Inspiring the nation through excellence

Let’s start the bandwagon of transformative hope. Here’s one story that focuses on what’s good about mankind. People/organizations who help other people. Read on!

Inspiration comes from stories of success achieved by individuals. It has a certain ripple effect. Give people inspiration through your example and they, too, will create their own success stories, thus continuing this positive cycle that is very necessary in nation-building.
“Inspire the nation” is the theme of the Junior Chamber International (JCI) or commonly called as the Jaycees as they hold their 65th JCI Philippines National Convention on October 10-13, 2013 at the Centennial Resort and Convention Center in Alta Tierra, Jaro, Iloilo City.
Ryan Ravanzo, 2013 national president of JCI Philippines, said the organization is the leading global network of young individuals.
“JCI is an organization of opportunity,” he said.
He explained that many young people sign up because of the training, skills enhancement opportunities and wide network it offers.
“JCI has a long history of developing leaders like Henry Sy, senators like JV Ejercito, Koko Pimentel, Allan Cayetano, Juan Ponce Enrile, House speaker Sonny Belmonte, among others. They credited their training in the early years to JCI,” Ravanzo said.
“We give a lot of premium on training like doing business, good citizenship, community building, public speaking, expression of ideas, and more,” he said.
Their most popular project for over 50 years now is the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM).
Another program that has inspired young people is the Youth Leadership Excellence Award (YLEA) being granted to graduates.
“This is an encouragement for young people to work hard. Since 1980, we already gave out 6,000 medals. Some of our JCI presidents were YLEA recipients. JCI is creating its own heroes,” Ravanzo said.
JCI also provides training for the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK).
They also spearheaded the “Liter of Light” project where they install solar lighting from a liter of container filled with water that is attached to the house’s roof, according to Fulbert Woo, 2009 national president coming from JCI-Iloilo.
Ravanzo added that they also have a global project called “Nothing But Nets”, where they provide mosquito nets to households in Africa in order to combat malaria.
They also hold feeding projects, medical missions and they help rebuild schools.
“JCI responds to the needs of each community where the organization belongs. We also give premium to global responsibility and individual responsibility,” he said.
Ravanzo said that JCI is open to individuals aged 18 to 40 years old and only allows a member one year to lead.
“This is because we want to extend this opportunity to others. We have presidents who are as young as 21, 22 and 23. At the age of 40, we believe we already have shared the opportunities,” he said.
He said that members who are aged over 40 years old are still part of the organization as associate members but they have lost their right to vote or be voted on.
Some non-members have this misconception that JCI membership is limited to moneyed individuals, said Raymund Salazar, national secretary general who is based in Cavite.
“In Cavite, we proved them wrong and made them realize that the dues are not enough compared to the opportunities and trainings that we get. So, we encourage the members to pay their dues in weekly installments. Little by little, we are able to pay for our dues. You won’t even notice that you’ve been paying,” he said.
The annual membership dues is P2,00 and this funds the organization’s projects.
In Iloilo City, there are four JCI chapters. They are the JCI-Iloilo which is an all-male chapter composed of 50 members, the JCI Ylang-Ylang which is all-female, JCI Metro Iloilo Dinagyang and JCI Regatta.
Outside of Iloilo City, there’s the Tamasak Jaycees, Roxas Halaran and Kalantiao. They also plan to revive the Antique and Guimaras chapters.
Each chapter has its own culture,  Woo said.
But, they are united by the organization’s motto: Service to humanity is the best work of life.”
This year, this unity is again strengthened when 1,500 delegates will gather for their three-day convention.
Their activities include trainings and seminars, sports events, tours, Miss JCI Philippines, Temiong Awards Ceremony and the Presidential Ball.
Ravanzo said that Iloilo City and Province will benefit economically from the convention.
“Imagine the multiplier effect of the delegates, families and friends coming. They will stay in Iloilo’s hotels, eat the food here, ride the taxis and buy souvenirs. We are happy that the city and the provincial government are supportive. Iloilo is one of the bullish cities in the country,” he added.
In their end, Ravanzo said they will benefit from the trainings and the unique Ilonggo hospitality, culture and food.

Iloilo’s gathering is simultaneous with 189 other national conventions of JCI around the world. Some mentioned countries were Korea, Singapore and Malaysia.* (TNT Libre, October 11, 2013)

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