By Evelyn Tendero
I met Anidel Villanueva in 2002, when she started working at Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI) as a dormitory assistant (at the time, we called them “house mothers”). She was assigned in the Main Building and Annex I dorms. The KKFI dorms were exclusive for ladies then.
Anidel, or “Ani,” as she is fondly called was very industrious. As the dorm manager, I always wondered where she got all the energy to do all her daily tasks at that level.
Aside from her official job description, she even had the energy and enthusiasm to accommodate requests from her officemates to run their errands. She would even read the water sub-meter of the KKFI’s commercial spaces and the electric sub-meters of the dormitories.
I, myself, would ask her every now and then to deposit or withdraw from the bank, which was of good 15-minute walk from KKFI.
I always wondered where Ani learned her discipline of working beyond working hours. And she never charged any overtime pay for all those sacrifices! She must have acquired it somewhere.
That long-time question in my mind was answered during the Monday morning devotion of KKFI. Ani shared during her testimonial that 10 years before she got to work in KKFI, she worked in a number of Caltex gas stations in Southern Tagalog area. She said she was the cashier but she would also operate the gas pump and do the inventory of the station’s auto parts store.
She said it was normal for her to work beyond eight hours a day and even on holidays, when needed.
It has become apparent to me that it was inherent to Ani to be hard-working and to walk an extra mile all the time. In that sense, she was and is the ideal worker every employer dreams about.
Before becoming an employee of KKFI, Anidel became one of the scholars of the Foundation during the term of Mrs. Nellie Mercado as its executive director. That was in 1992. Ani graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, major in Banking and Finance from the Philippine School of Business Administration (PSBA).
She is the second of eight children of Mr. and Mrs. Alfredo Villanueva of Abra and Ilocos Sur, respectively. Her parents were members of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, but Ani herself became an affiliate member of the United Methodist Church when she became a KKFI scholar.
The KKFI became part of Ani and her family’s existence, almost literally. Her younger sister Mary Rose worked part-time as a cleaner in Annex II while her brother, Alfred, has been our janitor in Annex I and Annex II since 2012.
I retired from KKFI in 2015, but came back last November. During last year’s Christmas party, Ani was honored as the Female Employee of the Year.
I could not agree more.