Ayala Young Leaders Congress Celebrates its 10th Year
RALPH REUBEN MORALES, IRENEO DEMECAIS JR.
Every five years, the Ayala Young Leaders Alliance (AYLA)- the official alumni network of the graduates of the Ayala Young Leaders Congress (AYLC) program celebrates a grand alumni homecoming. Coinciding with the program’s 10th year, AYLA members from all over the country, some were even from overseas, trooped to NBC Tent and Community Facility in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig on February 9 -10, 2008 for the 2nd AYLA Grand Reunion.
With the inclusion of the 74 delegates of the 10th Congress in the 728 alumni population, the reunion holds the record of having the most number of alumni attendees with 350 among all AYLA events. What makes it more noteworthy is the involvement of all the batches in the overall preparation for the two-day affair.
Networking and Volunteer Opportunities
Networking meetings for the 17 local AYLA chapters, three ad hoc communities and all AYLC batches were held at the Community Facility as the influx of the alumni continued as the crowd awaits for the welcoming of the delegates of the 10th Congress fresh from Tagaytay.
With the intention of making the most out of the rare occasion, the alumni were distributed to 14 groups according to their fields of interests. Dubbed as AYLA Cafe, each alumnus could choose two breakout group discussions. The topics included environment, technopreneurship, education, social entrepreneurship, fundraising & resource mobilization, youth participation in good governance, understanding Philippine politics, business & corporate life, servant leadership, corporate social responsibility, working with media, the role of the military in national development, Starfish Magazine and AYLA’s Disaster Management. Leading personalities in the 14 topics were invited as speakers. An alumnus with extensive involvement per topic headed each AYLA Café as moderator.
Among the much-awaited segments of the event is the launching of Sangandaan: The AYLC Alumni Memorabilia and the release of the double- issue of Starfish Magazine. Sangandaan is an interactive DVC, which contains the directory of the 728 alumni, batch videos, congress photos and AYLC songs and messages form the pillars of AYLC. Starfish Magazine on the other hand is the longest running volunteer- managed publication and the most sustainable inter-batch project if AYLC alumni which now bills itself as the country’s first Filipino youth empowerment magazine. Sangandaan, just like Starfish Magazine, is another volunteer- run alumni project.
An ecumenical thanksgiving prayer service was held different religions, which made use of the different dialects. This was followed by the renewal of vows lead by Ayala chairman emeritus Jaime Zobel de Ayala.
Globe president Gerardo Ablaza gave the welcome remarks. He cited the outstanding performance of AYLC alumni employed in the company, which he considers to have contributed significantly particularly to the company’s engagement in social responsibility programs.
In his keynote speech, Pampanga Governor Eddie Panlilio stated the moral courage that his leadership in the province has been exemplified form the start of his administration. He urged the Ayala Young Leaders to be anchors of contemporary leaders in all their undertakings and leadership challenges.
The 10th AYLC Anniversary AVP and AYLA @ 10: Highlights of the Best AYLA initiatives prepared were screened. All the ten batches had their distinctive presentations during the party hosted be Globe Telecom.
On the second day of the reunion, AYLC alumni wearing their batch colors began fun Olympics organized by the volunteer pool of Starfish magazine with a grand parade of athletes and the symbolic pass of the torch.
Fun games were divided into three categories: individual, batch and chapter games. For the entire duration of the sportsfest, Manila Water’s Sagip Buhay Team was on stand-by for first aid assistance. AYLA Bayanihan Batch 2004 was hailed as the overall champion. Roger Flores, also from the same batch was awarded as the most valuable player.
The two-day gathering has demonstrated how the spontaneity and collaboration of the AYLC alumni in coming up with such endeavors. It has manifested the efforts and dynamism within the Ayala Young Leaders Alliance has remained strong and continue to flourish.
Social Networking Fair
Different organizations and institutions with known volunteer management programs were invited to participate in the Social Networking segment by setting up exhibit booths, which offered comprehensive orientation of volunteer opportunities to AYLC alumni. These include Youth Alliance Philippines, Starfish Magazine, Young Public Servants, Children’s Hour Philippines, World Vision, Philippine National Red Cross, Voluntary Service Overseas, Ayala Foundation’s Center for Social Development, ALC Foundation, Visayan Forum Foundation, NBS Foundation, Circle of Friends Foundation, Asia America Initiative, Dare it Forward and Renew Foundation.
Various corporate entities also set-up booths such as Ayala Talent Net, Manila Water, Globe Telecom, Studio 23, Innovative Business Concepts and Cebu Pacific for promotion of their respective corporate programs.
The social networking fair was organized to meet the following objectives: First, to celebrate AYLC’s 10th year of nurturing young leaders. Second, to make our 728 alumni interact and network with organizations that is socially involved in diverse advocacies, and third, to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the 30 exhibitors who have been loyal supporters of the AYLC model leadership, which is servant leadership.
The social networking fair would not be possible without the support of 30 exhibitors that believe in the advocacy of AYLC. One of the top sponsors for the fair was Myriad Advertising who partly sponsored the exhibit booths.
The fair is one innovative way to celebrate an alumni homecoming of a strong network of young leaders here in the Philippines. Undeniably, AYLC is one if not the longest youth leadership program in the country.