12 October 2012, Quezon City – Vibal Group of Companies chair Esther A. Vibal was awarded today as one of the 2012 Quezon City's “Most Outstanding Citizens.”
As part of the celebration of the 73rd anniversary of the founding of Quezon City, this prestigious award was conferred to Mrs. Vibal along with 11 other individuals and institutions who have contributed significantly to the city. Aside from Mrs. Vibal, this year's recipients are: Department of Health (DOH) secretary Enrique Ona; former DOH secretary and current dean of the Ateneo de Manila University Graduate School, Dr. Alfredo Bengzon; multi-awarded musical artist Fides Cuyugan Asencio; journalist Jose Dalisay; visual artist Araceli Limcaco Dans; economist and multimedia journalist Solita "Winnie" Collas Monsod; beauty and fashion expert Ricky Reyes; and multi-awarded architect and designer Abelardo Tolentino Jr.
Mrs. Vibal and the rest of this year's awardees were selected by a distinguished panel of jurors led by former University of the Philippines president Dr. Emerlinda Roman who served as chairperson of the selection board. The members of her panel included the president of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines QC Chapter, Atty. Victoria V. Loanzon; former councilor Alberto Galarpe; senior adviser to the mayor, Dr. Manuel S. Alba; Gender and Development Resource and Coordinating Office head Dr. Mary Ruby Palma; and Cultural and Tourism Affairs Office chief Rosario Yara.
Now on its 10th year, the “Most Outstanding” award was also conferred to noteworthy institutions including Ayala Land Incorporated, Ortigas and Company, Metrobank Foundation, Philippine Franchising Association, Lungsod ng Kabataan, Himlayang Pilipino Incorporated, and Philippine Educational Theater Association.
For Mrs. Vibal, the award is a validation of her decades of work in educational publishing. In 1953, she and her husband, the late Hilarion P. Vibal, founded Vibal Publishing House, which today accounts for more than 70% of the market share of educational materials for public schools and 40% for private schools. In 2006, Mrs. Vibal established the nonprofit Vibal Foundation to promote literacy, cultural preservation, community outreach, and empowerment of women. Vibal companies have been at the forefront of the digital publishing field, launching an online e-bookstore and reading application, e-textbooks and tablets for schools, and a complete e-learning integration program, Vibal Smart School.Over the years, Mrs. Vibal has been actively involved in various socio-civic organizations with particular focus on education and women's welfare. She has served as president of both the International Inner Wheel Club from 1978-1982 and the National Council of Women of the Philippines in 1990. She was conferred the “Woman Entrepreneur of the Year” award by SGV Foundation and international accounting firm Ernst & Young, as well as the Lifetime Volunteerism Award by the National Volunteer Service Company.
Mrs. Vibal started her career working as a journalist for the Manila Times, while pursuing her studies at the University of the Philippines. Today, the city which has been the home of Vibal Publishing House for over five decades honors Esther Vibal as one of its best and brightest.