Learning leadership, the Aboitiz wayBy Judee Zabala
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Last August 16, the best and the brightest third- and fourth-year college students from different colleges and universities went to Cebu to participate in this year’s Aboitiz Future Leaders Business Summit (AFLBS).
More than 500 applications were submitted, but only 90 outstanding students made the cut. The chosen applicants consisted of honor students, organization leaders, scholars and athletes.
Already on its seventh year, the summit aimed to help shape the minds of future leaders through various talks and team-building activities spread over three days. This year’s theme was “Significantly Changing My Philippines.”
On Day One, immediately after the opening, the students were divided into 10 teams and treated to a tour of the famous landmarks of Cebu, such as the Basilica Minore del Sto. Niño and Magellan’s Cross. The students learned the history of the ancestral home of the Aboitiz family, once the abode of Don Ramon Aboitiz, the patriarch of the Aboitiz Group.
The students also visited the offices of the Visayan Electric Company (Veco) and Persimmon Plus, both Aboitiz-owned. In the evening, the delegates were given the opportunity to dine and mingle with company executives at the lawn of the Casa Gorordo Museum. This was the first time the conference included a day tour in its schedule.
The second day was the start of the two-day conference on business and leadership, with top Aboitiz executives as resource speakers. They shared their knowledge and stories with the students, and, in turn, the students were given the opportunity to ask questions on matters such as nation building, creating a service of culture, brand building, financial discipline and more during the event’s open forum.
Gang Badoy, social activist and Rock Ed Philippines founder, was also a guest speaker. She talked about how everyone can make a significant contribution to the campaign for change and progress in the country.
The business summit ended with a presentation prepared by the 10 groups, followed by a farewell cocktail party.
Some memorable quotes we gathered during the summit:
“The one value we all should have is integrity. It’s so important, not only in business but also in our own personal lives. Always have the passion and determination to succeed, don’t get discouraged, be enthusiastic, have a vision. Be curious, never stop learning.”—Jon Ramon Aboitiz, Aboitiz & Co. president
“This convention is about how we can influence others to follow our vision; the summit has also taught us how to help ourselves so that we can help others in building the nation. It’s the best summit I’ve ever been to.”—Jeffrey Christian Josol, fourth-year Accountancy student, University of Mindanao
“It’s a jam-packed experience. It’s not my first time to be in Cebu, but Aboitiz made me feel as if it was.”—Arvin Paolo Urieta, fourth-year Business Administration student, San Beda College
“What’s really great about the summit is that people from all walks of life get to share their learnings and experiences despite their diverse backgrounds. Unlike other summits that focus solely on leadership, here you get to see different perspectives.”—Roxanne Hernaez, fifth-year Industrial Engineering student, Cebu Institute of Technology