Mother named as the first 'Republic Tibay Hero'

MANILA, Philippines – Delia Balonzo is an incredible inspiration amidst the hardships and struggles of day-to-day existence. She is a mother to 13 children and a grandmother to several grandchildren. In spite of that, she took on the responsibility of taking care of nine other children. Undaunted by her humble means, she persevered to provide the needs of her big family, including sending all her children to school.

“Republic Tibay Mo, Inspirasyon Ko!” salutes the tibay Hero in every Filipino and their courage to persevere against all odds for their loved ones and causes they believe in. Delia’s tibay mula sa loob epitomizes the same tibay in every single bag of REPUBLIC® Cement, the only cement in the Philippines with Tibay Enhancers, a special mix of ingredient that makes concrete more compact and durable from the inside.

Delia often takes several jobs to make ends meet— she helps women give birth, occasionally serves as a manghihilot and laundry woman, and she also ran a sari-sari store and a small canteen.  She was resilient, bouncing back after every challenge she hurdled.

Delia, whose story was chosen from 1,671 entries, was forced to rent a cramped, single-room apartment when fire razed her old house a few years ago. This year, she, along with her husband, children, and several grandchildren will be moving into their new two-storey house made with REPUBLIC® Cement and designed by a leading architecture firm Palafox Architecture.

Robert Nelson, who nominated Delia, said that she is more than just a mother, she is a hero who is raising future heroes, changing their fate and inspiring them to make a change in others’ lives.

 “She’s our superhero. She taught us that as long as there is life, there is always a way to take care of your loved ones.” Delia’s sixth son, Abel, says lovingly of her. Adolfo, the youngest, tearfully describes her as “irreplaceable.”

Lafarge Republic, Inc. (LRI) President Renato Sunico said the tibay that Delia personifies and the tibay that REPUBLIC® Cement gives will be passed on from generation to generation. “This tibay is our legacy, Delia’s legacy to her children and everyone who has heard her story, and our legacy to every Filipino family who builds with REPUBLIC® Cement.”

Delia’s tibay mula sa loob has inspired her children to finish school and succeed in life; one of them is now working in Austria and raising her own family. Her selflessness and steely determination in the face of extraordinary challenges left a big impact on the judges and contributed to her win.

The entries were screened by an esteemed panel of judges that included Lafarge Republic Inc. (LRI) President Renato Sunico, GMA Network Senior Vice President for Radio Mike Enriquez, Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) Corporate Affairs Manager Jay Jaboneta, Real Living Editor-in-Chief Rachel Medina, Leo Burnett Philippines’ Manila Executive Creative Director Kat Limchoc, Habitat for Humanity Chief Executive Officer Charlie Ayco, and Palafox   Architecture Managing Partner and Senior Urban Planner Karima Palafox.

REPUBLIC® is the only cement in the country with TIBAY ENHANCERS. This special mix of ingredients is made of small particles that fill in concrete voids – making concrete more compact. This minimizes possible water and chemical ingress that may cause the rusting and expansion of steel bars, cracking, and concrete deterioration. REPUBLIC® is best for foundations, columns, beams and slabs.

Watch Delia’s story on www.facebook.com/RepublicCement