Shaping leaders, inspiring change
FROM THE STANDS - Domini M. Torrevillas (The Philippine Star) - September 11, 2014 - 12:00am

For our nation to continue its steady economic ascent we must carve out a place for ourselves in the global community; if that means changing the way we think, then so be it. At the same time, however, we must always hold on to the things that make us uniquely Filipino, if we hope to have the Philippines shine brightly upon the world stage. Some of these traits include our distinct sense of compassion, and our bayanihan spirit that shines through especially in times of crisis. Likewise, Filipinos possess an inherent love for learning, undoubtedly fueled by our natural curiosity and inquisitiveness.

With this in mind, a leading corporate university, First Pacific Leadership Academy (FPLA), has painstakingly crafted world-class programs with a Filipino perspective. Because of this “Think Global, Strategize Regional, and Act Local” approach, captains of industry and high-level managers have signed on for various courses and seminars. Indeed, a business economics professor with a PhD was pleasantly surprised when First Pacific Chairman Manny V. Pangilinan became her “classmate” in one of the modules. Even with impressive academic credentials and a lifetime of career excellence, it seems that true leaders realize the importance of continuous training.

Located in the heart of Antipolo, in a tranquil setting surrounded by verdant greenery, everything about the academy is conducive to learning. The economics professor even went as far as likening it to the ancient Lyceum of Aristotle. Considering that FPLA’s mission is to develop leaders — as well as the next generation who’ll take their place, to drive the social and economic progress of the Philippines, the impressive facilities certainly add credence to this overarching goal.

 Upon further analysis, in fact, FPLA’s mission statement is more pragmatic than it is conceptual. The signs of the local times clearly point to an increasing need for strong leaders in the private sector, who can steer the economy in the right direction. This applies to both local corporations and multinationals, which must ensure that each piece in their corporate machinery is doing its proper job, and doing it well. More importantly, they must be willing to make the necessary adjustments if that isn’t the case, and be humble enough to seek further training for a renewed standpoint.

 Ultimately, this is what will make the words of World Bank President Jim Yong Kim a self-fulfilling prophecy, when he heralded the Philippines as “the next Asian miracle.”

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 Proud Upsilonians trooped to the AFP Officers Club in Camp Aguinaldo last Friday to give recognition to the highest ranking military officer in the country whom the Commission on Appointments confirmed as Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines without question. The Upsilon Sigma Phi Alumni Association has recognized General Gregorio P. Catapang in a testimonial fellowship “Years Cannot Break Us!” attended by more than 350 Upsilonians led by Centenarian Fellow Atty. Delfin Gonzales ’36 who related that he had initiated Ferdinand Marcos ’37.

 Aside from General Catapang ‘84, other honorees included: Francis Pangilinan ’81, presidential assistant for food security and agricultural modernization; the AFP reserve officer of the year for two consecutive years Col. Peter Suchianco ’83; labor arbiter (equivalent to RTC judge) of the national labor relations commission Raul Luna ’88; two-term UP College of Law dean Danilo Concepcion ’89; Securities and Exchange Commissioner Blas Viterbo ’91; presidential management staff of the Office of the President Undersecretary Herminio Bagro III ’02; and one of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines Lancelot Yupingkun ’10. The multi-awarded jazz musician Johnny Alegre ’79 was also acknowledged and he shared his music during the affair.

General Catapang ’84 said in his speech that he was perceived as a “spy/infiltrator” from the military by masters during his initiation in 1984. But he said he was challenged by the motto “To gather light to scatter, ” and proved his worth as an Upsilonian. In 30 years’ time, he rose to lead the armed forces. Also given recognition are those brods who selflessly dedicated themselves to the service of their fellowmen who are victims of the two major natural disasters, Bohol earthquake and Typhoon Yolanda in Leyte Province. Philippine Red Cross Chairman Dick Gordon ’68 and General Catapang ’84 are part of the more than 30 Upsilonians recognized.

 The big attendance cut across nine decades from the 1930s to the current 2010s. This has proven time and again that the Years Cannot Break Upsilon Sigma Phi as the best fraternity.

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 Well-known artists and designers are lending their support to Zonta Club of Makati & Environs Foundation by donating art and fashion pieces for Zonta-Makati’s first “FilipinaZ Art and Fashion Fair” on September 12-14 at the Rockwell Tent in Rockwell Center, Makati City.

 The one-time fund-raising event will help Zonta-Makati implement its various projects in advancing the status of women in the country, providing educational, livelihood, medical, and psychosocial projects for women in poor areas of Makati and Taguig and supporting a rehabilitation center for some 250 sexually abused girls aged six to 17 at Marillac Hills in Muntinlupa City. 

 “While enjoying the offerings of the fair, shoppers will also help Zonta-Makati in its advocacy to end violence against women and girls,” says Rosie D. Go, president.

 Among the art pieces to be made available at the fair are works of Joy Mallari, Manny Baldemor, Geraldine Javier, Jon Santos, Pam Santos, Lydia Velasco, Pablo Capati, Maria Taniguchi, Lui Medina, and J.A. Tan, an autistic child who is a nephew of Zonta member Vivian Uy.

 Works of Ginny Alcaide, Wawi Navarosa, Ruel and Marina Cruz, Patty Eustaquio, Ramon Orlina, Fred Cacnio, Olivia d’Aboville, Hermes Alegre, Ambassador Theo Arnold, Betsy Westerndorp, and Gordon Lee are also available.

 Marites M. Pineda is chair of FilipinaZ Art and Fashion Fair.

Clothes donated by famous designers are also going to be available. On Saturday, September 13, one-of-a-kind Rimowa luggage pieces will be auctioned at the Rockwell Tent following a panel discussion on “Who determines the value of art?”

Philippine Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (PRID) is celebrating its 37th year of founding on Saturday at the Philippine School for the Deaf compound on 2620 F. B. Harrison, Pasay City. PRID is a national organization established in 1977 for the purpose of providing translating and/or interpreting services for Filipino deaf children.

Why do deaf people need interpreters? Because they have difficulty in speech, have lip reading problems, have limited knowledge in English, Filipino and other Filipino dialects, and because of their desire for community services often closed to them. So far PRID has trained more than 400 deaf interpreters to teach trainors for deaf children as well as interpret on television and other social and religious functions.

 This year’s theme, “Here and Beyond,” focuses on a mobile training program that takes Manila-based trainors to teach other trainors in the provinces.

 Saturday’s program participants are interpreters and deaf children from the Archdiocese Ministry for the Disabled

Officers are Marita Capadocia, chair; Domini M. Torrevillas, vice-chair; Godha Abichandani, secretary, and Aurora Ramirez, treasurer. Board members are Nellie L. Mercado, Yolanda Capulong, Cindy Dollente, Purita Cajuiat, and Jessica S. Magbanua. Ma. Corazon Tensuan is executive director.

 The organization needs donations to pursue its noble purpose of training trainors to teach deaf children. One may contact the office through Tel. 831 6431.

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