The View From Taft

The awarding ceremonies of the first Ramon V. Del Rosario Siklab Awards will be held today, July 25. This program is a national search for the youth leaders of tomorrow, sponsored by PHINMA in cooperation with the De La Salle University Ramon V. Del Rosario College of Business (RVRCOB) and the Junior Chamber International Manila. It recognizes youth leaders who have had positive impacts on the community or nation by their work and service.

This award for young leaders was launched in commemoration of the 100th birth anniversary of the late Ambassador Ramon V. Del Rosario (RVR) in 2018. It was also inspired by the annual Ramon V. Del Rosario Award for Nation Building that recognizes the best and brightest leaders who embody Mr. Del Rosario’s ideals with regards to Nation Building. Past awardees include Dr. George K. Ty, Henry Sy, Sr., Manuel V. Pangilinan, Jamie Augusto Zobel de Ayala, Vicente T. Paterno, Washington Sycip, Oscar Lopez, Ambassador Jose Tambunting, and, most recently, Diosdado Banatao.

While there are already a number of leadership awards being given out, the awardees of Siklab have been chosen because they embody the leaders of tomorrow. These young people, who are creating innovations for the benefit of their communities, will be mentored by previous winners of the RVR Award for Nation Building. These luminaries will make sure that the Siklab awardees will one day become our nation builders.

The awardees will be recognized because they embody the entrepreneurial and patriotic spirit of RVR who was one of the Philippine’s most iconic entrepreneurial forces. He was the first Filipino General Manager of IBM Philippines, the first Filipino Executive Vice-President of Philam Life, the first president of the Manila Junior Chamber of Commerce, and the first Junior Chamber International World President from Asia.

These young leaders are the spark that will change our world. Among the criteria used for selecting the first batch of awardees is that they demonstrated exceptional leadership through initiatives in organizing and managing sustainable business or social enterprises or programs. They exhibit an entrepreneurial spirit, the ability to clearly identify problems and present sustainable solutions. They also embody a passion to make lives better. Ultimately, these leaders of tomorrow should have a commitment to nation-building. Their business or social enterprise should help establish a strong national identity with shared societal values.

It was an exciting yet exhilarating journey for the nominees and judges. As part of the initial screening panel, I definitely had a difficult time choosing from the shortlist for the final judging. We were honored to have such an enthusiastic group of young leaders (in this case, our upper limit is 35 years old) who were nominated by their peers, colleagues, and communities. We definitely had a difficult time choosing the qualifiers because the achievements of the nominees were simply outstanding. Indeed, the youth is the future and the future belong to the youth.


Brian Gozun is dean of the RVRCOB and co-wrote this article with Carlo Miguel Saavedra of the Marketing and Advertising Department of RVRCOB.