First Pacific Leadership Academy chairman and MVP Group head Manuel V. Pangilinan.

Top CEOs give tips on empowering employees
PEOPLE - Joanne Rae M. Ramirez (The Philippine Star) - December 6, 2017 - 4:00pm

Employees should be given a “reasonable opportunity” to make mistakes and take risks for them to grow, MVP Group head Manuel V. Pangilinan said at the recent First Pacific Leadership Academy (FPLA) HR Congress 2017 at the FPLA campus in Antipolo.

Human Resources and transformation leaders of the MVP Group came together at the FPLA congress to explore employee experience.

Pangilinan, who delivered the keynote address, challenged the HR leaders to be catalysts in reshaping culture in their respective organizations. “We need a culture that allows reasonable opportunity for our employees to make mistakes and take risks, and that culture is built by ensuring that we have the right people, starting from the top.”

For his part, FPLA Board of Trustees president, Ricky P. Vargas stressed that, “Organizations of today and of the future must put employees at the center of the thinking process and design the experience that will enable them to unleash their full potential at work.” 

“The discussions and experiences within those three days at the HR Congress magnified how personalization, greater flexibility and effortless experience have fast become the emerging themes on employee experience,” he stressed.

The three-day congress was packed with content and a diverse plethora of experiences, including a colorful extravaganza of higantes and native dances, which greeted participants as they entered the halls of the academy. 

FPLA’s general manager and HR Council’s chairperson Roy Agustin Evalle pointed out, “In the same way as we are challenging our HR leaders to provide awesome employee experience, we want the HR Congress to be our way of letting them feel they are valued.”

The congress exhorted HR leaders to look into the changing and dynamic role that HR plays in an organization. 

The HR Congress also featured Gartner’s director for advisory services Sumit Malhotra, Peak Learning CEO Dr. Paul Stoltz, Starbucks Japan’s former CEO Mercy Corrales, GE’s Crotonville regional learning and development leader for ASEAN Luz Mercurio, and LinkedIn regional sales manager for talent solutions Atul Harkisanka, who shared their experiences and practices.

HR and transformation leaders went through several experiential activities that gave them that employee experience as they took a glimpse of the exciting future of work at Voyager Innovations. They also analyzed the thought-provoking curated artworks at Pinto Gallery, and watched the premiere of a socio-cultural enriching Filipino movie masterpiece.

The academy has committed to consistently provide the right kind of enhancements and improvements in processes, technology, space and culture — complemented with the right blend of leadership — to help bring employee experience to life in the First Pacific group.






On the way home from Finland on board Turkish Airlines, I watched Gifted starring Chris Evans of Captain America fame, and found the muscled Captain America in a role that could reduce mankind’s strongest muscles (their hearts, what else) into jelly.

In Gifted, Evans plays the role of a single, blue-collar worker in a battle for the custody of his niece Mary, who is orphaned of her mother. Mary happens to be a genius.

Without revealing who gets Mary (ingeniously portrayed by Mckenna Grace) in the end — Frank (played by Evans) or his mother Evelyn (Mary’s grandmother, played by Lindsay Duncan)  ­— let me just say that the movie brings to the fore what parents should reasonably expect of their children.

How does one find a balance between being a tiger mom and a kitten mom and still have kids who are not just achievers but happy achievers? How does one raise a genius and ensure that he/she doesn’t grow up a nerd, or worse, grow up breaking under the pressure of great expectations?

I grew up having palpitations on the day I was to receive my report card, but felt it was all worth it with the pride and joy I would see in my parents Frank and Sonia’s eyes whenever I went up the stage to receive a medal.

My sister Geraldine, who was to graduate magna cum laude from college, would often recall how she would look enviously at our youngest sister Valerie on exam week, sleeping soundly, while she would be burning the midnight oil studying. Both sisters are successful now. Geraldine is a psychiatrist practicing in Philadelphia while Valerie runs a string of gasoline stations and her own pastry business, Valerie’s Kitchen. I think one sister had more fun in college, don’t you think?

Gifted gives viewers an insight on where and how to tip the scales towards raising a child that is basically happy even if she changes the world with rocket science.

As one line in the movie goes, “Even Einstein knew how to ride a bike.”

In Gifted, Evans as Frank remains just as much a superhero as Captain America.

 (You may e-mail me at

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