Archive | June 2011

Successful Leadership through Law of Attraction

“A beauty to behold, to think about, and to remember”

Central Philippine University

Rose Memorial Auditorium by Joven Baloyo

I first heard of the statement, “A beauty to behold, a beauty to think about, and a beauty to remember” from the mouth of someone who was responsible for the tremendous growth of the university that he led.

I am referring to Dr. Juanito M. Acanto, who was the President of Central Philippine University from 1997 to 2008.

Central Philippine University (CPU) is a 59-acre university located at Iloilo City, Philippines. Founded by American Baptist missionaries in 1905, CPU is so far the largest university in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines, with a total population of 11,700 in 2010. The vision of CPU is “Exemplary Christian Education for Life or EXCEL and responsive to the needs of the total person and the world.”

At first, I thought that the statement, “A beauty to behold, a beauty to think about, and a beauty to remember” was merely a quote to perk up a speech of Dr. Acanto. Later, I realized that it was not so because each time he addressed the university community, he would always mention the statement.

For the decade-long that he was leader of CPU, he would keep on repeating and repeating the phrase each time he had the opportunity to speak. He stated this even until the day he spoke his farewell speech. Much of the university’s development in the aspects of academics, infrastructure, and administrative manifested during Dr. Acanto’s term.

Central Philippine University

Central Philippine University

There is no doubt that the mission statement of Dr. Acanto during his stint as president is akin to the law of attraction. Having the opportunity to work with him as executive secretary, I was able to internalize the meaning of the phrases, “a beauty to behold, a a beauty to think about, and a beauty to remember” in my work and family life.

Dr. Acanto believes that the Lord God Almighty was greatly responsible for fashioning CPU into what it is now. He shared that the Board of Trustees appointed him Officer-in-Charge of CPU in 1997. At that time, he saw that his premier qualification was his availability to serve and he doubted his capabilities and readiness to be university president. He accepted the big responsibility to lead CPU because his faith assured him that God will be his guide.

At the start of his administration, Dr. Acanto gathered major stakeholders (all the members of the Corporation, the faculty and staff members, and the alumni) to rally their support for CPU’s development and progress. He appealed for unity and commitment to upgrade the level of achievements of the university. Affirming the vision and mission of CPU, he sees that the primary challenge was to make concrete manifestation of it.

Dr. Acanto presented his approach in leading the school. He set into action the paradigm of attraction. Basing on the Biblical principle that a smiling face is proof of the merry heart, Dr. Acanto declared openly his mission to make CPU a beautiful university, making it a beauty to behold, a beauty to think and to feel about, and a beauty to be remembered.

He aimed primarily at creating an environment and atmosphere that would encourage students to study well and also attract the community to encourage acceptance and following.

He saw that if the institution is beautiful, it would attract students to enroll and study at CPU; attract generous people to get involved in the cause of beautifying the university; and attract the alumni to wholeheartedly participate in the programs of their Alma Mater.

He was proven right because when CPU embarked on the big task of beautifying the university, the student population increased from 9,132 in 1997 to 13,506 in 2003. Since then, CPU’s enrolment has remained in the 11,000 plus bracket.

Central Philippine University

The CPU Covered Gym was one of the many dreams of previous university leaders that was fulfilled during Dr. Acanto's term.

The increase in student population caused the university to allocate more funds for the improvement of physical plant facilities. From a budget of 10.78 million pesos in 1997, the physical plant facilities budget reached 62.68 million in 2007.

Program for the enhancement of faculty and staff capability was strengthened through the allocation of more budgets for training, seminars, and further studies. Faculty and staff research and extension budget increased from 2.43 million in 1996 to 14.43 million pesos in 2006. The financial growth of the university could be seen through her budget. In 1997, the total annual budget was 93 Million and by 2007, it reached 396 Million pesos.

With the law of attraction employed, CPU achieved so much for ten years in the aspects of academics, finances, physical facilities, alumni affairs, scholarships and donations. It all started when the person at the helm focused on a vision of growth and development through attraction.

The development at CPU attracted many people, both alumni and non-alumni. They willingly got involved through their donations, words of support and prayers. Supportive policies guided the school officials, faculty and staff members participated actively through ideas and suggestions that were not only acceptable but contributed to the total positive appearance of the university.

Dr. Acanto attributes everything that was accomplished for CPU to the Higher Being, who moves people, inspires ideas and events. He says, “Scaling new heights of greater successes for Central Philippine University was never a solitary task but has been and is a corporate and communal undertaking for those who love CPU and made CPU a part of their lives.”

Editor’s Note:

Much of Dr. Acanto’s dream for CPU is captured in the campus development plan that the Board of Trustees approved in 2007. The video “Central Philippine University of the Future” shows it all.

The scaled miniature model of the Central Philippine University of the Future was elaborately displayed at a special shed in front of the Stuart Building, towards the right side of the CPU Administration Building. Dr Acanto believes that a good vision must not be hidden but must be exhibited and inculcated in the hearts and minds of the stakeholders (students, employees, and alumni) thereby, generating attraction and support.

Dr. Acanto continues to serve Central Philippine University as Vice Chairperson of the Board of Trustees

Central Philippine University – Remembering the Flood that Typhoon Frank Brought

On 21 June 2008, Western Visayas region and her provinces experienced the great flood and destruction that Typhoon Frank brought.

Central Philippine University was not spared. Here are some videos that captured the actual flood and its aftermath at Central Philippine University campus.

Remembering the Flood that Typhoon Frank Brought to CPU

On 21 June 2008, Western Visayas region and her provinces experienced the great flood and destruction that Typhoon Frank brought.

Central Philippine University was not spared. Here are some videos that captured the actual flood and its aftermath on the CPU campus.

Advocating the Cause of Overseas Filipino Workers in Hong Kong

By Rev. Danilo Borlado

As Chair of the Steering Committee of the OFW Coalition, we made a position paper against excessive agency fees that recruitment agencies exact from overseas Filipino workers.  

I found relevance in sharing it here at the Central Philippine University blog for the following considerations:

  1. Many students/graduates of Central Philippine University are children of OFWs or they have OFW relatives;
  2. This is one scandalous issue involving corruption and illegal collection of fees by recruitment agencies;
  3. A Centralian heads the HK campaign.
Central Philippine University

The community of OFW in Hong Kong that congregates as New Beginnings Christian Fellowship (Hong Kong)


A joint petition against illegal charging of placement fees by recruitment agencies!

We – migrant’s groups, church organizations, service providers*, and concerned individuals in Hong Kong – are appalled by the pervasive practice of illegal collection of placement fees by Recruitment Agencies on OFWs, especially those who apply to work as Domestic Workers.

This practice is preying on the vulnerability of the millions of Filipinos who, in the absence of job opportunities in their country, are desperate to find work elsewhere to support their families.

Compiled surveys show the adverse effect of this illegal practice on the Filipino people who are forced to leave their families to find work abroad. In 2007, a survey conducted by the Mission for Migrant Workers (MFMW) revealed that:

  • The number of OFWs who pay P60,000.00 to P100,000.00 as Placement Fee increased from 35% to 51%. What is ironical is that this happened after the POEA Guidelines on the Hiring of Filipino Household Service Workers that prohibited the charging of placement fee to newly hired OFWs were implemented. Meanwhile, those paying more than P100,000.00 increased from 5% to 10%.
  • One of the major cases Service Providers encounter among OFWs is illegal charges of Recruitment Agencies. For example, 94% of the cases handled by the MFMW in 2010 involved those charged illegally by their Recruitment Agencies, with 53% paying more than HK$12,000 (P66,138.00). And these fees are exacted from OFWs without Official Receipts from the Recruitment Agencies.
    • Moreover, organizations of migrant workers have also highlighted the issue of illegal charges by Recruitment Agencies in some of the biggest gatherings of OFW groups in Hong Kong.

      Putting a stop to the illegal practices of Recruitment Agencies was one of the most consistent demands in the first and second Filipino Women Migrant Worker’s Summit held in 2007 and 2008, respectively.

      To reiterate this demand, more than 130 leaders in the All President’s Meeting of the different migrant workers’ organization signed a joint open letter for President Aquino in 2010.

      Thus, seeing the blatant practice of illegal exaction of placement fees on OFWs, we join our voices in raising the long-held demands of OFWs in Hong Kong and elsewhere. The following are our unified and urgent call:

      1. We call to scrap the POEA Guidelines on Hiring Filipino Service Workers for it worsened the situation of OFWs. Instead of curbing overcharging of placement fees, it is being used by Recruitment Agencies to charge even higher fees in the guise of training. Rather, we ask the government to strictly enforce the “no placement policy.”
      2. We call to lift the ban on direct hiring that forces OFWs to go through Recruitment Agencies and suffer from illegal charges. Direct hiring should be made as an option for OFWs to get a job overseas. To ban direct hiring is to forcibly subject OFWs to the machinations and various modus operandi of Recruitment Agencies that puts OFWs in the vicious debt cycle. In fact, we long for the day when there will be no more Recruitment Agencies.
      3. To break the climate of impunity, prosecution, NOT conciliation, is how cases of illegal charging of placement fees should be handled. Under Republic Act 10022 to charge or accept directly or indirectly any amount greater than that specified in the schedule of allowable fees prescribed by the Secretary of Labor and Employment, or to make a worker pay or acknowledge any amount greater than that actually received by him as a loan or advance is considered illegal recruitment. Illegal recruitment under the law is a criminal offense. The practice of conciliation removes the gravity of the offense and, in reality, does not curb the practice of charging illegal fees.
      4. We call for the enactment of a genuine pro-OFW charter of the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). The current OWWA Omnibus Policies should be changed because welfare services are the responsibility of the government. In reality, the Recruitment Agencies’ primary interest is profit-making and not welfare assistance to OFWs in distress. Passing on the responsibility of welfare provision to Recruitment Agencies is detrimental to the interests of OFWs.
      5. Finally, we call on Pres. Benigno Aquino III, as he promised in a televised dialog with OFWs on February 25, 2011, to act immediately and decisively in putting an end to illegal charging of placement fees by Recruitment Agencies.

      This is the sad plight of OFWs, the people who keep the economy afloat through their billions of dollars of remittances year after year. And these are their legitimate and urgent issues and appeals. They deserve immediate actions. And the actions should be done now.

      Submitted for immediate action by:


      *Service Providers refer to some religious and non-religious organizations working together to provide temporary shelter, counseling, food, accompaniment in court cases, limited financial assistance, and other forms of service for OFWs in distress.

      Central Philippine University

      Rev. Dan Borlado

      Rev. Danilo Borlado is the pastor of New Beginnings Christian Fellowship, a church based in Hong Kong. Rev. Borlado and wife, Marilou have been ministering with overseas Filipino workers for many years now. Dan and Marilou are both graduates of the College of Theology, CPU. Their children, Jec Dan, pastor and Deo Grace, English teacher are also graduates of CPU.

Experiencing the Big Kawa Hot Spa at Katahum Tibiao

The trek up and down the mountains to visit Tibiao’s popular Bugtong-Bato Falls and the muscular effort spent paddling the Kayak exhausted the G-Force.

Flord, General Manager of Tibiao Fish Spa and Katahum Tours had told the G-Force that the Big Kawa Hot Spa is designed to sooth the aching muscles and joints of the Katahum Tibiao revelers from Central Philippine University.

Central Philippine University

Trying to look confident that the firewood won't boil the water and cook May alive.

May, Joan, and Jonan who immersed themselves into the Big Kawa confirmed that Flord was right. The Big Kawa Hot Spa simmered down the tension that wrapped their being when they climbed the steep way to Bugtong-Bato and negotiated the foaming and gorging rapids of Tibiao.

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Two heads are better than one...

Central Philippine University

Together we stand, divided we fall!

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If not for the fact that the G-Force had to go home that afternoon to CPU, Iloilo City, they could have stayed longer and savor every bit of Katahum Tibiao.

Even if the G-Force’s visit to Tibiao was short, the trip was indeed great time for refreshing, bonding, and most of all, in awesome wonder of God’s creation.

Thank you Mayor Walden Lim and Flord for your hospitality.

Crista, Nica, Che, and the rest of the tour guides gang, blessings and more power to you all!

More photos…

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Kayaking at the Katahum Tibiao River Rapids

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Cyrus at Kayak Inn

The G-Force, compose of some staff members of Central Philippine University, went on a two-day discovery 2011 at Tibiao, Antique on May 26 to 27.

Central Philippine University

Resting a bit before leaving Bugtong-Bato Falls to go back to Brgy. Tuno. The G-Force appreciates the presence of Flord (red shirt) and Krista (yellow shirt) who guided their trek.

Their second day at Tibiao was an intensive adventure day for them. Early morning, the G-Force went to witness the fisher folks bring in their catch from their Lambaklad nets. They had fun at Bugtong-Bato Falls. Read previous post, “Katahum Tibiao Tours – Lambaklad Fishing, Bugtong-Bato Falls, Kayak Adventures & Hot Bath

It was already noon time when the G-Force finished their trip from Bugtong-Bato. They proceeded to Kayak Inn, the venue for their next activity… Kayaking.

After a hearty lunch, three G-Force members don the kayaking attire. Cyrus decided to rest, while Jonan soothed his tired body at the Kawa hot bath.

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Beneath the smiles of the G-Force Kayakers, a mix of excitement and eagerness pervaded their spirit. The walk to the training site added to the suspense.

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Jones, Joan, and May were the three G-Force who went Kayaking.

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The Kayak neophytes were brought to Grade 1 (still waters) for orientation and quick training.

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Kayaking is a mix of paddling and balance, which May finally mastered.

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It's easy to build confidence in the smooth water, what do you think Jones?

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With great determination despite falling into the water once, Joan finally overcame her fear.

After the crash course, Jones shot the Tibiao River Rapids…finishing 12 Kayaking stations.

Central Philippine University

Central Philippine University

Watch out for more G-Force’s Katahum Tibaio Adventures…next post!

Katahum Tibiao Tours – Lambaklad Fishing, Bugtong-Bato Falls, Kayak Adventures & Hot Bath

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It looks like the sea would not favor our chance to witness the Lambaklad fish haul.

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Later, Flord sent Joan a message that they will proceed as planned. The G-Force cheered.

Sporadic heavy rains marked the whole night until early morning, which dampened the G-Force’s schedule to move out at 5:00 in the morning.

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The G-Force was supposed to ride the bamboo raft with the fishermen but the big waves were too much for them.

They were set to go to Brgy. Malabor, two kilometers from Tibiao town, to witness the fishermen bring in their fish harvest.

About 12 fishermen riding on a wide bamboo raft braved the heavy waves, pulled the nets, and gathered the catch. Despite stormy weather, the Lambaklad nets yield 44 kilos of Bayang and several kilos of Bulaw.

Central Philippine University

Central Philippine University

Central Philippine University

Central Philippine University

G-Force bought two Bayangs; Flord gifted them with one. Each Bayang weighs 2.5 Kgm.

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Proudly, showing their spoils. The banana is courtesy of Flord, a token from their family orchard. G-Force gave Flord some CPU tokens, their way of promoting CPU wherever they go.

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The G-Force just marveled at Tibiao's verdant hills and vales. They had no idea what surprises awaited them at Bugtong Bato.

Bugtong-Bato Falls

From Brgy. Malabor, G-Force went back to town to have breakfast. They ate at Vbot’s Restaurant where they enjoyed sinabawan nga Tangigue, among other food.

They also requested Nang Vbot to fry the Bulaw that they bought from Malabor fisher folks. The G-Force brought packed lunch to Bugtong-Bato.

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Taking a brief pause after climbing the first slope. The site is way up the mountains with Che (rightmost) and Crista (taking the photo) as their local guides.

Central Philippine University

Central Philippine University

Central Philippine University

Central Philippine University

Enjoying the best of times at Bugtong-Bato Falls.

Next…G-Force’s Kayak Adventure…hang on!