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A fusion of beautiful minds
By Kaye Villagomez

The four students featured in this space are aged 19 to 20. They look the 19 to 20 bracket. They act the 19 to 20 bracket. But when it comes to thinking, they break free of the bracket and soar to unobstructed limits.

Assignments like this make me wonder what a world of stagnation and garbage I chewed back in college (tsk, tsk!) while the following names went beyond what the usual capacity the brain could accommodate: Ateneo de Manila’s William Panlilio, De La Salle’s Dominic Pascasio and University of the Philippines’ Marie Grace Vera Cruz and Leslie Tan.

William, Dominic, Grace and Leslie will fly the Philippine flag high in Singapore this July, not for a battle–of–the–brain thingy but to deconstruct issues, interpret solutions and arrive at means to bust economic cryptonites at the 5th Hitachi Young Leaders Initiative (HYLI).

Last month, this year’s Pinoy batch for HYLI met the press at the Makati Shangri-La to confirm what high hopes we’ve already projected for this year’s representative. And true enough, our projections are substantiated with the kind of batch we’re sending.

Hitachi gathers this day’s young thinkers and future leaders annually with Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand participating aside from the Philippines. Twenty–four students from the six countries will exchange viewpoints this year. This year’s brainwave trade will revolve around the theme “Asia’s Roadmap: Forging Regional Cohesion for Global Advancement.”

This is HYLI in a nutshell according to Professor Ernesto Garilao, associate dean of Asian Institute of Management’s Center for Development Management and one of the speaker’s of the said event: “The HYLI is a stellar example of Hitachi’s long–term commitment to Asia and the communities it exists in. The programme encourages promising young leaders by giving them access to top–level leaders from both the public and private sectors. It is an excellent platform for these students to exchange their views on current issues that have potential regional and global ramifications.”

“By providing a platform for these young leaders to debate, discuss and exchange ideas on regional and global issues with the leaders of today, we hope to broaden their outlook on the roles that they will one day take on society. The Initiative also serves to promote a sense of Asian values and an understanding of different cultures. We hope that the students representing their countries will use this platform to broaden their perspectives to benefit the road ahead for Asia,” stressed Nobuaki Furuse, general manager of Hitachi Asia Ltd., Philippine branch.

To get a better grasp of what the 24 young leaders are about to disect, these are the sub–themes they are required to submit proposed solutions on: Cultivating Entrepreneurial Spirit in Asia, The Growing Importance of Corporate Social Responsibility in Asia and The Changing Role of the Media in Asia.

Furuse added, “This year’s theme at the Forum addresses the timely issue of regional cooperation to bolster Asia’s role on the global map. The Forum will not only open discussions on each sub–theme but will be an exchange of regional minds and values. Our guest speakers are opinion leaders from across the six markets, and we are honored to have them join us in sharing their knowledge.”

Ex–deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Member of Parliament, Mr. Sukhumband Paribatra of Thailand will be this year’s keynote speaker. On the topic of entrepreneurial spirit, Tan Sri Francis Yeoh, Managing Director of YTI Corporation Malaysia while Claire Chiang will talk on the sub–theme on social responsibility.

Our credible representatives are expected to pump the brain activity meter. William is a Philosophy student at Ateneo and currently named the country’s top debater and the third best all over Asia. Dominic is currently finishing his double major on Economics and Business Management while Mari Grace and Leslie are both Economics and Business Administrator seniors from UP.

“It’s good to be sent by your country not to compete but to interact on global issues,” said William.

They are not out to compete, indeed. Rather they are out to prove what positive future awaits the Philippines. These four beautiful minds will surely be working on this future.



Today is Saturday,
September 21, 2002

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