrepreneurs who look beyond our shores to expand their influence and operations, that will carry this country through.

 It is our countrymen overseas whose hearts never left home, at their foreign posts, doing what they are supposed to do, as they are supposed to do, and when they are supposed to do, as their parents told them to, who will.  It is the Cresente Joe Jay Magbuhat of our land, away from range of television cameras, without the screams of adoring fans, unsupported by text votes from Filipino cell phones, without caring teachers to coax and encourage, who constitute the backbone that enables us to hold our heads high before the rest of the world.

 In a toolbox meeting with his bosses and colleagues in Ras Laffan City, Qatar, Joe Jay, as Cresente Joe Jay Magbuhat is known to friends and family, in simple ceremony, was awarded by Fluor Mideast Ltd-Qatar, with a certificate of appreciation.  Those who have first hand experience of him, Messrs. Ed Jones, Fluor’s senior construction manager, John Jordan, RASGAS Construction Manager, which is Fluor’s client, and Jim Ierubino, project manager, described him as “a great inspiration to all.”  Joe Jay was recognized for his outstanding contribution and success of what they call the Common Offplot Project and, for what seems to mark him above the rest, his “never say ‘NO’ attitude towards work.”

 It was no mean feat to be recognized by Fluor.  Fluor Corporation is one of the world’s largest, publicly owned engineering, procurement, construction and maintenance service companies.  Currently ranked Number One in Fortune Magazine’s America’s largest corporations under the  Engineering and Construction Category, Fluor has consistently landed among the top five in Fortune’s annual survey of America’s Most Admired Companies and is the only US-based company in its global Most Admired Companies list. 


 Engineering News-Record, or ENR, magazine ranks Fluor Number One in its list of Top 100 Contractors by New Contracts and Number Two among the Top 400 Contractors and Top 100 Design-Build Firms. 

 This peer acknowledgment of Fluor’s stature is the fruit of experience of over a century to countless clients that count on it to for them to come up with intelligent solutions in a timely manner, and help them develop, execute, and maintain capital projects on schedule, within budget, and with operational excellence.

 Fluor prides itself as one of the world’s safest contractors, maintains a network of offices in more than 25 countries across 6 continents, and has a workforce of more than 46,000.  Try being more than just a file in your HR department or a number that is part of your company budget, and you will appreciate all the hard work that led to Joe Jay’s acclaim from his co-workers.

 Joe Jay is no stranger to work, or even work abroad. Prior to joining Flour in Qatar last year, as Instrumentation Engineer (Construction Engineer IV) in over-all charge of the site cable management system, Joe Jay worked at various times in Myanmar, Baku, Azerbaijan; Bintulu, Malaysia; Pandan Crescent and Pulau Sakra, Jurong Island, Singapore; Yokohama Japan; and, of course, in the Philippines, primarily for Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Company of Manila, Inc. (AG&P) at Bauan, Batangas.

 The list of companies Joe Jay worked for is accordingly global.  He was, aside from AG& P, with Sanko group of companies while in Japan, Singapore, Malaysia and Rotary Electrical Company (Pte) Ltd., Total E & M and, now, Fluor.

 Academically, he was prepared by the University of Sto. Tomas where he graduated with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.  He was sent by his employer twice to Meralco Foundation, Institute, in 1998 to train in Electro-Pneumatics and the following year to study Calibration for Process Instrumentation. 

 His experience, of course, would not be complete without a brush with the Filipino crab, many details of which I blur so as not to spoil my admiration for the overseas worker. 

 Joe Jay’s experience, both of the admiration of foreign colleagues as well as the unsuccessful put down by a few misguided countrymen, is surely replicated many times in many places all over the world.  But I am certain that there are many more out there of the likes of Cresente Joe Jay Magbuhat than those who are not.  It is the many former who enable me to present my passport, with head unbowed despite the latter, to any immigration officer in any foreign port of entry.