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University President's EOY Award Acceptance Speech

2019 PMAP Employer of the Year Award for Luzon Region
May 2, 2019

Good evening, again, my fellow PMAP sojourners!

On behalf of the Holy Angel University community, many thanks to the PMAP EOY Regional Board of Judges for finding our university worthy of recognition as Employer of the Year for the Luzon Region. This award belongs to the conscientious, competent, and compassionate women and men who comprise our beloved Holy Angel University. My deepest appreciation to all of them who are represented by my 25 colleagues who are joining me at this summit.

On a personal note, I have spent most of my life in the United States and returned to my country of birth four years ago. That radical move to start the giving-back phase of my professional life would not have been possible were it not for the support of my family who have been uprooted from a life of comfort in what they have called home. I am joined this evening by my wife Gemeline who deserves every bit of appreciation and recognition as well.

Charles Dickens began his historical novel A Tale of Two Cities with the immortal quote: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Paraphrasing Charles Dickens, over the past six years, Holy Angel University has moved from the age of foolishness to the age of wisdom, from the season of darkness to the season of light, and from the winter of despair to the spring of hope. This evening’s recognition from the experts of people management is the most significant external validation of our success in meeting one of our four strategic objectives – to be a great university to work for.

Holy Angel University achieved role-model status in people management despite our extremely difficult initial organizational context — the combined effects of a 52-day strike in 2013 and the absence of college freshmen for two years starting 2016. This turnaround in employee relations did not occur by accident nor overnight but by a disciplined focus on people management, enriched by an internationally validated framework for education performance excellence.

All the organizations participating in this summit share at least one thing in common — we are all located outside imperial Manila. We are all instruments of countryside development. We all have a vested interest in strengthening regional institutions. Stronger regional institutions help reduce rural-to-urban migration and help eradicate the #1 problem in Metro Manila — traffic congestion and urban poverty. Stronger regional institutions help the countryside attract investment and employment opportunities, thereby helping eradicate poverty.

In a few months, as your candidate, Holy Angel University will compete with the Employers of the Year for the Visayas, Mindanao, and National Capital Region for the national award. You have our university’s commitment that we will do our very best so that, during their site visit review, the EOY National Board of Judges will be hard-pressed to come up with reasons why the Employer of the Year for the Luzon Region should not be the Employer of the Year for our beloved Republic of the Philippines. They say that Kapampangans are “mayabang,” so please allow me to demonstrate a small part of my Kapampangan family heritage tempered by my half-Ilocano blood.

When the national judges come for the final site visit, they will see a national trailblazer in quality and excellence, they will see a faithful servant and critic of society, they will see a co-maker of stronger regional institutions, they will see a national pathfinder of higher education innovations, they will see a developer of people, they will see a defender and promoter of faithful Catholic education, and they will see the national conservator of Kapampangan cultural heritage.

We will seek to present the very best self of a regional institution representing all of you and do our best so that, by the end of our site visit review, the national judges will conclude that if they are looking for beacons of people management in the country, they need not go far. This is our university’s commitment to you, and, by the grace of God, the intercession of the saints, and the guidance and protection of our holy angels, we will do it. Thank you very much. To God be the glory! Laus Deo semper!

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