Business leader, innovator, and role model

INTROSPECTIVE - Tony F. Katigbak - The Philippine Star

It is not hard to see why the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) has named Carlos Chan, chairman of the Liwayway group of companies, as the MAP Management Man of the Year. The exceptionally talented, innovative, and compassionate taipan is the epitome of the “Filipino entrepreneurial spirit” and is someone that businessmen in the country can look up to and learn from.

The Management Man of the Year Award is given to leaders who have posted a record of excellence, achievement, and distinction. They are the heads of highly successful organizations and exemplary role models for their colleagues and peers. According to MAP, the award is conferred to individuals who have “attained unquestionable distinction in the practice of management” and who have contributed to nation-building.

Carlos Chan is the perfect example of all of the above. As the owner of the snack food company, Oishi, he has expertly transformed his local business into a globally competitive international company. Through his hard work and dedication, his brand is now renowned worldwide and continuing to grow.

He was also recognized for demonstrating patriotism and helping to enhance the image of the Philippines in all of his business operations abroad. Three past presidents have given Carlos Chan the special title of ambassador for his efforts in helping to promote Philippine-China trade, friendship, and cultural appreciation. Most recently, he was reappointed by President Duterte as a Philippine special envoy to the People’s Republic of China.

Alongside representing the country and helping promote trade and good relations, MAP also highlighted that Carlos Chan has also contributed to nation-building. His leadership role has guided Liwayway Group to aid in national development through job creation, income generation, product development, and technology improvements. Under his expert guidance, the company has continued to grow and flourish helping Filipinos grow and flourish with it.

His exemplary work as a leader and visionary is a sterling example for all Filipino managers. He has continued to push the envelope and reach new levels of achievement. His track record of integrity, business excellence, managerial success, and compassionate and intelligent leadership in both the public and private sectors is something all managers should aspire to.

All of these achievements, and much more, make it easy to see why Carlos Chan is a shoo-in for this honor. Personally, I have always admired Carlos Chan. His low-key and genuine generosity with everyone around him speaks volumes of his character. He has always been committed to being a good person and helping those in need, even silently. The desire to help, even without recognition, says so much about the kind of person he is both in business and in life.

In the time that I have known him, he has remained committed to doing good work, guiding his business to success, working on improving the Philippines’ relationships with China, inspiring those around him, and helping those in need. This recognition is just another feather in the cap of a man who has exhibited a lifetime of excellence.

Congratulations, Carlos Chan. MAP’s Management Man of the Year is a title well deserved.

* * *

We continue to battle COVID-19 and the Delta variant, and while it caused another lockdown and all-time high infections, it looks as though we are finally entering a downward trend. Cases have decreased and that seems to be holding for the past several days. While this is good news, it’s important to remain vigilant lest we see an uptick again.

Presently, we aren’t 100 percent sure yet if the downtrend is real or if there are other circumstances involved. Authorities are verifying if the decrease is real or if it’s due to fewer testing, limited testing or lapses in recording and relaying the numbers.

Another contributing factor is that the vaccines are doing their job and helping those who experience breakthrough infections to have milder cases and symptoms that may not prompt them to get tested. As is, some of the cases I have heard about from friends and family who were vaccinated turned out to be mild and they were able to fulfill the quarantine, isolation, and recovery at home.

OCTA Research says that the trend, from the data they have gathered, seems real. All indicators, especially hospital bed utilization, all seem to point in the same direction. This supports reports that say most transmissible variants follow a cycle that shows they infect large numbers of people heavily for roughly three months or so before petering out. I hope that is the case. The more data we can collect, the better we can analyze it and pinpoint patterns that should help us as we struggle to learn to live with COVID-19.

While a downward trend is always good, for now, we have to proceed with caution. Hope springs eternal, but we can’t allow this to make us brazen. We have been in this position before – cautiously opening up little by little and feeling like there is light at the end of the tunnel, only to be hurled back into quarantine because our hospitals were overwhelmed again.

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