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Meet Marcventures’ ‘Awesome’ Rodrigo

July 20,2018


MMDC Carrascal Project Mine Pit superintendent Rodrigo “Boy” Bas in his daily hustle at the mining site.  He is known as a  leader, friend, brother, and father rolled into one to his staff and colleagues.

 

It seems like the name “Rodrigo” is popular nowadays.  We have, of course, President Rodrigo Duterte.  MMDC has just installed a new General Manager in the person of Mr. Rodrigo Cal. Now there is this awesome Mine Pit Superintendent named Rodrigo Rodrigo Bas.  That’s me.

Some say I look young at 62. My best friend says I look older.  Best friends tell the truth.  Even if it hurts.

I wanted to be a pilot but I crash-landed on a Mining Engineering school.

It feels just like yesterday as I reminisce inhaling gold, copper, silica, coal and nickel dust for almost 40 years – the length of time I’ve been working in the mining industry.

I’ve been with MMDC for just 4 months now and unfortunately it has always been raining during those months. There is not much nickel dust to inhale but it worries me because our production also suffers.

But being the determined and gutsy person that I am, I’ve always had so much faith that my profession would take me somewhere. It’s really not for me to tell whether I’ve already achieved it but, modesty aside, I think I somehow already made something I can be proud of.

After I married a lovely woman named Cynthia, I asked her to be a full-fledged wife so she could take care of the BAS basketball team that I dreamt of. But God blessed us with only two children; Simonette, 31, who works at Cebu Metropolitan Trial Court, and Agustin Vicente, 18, a student at Silliman University in Dumaguete City. Not quite a basketball team but I still consider my family the greatest team there is. Imperfectly perfect is how I call it. They are my inspiration and I strive hard to be an inspiration for them.

Most people regard me as a happy-go-lucky fellow – always cracking jokes and never taking things too seriously. But I am always serious when I say that everyone must feel blessed for having a job, any job at all. I believe that no job is ever easy, but when you learn to love and enjoy it, your job will love you back.

There is no such thing as a small role; only small actors or doers of a role.  So I am proud of my role and consider everyday just another opportunity to enjoy and a challenge to overcome. This is the mindset that keeps me going through the years.

As with mining, I’ve already accepted its fate as a misunderstood sector, but I’m pro-mining because I’ve seen people’s lives change and get better because of it. Communities prosper and get a taste of development because mining companies offer them enormous help and blessings. 

Our Management Committee meetings seem quite intense, even frightening, to newcomers like me because we are constantly held to account for our commitments. I think,  however, that this style of holding people to account is typical of a high performing management team. And I am hopeful that through everyone’s full dedication and cooperation, our goals and objectives will be realized faster.  Then I believe the ManCom meetings will no longer look scary  to newcomers.

Moving forward, the future looks bright for Marcventures as some projects are lined up. We also have a bunch of youngsters in Geology, Mine Engineering and Mine Operations who are highly passionate and I know that many of them would someday be the pillars of the industry.

Teamwork is not only in sports. In any workplace or organization, close coordination is a must.  Great teams need good coaches too. Luckily, with the guidance of Mr. Isidro Alcantara (Marcventures Holdings, Inc. president) and  Mr. Yulo Perez (Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation president), things are set in the right direction. We are all lucky to have two of the best coaches on board.

Having a dual citizenship now (Filipino and Senior citizenship, that is), MMDC could be my last hurrah. Hopefully I could impart to the younger core of engineers the best side of my experience.

I may have had made mistakes in life but I never regret them. Mistakes remind us that we’re humans and they inspire us to do better next time.

Miners are always blamed for destroying the environment but we can always counter this by being models for mine rehabilitation and in conducting measures that mitigate the impact of our operations on the environment.

The Philippines is blessed with mineral deposits, let us maximize them for the benefit of our nation, especially of our brothers and sisters whose need for sustainable development continues.  Extraction of these minerals may impact on the environment.  All human activities do.  But honest-to-goodness rehabilitation could result in an even better environment for all, bringing nature back.  And, in some instances, even better than before it was mined.