I never thought that I will be part of the first Ayala Young Leaders Congress (AYLC) in 1999.
Armed with grit and passion to make a difference – it was an experience of a lifetime that I would never forget.
Colleges and universities across the country were asked to nominate junior and senior college students with leadership potential and excellent academic standing.
It started with an invitation from Ms. Bernadette Sacop of the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) – Pamantasan ng Lungod ng Maynila (PLM).
I was adamant to join but she believed in me.
I was one of the nominees who made it through the initial screening.
I went to the ultra modern and posh Ayala Tower One building in Makati.
Remember this was 1999, sikat ang Y2K dooms day bruhaha, sabi ng mga berks ni Nostra Damus nasa finish line na ang existence ni Mother Earth.
Thank you Lord, nakapunta ako dito bago magunaw ang mundo hehehe.
Syempre ang lakas maka-alta ng ambience.
Hindi pala sosyal na sosyal (sa boses ng bagong adjusted na braces sa ngipin).
Kala ko interview lang, aba may pa-essay si mayor na, ‘if you’re the President of the Philippines, what will you do?’
Play kuliglig in the background.
Inhale, exhale boom!
Bahala na si batman!
After the surprise written test, interview na.
Di ako na-orient na panel interview.
Umurong yung bangs ko na very 90s at keempee style!
Pasok sa room, smile pa rin.
Deep inside nagparamdam ang Cabanatuan, intensity 9 sa tuhod ko!
Bago sa akin toh!
Gusto kong magcart wheel ng mga anim!
The panel were composed of senior executives from within the Ayala group.
In fairness, mabait ang panel.
Di ka naman lalamunin ng buo.
Di ko alam kung paano ang groupings sa panel pero ang lakas maka Ms. Q & A ng sagot ko, and I, thank you!
After a few weeks, nagpadala ng letter ang Ayala Corporation sa PLM mga beshie.
Pasok sa banga ang kuya mo!
Five (5) students from PLM qualified.
Kuya Jerry Lopez and Kuya Aliw Cleto from College of Business and Public Administration (CBPA); Ate May Harris and Kuya Angelo Tabuac from College of Engineering & Technology (CET). Ako lang ang nag-qualified from College of Arts & Sciences (CAS).
Seventy students were chosen to attend the three-day AYLC.
We were given the chance to meet and listen to leading figures in business, education, politics, science, the media, development work, and the arts.
We also took part in activities geared toward nurturing values that enhance our leadership potential.
It was a new experience for me to be sitting side by side with fellow young dreamers not only from Manila but all-over the Philippines.
Pero majority are from Metro Manila.
There were also delegates from Philippine Military Academy (PMA).
Aside from the shared knowledge during the training, sinong makakalimot sa pa-Lechong Baka and the unli ice cream – sarap na combination di ba?
Huntahan at kwentuhan sa hallway.
Bungisngisan sa group presentation.
Tawanan at hagalpakan.
Kagroup ko si Ate Mae, aba iba ang amats ng group namin.
Buti di pa uso ang tokhang! Para kaming sinapian, yung masaya lang palagi.
Syempre ang makasaysayang ‘toothpick’ ni Kuya Wardy from Davao.
Ang mga team building activities na chinallenge ang katawang lupa ko.
I was not a sporty person kaya nung pinagwall climbing ako – aba buti kinaya ng mga taba ko sa cheeks ng very light.
Ramdam ko na guinea pig kami. Trial and error ang first batch, maraming matutunan na pwedeng magbenefit ang susunod na mga batches.
For me, isang malaking take away ko from AYLC is that kahit nasa experimental group ako ng training.
Ramdam ko ang sincerity ng Ayala servant leaders to make a ripple in the society na simulan sa mga kabataan ang paghubog.
Malaking investment din ito at di biro ang dugo’t pawis na nilaan ng kumpanya.
This year, 20th anniversary na ng AYLC parang kailan lang nasa bus kami papunta ng San Miguel Training Center.
Puno ng pangarap.
Walang mobile phones.
Walang social media.
Wala ngang digital camera. Ilang rolyo kaya ng film ang pinadevelop?
Video documentation nga namin walang sound eh pero nasa YouTube hehehe!
Puso ang naging puhunan.
I am so proud of my batchmate’s achievements and recognitions. Di lang sa Pinas kundi pati sa world, este the universe rather.
Part na ako ng Titos at Titas ng AYLC.
Marami pang magagawa para sa bansa.
The Ayala Young Leaders Congress is a concrete expression of the Ayala Group’s commitment to national development.
It is the keystone of “Shaping Tomorrow’s Leaders”, the youth leadership development program launched in 1998 by the Ayala group of companies as a strategic investment in the youth, and ultimately, in the future of the country.
Ayala’s dream is to nurture a community and form a network of values-based and principled Filipino leaders committed passionately to nation-building and to uplifting the lives of their fellow Filipinos.