Tag Archive | Central Philippine University

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

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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.














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.









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.

Central Philippine University

Two heads are better than one...

Central Philippine University

Together we stand, divided we fall!

Central Philippine University











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.

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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.

Central Philippine University

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.

Central Philippine University

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

Central Philippine University

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

Central Philippine University

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

Central Philippine University

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.

Central Philippine University

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.

Central Philippine University

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!

Katahum Tibiao Experience – Surf Watching, Spelunking & Tibiao Fish Spa

Central Philippine University

Taking a pose with the Tibiao Mayor, Hon. Walden M. Lim (center) during the G-Force's courtesy call.

The rain had stopped but the skies remained cloudy. It was already past 3:00 in the afternoon of May 26, 2011. Being Centralians, the G-Force took time to visit Mayor Walden Lim in his office upon arrival at Tibiao town.

Besides doing the customary courtesy call to the town leader of every place that the G-Force visits, it is also their pride and honor to meet a fellow-Centralian who is leading the progressive town of Tibiao.

Centrral Philippine University

We are here! Taking a photo with GM Flord at his Tibiao Fish Spa sign.

For them, it is great opportunity to hear and learn from Mayor Lim his vision and plans for his constituents. Thus, when Jones asked him what his priority project for the Tibiao people is, Mayor Lim replied quickly and without hesitation, “farm-to-market roads”.

Tiguis Beach

They thought their day tour would start the following day but Flord lost no time in inviting the group to visit some sites nearby. Thus, Flord guided the G-Force to Tiguis Beach.

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Appreciating the panorama that Tiguis Beach gives

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We negotiated steep slopes to reach Tibiao's popular seaside scene.

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Tiguis Beach is not your typical swim and dive beach.

Central Philippine University

Tiguis Beach is one place to find peace by listening to the surf and learning from it.

Tibiao is definitely on her way to progress because Mayor Lim, Flord, and her constituents are listening and learning from nature. Thus, they reap nature’s bountiful gifts.

It is quite sad that there are leaders who neglect to listen to what nature and society are crying out because they are immersed with their pride and pretensions; leading themselves and their constituents towards self-destruction and hubris.

Central Philippine University

Don't leave Tiguis Beach without getting a picture with the 100-year-old Balete Tree.

Let’s go to Tiguis Beach and listen to the surf and get the message!

Spelunking at Manlamon Cave

Although it’s only about 5:00 PM, the dark cloudy sky and the scattered rain showers made it look like it was already dusk. This did not deter the G-Force to follow Flord to Manlamon Cave for some short spelunking adventure.

Flord shared that according to folklore, one could travel through Manlamon cave and be transported to a nearby island by saying a magic word. Along the way, the traveler will be served with good food, fruits, and everything that would make your travel so memorable and comfortable. What the magic word is, no one knows nor not one of the G-Force would like to know.

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Life's challenges become light when we carry one another's burden.

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Doing a pose that is fitted for billboard promotion at the mouth of Manlamon Cave.

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Inside Manlamon's cavern

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Jonan was glad to exit without a hitch.

The Taste of Tibiao Fish Spa

No, the G-Force did not eat fish but instead they let those special kind of fishes eat their dead skin, leaving the soft and smooth dermis of their feet. At the Tibiao Fish Spa, the client undergoes three stages of treatment. You start with stage one with those little fish doing some kind of “micro-ex-foliation” of your skin.

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The G-Force at the Tibiao Fish SPA

Then you progress to stages 2 and 3 with the spa being managed by medium to large fishes. Oh boy, the G-Force cannot give an exact description of what they went through at the fish spa. You better come to Tibiao Fish Spa and experience it yourself.

Flord invited the G-Force to try the total Roman bath, a full-body fish treatment but nobody dared. For now, foot treatment was just enough.

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The G-Force at Stage 1

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Getting used to the fish nibbles, the G-Force relaxed a bit at Stage 2.

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Stage 3 gives a smooth finishing 'touch' to our skin.

Watch out for more Katahum Tibiao adventures…next blog post!

Central Philippine University G-FORCE DISCOVERY 2011 at Tibiao, Antique

Central Philippine University
Central Philippine University

A pose after a walk along the beaches of Tibiao

Central Philippine University‘s summer seasons (April to May) is a time for employees to spend great vacation time bonding with family and friends.

While there are university funded trips for some selected offices, the rest of the employees are just grouping themselves, planning and spending on their own for their regular summer (or semester break) getaways. G-Force is one of these employee groups at CPU that had been staging successfully several trips in many local places to unwind, enjoy, and take time off from the rigors and pressures of office life.

Central Philippine University

With no one around, Jones took the shot this time with Cyrus (left) in the photo

On May 26-27, the G-Force went to Tibiao, Antique for yet another summer getaway trip. Their theme, “G-Force Discovery 2011”, was just appropriate for the many things that they discovered and experienced in Tibiao.

Besides knowing that the mayor of Tibiao is a Centralian, Hon. Walden M. Lim (HS ’83), what attracted the G-Force to Tibiao was the Katahum Tibiao video about the many adventures that Tibiao is offering that the G-Force watched via Internet.

Katahum Tibiao boasts of “the perfect mix of nature and adventure to get your adrenaline pumping and take your breath away with awe-inspiring sites.” G-Force gives a “triple A” or “XX” (extra-excellent) rating for all the activities that they went through. Among the many treks that they made, they all see the trip to the falls and kayaking adventure as the most adrenalin pumping adventure that they had.

To arrange the trip, they contacted Flord Nicson J. Calawag who is the 23-year-old General Manager of Katahum Tours and the now famous, Tibiao Fish Spa



For the G-Force, it is not just the opportunity for adventure and fun that they are aiming at. They see their trip as a way of meeting Centralians and promoting Central Philippine University to whomever they meet along the way.

Thus on their way to Tibiao, they met the Rev. Matias Arib, pastor of San Jose Evangelical Church, as they stopped at the parsonage for some necessities. A brief acquaintance and Cyrus and Pastor Matias recalled that they were classmates in one or two subjects during college. Pastor Matias was also May Guillem’s “kasimanwa” (townmate) in Sagay, Negros Occidental.

Jonan, owner and founder of Online Writing Niche, led them there because he once stayed at Antique Christian Center for eight months while working as process documentation researcher of the Institute of Philippine Culture, Ateneo de Manila in 1992. Together with several research assistants, he was documenting the implementation of the agrarian reform program in remote villages of Sibalom, Patnongon, Valderrama, Bugasong and Hamtic at that time.

Their next stopover was at Laua-an, Antique the town that Mayor Aser Baladjay, a graduate of CPU Civil Engineering in 1987 leads. Before going to Mayor Baladjay’s office, the G-Force met former CBYFP President, Ms. Mayden Acero. She is the Municipal COMELEC Head of Laua-an.

After having snacks courtesy of Nang Mayden and several songs at the videoke, the G-Force proceeded to Tibiao amidst heavy rains along the way. It was already 3:00 PM of May 26, when the group arrived at Tibiao town.

Learn more of the G-FORCE’s great Tibiao discoveries on the next post…

Central Philippine University

Saying his prayers before the cooking began

Central Philippine University

Jonan is being cooked in his own fat

Central Philippine University

Giving dead skin treat to our fish spa friends

Central Philippine University

Beholding the majestic Bugtong Bato Falls

More G-Force Discovery 2011 photos coming your way next time…

Central Philippine University G-FORCE DISCOVERY 2011

Central Philippine University

A pose after a walk along the beaches of Tibiao

Central Philippine University‘s summer seasons (April to May) is a time for employees to spend great vacation time bonding with family and friends.

While there are university funded trips for some selected offices, the rest of the employees are just grouping themselves, planning and spending on their own for their regular summer (or semester break) getaways. G-Force is one of these employee groups at CPU that had been staging successfully several trips in many local places to unwind, enjoy, and take time off from the rigors and pressures of office life.

Central Philippine University

With no one around, Jones took the shot this time with Cyrus (left) in the photo

On May 26-27, the G-Force went to Tibiao, Antique for yet another summer getaway trip. Their theme, “G-Force Discovery 2011”, was just appropriate for the many things that they discovered and experienced in Tibiao.

Besides knowing that the mayor of Tibiao is a Centralian, Hon. Walden M. Lim (HS ’83), what attracted the G-Force to Tibiao was the Katahum Tibiao video about the many adventures that Tibiao is offering that the G-Force watched via Internet.

Katahum Tibiao boasts of “the perfect mix of nature and adventure to get your adrenaline pumping and take your breath away with awe-inspiring sites.” G-Force gives a “triple A” or “XX” (extra-excellent) rating for all the activities that they went through. Among the many treks that they made, they all see the trip to the falls and kayaking adventure as the most adrenalin pumping adventure that they had.

To arrange the trip, they contacted Flord Nicson J. Calawag who is the 23-year-old General Manager of Katahum Tours and the now famous, Tibiao Fish Spa



For the G-Force, it is not just the opportunity for adventure and fun that they are aiming at. They see their trip as a way of meeting Centralians and promoting Central Philippine University to whomever they meet along the way.

Thus on their way to Tibiao, they met the Rev. Matias Arib, pastor of San Jose Evangelical Church, as they stopped at the parsonage for some necessities. A brief acquaintance and Cyrus and Pastor Matias recalled that they were classmates in one or two subjects during college. Pastor Matias was also May Guillem’s “kasimanwa” (townmate) in Sagay, Negros Occidental.

Jonan, owner and founder of Online Writing Niche, led them there because he once stayed at Antique Christian Center for eight months while working as process documentation researcher of the Institute of Philippine Culture, Ateneo de Manila in 1992. Together with several research assistants, he was documenting the implementation of the agrarian reform program in remote villages of Sibalom, Patnongon, Valderrama, Bugasong and Hamtic at that time.

Their next stopover was at Laua-an, Antique the town that Mayor Aser Baladjay, a graduate of CPU Civil Engineering in 1987 leads. Before going to Mayor Baladjay’s office, the G-Force met former CBYFP President, Ms. Mayden Acero. She is the Municipal COMELEC Head of Laua-an.

After having snacks courtesy of Nang Mayden and several songs at the videoke, the G-Force proceeded to Tibiao amidst heavy rains along the way. It was already 3:00 PM of May 26, when the group arrived at Tibiao town.

Learn more of the G-FORCE’s great Tibiao discoveries on the next post…

Central Philippine University

Saying his prayers before the cooking began

Central Philippine University

Jonan is being cooked in his own fat

Central Philippine University

Giving dead skin treat to our fish spa friends

Central Philippine University

Beholding the majestic Bugtong Bato Falls

More G-Force Discovery 2011 photos coming your way next time…

Central Philippine University – EXCEL to the World



Background Story

“EXCEL to the World” was the vision that the Office of the Communications adopted under the leadership of its first director, Jonan Castillon.

The vision statement “EXCEL to the World” captures the portion of Dr. Teodoro Robles’ inaugural speech on March 26, 2008 when he said something about Central Philippine University being no. 1 in Western Visayas and the Philippines, why not “no. 1 in the whole world”.

After several nights of contemplation, the phrase “EXCEL to the World” was composed finally to encompass and echo what Dr. Robles had expressed in his inaugural speech.

To promote it, Jonan conceptualized a video clip that illustrates CPU going out into the world to establish her vision of EXCEL. Pastor Kim de la Cruz provided the poster, which is shown towards the end of the video clip. Donald Lebrilla did well in interpreting Jonan’s idea of the “EXCEL to the World” vision.

The “EXCEL to the World” video clip was adopted as the CPU TV Channel ID to further promote the Office of Communications vision for Dr. Robles’ leadership.

Meaning and Symbolism

The “ball of fire” coming from the dark depths of time and space represents the Holy Sprit, the Word of God, the Gospel Mission that the American Baptist Missionaries proclaimed throughout the whole world until it reached the Philippine Islands, specifically in Panay Island, more specifically the foundation and beginning of Central Philippine University in 1905.

The “explosion” that faded and metamorphosed into the CPU seal illustrates the establishment and development of Central Philippine University into a world-class university with the vision of “EXCEL to the World”.

Afterthoughts

Actually, the “EXCEL to the World” video clip is unfinished work.

In the original concept, a numerical counter representing the years from the birth of Christ to AD 1905 is supposed to be there. The centennial seal or logo of CPU should have been added too to signify that the university had reach 100 years. Alas, seven months after leading the Office of Communications, the CPU TV Channel was taken away from Jonan’s charge and was placed directly under the Executive Assistant of the Office of the President.

With this blog post, it is hoped that viewers of the CPU TV Channel ID get an enriched perspective each time the “EXCEL to the World” video clip is played in between TV programs.