Maria Almasara Cyd N Tuano-Amador: In Memory of Governor Nesting

Words by Ms Maria Almasara Cyd N Tuano-Amador, Officer-in-Charge of Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP, the central bank of the Philippines), during the Flag Raising Ceremony, Manila, 26 February 2019.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
27 February 2019

My Dear Colleagues:

News of the Governor's passing away on Saturday has left us deeply saddened. We wanted to reach out to his family and to pay our respects. We wanted to be able to say our personal goodbyes to him. We also wanted some comfort as members of the BSP community that he had ably guided and led since July two years ago. 

I am also sure that your own relatives and friends have offered you words of sympathy and your hearts are bursting with the desire to share these sentiments with Team BSP. This is because the BSP is not only a place where you work. This is because the BSP is part of your family, and because Governor Nesting was the head of our work family. 

We will all be able to do so on Thursday afternoon, when our Governor makes his last visit to his beloved BSP. The schedule of visits has been posted in the iKnow, but Thursday is our very own day as a community to gather around our Governor and salute him.

As we remember Governor Nesting today, let us not ask how he died; instead let us ask how he lived.

Let me borrow some words from Summer Sandercox. The poem goes like this:

Not what did he gain, but what did he give?
These are the units to measure the worth
Of a man as a man, regardless of birth.

Not, what was his church, nor what was his creed?
But had he befriended those really in need?
Was he ever ready, with word of good cheer,
To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?

Not what did the sketch in the newspaper say,
But how many were sorry when he passed away.

Very thoughtful words indeed.

So how do we remember his life?

Governor Nesting was a man in constant motion. He had big plans for the BSP to make us future ready. He had a reform agenda that covered the full breadth of the BSP's responsibilities: price stability, financial stability, a safe, reliable and inclusive payments system and advocacies including financial inclusion, economic and financial learning, and consumer protection.

His plate was always full of responsibilities and his time was gold.  But he was never too busy to share his time with his family, his friends, his staff at the Office of the Governor, and of course  his One Team BSP.

Governor Nesting was a man who took great comfort from his faith and his beloved family. He was a loyal and dependable friend who carefully tended the friendships that he had formed through the years. Many of us have been blessed with his gift of friendship. We take comfort from it. We are richer because of it.

He was a witty man and an intellectual with a wonderful ability to articulate his ideas and thoughts-not in fancy words or technical jargon. He was able to break down difficult concepts into plain and easy-to-understand language so the messaging is clear and concise. The mark of a truly wise man.

Invariably, the testimonials that we have been receiving from people sharing about their times with him speak of a humble man. A wise man has said: if you are good, you don't have to shout. Governor Nesting was good-and he never had to shout. Humility is a rare trait these days and we are blessed that we had a leader who exemplified this virtue.

On a lighter note, I was told that Governor Nesting was happiest during quiet family moments when he could relax with his beloved dogs by his side. He also loved Mr. Bean movies who doesn't? Not many of you may know this but Gov. Nesting had a playful side-some would say a very sharp sense of humor and he can laugh as loud-sometimes even louder-than any one of us!

Governor Nesting was man who was full of optimism.  He was optimistic that he can bring out the best in each one of us, and he challenged us to do better in whatever task we have been assigned to do. He was optimistic that he can bring the BSP to greater heights as a globally recognized central bank, building on the foundations that had earlier been laid by his predecessors. He was optimistic that his Continuity Plus Plus agenda will promote institutional stability while serving as a rallying point for future-ready Filipino central bankers. His optimism is brave. His optimism is brave and strong because it rests not on wishful hopes but on the conviction that the BSP's reform agenda is realizable because the organization he led is strong, it is resilient, it is agile and it is capable. 

We applaud the legacy of Governor Nesting in prudently formulating and implementing monetary policy to safeguard price stability. We applaud him for leading the financial industry through prudent and forward-looking reforms and for being a vanguard in the digitalization of the payments system in the country. We bask in these achievements because he had always-always-generously said that it is One Team BSP that has made these possible.

Colleagues, as we move forward-with the seasoned and thoughtful guidance of the members of the Monetary Board and the dedication and expertise of the BSP management team, our beloved institution will continue to build on the headway that had been made by Governor Nesting. We are in for exciting-and challenging-times as the amendments to the BSP Charter-which were signed into law just this month-have granted the BSP with greater flexibility in the discharge of its mandated responsibilities.

Governor, you will be greatly missed. But your legacy lives on in every one of us.

Thank you Governor for sharing your life with us.  Godspeed Gov. Nesting!

Let us now offer a moment of silence as we honor the memory... the years of public service ...of servant leadership-and the vision of our Governor, Governor Nestor A. Espenilla, Jr.