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Managers, Not Saviors

ASEAN Insights

January 2016


Understanding the Formation of an ASEAN Security Community

Cover Story

Making a Real Difference



A Chinese Pivot?

ASEAN Insights


Understanding Youth Perception on the ASEAN Economic Community: A Philippine Case


Strength in Numbers: Fostering Teamwork in the Finance Lab


Salubong kay Jikyeong Sincerely Yours Unveiling of Professor Gaby Mendoza’s Commemorative Marker Lessons Learned at the MBA Alumni Hour 7th AIM President’s Cup President Kang Hosts Lunch for Triple A Members MBM 1971 Donates 100K as Seed Fund for Naming of the Art Macapagal Alumni Lounge




Like Mother, Like Daughter: Atty. Cherry and Mara Canda-Melodias Share the AIM Stage at the 2015 Graduation ceremonies AIM Alum Shares Truth on Post-MBA Life


The AIM Alumni Leadership Magazine (AIMLeader) is a semi-annual publication of the Asian Institute of Management with editorial office at the Alumni Relations Office, Asian Institute of Management, 123 Paseo de Roxas, Makati City, 1260, Philippines. Telephone No: 8924011 Telefax: 8937410, Email: aimalumni@ aim.edu.

E d i t o r i a l Te a m Bernardino Jiao Editor-in-Chief

Randy Torrecampo Associate Editor

Maritess Aniago-Espiritu Annaliza Alegre Robert Untalan

Alumni Relations Office Staff

Prof. Ronald Mendoza PhD Dr. John Paolo Rivera Charles Irvin Siriban Maria Carmela Sioco Bernardino Jiao Contributors


Romeo Catap, Jr.

publication Design

Lexmedia Digital Printing

President and dean

Online version is available at http://www.myaimconnect.com and http://issuu.com/aimleadermagazine. Copyright 2016, AIM Leader. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any manner, in whole or in print, in English or other languages, without written permission is prohibited. ISSN 1908-1081





first set foot in AIM some 29 years ago. It’s a long time back but surprisingly still very vivid in my mind. I was on campus to take the AIMAT. I took my seat inside the designated caseroom and immediately felt a sense of awe and wonder. Until then, AIM was but an obscure notion. To my impressionable mind, only the smartest and brightest had the right to walk its hallowed halls, more so to sit inside the caseroom on the very same chair I was occupying. I actually felt insignificant but hopeful that someday, I may join the ranks of alumni who have had the chance to learn from the best management school in this part of the world. I recall these things because I feel I have come full circle, from an MBM hopeful, to an alumnus, and finally to giving back to our beloved alma mater. Today, I share with you my AIM story in my capacity as Executive Managing Director of the Alumni Relations Office and editor in chief of our alumni magazine. My AIM MBM degree opened many doors, expanded my networks and increased my net worth. I’m sure it’s the same for most, if not all, of our alumni. I’m also certain that given the chance and under the right circumstances, majority would willingly and generously give back to the Institute that started it all for us. It is with this belief that I am happy to share with you the inside story of AIM’s President and Dean, Dr. Jikyeong Kang. Alumni and AIM stakeholders who have met her heap lavish praises about her passion and singular dedication to AIM. If you’re waiting for the right moment to give back, now is the time. Without a doubt, AIM is in good hands. Mark Fuller, member of the AIM Board of Governors wrote, “In the meanwhile, I wish to state, equally unequivocally, that I am delighted by the fact that the Institute is in your hands, if not delighted by the situation that has brought it about. I know that the task is akin to climbing Mt. Everest, but I’m confident that I speak for others when I say that they would be willing, if not necessarily competent, Sherpas willing to exist, if we can.” Ric Pascua, MBM 1971 and member of the AIM Board of Trustees, further adds, “I believe that AIM is very blessed to have you succeed Steve as its new President and CEO. Your proven competence, your character and integrity, your capacity for smart and hard work, and your passion for and commitment to AIM and your colleagues there, have already made both the board and the rest of the AIM community who have had the privilege of knowing you your ardent supporters.”

From the


She received a written manifesto of support signed by all members of the AIM faculty. With her no-nonsense style of leadership and legendary work ethic, she has galvanized AIM stakeholders to work together to bring AIM back to a position of strength and relevance. In this issue’s cover story, Jikyeong lets us in on her thoughts about AIM, her plans for its future and her message to alumni. Equally interesting is her willingness to open up about her personal life, and how her wealth of experiences have shaped the person she is today. Her candor is a breath of fresh air and her leadership is exactly what AIM needs. So, as I continue to complete my AIM story, I pledge my full support to our alma mater and look forward to yours, too.

Bernie Editor-in-Chief




Managers, not Saviors

Last November I was honored to speak at an integrity forum organized by Xavier University, the Brother of Christian Businessmen and Professionals and the AIM alumni of Cagayan de Oro, commemorating the life of Vice President Emmanuel Pelaez. For those too young to remember him, “Maning” Pelaez was an Atenean and a bar topnotcher hailing from Mindanao (Misamis Oriental). He started as a clerk in the Senate and worked his way up the ranks to eventually become a professor of law at the University of Manila, and later an aide to President Ramon Magsaysay, Sr. Once his skill and integrity was noticed by Magsaysay his ascent in politics was nothing short of astronomical—first serving as Congressman of Misamis Oriental, then Senator on Magsaysay’s 1953 ticket, then as Vice President on Diosdado Macapagal’s 1961 ticket.

Ronald U. Mendoza PhD Asian Institute of Management Policy Center

This article was originally published by Rappler on January 1, 2016

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Image from freeimages.com/Svilen Milev


Managers, not Saviors

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Table 1. Professional Background of End-ofTerm Cabinet Members of the Ramos and Aquino Administrations

Source: AIM Policy Center staff calculations based on publicly available data. Note: One Cabinet member may have had entered various professions prior to his or her appointment. Each item on the table is not mutually exclusive with the rest. Percentages do not total to 100. Department secretaries, Executive Secretary, Presidential Spokesperson, and the Chairperson of CHEd are covered by the stocktaking.

From there he opposed Marcos as the presidential nominee of the Nationalista Party. On the night of July 21, 1982, he was ambushed and narrowly escaped an assassination attempt. He believed it was Marcos and his cronies who plotted this, and he decried Macros’ effort to cover up the crime by blaming it on Muslim separatists. After the overthrow of the Marcos dictatorship in 1986, President Cory Aquino appointed Pelaez as Philippine Ambassador to the United States, and later as head of the Rural Electrification Commission. On the night he was ambushed, Pelaez famously asked General Karingal, “What’s happening to our country?”—referring to the deterioration of the rule of law, the unfairness and cronyism in the economy, and the growing poverty and inequality. Now many years later, and despite marked progress in growing the Philippine economy, it seems that the country has nevertheless stagnated on a number of fronts having to do with the quality of its leadership and public sector managers. There are three governance patterns that bring us further away from the ideals of professional leadership and management that Maning Pelaez stood for. And while the focus of this article is on the Philippines, it would be relatively easy to see that the question posed—Where are our leaders and managers?— applies more broadly and is quite relevant in many countries today. Politicians instead of technocrats? In most modern democracies, key government functions are led and managed by experts— technocrats—who know how to run and regulate an


increasingly sophisticated bureaucracy. Politicians like Pelaez appear to be an exception, since he started out as a technocrat and later ventured successfully into politics. Pure politicians, on the other hand, may not necessarily bring the requisite expertise to certain positions in the government bureaucracy—and this could be detrimental to public services. Politicians are supposed to be good in leading and facilitating collective action; yet day-to-day operations and management of key agencies and public service and government systems are best left to those who can manage them well and “take out the politics” through professional management. In fact, over-politicization of these services—evidenced by the EPAL (i.e. slang in the Philippines for credit grabbing) phenomenon— may not necessarily be conducive to growing a professional bureaucracy. Politicians may also shy from tackling the more difficult but often necessary reforms that could eventually make them unpopular in the polls. Witness, for example, the many violations of local government regulations by informal settlers at the local government level. This is no different from politicians in other countries avoiding especially difficult reforms like debt reduction, climate change and healthcare and pensions reforms when they know these issues will likely reduce their political support, even as they benefit future generations who have no vote yet. The Philippines in recent years witnessed the balance between technocrats and politicians seemingly to have tilted in favor of the latter. For comparison, the Ramos and Aquino cabinets provide

AIM REPORTS Figure 1. Share of Leaders (by Position) belonging to Political Clans, 2013

Source: AIM Policy Center Dynasties Database.

much food for thought. One can see an increase in the percentage of officials who at some point in their career were elected into public office, from a mere 5% of top officials under the 1998 Ramos administration to over 40% of top officials in the 2015 Aquino administration. That is not necessarily a problematic pattern. To be sure, politicians possess special leadership skills that could—when applied properly—forge consensus and get countries to move forward. But in the case of the Philippines, one wonders whether the disadvantages (i.e. avoidance of any deep reforms for fear of political backlash) outweigh the advantages (i.e. ability to navigate the political minefield of Philippine bureaucracy). Perhaps highlighting this point, in a recent article about the traffic management problem in the metropolis written by former NEDA Secretary General Cielito Habito, he reiterated the conclusion of a colleague: “The problem with MMDA is it’s run by politicians… I’m hoping (they’d) appoint a technical person who understands the dynamics of traffic planning and management so that issues and concerns like yours will be solved.” Nepotism instead of meritocracy? Professor Julienne Labonne of the National University of Singapore and Professor Marcel Fafchamps of Stanford University recently conducted a study on appointment and employment patterns at the local government level in the Philippines. His study confirmed with empirical evidence how pervasive nepotism really is in our country.

In an examination of the occupations of individuals related to losing and winning candidates for mayor, vice-mayor, and councilor in 709 municipalities during the 2007 and 2010 elections, the two professors found that relatives of winning candidates are able to secure better paying jobs after elections. Furthermore, the return to political connections was higher for relatives of the mayor visà-vis the relatives of the vice-mayor or councilor. Conversely, the family members of losing politicians were negatively affected by the defeat of their relative; their probability of getting a highpaying occupation after the elections was lower. This pointed to a perverse incentive for incumbents who demonstrated nepotistic behavior to prolong their stay in power and secure the influence of their family. What is the impact of this bureaucratic staffing pattern on local public services? While there are no in-depth studies yet, it is fair to say that we should probably be concerned about the continuity of systems building and management, particularly when large numbers of LGU staff are replaced and their positions left to the vagaries of political cycles. One should also be concerned about the overpersonalization of public service provision—when entire clans and kinsmen determine the management and provision of public services, one wonders whether citizens might forget that these are theirs by right and citizenship, and not necessarily because of the generosity of traditional politicians. Meritocracy is next page, please


Managers, not Saviors

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indeed at risk when, as the famous saying goes, “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” Dynasties instead of competitive elections? Finally, it is by now well known that political dynasties dominate our government landscape. Perhaps only a few will care to defend the concentration of political power represented by political dynasties. This pattern—even when comprised of decent individuals (which is less of the case given decent leaders like VP Pelaez actually discouraged family members from running out of delicadeza)—represents anti-competitive and personality-based politics while also weakening the checks and balances in our political system (notably at the local government). Constitutionalists like Atty. Christian Monsod and former Ambassador Wilfrido Villacorta, top policymakers like former and current NEDA secretaries-general Cielito Habito and Arsenio Balisacan, and various civil society groups and academics have reiterated how dynastic politics is anathema to our democracy. Even young leaders from well-known political clans—including Joy Belmonte of Quezon City, JV Ejercito of San Juan City, and Mel Sarmiento of Eastern Samar—are on record acknowledging the necessity for reforms because the political playing field is not level, and our present political system perpetuates policy variability, turncoatism and patronage. Yet today, about 85% of our Governors, 75% of our Congressmen and almost 70% of our Mayors all hail from political clans (Figure 1). In areas with particularly “fat” dynasties (i.e. sabay-sabay nanunungkulan), many are running unopposed in 2016, mirroring their dominance already demonstrated in 2013. So when a famous dynastic politician recently quipped—”Why not let the people decide?”—the question in my mind is “Do the people really still have a choice?” Is there hope in 2016? Does this evidence signal the futility of stopping their power consolidation through the polls? And if/ when those officials win, will they support a reformist President? Will they pass the much-needed laws and

help implement the critically important structural reforms that will take our country to the next level of development? The answers to these questions should sharpen our view of reformists in government. I would argue that we should have a better picture of what they are up against, in order to more fairly assess their relative success (or failure). We have been so focused on who takes over Malacanang in the past few months, yet we appear to make the same inevitable mistake over and over again—changing the head, while keeping the rest of the body of government more or less the same. The absence of properly functioning political parties, the failure to build more inclusive and competitive leadership selection through an anti-dynasty law, and the growing economic inequality across the country have all combined to produce the patterns we see today—more “democrazy”, in lieu of democracy. In the next months running up to the 2016 elections, the challenge will be to find enough leaders who are part of meaningful reform coalitions, and who will push deeper structural reforms in our political and economic systems. If the past years convey any lesson, the challenge of our time is not so much bad policy, it’s bad execution. We are paying the price for over-personalizing what should have been systems building, professional management, and meritocratic hiring and promotion. Even our solutions reflect the same flaw—when we face governance challenges (e.g., “tanim bala”, typhoon Yolanda response, SAF44, Luneta hostage-taking), people demand that heads roll, while keeping the same chaotic system largely in place. We call for a new President to magically fix everything while replacing very few other government officials some of whom have been in power over generations despite their failure and impunity. We in turn fail to see what each President has contributed (some more than others) to building a stronger nation. Impatient, we opine for a return to a strongman who will take short cuts. We run other countries’ systems well, but we can’t seem to build a fair one of our own. We need good managers and fair systems, not saviors.

*I am grateful to Fred Cruz and Cara Latizano for their help in producing this article. Much of the data and evidence mentioned in this article is part of a recently published volume, Building Inclusive Democracies in ASEAN (http://buildinganinclusivedemocracy.org).


asean insights

John Paolo R. Rivera, Ph.D. Asian Institute of Management, Dr. Andrew L. Tan Center for Tourism

The Establishment of the ASEAN Community The launching of the ASEAN Community by the end of 2015 would be a major milestone in the history of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) since its inception in 1967. This is expected to generate opportunities with its expanded market valued at USD 2.6 trillion comprising of 622 million people (ASEAN Secretariat, 2015a). Other than the economic issues that it has to deal with given the varying state of economic health of ASEAN Member States (AMS), the region is also addressing several political and security issues, which includes but are not limited to “arms race, corruption, the development gap and the impact of it, ethnic clashes and intolerance, human trafficking, human rights abuses, an illicit drug trade, migration, money laundering, social injustice, terrorism, territorial maritime disputes, and other forms of transnational crimes” as enumerated by Brata (2013). To address these issues, ASEAN leaders have agreed to establish the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC) during the 14th ASEAN Summit in Thailand in March 2009. It aims to create an environment where AMS “live at peace with one another and with the world in a just, democratic, and harmonious environment” (ASEAN Secretariat, 2015b). The APSC is one of the three pillars of the ASEAN community together with the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC). Guided by the ASEAN Charter, the ASEAN Community will enable AMS to be “outward looking, living in peace, stability and prosperity, bonded together in partnership in dynamic development and in a community of caring societies” (Austria, 2003).

Probing on the ASEAN Political-Security Community Under the APSC, AMS vow to resort to diplomacy in settling conflicts (Tomotaka, 2008) since security is a regional public good that is bounded by geographic location, common vision, and objectives. The APSC has the following components as enumerated by ASEAN Secretariat (2015b): “political development; shaping and sharing of norms; conflict prevention; conflict resolution; post-conflict peace building; and implementing mechanisms.” Meanwhile, the APSC Blueprint envisions ASEAN to be rules-based with common values and norms; a cohesive, peaceful, stable and resilient region with shared responsibility for inclusive security; as well as a dynamic and outward-looking region in the midst of globalization (ASEAN, 2015a; ASEAN 2015b). According to Brata (2013) as stated in the ASEAN Charter, it promotes “political development based on the principles of democracy, the rule of law and good governance, promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms.” Just like the AEC and the ASCC Blueprints, the ASEAN Charter also guides the APSC Blueprint and its principles and purposes. It will provide a roadmap for its realization in 2015 and openness to the continuity of its programs and initiatives after 2015 to sustain its relevance and quality The ASEAN Concept of Security. According to Tomotaka (2008), “in the absence of any treaty drawn up for the establishment of ASEAN, the Bangkok Declaration of 1967 has become its de facto founding next page, please


Understanding the formation of an ASEAN Security Community document” (p. 18). It underscores the purpose of ASEAN to “achieve economic growth, social progress, and cultural development” through collective efforts. However, one shortcoming is the absence of direct reference on security cooperation. Despite this, regional solidarity is still encouraged. With the existence of the territorial dispute over Sabah between the Philippines and Malaysia; Cambodia and Thailand over the area surrounding the Preah Vihear Temple, among AMS (together with the People’s Republic of China [PRC]) in the South China Sea (called West Philippine Sea by Filipinos and East Sea by the Vietnamese); and the trans-boundary haze pollution, among others, these calls for the strengthening of APSC to mitigate the progression of any potential misunderstandings from various economic, political, and environmental issues that might lead to more serious security issue. Given the restraint exercised by AMS in the midst of conflict, Tomotaka (2008) underscored that it fostered insufficient trust and confidence between and among the AMS involved in establishing a cooperative framework to preserve security. This needs to be addressed to avoid the breaking out of the conflict within the region and averting major powers outside ASEAN from interfering in any internal conflict. Moreover, the different and opposing views of AMS towards the need for security cooperation makes it complicated. Specifically, as cited by Tomotaka (2008), (1) Indonesia believed that security cooperation was necessary to maintain equilibrium with PRC; (2) Singapore had found its own security through cooperation with the British Commonwealth of Nations; (3) Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand recognized the need for security cooperation, but saw it as something to be aimed for in the future. As cited in Kuroyanagi (2003) by Tomotaka (2008), “with no wish to form a military alliance, they felt that ultimately they had no choice but to rely on American military power for security” (p. 19). Contemporary issues in ASEAN security. Despite all of ASEAN’s shortcomings, differences, and conflicts as mentioned by Tomotaka (2008), the region still has contributed significantly to regional security in and out of Southeast Asia (Sukma, 2010). Undeniably, the region is also plagued with internal and external conflicts, as mentioned earlier. However, the manner by which the ASEAN manages these conflicts through the “ASEAN way” has allowed the region to enjoy an era of stability and harmony. This facilitated its expansion by welcoming Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Viet Nam to complete what is now known as the ASEAN10. Indeed, war is never the appropriate means to resolve conflicts among countries (Sukma, 2010). Instead, international relations should be geared towards economic cooperation, cultural preservation, and trust building. However, to advance further security, there is a need to hasten the pace of approval and program implementation by AMS (Brata, 2013). This is even worsened by the weak


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political commitment of the AMS because they also have internal and national conflicts to settle. It is important to note that regional security is considered a global (regional) public good even by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It is consistent with the definition, characteristics, and caveats associated with public goods but applied to an international situation. That is, just like any other public good, everyone can benefit from it (non-exclusive and non-exhaustive) but no one is required to maintain it (Gardiner, 2002). Another issue that ASEAN needs to look into is the slow progress and insufficient power of the ASEAN Secretariat to coordinate and implement the policies, initiatives, and programs of the bloc and the AMS in achieving the APSC (Brata, 2013). It can be construed that the ASEAN Secretariat just plays the role of a liaison office. This is a consequence of an insufficient operational budget. More importantly, it is the ASEAN Summit, who is the chief decision-making body, not the ASEAN Secretariat. However, just like the ASEAN Secretariat, the ASEAN Summit is likewise weak in enforcing rules, principles, and purposes contained in the APSC Blueprint and in the ASEAN Charter among AMS. This weakness of the institutional frameworks of the APSC is evidenced by the ongoing difficulties in resolving persistent and recurring security issues specifically those mentioned earlier. The APSC Blueprint 2025. The APSC Blueprint (2009-2015) has incorporated 40 years of APSC in a very comprehensive fashion, with the objective to warrant that the citizens of AMS live in peace with one another and with the world at large in a just, democratic and harmonious environment. It has upheld the purpose of preserving regional peace and stability; and has adopted a comprehensive approach to security and an outward looking approach in ASEAN external relations. Seven years of implementation of the APSC Blueprint (20092015) has further deepened and expanded APSC and reinforced ASEAN capacity in responding to regional and international challenges, cementing the foundation of the APSC of 2015 has established. Thus, it is necessary to sustain the APSC through the APSC Blueprint 2025, aimed to build upon the achievements that have been made to elevate the APSC to a much higher stature. This will ensure a rules-based and inclusive community in which citizens of AMS enjoy human rights, fundamental freedoms and social justice, live in a safe and secure environment with enhanced capacity to respond effectively to emerging challenges and in a dynamic region where ASEAN enhances its centrality in the evolving regional architecture and plays a constructive role globally. In this regard, this succeeding blueprint promotes a people-oriented, people-centered, and inclusive ASEAN, wherein all segments of society can participate and benefit from ASEAN integration.

ASEAN INSIGHTS Similar to the other pillars of the ASEAN community, the APSC Blueprint 2025 is guided by the ASEAN Charter, which provides the principles and frameworks for ASEAN political and security cooperation and their implementation. Likewise, relevant domestic laws, regulations and policies also guide the implementation. Since community building is an ongoing process, relevant programs and activities as contained in the APSC Blueprint (2009-2015) shall continue to be implemented given their enduring significance. This, however, is accompanied with a bold and forward-looking approach to ensure that the APSC Blueprint 2025 is relevant, contemporary, and responsive to the challenges of the times. The Way Forward When the ASEAN was promulgated in 1967, the region constituted a cooperative framework, which was then just a loose grouping. However, as decades come by, this integration has gone beyond economic integration but also touched on ensuring regional security through an agreement to secure regional order which permitted AMS to focus and allocate resources for consolidation and socioeconomic development. As the emerging and developing AMS cooperated with each other to improve autonomy and establish regional security in order to achieve national and regional stability, the cornerstone of the APSC was born. With the increasing globalization and climate change, it is also necessary for ASEAN to cooperate to mitigate non-traditional security threats (i.e. natural disasters). Likewise, with the persistence of intra- and extra-ASEAN disputes, it is appropriate to follow prudently how ASEAN foster security cooperation guided by the ASEAN Charter, and whether the APSC can create an “ASEAN armed forces” (Tomotaka, 2008), although, ASEAN is not a military alliance. Over the decades, the preservation of security has been difficult. First is the problem accompanying provision of security. While a large number of AMS stand to benefit from the provision of public goods (i.e., regional security), they do not benefit by the same amount. Due to varying structures, conditions, development gaps, spillover effects, degrees of uncertainty, and heterogeneity of ratios of local and transnational benefits, each AMS value the benefits of public goods and the cooperation necessary to provide these goods differently (Sandler, 1998; Ferroni, 2004). As what Gardiner (2002) has stated, developing AMS would benefit the most from the provision of regional security, as their economies may lack the ability to deal with security threats. Consequently, there will be further disequilibrium as the AMS who needs the public good the most are the ones who contribute less to produce it. Moreover, as explained by Sandler (1998), studies of public goods imply that they abide by a “summation technology of supply aggregation.” That is, the contribution of an economic agent serves as a substitute for the contributions of others. As such, according to Ferroni (2004), policies pursuing to boost production of public

good may lead to underproduction as there will always be an inclination for AMS to prioritize national interests over regional concerns for they seldom take into account the impacts of their actions on their neighbors. Above the issue of under provision of security as a public good, there is also a need to strengthen the institutional and legal framework of the APSC. As mentioned by Brata (2013), the ASEAN Charter should be revisited to give more authority to the ASEAN Secretary-General to become a coordinating and foreign minister instead of simply a liaison officer. Together with the ASEAN Secretariat, both will function as a policy-coordinating and policy-making entity. They may also craft policy recommendations for the review and approval of the ASEAN Summit. Likewise, the Secretary-General can also serve as an intermediary to reconcile disputes among AMS especially with the contemporary issues of: increasing territorial dispute with PRC and the trans-boundary haze pollution. Conceivably, the first step to address the issues mentioned above is to incorporate in the design of the APSC Blueprint 2025 the distinct political, economic, and legal system prevailing among AMS. This may be laborious, but according to Brata (2013), this may be an avenue for ASEAN to practice strong conventions on good governance, maritime disputes, environmental protection, human resource movement, diplomatic affairs, and legal assistance, among others. To enforce these conventions, ASEAN must establish a court that has the power to adjudicate disputes among the AMS and penalize violations committed in ASEAN’s domain. As emphasized by Brata (2013), to make this court work effectively, there is a need for AMS to redefine and reinterpret the ASEAN Charter’s scope and definitions of “sovereignty”, “noninterference”, and “territorial integrity.” References: ASEAN Secretariat. (2015a). ASEAN Economic Community. Retrieved from http:// www.asean.org/asean-economic-community/ ASEAN Secretariat. (2015b). ASEAN Political-Security Community. Retrieved from http://www.asean.org/asean-political-security-community/ Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). (2015a). ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together. Retrieved from http://www.asean.org/storage/2015/12/ASEAN2025-Forging-Ahead-Together-final.pdf Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). (2015b). ASEAN Political – Security Community Blueprint. Retrieved from http://www.asean.org/wp-content/ uploads/archive/5187-18.pdf Austria, M.S. (2003). Towards an ASEAN Economic Community. Retrieved from http://www.dlsu.edu.ph/research/centers/cberd/pdf/papers/2003/Towards_an_ASEAN_Economic_Community.PDF Brata, R.A. (2013, February 05). Building the ASEAN Political-Security Community. Jakarta Post. Retrieved from http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/02/05/ building-asean-political-security-community.html Ferroni, M. (2004). Regional public goods: The comparative edge of regional development banks. Washington D.C.: Center for Global Development. Gardiner, R. (2002). Sustainable finance: Seeking global financial security. Earth Summit. Sandler, T. (1998). Global and regional public goods: A prognosis for collective action. Fiscal Studies, 19(3), 221–247. Sukma, R. (2010). ASEAN and regional security in East Asia. Panorama. Retrieved from http://www.kas.de/upload/dokumente/2010/06/PolDi-Asien_Panorama_02-2010/Panorama_2-2010_SecurityPolitics_Sukma.pdf Tomotaka, S. (2008). ASEAN Security Community: An initiative for peace and stability. Retrieved from http://www.nids.go.jp/english/publication/kiyo/pdf/2008/bulletin_e2008_3.pdf



Making A Real

DIFFEReNCE By Bernie J. Jiao, MBM 1989


n October 6, 2015, the AIM Board of Trustees unanimously appointed Dr. Jikyeong Kang as the president and CEO of the Asian Institute of Management. With her appointment, Dr. Kang became the 10th president of AIM. She is also the firstever female president of the Institute. On October 6, 2015, the AIM Board of Trustees unanimously appointed Jikyeong Kang, PhD as the president and CEO of the Asian Institute of Management. With her appointment, Dr. Kang became the 10th president of AIM. She is also the first-ever female president of the Institute. Dr. Kang joined AIM as dean of the Institute on January 5, 2015, such is the speed with which she has ascended to the top. Prior to assuming her post as the AIM dean, she was the Doctor of Business Administration Program Director of the Manchester Business School (MBS) in the UK from 2010 to 2014. MBS’ Doctoral Programs secured the number one spot in the Financial Times rankings from 2011 to 2013. She also served as MBS’ Director of MBA Programs from 2001 to 2007, where she was instrumental in propelling the MBA program’s Financial Times ranking from 47th in the world in 2002 to 22nd in 2007, the highest ranking it has ever achieved. Dr. Kang specializes in Marketing, particularly branding, segmentation and positioning, service quality, and multicultural and ethnic marketing. As such, she has taken an active role in the rebranding and marketing of AIM. Those who have had the opportunity to meet her have come away impressed by her brilliance, her energy, and her commitment to AIM. It is not uncommon to hear the words ‘smart’, ‘intellectual’, ‘highly motivated’, and ‘200% committed’ thrown about after an initial meeting with her. Indeed, Jikyeong, as she prefers to be called, is all these things and more. A clear confirmation is the signed manifesto of support she received from AIM’s faculty. She has almost single-handedly united all of AIM’s stakeholders to commit themselves to the single-minded pursuit of revitalizing and re-imagining the Institute. continued to page 18



I’ve always had a very strong sense of obligation. It has always been very important that I do what people expect of me. And I hate letting people down. So I will drive myself to the edge, really, because I don’t want to let anybody down.

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Making A Real

DIFFEReNCE continued from page 16

Fully aware of its proud pedigree and remarkable legacy but with eyes firmly focused on the future, Jikyeong has set the wheels in motion to jumpstart AIM’s resurgence. And she is off to a great start. In this special issue of the AIM Leader, we bring you Jikyeong, AIM’s President, CEO, and Dean. But more than the titles, accolades and accomplishments, we also present her vulnerable, sensitive side that probably only her closest friends and family know. She teases with her tantalizing candidness, then again throws curveballs with her honesty. She is such a complex individual that our nearly three hours of interview time was not enough to uncover all the subtle nuances and layers of her personality. However, if there was one thing that stood out and became a common thread in the interview, it was her sense of commitment and passion to her avowed goals. It’s what keeps her going, driving her to the edge to make sure she delivers. And this is why AIM is very lucky to have her as its leader at this very critical juncture in its history. So, my alumni friends, I present to you Jikyeong…

Strip away the titles of President, CEO, and Dean. Who is Jikyeong? That is really hard because at the moment I cannot think of myself without my work. So, let me see… I am very simple in some ways but rather complex in others. Most people think I am very extroverted, but I’m very shy, actually. Can you believe it? If I ever do a personality test, for example, MBTI (Myers–Briggs Type Indicator), and let’s say I fill it out the way I really feel about myself, [it will show] I’m very introverted. And, nobody believes me! But, if I answer the questions the way I actually live my life, I come out as a very extroverted person. So, it takes an effort from you to interact with people? No, now it’s very natural because I have had to live my expected roles for so long, most of my life, because that has always been what people expect of me. That’s what I have had to do. So I don’t have to think; I don’t have to pretend. So most of the time in public I come across extroverted because of my roles and responsibilities, but actually if left to my own devices, I am a rather shy and quiet person. Are there instances when you go back to being shy or introverted? Sometimes I have a whole weekend to myself where I don’t have any meetings or appointments, and I’ll be alone in my house doing my own thing. I don’t feel any need to talk to anybody. Some people get itchy, and they have to call somebody, but I’m perfectly ok to be alone. My friends think I am a bit strange that way, but oddly enough I find myself most relaxed when I’m alone. To go out and party is often “work” for me, not that I have many opportunities to do so.


Whatever I do, I tend to get very immersed in that role, whether as a daughter, or a sister, or a teacher, or a dean or president. I just get into that role with everything I have, and I become that person inside and out. So I don’t have any struggle trying to look or appear as a very strong person. But when I internalize, I know I have to make an effort to put aside my feelings, and that’s sometimes not easy. So despite all these leadership roles or positions of authority, deep down inside, you are very sensitive to the feelings of others? I have to quite often separate my own feelings from my roles and responsibilities, and that is not always easy. But I’m very forthright, trustworthy, driven - perhaps too driven - practical, self-sufficient, very self-sufficient (in fact, men normally don’t like this!) Does your childhood have anything to do with you being all these? Can you describe yourself as a child? In many ways, I was a very odd child. I never wanted to play outside. I always loved to read. Sometimes, my mom would encourage me, almost push me to go out and play. But whenever I tried, I used to get bored to death very quickly! Were your siblings that way, too? No, it’s just me. I’m the only oddball. Hahaha. Now you’re going to look at me totally different, as a weird person. No friends? I have lots of acquaintances but just a few very close friends. Interestingly, in school, my classmates either loved me or hated me for no reason. So, I guess I learned to keep a very small and close circle of friends.


Why do you think some classmates hated you? I guess I was very different in many ways. Different in what ways? I didn’t do things the way everybody else did. I remember when we were in grade school as soon as the class bell rang, everybody ran out of the classroom to play outside. But I would just take out my book and start reading. I was also too smart for my own good, so many of my friends didn’t like that, whereas my teachers loved me. So what kind of fun did you have growing up? A lot of fun times I had were either reading or spending time with my family. You can say outdoor activities were almost completely absent, unless when we had a family outing or family holiday. How is what you do today different or the same compared to your childhood years? I think there’s one thing that has always been very consistent: I’ve always had a very strong sense of obligation. It has always been very important that I do what people expect of me. And I hate letting people down. So I will drive myself to the edge, really, because I don’t want to let anybody down. And, I know sometimes in the process, I will be driving people around me hard as well. Sometimes, and quite often nowadays, I cannot do everything myself, and I have to rely on other people as well. So, I know sometimes I can be hard on them as I may end up pushing people too hard. Which is good for AIM, actually. Mr. Sycip once said to me he is very hopeful for AIM because of me. I was very pleased to hear that of course, but now I cannot stop thinking “What else can I and should I do for AIM?” Is that what’s keeping you going? Not just that. Of course, I get a lot of inner satisfaction, too, as I want to make a difference - a real difference. Who was stricter, your father or your mother? My dad, definitely! He was the disciplinarian in the family. Were you ever disciplined for anything? Not really. I was a very good girl. Hahaha! Although there was one occasion I remember. In Korea, we have Parents’ Day instead of Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. So I decided to buy a present for them, but I went shopping without telling them. And I couldn’t find anything I really liked, so I didn’t realize I’d spent hours going around looking for that perfect gift. And when I finally found one, I realized somebody had stolen my wallet. I’d been going

around for so many hours so focused on finding something really nice that I didn’t notice my wallet had been taken. How old were you then? I was about eight or nine, definitely not old enough to go shopping on my own. It was already dark, and I had no money. I didn’t know how to get home. So I had to go back to a couple of shops where I’d made stops and finally asked one sales lady if she could please call my mom so she could come and get me as I had no money for the bus fare to go home. Afterwards, my dad told me “Don’t you ever do that again!” and I was grounded for weeks. That was the only time I can remember being in big trouble. But, I might have conveniently forgotten the other troubles I got into. Hahaha! What is the greatest lesson you learned from your parents? My dad had two things that he always said to us and my mom was always in support of. The first was that education was the most important gift they could give to us. Second, it was always love and take care of your siblings. So we are very tight. My dad would always say, “I can close my eyes without any problem because as far as I know, you three will take care of each other.” How many siblings do you have? I have one younger brother and younger sister. I’m the oldest, the bossy one! So you boss them around? No. Actually, my sister bosses me and my brother around because she’s the only one with a child. So by the mere fact she’s a mother, she thinks she’s the boss, and my brother and I are often very happy to “obey” my sister’s instructions! next page, please


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How is your relationship with them? Very good. We’re very close, and we talk to each other all the time. All three of us used to live in the States but both of them went back to Korea, and I went to England, and then, of course, I came here.

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now I cannot stop thinking “What else can I and should I do for AIM? ... as I want to make a difference, a real difference.


How did they take it when you decided to go to England? They liked it. My brother had to go back to Korea as he’s the only boy, and being the only son, he always had more responsibilities. My sister also went back to Korea because her in-laws asked her family to come back. What dreams and goals did you have for your life growing up? My initial goal was to become a political reporter. It didn’t work out because I didn’t study hard enough when I was in high school. I don’t know if you’ve heard about the Korean educational system, where you apply to only one university of your choice, and you have to take an entrance exam there on the same day as everybody else in the country. Naturally, you can’t apply to multiple universities because you can only go to one university on the day of entrance exam. I never imagined that I would not get into the university of my choice. But I didn’t. So that was my first real experience of failure, which then significantly changed the course of the rest of my life. How did you take it? VVery badly! But, when I look back, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Until then, I was rather naïve, and maybe arrogant as well. I thought only lazy and stupid people fail. So that was a very good lesson for me. I think I developed empathy for people because of that experience. And then, when I went to America, that was another reason I became much more “humane”. When you are in a different place and people cannot figure you out, you can easily become nobody, an anonymous person. You are surrounded by people, but nobody cares to know who you are. So you were suddenly anonymous? Yes, that’s a good way of describing it. All of a sudden, I was anonymous, and I wasn’t used to that. And I still so vividly remember one of the most shocking experiences I had back then. My mom always bought me Estée Lauder for my skincare. So the first time I ran out of it after I arrived in the US, I went to a department store just after class. I stood at the counter for almost half an hour and nobody came to assist me. But customers who came after me were all served. In America, the cosmetics counters are where salespeople work on commission, so sales associates tend to target people who are more likely to buy than those who seem to be just browsing. I was in my jeans and T-shirt, and it was such a strange experience to be completely ignored as if I was invisible. So I did an experiment. The next day, I got

COVER STORY out my best suit and did my hair and even put on some makeup. I went to the same department store counter, and guess what, I was served right away. That taught me a really, really good lesson, sort of like don’t judge a book by its cover. So in the end, it was a really good experience. My failure (to get into my preferred university), my going to America and experiencing what it feels like to be a nobody, all of those things taught me to become a better person. I don’t judge people the way I used to, and actually I didn’t even realize before then that that was what I was doing. Everybody is precious, regardless of their background, wealth, education, or what not. Is that how you developed your sensitive side? I think so. Compared to my teenage days, I have more empathy, I listen more, I pay attention to others and details. All of those things. How did you decide what you wanted to do with your life? I don’t want to disappoint people, and that is what led me from one thing to another. When I couldn’t get into my preferred university that I somehow thought I should and could rightfully get into, it was a shock. I told my dad that I would attempt my university exam again the following year, and that this time I would study harder. But he told me I’d had my chance and that was that. So because of that I decided to go to America and pursue my graduate studies there because I wanted to prove something to myself. next page, please

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Mr. Bernardino Jiao (Executive Managing Director, Alumni Relations Office) and Dr. Jikyeong Kang.

You still did your undergrad in Korea. Yes, because my dad said I’d already had my chance, and he wouldn’t let me do anything else. He said I needed to learn about the consequences of my own actions. So your university wasn’t your first choice? No, it wasn’t. What was the rationale for taking up your master’s in the US? To prove something to myself and also to make up to my parents. In Korea, parents in a way put a lot of pressure on their children to go to the best school, best university, be top of the class, and all those things. And not being able to get into my university of choice was the first time I let my parents down. I never said I was doing it [my master’s] for that reason, but in the back of my mind I felt that I wanted them to feel proud of me, as I’d let them down. Do you have any hobbies or sports? When I lived in the States, I used to fly a single-engine Cessna. And when I went to England, I couldn’t fly much because in Manchester it rains all the time, and I had to fly under VFR [Visual Flight Rules] allowances. When you don’t have your own plane, and you reserve a time slot with a rental plane, if it starts raining, your opportunity is gone.


So I wanted something different, something more accessible, so I started riding a motorcycle. What kind of motorcycle did you ride? A Harley-Davidson. I loved it. Why flying? Even though I failed my university exam and shocked everybody, all my life I was a “good girl” in a broad sense. I did what people expected me to do, and I was who I was expected to be, all of those things. So finally, when I grew up, I wanted to do something that I really wanted to do. Something that was not expected of me. So I guess it was kind of a late rebellion but without actually getting into any trouble. So the flying was actually symbolic? It was! I had to take exams, it was hard to learn, it was expensive, and all those things. But somehow, it struck a chord because it wasn’t what people expected of me. And because it represented freedom? Yes, exactly. How do you de-stress? I like reading. I like opera. I like going to concerts. I like films and also watching plays. I used to go to lots of plays, in fact.

COVER STORY Do you still have time to do that now? Not really. Sometimes if I had an afternoon or evening free when I traveled to cities, I used to check if there was anything on because it’s not that difficult to get tickets when you’re buying only one ticket. But now, I don’t even do that because I simply do not have time. I especially like opera, so I really miss that. During the whole year, I saw only one play just across the street from here, but it was absolutely hilarious. I can’t even remember the exact title… something like “Run for your Wife”. It was about British working-class people, so you have to know the culture to really appreciate the humor. I looked around to see the audience’s faces and I didn’t know how many people actually got all the jokes but it was absolutely hilarious. I very much enjoyed a couple of hours of distraction. If you had an extra day in the week, what would you spend it on? I’d spend more time on introspection. Have some time to think and process what is going through my mind and my head. Right now, I’m just running, running and running, trying to do a million things all at the same time. So you’d still spend it on work? Yeah, why not? If I had an extra week added to my whole year, then I would definitely go on a holiday. Did you have any expectations at points in your life about what your career would be like for you? I always thought at some point I’d be a business person. I wanted to run my own business. Actually, I never imagined I would become a professor. That was the last thing I ever thought I’d be, including my friends. I was not a “professor” type. I thought that was the most boring profession in the world. What kind of business did you have in mind back then? Something to do with service and people, either a hotel, a restaurant, or even a wine bar. I still think about those things, maybe as a second career? Did your parents own a business? No. My dad was a prosecutor so you can see where the discipline comes from. What experiences made you decide to work in academe? My parents emphasized education, but they never expected me, or told me, that I should become a professor, or get a PhD, or anything like that. It sounds really silly but it was because of my master’s thesis supervisor. He was and has always been a superb mentor, and he told me one day that I should get a PhD. Until that day, I never imagined that I would pursue a PhD. I never paid attention to the kind of careers you could have if you had a PhD. But I didn’t want to disappoint him because he said I would make an

excellent PhD student. He told me where to apply, and the rest is history. So I think it was his encouragement that started it all. Any regrets then? No, none at all. To be honest, I think I have the best of both worlds right now. I really enjoy teaching, but I don’t do a lot of teaching these days. Working in a management school is not far from running a business in a way; it is just different kinds of business with different “actors”. That’s the way I feel about it, especially after becoming the president. I enjoy my work tremendously, partly because I used to be a faculty member myself, and I know how professors think and feel. At the end of the day, I think it’s all about working with people, and it’s like running a business because we have to worry about top line and bottom line and make sense of what goes in between. What do you miss most about Manchester? Snow and my garden. What do you have in your garden? My house in England is situated in about three acres, and I think I planted about a thousand trees during the last eight years or so. You should come visit. Did you discover any great surprises when you first landed in Manila? Oh my God, 100% humidity! I’ve been to very hot and humid places like Dubai, HK, Singapore, Shanghai, and even Seoul gets very sticky at times. For me, high temperature is bearable; but it’s the humidity that gets me. Do you consider yourself more British than Korean? No. This is an easy one for me because I think about it all the time. I always say on a good day, I’m very cosmopolitan, and I can be a citizen of any place. On a bad day, however, I can have an identity crisis. Actually, fundamentally, deep down I’m a Korean, and it’s interesting that as I grow older, I feel I’m becoming more Korean than ever. But my style of management and communication is probably more American. And then, when I went to the UK, I probably picked up some British style, but fortunately or unfortunately, I was already all “grown up”, so I don’t think I picked up anything significantly “British”.


After nine months of being dean, and now four months as president, can you describe your typical work day? Today, I had a breakfast meeting at 7:30am at Citibank. I went there with six faculty members and staff. In fact, you were there! Then I had a meeting with Tessie Coson. After that, I came back to AIM for meetings at 11am, 1pm, next page, please


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3pm, 4pm, and my 5:30pm meeting became 6:30pm. So it’s often from one meeting to the next. Then, I would say that three to four out of the five days in the week, I have an event in the evening, dinner meetings, or some functions I need to attend. Then I go home and start reading and responding to my emails. That would normally go on until 2 to 4 am or something like that. How are you holding up? So far I’m ok! I don’t know where I get the energy, but I think I get a high, actually, I know I get a high with the buzz from all the work. But I’m not a 30-something anymore, so on weekends I try to have at least one day when I can catch up on my sleep. It’s hard to keep that up and not have it affect your health. There’s so much to be done. That’s my challenge! Can you tell us about your philosophy of leadership and how that applies to the position of President, CEO, and Dean? I think having a clear sense of direction and purpose is very important. I think my leadership style is a shared and participatory one, rather than top-down. I always try to motivate and engage people. I stress transparency and always try to build trust with my team. I tend to say what I have on my mind, and I like being straight with people. Having lived in five different countries all over the world, I’ve picked up different styles in different places. I think sometimes that can make it harder for people to guess where I am coming from. Would you say it’s an amalgamation of all the experiences you’ve had living in different parts of the world? Yes, probably and most likely. I’ve lived in five different countries, so it’s probably a collection of all the good things that I learned and have worked for me. What are your core values and how do they shape your leadership style? The most important thing for me in terms of how I live and do my work is to treat others the way I also wish to be treated. I think that’s really important, and I think that’s probably one area that I sometimes feel a bit uncomfortable about, being in the Philippines and Asia, because many Asian societies tend to be a lot more hierarchical. There is a very clear distinction, say, between faculty and staff, or employer and employee, and the boss and subordinates, and all these titles that people use, such as “sir” or “ma’am”. Sometimes that’s uncomfortable and that is why I insist people call me by my name because I want people to see me as a person


rather than a person with a title. In my view, titles can hinder collaborative working relationships. And build walls… Yes. When you start a sentence with Prof. Kang or Dean Kang or Pres. Kang or boss, I think that already to a degree restricts what can follow afterwards. To me, it sets the tone. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel when you call me Jikyeong, as opposed to President Kang, we’re now on a more equal footing. Ever since I arrived at AIM, I have always said to our staff, in particular, to challenge me and not to feel afraid to disagree with me. I even said, if everybody always agrees with me, they might consider themselves redundant. I now have many incidents of how even staff at the lowest band will speak up, and I don’t believe that could have happened if I was just Dean Kang or President Kang. So is that the culture you want to establish at AIM? I’m trying. It must have taken Janelle (Jikyeong’s assistant when she was the dean) two weeks to call me Jikyeong! Initially, she used to avoid calling my name because she was not used to it. But now, almost everybody calls me Jikyeong very easily, except a few who still struggle, no matter how much I try to convince them! Tell us what successes you’ve had working with diverse populations, including students and colleagues. I’ve been to 60-plus different countries. It always gives me something to talk about because I’ve been to different places, seen a lot of things, and met many different people. It often gives me something to connect with people: their country, their people, their culture, their food, and so on. But also because instead of having a rather sheltered life, which could have easily been the case if I’d stayed in Korea, all those things I’ve experienced over the years have taught me a lesson that everybody deserves a chance, maybe even a second chance. And it’s not always the case that just because you work hard it means you can accomplish everything all the time. There is a little bit of luck involved, and a little bit of being in the right place at the right time as well. My being exposed to diverse cultures and diverse environments has given me an easier way to connect with people, I guess. Given your multitude of responsibilities as President, CEO, and Dean, how do you manage your time and establish priorities? Right now, for me, the most important thing is to establish financial stability in the institute. We’re a very tiny organization when it comes to the size of the business school. We don’t have an undergraduate program, and none of our programs are big enough, so we need to find a way to stabilize our revenues. We need to have a healthy balance sheet. But to become a viable management school, whether you have a thousand or a hundred students, you


We need to renew our image. We need to refresh, reset the perception of what AIM is known for. And, we need to have the right team supporting us...

must have certain minimal functions. For example, you need a careers office, you need an alumni office, you need an IT department, you need an HR department. So when your student numbers are very low, there are virtually no economies of scale, so it becomes very expensive (per student) to do anything. So in that sense, it is really important that we have a steady stream of quality students coming in, but of course, we also need to know what business we are in. In addition, I think creating and nurturing a culture where people are constantly developing themselves, where they are most engaged and motivated and passionate about what they’re doing is also very, very important. At the end of the day, it’s aligning everything we do: from the mission, vision, and strategy; how we utilize our resources; tasks we perform; the kinds of targets we want to meet; the kinds of students we want; the kinds of programs we want to run; the kinds of research we want to conduct, etc. I think it’s all about aligning what we do. In my view, many of the things we have engaged in in the past have been opportunistic, perhaps in the sense that we do things not necessarily because they are the strategic choice but maybe because the opportunity is there. So I think we need to be a lot more focused and make sure there is a thread or theme or purpose in what we do. So is this going to be the backbone of your strategy? Absolutely! One of the things my advisor told me many

years ago when I became a PhD and brand new assistant professor was part of your success will depend on whether you’ll learn to say no or not. I think that’s probably a good lesson for us now because if you say yes to everything, then you cannot clearly establish who you are or what you are all about. You cannot establish a clear identity. What are the key milestones that need to be achieved within 6 to 12 months? What do you hope to accomplish within your first year as president of AIM? This is a really tough one. As I said, the first one relates to financial stability. We need to increase revenue. At the same time, we need to have good control over expenses. We need to work on both sides. We also desperately need some work on marketing and branding. We need to renew our image. We need to refresh, reset the perception of what AIM is known for. And, we need to have the right team supporting us with all of these things. We are about to start the process of recruiting seven new faculty and that’s going to make a big difference, as we have a large number of faculty nearing their retirement age. I think everybody knows a large portion of our faculty are aging or have aged. So I think a succession plan is very, very important for us. All of these things are all very important, but it’s a matter of setting priorities and in a manner that makes sense and is consistent with the strategy that we all buy into. next page, please


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The world is changing so fast...So you always need to reinvent yourself... It’s not to say our past is not important...but it’s more about how to move on, how to move forward, and how we make ourselves relevant again in today’s and tomorrow’s world.

Given all these, what challenges do you want to address to the school? I think staying focused is very important. We have an amazing legacy, an amazing history, an incredible pride, and an excellent alumni base! I sometimes use the expression “AIM is a national treasure.” But we cannot dwell too much on the past. The world is changing so fast, especially this part of the world. So you always need to reinvent yourself; otherwise, the world passes you by. I think we need to keep that in mind. It’s not to say our past is not important, that we don’t feel proud of our past, but it’s more about how to move on, how to move forward, and how we make ourselves relevant again in today’s and tomorrow’s world. What to you is the alumni’s role in the growth of the school? I always talk about five things that alumni need to think about as their role. The most important role alumni play is developing themselves and doing the best they can do for themselves. When we have successful alumni, then it rubs off on the Institute. So the number one goal of our alumni should be the best you can be. Second, help your classmates, your batchmates in terms of giving them job opportunities, connecting them to the right people, and helping with their businesses. Please help your own classmates when they need help. Third is to help our students. I’m talking about mentoring, networking, hiring, and again giving them opportunities. That’s really important because we need to think about how AIM’s history will continue and will develop itself. Fourth is to help the Institute. There are of course lots of student-related activities, but there are also many other things happening in the Institute that may or may not involve the students. You can help by attending events, forums, etc. There are so many things you can do to help and support the Institute. And lastly, of course, you can always write a check! The amount is not as important; it is your action that counts. If you had one message to the alumni, what would it be? Take an interest in what is happening at AIM now and think about what it is that you can do as an AIM alum, specifically and concretely. There are a lot of alumni who say “Let me


know how I can help.” That’s a very tall order even with all the complement of the alumni office staff, me, and everybody else at AIM. How do we go around figuring out how each of 42,000 alumni can help us? That takes a lot of research and hard work. So I think what alumni can do right now is tell us “This is how I can help.” “This is how our class can help.” It can be a small thing like being a mentor to our students, or coming to class to have a dialogue with our students, or hiring a student intern, sending your employees onto our programs, asking us to run training programs for your company, introducing us to a potential donor, and so on. There are so many options. But please be specific about how you would like to help us, because you know yourselves best in terms of your resource capacity and your interest. I feel overwhelmed right now actually because there are so many people who say they are willing to help. But I don’t have enough time to research or even meet with all those people individually to figure out how she or he may help us. But we do need our alumni help more than ever! And that way it becomes more than just lip service… I totally believe a lot of them actually mean it, and they really want to help. But if I have to respond to 42,000 alumni “This is what you can do; this is how you can help; etc.” without me actually getting to know them, I am not sure how effective that would be. For some, I am sure the easiest thing is to write checks, small or big. But they might also be happy to talk to our students, attend our seminars, come to our events, support us in whatever way. I would like to see more alumni involved and engaged. For example, we have some alumni who are helping us with some of the legal documents that we are trying to untangle. That’s great because they are giving us their expertise. They are offering something specific, not just the words “Let me know how I can help”, no matter how sincerely they mean them. That’s what I would love to have. Another would be to send their employees to our degree programs and short courses. You can help your own employees’ development and your company’s capacity building by enrolling them on our courses. That’s a win-win because you are nurturing your own team and your own employees, and at the same time it also brings us revenues and new opportunities.


What do you see for AIM in the next five years? What are your hopes and vision for the school? I want AIM to have a much clearer identity. Right now, I think it has become a bit blurred in terms of what AIM stands for, what AIM is really good at. So I think we need to develop a clear and unique identity. As one of the smallest business schools in the very competitive landscape, we need to develop a niche strategy for where we can excel and for what we can be known for. We also need to build our capacity, and then we can consider competing in the mainstream market. We also need to strategically choose our partners and alliances, instead of trying to do everything ourselves. It’s an uphill battle for us. There is no doubt that we have a very challenging situation. But, we are working out our strategy, and we have a strong will and motivated faculty and staff! We will get there! It is not an option not to. Do you wish to see more women enrolled in AIM? That is an interesting question, and not a bad idea. But I am much keener to increase diversity in general, not just gender diversity. I’m most appreciative of the fact that diversity brings a lot of fresh perspectives, and I firmly believe that’s what the world needs and what AIM needs. As the first female president of AIM, do you see yourself as a role model for women executives in Asia? If somebody considers me as a role model, I’d be most honored, but I don’t normally think of myself that way. I guess what I try to do or what I’d like to see happen is that hopefully something I do will touch somebody’s heart. Hopefully, it can make a little impact on somebody. But that’s for the other person to think and decide, not for me to see myself as a role model. If I can have an impact in some small way that will make people think twice in terms of how they see the world or their own lives, I think that would be very wonderful and rewarding. Any last words for alumni? We love you! We love our AIM… and we love to hear from you! And, yes, we need YOUR support!


President Benigno Aquino III and Chinese President Xi Jinping during the APEC 2015 Economic Leaders Meeting. Photo from APEC2015’s Official Twitter Account.



A Chinese Pivot? by Ronald U. Mendoza, PhD

n 1972, US President Richard Nixon did what many saw as a critical step in normalizing Sino-US relations—he visited the People’s Republic of China, marking the first time a US President visited the country, and ending well over two decades of frozen relations between the two countries since the end of World War II. Since then, the phrase “Nixon goes to China” became a metaphor for the unexpected actions of world leaders.

Could President Xi Jinping’s visit to the Philippines during the APEC summit last week signal a similar critical change in Sino-Philippine relations? At a recent maritime security forum organized by the AIM Policy Center and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, we picked the brains of experts to better understand the context of this visit and its implications. The sequence of events preceding the visit suggests a softening of China’s position, and a window for resuscitating bilateral economic and political relationships. However, this would all depend on China’s willingness to earn back some of the trust it squandered in East Asia, and perhaps beyond. Increased pressure from its neighbors and the United States appears to be isolating China, perhaps to the detriment of both its geopolitical and economic interests. Kinder, friendlier tone? Xi’s visit to the Philippines marks his first since the start of his presidency. In his keynote speech at the APEC CEO Summit, Xi pushed for stronger trade ties in the region, noting that APEC member countries “must adhere to the concept of win-win cooperation and community of shared future, cooperating while competing and achieving development through cooperation.” A week prior to Xi’s visit, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson noted that China does not want to see its bilateral relations with the Philippines adversely affected by the current disputes in the West Philippine Sea/ South China Sea (WPS/SCS). These are a far cry from China’s earlier statements. Tensions between the Philippines and China were ratcheted during the Scarborough Shoal standoff, involving Chinese fishing vessels illegally fishing and poaching in the disputed


area in April 2012. On May 8, 2012, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying, after a meeting with the Charge D’Affaires of the Philippine Embassy in Beijing, said in a statement that China is not optimistic that the situation would improve at that time and that “…the Chinese side has also made all preparations to respond to any escalation of the situation by the Philippine side.” On May 10, it was reported that the Chinese military voiced a similar stance, with an article in the PLA Daily, considered as the official newspaper of the People’s Liberation Army of China, issuing a thinly veiled threat to the Philippines: “We want to say that anyone’s attempt to take away China’s sovereignty over Huangyan Island will not be allowed by the Chinese government, people and armed forces…” To try to end the standoff, the US brokered a simultaneous withdrawal of Philippine and Chinese ships in the area. And while the Philippines complied, China did not. Furthermore, in 2014, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson strongly defended the construction activities in the West Philippine Sea after the Philippine government released photos showing evidence of such activities, saying that: “China has indisputable sovereignty over Nansha [Spratly] Islands…. Whatever construction China carries out… is completely within China’s sovereignty.” During the same year, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson warned the Philippines of possible consequences if the latter instigated further provocations in the West Philippine Sea. Hence, the recent statements seem to suggest a “Chinese pivot” to build back ties, as diplomatic relations between the two countries have soured significantly in the aftermath of the incident at Scarborough shoal in 2012. Chinese flag from FreeImages.com/Leonardo Novaes and Leonardo Freitas

Yet this shift in tone is more likely a result of the growing regional isolation and the pressure now being applied by the United States. The “pivot” is best juxtaposed against a series of events that preceded Xi’s Manila visit. Dance of the Superpowers Two months before the APEC summit, in September 2015, President Xi embarked on a state visit to the United States for almost a week (see timeline). Its highlights include agreements on cyber security and climate change, among others. However, despite the number of months spent in preparing for Xi’s visit, the two countries failed to reach an agreement on other important areas such as the territorial and maritime disputes in the Asia-Pacific region . During the state visit, Xi tried to assuage the concern of many countries by saying that the Chinese government does not intend to pursue militarization of the artificial islands in the WPS/SCS area. Roughly a month after, a US Navy guided missile destroyer (the USS Lassen) was sent to the disputed area as part of what the US government called its freedom of navigation operations . A similar move was made by the United States in November 2013 when two of its unarmed fighter jets flew over disputed islands in the East China Sea without notifying the Chinese authorities . This was in response to China’s declaration of an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over the disputed area during the same month. The more recent move by the United States attracted criticism from Chinese government officials but seemed to earn the support of other countries in the region, including those that have taken a mostly neutral stance on the territorial and maritime disputes in the area. • In October 2015, Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne expressed support to the freedom of navigation operation conducted by the United States, noting that all states have the right to freedom of navigation and freedom of flight in the disputed area. • Last November 2 (about a week after the sail-by), South Korean Defense Minister Han Min-Koo reiterated that the freedom of navigation and freedom of flight must be recognized in the disputed area and that agreements and international norms must serve as the basis for resolving such disputes. The statement was made in a press briefing with US Defense Secretary Ash Carter in Seoul, after a major trilateral summit involving China, Japan, and South Korea. • Last November 3, Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said that he did not see any problem with the freedom of navigation exercise by the United States as the area is part of international waters. • Last November 11, Luhut Panjaitan, the Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs, said that the Indonesian government is open to the possibility of arbitration in case the issue on the Indonesia-held Natuna Islands (parts of which are included in the area demarcated by the nine-dash line) is not settled through dialogue . (A day later, the Chinese government released a statement saying that it does not contest Indonesia’s claim to the said islands.)

It is possible that the failure of China and the United States to reach an agreement on the issue, and the subsequent move by the United States to demonstrate a freedom of navigation exercise—as well as the subsequent strong endorsement by other countries of the said move— further isolated China from the rest of the region. Multilateral Gambit On October 29, the Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled on the case filed by the Philippines against China on October 29, noting that the Court has jurisdiction over the said case. In this regard, experts participating in the AIM-KAS Maritime Security Forum agreed that the case filed by the Philippines served to provide further pressure on China to uphold its earlier commitment to responsibly adhere to international law. As noted by Dr. Sebastian Bersick of Ruhr-Universitat Bochum, if China does not accept the ruling by the tribunal in 2016, it will be the first instance in which a country refuses to adhere to such ruling. Dr. Jay Batongbacal of the UP Institute of Maritime Affairs and Law of the Sea, on the other hand, noted that the case filed by the Philippines can induce China to be open to possible future arena of legal battles. However, he also emphasized that the case and international law in general have inherent limitations as the enforcement of the decision of the case (whether it favors Philippines or China) and other aspects of international law will depend on the voluntary compliance of all countries or parties involved. Nevertheless, the recent decision of the Permanent Court of Arbitration combined with the growing Chinese isolation in a region supporting the preservation of freedom of navigation and flight appears to have triggered a softening stance. Recent Chinese moves appear focused on shoring up some of the strong ties it once enjoyed. For instance, On November 5, Xi arrived in Hanoi, Vietnam for a state visit where he was greeted with a 21-gun salute and where he addressed the National Assembly. The visit was also marked by the signing of various cooperation agreements and the announcement of a loan amounting to US$ 200 million from China Development Bank to the Bank of Investment and Development in Vietnam . During the state visit, Xi called Vietnam a “close comrade” and emphasized the need for their countries to work together to foster trust and cooperation. After his two-day state visit in Vietnam, Xi then went to Singapore to meet with the leader of Taiwan, the first since the end of the Chinese civil war. There Xi noted that: “The strait between us cannot separate brotherly love, it cannot stop compatriots from missing their native land and hoping for family reunion.” These visits and softening statements preceded Xi’s penultimate trip to join APEC in Manila. next page, please


A Chinese Pivot?

continued from page 29

China’s economic interests This competition between the United States and China for the “hearts and minds” of East Asia is likely tied to their respective economic integration agendas. As Chito Sta Romana (the former Beijing bureau chief of ABC News, and a long time China analyst) noted, the Chinese government derives its main source of domestic legitimacy from its solid track record of continued poverty reduction and industrial development. And this is now at risk given the recent jitters in the Chinese economy—a stark contrast to its economic performance in the previous two decades, achieving double digit economic growth figures translating to about 400 million people that have been lifted out of extreme poverty from 1981 to 2001. Yet that track record is deeply intertwined with China’s economic and trade ties abroad, and specifically in the East Asian region. The United States is pushing for the ratification of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement, which includes agreements outside the usual trade facilitation issues (such as labor standards, environmental regulations and state-owned enterprises). China, on the other hand, is an active player in negotiations concerning the establishment of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) which includes ASEAN countries as well as their regional trading partners (which also include Japan, Republic of Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand). China is not part of the TPP negotiations (although it was previously invited on the condition that it should comply with standards prescribed on various areas that are included in the negotiations) while the United States is currently not included in the RCEP negotiations. If anything, these recent events appear to have strengthened the hand of the US while weakening China’s. Possible ways forward The recent moves by China suggest possible opportunities for the recovery of bilateral relations between Philippines and China after reaching significant lows in the recent years. However, challenges remain despite the shift in tone by the Chinese government. For one, according to Dr. Bersick, the Asia-Pacific region continues to be characterized by the presence of “condivergence”— countries have implemented converging economic policies (as manifested in the various trade agreements) but diverging security policies. Chito Sta Romana notes that, like the Vietnamese, the Philippines may have to find ways to “compartmentalize” the issues on the disputed territory— to pursue the Philippine case aggressively while also opening up to bilateral talks on economic partnership with China on other sectors. While challenges remain, an improvement in bilateral relations—notably on economic cooperation in other sectors—could help to advance win-win economic growth in the region. As noted by Dr. Sebastian Bersick, a significant amount of trade of vital products passes through some


Events Preceding Xi’s Visit to Manila 8 Chinese fishing vessels were spotted by the Philippine Navy near Scarborough Shoal

The Philippines pulled BRP Gregorio del Pilar from Scarborough Shoal, with a coast guard vessel arriving in the area to relieve the said Philippine Navy-owned ship.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson disputed the earlier statement by the Department of Foreign Affairs regarding the agreement to withdraw ships from Scarborough Shoal

April 8, 2012

April 12, 2012

june 18, 2012

April 10, 2012

Standoff among Philippine and Chinese ships started after a boarding team sent by Philippine Navy inspected Chinese fishing vessels near Scarborough Shoal and found amounts of illegally collected corals, giant clams and live sharks among others. Chinese maritime surveillance ships were later sent to prevent the arrest of Chinese fishermen by Filipino authorities.

june 5, 2012 The Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines announced that the Philippines and China have agreed to withdraw key vessels from Scarborough Shoal.

Vietnam submitted its position on the arbitration case filed by the Philippines against China.

Pres. Xi Jinping embarked on his first state visit to the United States

The Australian Defense Minister expressed support to the Freedom of Navigation operation conducted by the United States in WPS/SCS.

December 11, 2014

September 22-28, 2015

October 27, 2015

June 16, 2015

October 26, 2015

The Chinese Foreign Ministry released a statement saying that the reclamation projects in WPS/SCS area were expected to be completed within days.

The US Navy sent a destroyer near artificial islands claimed by China

of the disputed territories—up to one-fourth of global merchandise export trade, one-third of global seaborne oil trade and over half of global trade in liquefied natural gas. Furthermore, a significant number of people (around 268 million by one estimate ) in countries along some of the disputed territories live in the catchment area, many of which depend on fishing and harvest of sea-based resources for their livelihood. Currently, there are Filipino fishermen whose livelihoods are already severely affected by the ongoing dispute . If the Chinese are serious in winning hearts and minds, ending any harassment of these fishermen in these areas could end some of the tension. Xi’s recent state visit to Vietnam offers much food for thought. It ushered the signing of an array of agreements including a Chinese loan, despite the presence of territorial disputes similar to that of the Philippines. Vietnam has not dropped any of its claims, and appears to be one of the most assertive in ASEAN. Perhaps there is a similar path forward for China and the Philippines to find areas of cooperation amidst the presence of the said disputes.


Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario confirmed that the planned meeting between President Aquino and then-Pres. Hu Jintao of China at the sidelines of APEC Summit in Vladivostok, Russia did not push through due to “scheduling challenge”.

Then- Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying met with President Aquino in Malacanang.

Reports surfaced that new passports issued by the Chinese government contain maps that include the country’s territorial claims on WPS/SCS area.

China announced the establishment of an air defense identification zone (ADIZ) over area that includes disputed territory with Japan.

The Philippine government presented photos showing construction activities by China in the disputed Johnson Reef.

september 9, 2012

october 19, 2012

november 2012

november 23, 2013

may 15, 2014

juLY 9-13, 2012

september 21, 2012

ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Summit was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The summit ended with the member countries failing to issue a joint communique for the first time in 45 years. The Philippines and Cambodia subsequently traded barbs over the failure, with the two countries noting that ASEAN member countries did not reach consensus on incorporating the recent disputes in the WPS/SCS area to the communique.

Then- Philippine Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas met with then- Chinese Vice Pres. Xi Jinping and thenChinese Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Fu Ying in Nanning, China

november 15, 2012

january 22, 2013

november 26, 2013

Xi Jinping took over the leadership of the Chinese government

The Philippine government announced that it would file an arbitration case against China at the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea

US sent two B-52 bombers from Guam on an overflight mission over the contested airspace in the East China Sea (which is part of the ADIZ established by China).

China, Japan and South Korea held their first trilateral summit since 2012

The Malaysian Defense Minister said that he does not see any problem with the freedom of navigation operation conducted by the United States in the disputed area.

Historic meeting between the leaders of Taiwan and People’s Republic of China was held in Singapore

The Indonesian government said that it is open to the possibility of arbitration in case the issue regarding the Indonesianheld Natuna islands is not settled through dialogue.

november 1, 2015

november 3, 2015

november 7, 2015

november 11, 2015

October 29, 2015 The Permanent Court of Arbitration ruled that it has jurisdiction over the case filed by the Philippines against China.

november 2, 2015

november 5-6, 2015

november 8-9, 2015

november 17, 2015

The Defense Minister of South Korea said that the country recognizes freedom of navigation and freedom of operations in the WPS/SCS.

Pres. Xi Jinping embarked on a state visit to Vietnam

US flew two B-52 bombers near the vicinity of Spratly Islands

Pres. Xi Jinping arrived in Manila for the APEC Summit.

Source: Compiled from various media sources.

However, such agreements entail commitment from both parties and as such, it is the responsibility of the two countries not to renege on such commitments regardless of the existence of power asymmetry on various fronts. The window for re-establishing strong economic ties appears open right now; but the Chinese have their work cut out for them if they are to totally shore-up the trust they once enjoyed but quickly squandered in the region. About the authors Ronald U. Mendoza, PhD is an Associate Professor of Economics at the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), and the Executive Director of the AIM Rizalino S. Navarro Policy Center for Competitiveness. Prior to this, he was a senior economist with the United Nations in New York. His research background includes work with UNICEF, UNDP, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), and several non-governmental organizations in Manila, the Philippines. His work has appeared in various peer-reviewed economics and policy journals; and he has also published several books on international development, public finance and international cooperation. Charles Irvin S. Siriban is a Research Associate of the AIM Rizalino S. Navarro Policy Center for Competitiveness. He has worked closely with Dr. Mendoza on research on Blue Economy and Regional Cooperation

References: http://www.rappler.com/world/regions/asia-pacific/china/113232-china-xi-ftaap-trade-deal-apec-speech http://thediplomat.com/2015/11/chinas-president-will-head-to-philippines-for-apec-summit/ http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-05/08/c_131575723.htm http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2012-05/10/c_131579618.htm http://www.nytimes.com/newsgraphics/2013/10/27/south-china-sea/; http://articles.latimes.com/2013/ may/14/world/la-fg-china-philippines-shoal-20130514/2 http://thediplomat.com/2015/06/chinas-new-south-china-sea-messaging/ http://www.rappler.com/nation/53242-china-philippines-stranded-ship-ayungin-consequences http://www.rappler.com/nation/18709-2012-yearender-ph-china-and-scarborough-shoal http://thediplomat.com/2015/09/think-xi-jinpings-state-visit-to-the-us-went-well-think-again/ http://www.wsj.com/articles/china-completes-runway-on-artificial-island-in-south-china-sea-1443184818 http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/10/26/us-navy-sails-south-china-sea-near-china-built-island.html http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/11/27/us-china-defense-usa-idUSBRE9AP0X320131127#BiOfWmicW mX6wfIf.97 http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/china/2013-11/23/c_132911634.htm http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/10/27/us-navy-approaches-chinese-built-islands-south-china-sea http://www.wsj.com/articles/south-korea-calls-for-south-china-sea-rights-1446461006 http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-03/southeast-asia-ministers-tell-big-powers-to-watchmaritime-rules http://www.reuters.com/article/us-southchinasea-china-indonesia-idUSKCN0T00VC20151111#IwIagt9S12 Exbthw.97 http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/11/12/us-southchinasea-china-indonesia-idUSKCN0T10KK20151112#c 3SS7lOTHVumZfij.97 http://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2015/11/04/china-president-visits-vietnam-as-2-sides-seekto-mend-ties http://www.wsj.com/articles/china-seeks-to-improve-ties-with-comrade-vietnam-1446783136 http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/630d83a4-853c-11e5-9f8c-a8d619fa707c.html#axzz3sTWiW7J9 http://econ.worldbank.org/WBSITE/EXTERNAL/EXTDEC/EXTRESEARCH/0,,contentMDK:20634060~pagePK: 64165401~piPK:64165026~theSitePK:469382,00.html http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-06/china-hopeful-tpp-deal-will-promote-asia-pacific-trade/6831638 http://ecsdb.emecs.or.jp/seas/18%20South%20China%20Sea.pdf http://www.rappler.com/nation/98783-masinloc-zambales-china-scarborough-shoal


asean insights

Understanding youth perception on the ASEAN Economic Community: The Philippine case John Paolo R. Rivera, Ph.D. Asian Institute of Management, Dr. Andrew L. Tan Center for Tourism

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has progressed enormously since Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand founded it in 1967 (Austria, 2004). It has transformed from being a loose forum for exchanging official views to an organization with a unique identity—the “ASEAN” way (Medalla & Yap, 2008). The ASEAN was established to foster social, cultural, technical, educational, and economic cooperation. According to the ASEAN Secretariat (2014), the ASEAN represents “the collective will of the nations of Southeast Asia to bind themselves together in friendship and cooperation and, through joint efforts and sacrifices, secure for their peoples and for posterity the blessings of peace, freedom, and prosperity.” The ASEAN embarked on establishing the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA) in 2002 that aims to enhance ASEAN’s competitive edge as a production base in the global market through the removal of trade barriers (both tariff an non-tariff); and to invite more foreign direct investments (FDIs) to the region. According to Jurado (1995), it was expected before its establishment that the participating economies of this regional arrangement can increase benefits by trading and investing within and outside the regional economy.


Since then, the region has continuously expanded economic integration. The most recent development is the creation of an ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015. According to Austria (2004), it was first conceptualized during the ASEAN Summit in November 2002 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It was considered as the outcome of the ASEAN Vision 2020 formulated in 1998, wherein ASEAN, as a group of Southeast Asian economies, must be “outward looking, living in peace, stability and prosperity, bonded together in partnership in dynamic development and in a community of caring societies.” The AEC is just one of the three areas of an ASEAN Community. The other areas comprise the ASEAN Political-Security Community and the ASEAN SocioCultural Community. As per the ASEAN Blueprint, four pillars characterize the AEC: (1) single market and production base, (2) highly competitive economic region, (3) a region of equitable economic development, and (4) a region fully integrated into the global economy. Put simply, the AEC is a small economic globalization where ASEAN society will work together to increase ASEAN economy as a whole, according to Auliya (2015). Given the abovementioned backdrop and the complexities involved with the AEC, an important

segment of the ASEAN population will be affected— the youth. They play a vital role in the realization of economic integration. Over two-thirds of the region’s population are the youth (age 15-30). Hence, much of the development experienced can be explained by the steady growth of a skilled and young labor force, accompanied by a boost in consumer demand. According to Auliya (2015), they are agents of change of a nation. They are vulnerable to the aftermaths of global crises resulting to a weak and uneven economic recovery. The youth continue to be affected by the rate at which the economy recovers. Global youth unemployment in 2013 reported by the International Labor Organization (ILO) at 74.5 million (a 3.8 million increase from 2007). The figure is equivalent to 13.1 percent—almost thrice as high as the adult unemployment rate. As such, it is interesting to inquire on the awareness and readiness of the youth for the AEC, using the ASEAN Barometer survey platform. This note aims to exposit how the youth from participating ASEAN Member States (AMS) perceive the AEC and how do they prepare for this economic integration. This is essential for the AMS’ governments so they can devise effective strategies for their respective economies especially for the youth. The ASEAN Barometer Survey Platform The ASEAN Barometer (AB) survey data captures the assessment of the attitudes (awareness, openness, and outlook) and readiness of the youth towards the AEC and other important issues relating to tourism, economic policies, and social protection that resonate with the youth. Data analysis can generate insights as to what the youth believe to be the opportunities and benefits that regional integration will bring, what negative implications may result from, and how equipped they are for competition brought about by open borders. A stratified random sampling was employed wherein Universities in ASEAN were considered as the strata for the youth sample. Then, a random sample of students was drawn from each stratum. Sample members including University students will be sourced from different partner universities in ASEAN. For the pilot survey, five higher educational institutions were part of the sample: (1) St. Louis University, Baguio; (2) University of St. La Salle, Bacolod; (3) University of San Carlos, Cebu; (4) Cor Jesu College, Davao; and (5) Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Manila. The survey was administered through an online portal. An online survey platform was preferred over traditional methods to (1) minimize costs, (2) enhance the scope and coverage of the AB, (3) minimize human error in encoding, (4) guarantee rapid encoding and

processing of survey results, and (5) restrict access to the survey and comply with standard statistical protocols. In this pilot survey, the youth has become the primary focus because of their critical role in the success of any plans for economic integration. Much of the economic development the region has experienced in the recent past has moreover been fuelled by the steady growth of a skilled, primarily young, workforce and the accompanying boost in demand for consumer goods. Despite the demographic advantage, however, youth unemployment remains among the most pressing issues currently facing the region. Around 75 million young individuals are unemployed globally, approximately 45 percent of that figure originates in Asia and the Pacific. Reasons for youth unemployment include lack of experience, skills, contacts, awareness of job availability and means to travel to work. The inability of ASEAN labor markets to fully utilize the productive potential of the youth constrains its further economic development and poses dire socioeconomic consequences for the region. Taking into account the youth perceptions and perspectives on matters which affect them is an approach also taken by the European Union (EU) through its youth platforms such as the Erasmus Voting Assessment surveys, structured dialogues and EU youth conferences which then influence regional policymakers. The AB’s fundamental strategy is to identify the characteristics and personal concerns of the youth, who deemed to be not fully aware of the AEC. As such, we put particular emphasis on profiling the student respondents and compiling the concerns of the youth (e.g. educational opportunities, employment opportunities, and leisure opportunities). This strategy enables researchers and policymakers to (1) measure the level of interest or engagement of students with regards to specific aspects of the AEC, (2) determine whether the lack of awareness is due to the absence or weakness of information campaigns or a lack of interest on the part of students, (3) identify gaps in information dissemination in both the public and private sectors, (4) design or retool information campaigns to target specific subsectors of the youth, and (5) compare and contrast the level of readiness or preparedness of AMS for greater regional integration. The framework is subdivided into two parts: (1) the overarching concerns of the youth and (2) the specific policy contexts of these concerns (e.g. domestic, international – within ASEAN, international – outside ASEAN). Results and Discussions In the pilot survey, here are the general findings on the awareness of the Filipino youth towards the AEC. There is a total sample of 2,357 individuals with age ranging between 15 to 25. Figure 1 shows the age next page, please


Understanding youth perception... continued from page 33

distribution of the youth who participated in the sample. It can be seen that majority belongs to the 18-year old cohort. Moreover, Figure 2 shows the gender distribution of the sample. It can be seen that there are more females than males but the difference can be deemed insignificant.

Figure 1. Age distribution of youth sample

Figure 3. Awareness towards ASEAN Economic Community

Despite this seemingly lack of awareness about AEC, it is noteworthy to highlight the results found on Figure 5 wherein 74.7 percent of the sample is willing to learn more about the AEC. Such willingness is arising from the reasons that the youth believes that the AEC will (as seen from Table 1): (1) make job hunting in the home economy easier; (2) make job hunting in another AMS; (3) make it easier to pursue graduate studies in the home economy; (4) make it


Figure 3 shows that 48 percent of the sample are not aware about the AEC, which can be a consequence of not having a course discussing the specifics of this regional integration as can be seen from Figure 4 wherein 71.4 percent of the sample either do not have a course on AEC or did not provide a response to the question, which can be construed as lack of awareness about the said course on AEC.

Figure 2. Gender distribution of youth sample

Figure 4. Availability of courses discussing ASEAN Economic Community

easier to pursue graduate studies in another AMS; (5) make it easier to travel within home economy; and (6) make it easier to travel to another AMS. Regarding perceptions of the youth on the economic conditions given AEC, Table 2 shows that majority expects an improvement in the conduct of economic activities in the region specifically on the areas of: (1) trade, (2) education, (3) industrial specialization, and (4) labor market within and across the region.

ASEAN INSIGHTS Table 1. Expectations of youth on AEC – Employment and travel

Table 2. Expectations of youth on AEC – Economic conditions

Conclusions The AB seeks to evaluate the attitudes of the youth among AMS towards the manner in which the inception of the AEC could impact on their lifestyle, expectations, and movements (within the ASEAN, outside of the ASEAN), employment opportunities (domestic, within the ASEAN, outside of the ASEAN), and economic stability (domestic, within the ASEAN, outside of the ASEAN). Preliminary descriptive statistics revealed that there are a number of youth in ASEAN that are aware of the AEC but requires more information about its ramifications and effect particularly on their welfare. As

a matter of recommendation, it is necessary to offer courses, programs, and workshops that will discuss with the youth the technicalities and impending effects of the regional integration. The discussion on regional integration should not be limited on economic leaders and policymakers. It should also include the youth. This will allow them to identify their strengths, mitigate their weaknesses in order to participate in the region-wide economic activities and at the same time harness the accompanying opportunities brought about by regional integration in Southeast Asia.

References ASEAN Secretariat. (2013). ASEAN Tourism Ministers Meeting. Retrieved from http://www.asean.org/communities/asean-economic-community/category/asean-tourismministers-meeting-m-atm Auliya, R. (2015). Youth and ASEAN Economic Community: Perceptions and strategies of the youth from five ASEAN countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam, Thailand, and Indonesia) preparing AEC. Retrieved from http://www.worldresearchlibrary.org/up_proc/pdf/53-144050493283.pdf Austria, M.S. (2004). Strategies towards an ASEAN economic community. CBERD Working Paper Series (2004-02). Retrieved from http://www.dlsu.edu.ph/research/centers/ cberd/pdf/papers/Working%20Paper%202004-02.pdf Jurado, G.M. (1995). The Philippines in AFTA: Opportunities and challenges. Development Research News. Makati: Philippine Institute for Development Studies. Medalla, E.M., & Yap, J.T. (2008). Policy issues for the ASEAN Economic Community: The rules of origin (Discussion Paper Series No. 2008-18). Makati: Philippine Institute for Development Studies.



Strength in Numbers: Fostering Teamwork in the Finance Lab by Ma. Carmela Sioco


n the 16 months that AIM MBA students spend reading through 800 case studies, participating in study tours, writing analyses of cases, or competing in international business competitions, one would be hard pressed to figure out how they manage their time.


Even more so that MBA students also dedicate many hours in labs that put their classroom learnings to the test. Professor Ma. Theresa Mañalac, lead faculty supervisor of the AIM Finance Lab, notes that the lab work is meant to bolster the discussions in the classroom. “The Finance Lab takes off where we end the core finance course,” she shares, “When we teach financial management, our students learn how to value a company. When the students get to the lab, they run a company valuation and compare this to the current stock price. It’s a direct application, then, of financial management.” The AIM Finance Lab has three student managed investment funds – the Philippine Fund, the Indonesia Fund and the India Fund. These funds aim to raise and grow funds for dormitory scholarships at AIM, as well as produce research and cases on finance and portfolio management. The Philippine Fund started running live money in December 2014 under the umbrella of the AIM Scientific Research Foundation (AIM SRF) and a donation of Php200,000. “Professors Gulliver Go, Rocky Lee PhD, and I recruit students who have finance experience or would like to learn deep finance,” Prof. Mañalac says. Currently, there are 17 students working in the lab. Six students and two faculty mentors manage the Philippine Fund, which is invested in equities, under the guidance of the AIM SRF Finance & Investment Committee, and the AIM SRF Treasurer. The India Fund and Indonesia Fund are virtual funds, and have been running under the Finance Lab since 2012 and 2013 respectively. Both funds are all-equity funds benchmarked against the LQ45 (Indonesia) and CNX Nifty (India). Joey Garcia (MBA 2013) shares that the learning curve of the Finance Lab was steep, but rewarding. “At the start, we were exposed to a work load that was on a very high level in terms of finance work, the kind of level that professionals are only exposed to after over five years of working in banking and asset management, or trading,” Joey says, “It was great exposure. A lot of the concepts we used then, I still see on a constant basis in my daily job.” Joey now works as a Credit Officer at the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation. “The Finance Lab gave me ample opportunities to learn, relearn, and unlearn,” Abhishek Blaggan (MBA 2014) says. Abhishek helped managed the India Fund during his time in the Finance Lab, and has now put those lab learnings to real-world application as he now works with the Investment Consulting team in Mercer. “In addition, we had significant freedom to make decisions with respect to the portfolio,” he says, “Such scope and leeway is paramount to developing new skills.”

Joey adds, “In an experience such as this, the only way to make a breakthrough is with a lot of hard work and trial and error.” Because the lab teams would spend long hours together, it was integral for the faculty mentors and alumni to assemble teams that would work well together under pressure. Jaime Leon Warren (MBA 2014) recounts the lessons, “Teamwork, patience, [and] teamwork.” His fellow AIM alumnus, Rajesh Ranjan (MBA 2012) agrees, noting that “cohesive teamwork always yields better results… The sharing of learning is also a very important part of the learning process.” Aniruddha Mahadevan (MBA 2012) recalls that his learning experience, although not without its challenges, was also more memorable because of the people he was with. “My most memorable times in the lab were spent with Prof. Mañalac and my group members brainstorming on the strategy to setup the lab,” he says, “What was especially memorable were the different locations all this brainstorming took place at. From every nook and corner in the campus, to cafés in Greenbelt, to brainstorming while also learning to play to piano!” “We try to create teams that are diverse, but with a unifying interest in finance,” Prof. Mañalac says. There are no exams or strict procedures on how to earn a seat in the much-coveted lab, but there is an interview process where outgoing lab members interview incoming prospective members. For Rajesh, who now works as an Assistant Investment Manager with a multi-billion dollar fund house based in Muscat, Oman, he shares his fellow alumni’s enthusiasm with their respective teams and mentors. Rajesh cites time spent with Professor Mañalac as a rewarding experience in itself. “[The] reward was the extra learning that we got from our mentors, simply by virtue of spending more time with them.” During their time in the lab, students juggle their time preparing macroeconomic updates, industry and sector assessments, equity analyses, and valuation reports in order to pick undervalued stocks for the portfolio. Students also monitor how the portfolio is doing throughout the school year with monthly attribution reports. For Joey, and many of the lab’s alumni, a rewarding aspect of being in the Finance Lab is knowing that the fruits of their labor will continue to grow, many years after they graduate from AIM. “A lot of MRRs are made, filed, and then forgotten,” Joey says, “But if all goes well, the endowment fund will be around for a really long time, and I can say that I was a part of that.”


Salubong Kay

Jikyeong D

r. Jikyeong K. Kang shared her passion for AIM when she graced an auspicious welcome ceremony befitting her new role as President, Dean and CEO of the Asian Institute of Management on December 3, 2015.

The class of MBM 1973 worked with the AIM Alumni Association-Philippine Chapter and the AIM Leadership Foundation, Inc. to properly welcome Jikyeong in the event dubbed “Salubong Kay Jikyeong”.

journey of AIM where everybody, from management to faculty to the students and to the alumni, need to critically assess where AIM currently is, to be able to come up with the right strategy to where we want our school to go.

World-famous Filipino choir The UP Singing Ambassadors serenaded and helped welcome the new president and dean.

She also talked about her passion for AIM and how the alumni should, above all, exhibit the greatest passion for our beloved alma mater as they are the true owners and biggest stakeholders of AIM.

AAAIM chairman Jay Bernardo opened the festivities with a speech explaining the significance of “salubong” and what it means in the context of Philippine culture. He also called Jikyeong a very “brave” lady for taking on the challenge of being dean of the institute, and even “braver” for the bigger role as its president. When it was her turn to speak, Jikyeong said being brave means doing something even while knowing the danger involved. In her case, she jokingly said she didn’t know what she was getting herself into so it must be called something else. Turning serious, she talked about the



Speaking of passion, she also shared with the audience a quotation tacked on her office door: “Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we care about is called passion”. The evening proved to be a heady mix of excellent music, good food, exceptional company, and a very inspiring talk by our new president and dean. We can surely say that AIM is off to a great start under the dynamic leadership of President and Dean Jikyeong Kang.


Sincerely yours Part 1

Featuring Professors Francisco “Jun” Bernardo, Jr. and Eduardo Morato, Jr


he Asian Institute of Management welcomed back its popular professors and over 200 of its alumni in the first offering of the Sincerely Yours series at the Fuller Hall on July 31, 2015.

The Sincerely Yours series, a project of the Alumni Association of AIM Philippine Chapter, brings back popular former and present AIM professors and caseroom icons who have, in one way or another, shaped and molded the thousands of alumni who attended their classes. These professors are popular for a myriad of ways. Some were terrors who instilled fear among the students. Some were fatherly, nurturing and caring in their mentorship of students. Whatever their style, all were intellectual giants, inspiring awe and reverence from among their students. And one other thing they all shared was the desire to bring out the best in the students and to make sure the lessons stayed with them long after they have left the hallowed grounds of AIM. Starting off the series were very popular professors Francisco “Jun” Bernardo, Jr. and Eduardo Morato, Jr. Proof of their popularity were the many alumni in

attendance, all eager to listen once more to the wisdom and wit of these intellectual heavyweights. When Prof. Bernardo took to the stage, his first words paid tribute to all the MBM alumni who became his students. He intimated that the most memorable years of his career were spent teaching “energetic, bright, and motivated students” in the MBM program of AIM. He then went on to talk about the courses he taught and the lessons he imparted to his students. He even shared that his most preferred teaching assignment was Operations Management (OM) because it deals with value creation. Among the many strategies that he preached and which to this day still resonate with alumni are: 1) BE BETTER in levels of quality and lead-time 2) BE DIFFERENT through customization and facilitation 3) BE MORE in revenues via product and market expansion next page, please


continued from page 39

Prof. Jun Bernardo

He also regaled the audience with his trademark quips such as: 1) Managers are not expected to do anything, but they are expected to get things done right by other people. 2) Delight your paying customers and do not allow them to leave you after a sale, still with money in their pocket. Do not overkill, bleed them for five years. 3) Kill (or be better than) your competitors, but if you cannot win, then Niche, to avoid them and be where they are not. He also shared the importance of giving back to AIM: “If you have benefited from your AIM education and training, do not just say thank you, show your money to indicate your level of appreciation!” Prof. Morato, on the other hand, spoke about the continuous change that defines the world today, and in essence, our lives and careers. He likens this to the battle he faced at AIM in trying to make the Institute more responsive to the ever changing needs of a similarly changing environment. This led him to develop the Masters in Development Management which, to this day, provides the management expertise needed in a field much different from business and differentiates AIM from the other management schools in the world. He also shared that the Master in Entrepreneurship program was born out of the changing needs of SMEs that wanted to grow and prosper like the bigger and more


Prof. Eduardo Morato, Jr

established large corporations. “The secret to surviving this Age of Change is to be very open to new knowledge, new learnings, new discoveries,” he said. “The second secret is to have an expansive, inclusive, and sacred worldview,” he further added. At AIM, he said he viewed students as “vessels of transformation.” There are those who began as “arrogant and cocky” and needed to be humbled. Then, there are those who were “shy and lacking confidence.” These needed to know that professors cared for them even as they were pushed to their utmost limits. Finally, there were those who were “indifferent and blasé.” The way to them was to “probe what they valued most and to take it from there.” He ended his speech with an anecdote about his beloved bonsai that provided a majestic shade over the pond in the middle of his garden. It started as an ugly plant with “thorny branches and wildly sprouting twigs” that no pruning or beautifying could salvage. In a moment of frustration, he decided to throw it in the pond where it soon took a beautiful shape and turned into a majestic blooming canopy worthy of being called his most treasured possession. Somewhere in there is a lesson on management of change. Thank you Profs. Bernardo and Morato for coming back to AIM and sharing with alumni your invaluable time and wisdom. The lessons you imparted have proven to be enduring and inestimable in our lives and careers.


Prof. Nards Silos

Sincerely yours Part 2

Featuring Professors Ned Roberto and Nards Silos ell-loved professors Ned Roberto and Nards Silos returned to AIM as featured speakers in the second offering of the Sincerely Yours series on December 4, 2015.


Despite the dreaded Friday night traffic, alumni and even former faculty, came to show support and gratitude to Profs. Ned and Nards, who in one way or another, have transformed lives and careers among the many alumni who attended their Marketing Management (MM) and Managing People in Organizations (MPO) classes, respectively. Prof. Ned Roberto

Known as the marketing guru of the Philippines, Prof. Ned recounted his beginnings as faculty at De La Salle University and his fateful encounter with the great Philip Kotler when he took up his MBA at Kellogg. He talked about his “benevolent benefactors” who helped shape his career and gave him the support to become who he is. It was an amazing trip down memory lane, spiced with his trademark wit and humor that had the audience in stitches. Despite the passing of years, Dr. Ned hasn’t missed a beat and is still sharp as when he was teaching his popular Marketing Management class at AIM many years ago. Prof. Nards, on the other hand, took the audience on a historical tour, recounting the early beginnings of language and management and how culture shaped different management styles. He fascinated the audience with his deep and vast knowledge of the historical development of management, reminding us once more just how important MPO is to the success of every organization. Everyone in the audience couldn’t agree more and enthusiastically showed their appreciation and love for Prof. Nards. On behalf of AIM and alumni, a million thanks to Professors Ned Roberto and Nards Silos for making time to visit us once more and impart to us their wisdom and knowledge, just as they did in their classes many years ago.


Mrs. Lita Mendoza speaks on behalf of husband Gaby Mendoza.


AI M The Unveiling NEWS of Professor Gaby Mendoza’s Commemorative Marker

These words greet everyone who passes by the stair landing on the second floor of the Lopez Building. It is the Asian Institute of Management’s way of honoring the memory of the late AIM President and Professor Emeritus Gaby Mendoza. The plaque was unveiled through an intimate affair held at the Lopez Gallery on October 2, 2015. Family members, faculty, members of MBM 1980, other alumni, and AIM staff gathered to celebrate and remember his legacy. The commemorative plaque is a gift from MBM 1980, one the many batches with a keen affinity to Gaby.



In our classroom, our primary function is to create an atmosphere that will encourage our students to think more boldly, to talk freely, and to act judiciously. We must pique their curiosity. Quicken their memory. Provoke their imagination. Challenge their reason. Prick their pride. Build up their self-respect. Make available to them the opportunity to exercise initiative in class and out. Give them room to grow. Chances to make mistakes. Ultimately, the responsibility to shape their own development. – Professor Gaby Mendoza

Then AIM President Steven J. DeKrey opened the ceremony by welcoming the Mendoza family, past and present faculty, and alumni back to AIM. He noted that Professor Gaby served as one of the early outstanding faculty members of the school who championed the Case Method, a powerful technique of business instruction to challenge students to stretch their minds in finding solutions to problems. Indeed, Gaby was the paragon of casemanship and to this day remains as an inspiration to the entire AIM community. As a further tribute, Dr. DeKrey announced the revival of the Gaby Mendoza memorial lecture series.

(TOP) MBM 80 members and Profs. Junbo Borromeo and Quintin Tan. (LEFT) A proud moment for the Mendoza Family

Former Dean Junbo Borromeo recalled the 40th Grand Homecoming where alumni were asked to give their best description of Gaby using 10 words or less. The winner was one who wrote “Sharp as a knife, deep as a well”. Another one described him as “one who inspires and makes students perspire”. All the other entries tell of how Gaby made an impact on the students’ lives and careers with his teachings and inspiration. With an alumni roster of competent and socially responsible managers, the Institute that he helped shape and led as president has indeed done very well. Mr. Philip Ng, representative of MBM 1980, shared how Professor Gaby influenced them and molded them into the successful individuals they are today. Their batch is truly representative of AIM alumni: diverse, multi-cultural, successful, and socially responsible. It was Gaby who gave the batch the greatest compliment when he told them he finally

understood why faculty liberally gave them high marks. He thought the faculty had gone soft but quickly realized they truly deserved the high grades, this after spending just a single session with them. Mrs. Lita Mendoza, wife of Prof. Gaby Mendoza, delivered the perfect response when she said that Gaby wanted to be remembered as a teacher. In immortalizing his words via the commemorative plaque, he continues to live on and teach. She expressed her family’s appreciation to AIM and MBM 80 for remembering Gaby and honoring his memory. Prof. Gaby Mendoza served as one of the first faculty members and COO during the founding of AIM, and as AIM President from 1978-1986 and Dean from 1973-1986. The AIM community has always been grateful for having someone like him. He is a rare soul, one who changed the thinking and lives of so many of his students.



by Ma. Carmela Sioco


ast September 17 to 18, the AIM Washington SyCip Graduate School of Business held back-to-back sessions of Alumni Hour for the new MBA cohort at the Lopez case room. All 65 students heard from alumni Dr. Michael Romero, Global Port President; Bharat Parashar, Clove Capital Partners LLC Managing Partner; Niteesh Sharma, Equis Shared Services Finance Director; and Reynaldo Montalbo, Jr., Senior VP and Treasury Group Head at First Metro Investment Corp.



There is no such thing as a perfect job. “You cannot spend your entire life looking for that perfect job,” Reynaldo Montalbo, Jr. (MBM 1989) shares. “Give yourself a fixed amount of time. Tell yourself, whatever I have by so-and-so year, I will be passionate about it.” While perfection is noble to chase after, it can also be crippling if you demand it from your job. This certainly doesn’t mean that you lower your standards in choosing a career path, but it emphasizes that oftentimes, it is your perception of your job that needs adjusting. Besides, it isn’t your job that will dictate your success. “It’s not about that field [that you’re in]. It’s about how you conduct yourself in that field that will define your success.”

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Never say you can’t do something.

“There’s no hard and fast rule of what you should do and what you shouldn’t do,” Bharat Parashar (MBM 1980) advises. “Take opportunities as they come, and never say you can’t do it. Even if you can’t, tell them that you can and no one will know the difference.” The key to success and earning your boss’ respect is in your attitude. Telling your colleagues upright that you have no experience in the field or don’t know about a certain topic suggests a certain disinterest. “Learn on the job. If that means putting in extra hours doing something, then [so be it].”

It’s your own faith in yourself that will push you along. While having a reliable set of mentors in your career will be helpful in guiding you in making decisions, the most important voice you must learn to listen to is your own. “You can move anywhere and do anything, if you believe in yourself,” Bharat shares. When asked about how he deals with challenges, he responds with a question back: “Hardships where?” He expounds that there are no hardships in life, only experiences. The difference between a problem and an opportunity, he stresses, will always lie in how you choose to deal with it.

Never stop growing. Always challenge yourself.

If numbers frighten you, enroll in classes or find ways that will help make it more manageable. “When I graduated from my undergraduate degree, I started and failed businesses,” Dr. Mikee Romero (MBM 1997) says, “I was very weak in finance and so I decided that I had to take an MBA and conquer that fear.” After graduating at AIM, Mikee went on to teach finance at other business schools and then courageously set forth his path that would land him a spot at Forbes magazine’s Top 50 richest list (he was ranked at 33 in 2014). He is the first AIM graduate to earn that recognition, and is one of the youngest in the list.


Instead of being boxed in by your weaknesses, Mikee states, take chances and allow yourself to grow. You can only get better.

Learn to spot opportunities as they happen to you. Niteesh Sharma (MBM 1998) says that the best part about the AIM education is its case method. You learn how to listen to others’ ideas, and you learn to cultivate your own. As opposed to listening to lectures, AIM students more often than not are empowered to speak and share insights. Use these opportunities available to you, whether it’s through seeking mentors, asking more questions in class, or participating in extra-curricular activities. Apart from that, take advantage of networking events. “One of the things you have to build at this early stage is your network,” Mikee also says. You never know if the next person that you meet can be the person who can influence your career.


7th AIM President’s Cup AIM NEWS


he Asian Institute of Management held the 7th President’s Cup in Sta. Elena Golf and Country Estate on October 28, 2015.

Perfect weather prevailed as the tournament was set-off to a glorious start with the ceremonial tee-off by former AIM President and Finance Secretary Roberto de Ocampo, also currently the Chairman of the Philippine Veterans Bank and Chairman of the Board of Advisers of the RFO Center for Public Finance and Regional economic Cooperation. The President’s Cup tournament was a fundraising project of AIM to contribute to much-needed funds for the strategic programs of the institute. Immediate AIM past President, Steven DeKrey, joined the awarding ceremonies and extended his deepest thanks to alumni golfers, guests and sponsors alike. He also thanked everyone for their support of his presidency and the institute in the past years he was president of AIM. It was unreservedly fitting that the President’s Cup was his last official event with alumni. In 2012, he was just beginning his term as AIM president when he was welcomed via another President’s Cup. Unfortunately, a recent hand surgery kept him off the links this time. The 2015 AIM President’s Cup was generously sponsored by Birdie Sponsors: Ambassador Bienvenido Tantoco Sr, Philippine Airlines and RCBC; Par Sponsors: Sofitel Vietura, Ginebra San Miguel, Megafiber and Auto Nation Group Inc.; Hole Sponsors: Globe Telecom Inc, Premier Horizon Alliance Corp, Rexona, Acer, Hersheys, Pharex Health Corporation, A.L Yabut Management and Development Corporation/Primaxx Broadcasting Network and the Class of MBM 1973. Everybody went home a winner with generous raffle prizes that included round-trip business class tickets to Hong Kong, mobile bar set-up, golf items, mobile phones, spa gift certificates, tablets, etc.

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2015 AIM President’s Cup winners Class A Champion – Jojo Santos First Runner-Up – Raymond Lacdao Second Runner-Up – Garizaldy Cruz Class B Champion – Celso Vivas First Runner-Up – RJ Tabuena Second Runner-Up – Rene Ceniza Class C Champion – Gary Huang First Runner-Up – Cesar Zulueta Second Runner-Up – Arps de Vera Lowest Net - Jerry Lim Lowest Gross- Rene Unson Congratulations to all the winners!

2015 AIM President’s Cup Winners




President Kang hosts lunch for Triple A Club Members

IM President and Dean Jikyeong Kang invited members of the Triple A Club for a lunch meeting on December 11, 2015 at the Lopez Room of the Asian Institute of Management. Twelve members confirmed their attendance and showed up for the lunch. President Kang briefed the Triple A about her plans and strategies for AIM and made a pitch for greater involvement from among the Triple A club. She must have made a very good impression because to a man, all the attendees pledged to donate to the President’s fund. Triple A Club president Robert Kuan (MBM 1975) started the ball rolling with his on-the-spot donation of PhP200,000.00. Additionally, AIM received more donations from AIM Chairman Polly Nazareno (MBM 1973), Ric Pascua (MBM 1971), Roland Young (MBM 1974), and Boy de Claro (MBM 1973). Washington SyCip promised to match all donations from the Triple A Club.

As of January 31, 2016, the generous amount pledged totals to Php 4.6 million. More pledges continue to follow, with a second Triple A Club meeting scheduled on February 12, 2016. Such gracious support from AIM alumni not only helps build on the Institute’s strengths, but is also an integral and key component of the school’s ranking among management schools. Present in the meeting were Triple A Club President Robert Kuan, members Rene Valencia (MBM 1971) Ric Pascua, Roland Young, Chito Francisco (MBM 1971), Boy de Claro, Willy Parayno Jr. (MBM 1977), Gabby Paredes (MBM 1972), Ed Limon (MBM 1974), Popoy Juico (MBM 1973), Alfred Xeres Burgos (MBM 1971) and Jess Gallegos (MBM 1973).

MBM 1971 donates PhP100K seed fund for the naming of the Art Macapagal Alumni Lounge


embers of MBM 1971 paid AIM president Jikyeong Kang a visit last December 1, 2015 to present a check worth PhP100k representing the seed money for the planned naming of the new alumni lounge after their classmate Art Macapagal who passed away recently. Presenting the check were Mari Sison-Garcia, Ric Pascua, Ray de Guzman, Eric Filamor, Ed Leongson and Al Santos.

Art Macapagal is a stalwart supporter of AIM and fittingly served as the first ever president of the AIM Alumni Association. His passing is a big loss not only to his family and friends but to the whole AIM community as well. Naming the alumni lounge after him will serve as a lasting memorial on campus to preserve his AIM legacy. To further perpetuate his memory, another legacy project being planned is the establishment of the Art Macapagal scholarship fund. The scholarship fund will provide opportunities to


deserving but financially-challenged individuals to avail of the MBA program of AIM. The members of MBM ‘71 and Jikyeong had a lively discussion about the many positive changes happening at AIM and the new direction that our beloved alma mater is headed to. Members of the class were certainly impressed and were one in praising Jikyeong’s leadership and passion. As a parting shot, everyone expressed a willingness to help in bringing AIM back to its status as one of the best business schools in Asia.

AI M stor i es

Like Mother, Like Daughter:

Atty. Cherry and Mara Canda-Melodias Share the AIM Stage at the 2015 Commencement Ceremony by Ma. Carmela Sioco


or DILG-Manila City Director Atty. Cherry Canda-Melodias (MDM 2015), climbing the AIM stage last December 6 for the 2015 Commencement Ceremony was a memorable experience. Not only did she claim her hard-earned diploma from AIM, but she also went onstage with her daughter, Mara Carenina Canda-Melodias (MBA 2015), who graduated alongside her.

“[Climbing the stage with Mara] felt wonderful,” Atty. Cherry Melodias shared, “The last time I went up the stage with Mara was when she graduated from grade school in 2002 – that was 13 years ago!” Flash forward to 2015, and the mother and daughter team received a hearty applause from the crowd. “I was a bit embarrassed because I wasn’t a Distinction awardee, so I didn’t think I was ‘supposed’ to be there,” Mara says humbly, “But all in all, I felt proud of myself and my mom because we finally finished our degrees, and I am grateful to the Dean and the school for giving us the opportunity to be there together on stage.”

Cherry beams with pride when speaking about the relationship-building experience both she and Mara had while studying in the Institute. They were able to offer each other an understanding of both sides of the coin, Cherry being in development management, and Mara being in business. “Studying at AIM with my daughter became a shared experience between us,” Cherry narrated, “I had the privilege of having both MBA and MDM perspectives while in school.” next page, please


“I think this experience allowed us to support each other not just as family members but as fellow students and peers, which is quite unusual for a mother and daughter.” - mara

Like Mother, Like Daughter Mara would encourage her mother to read and understand finance, and would lend her books. Cherry, meanwhile, would offer insights to Mara’s management research report (MRR). They were also classmates, which meant that Cherry was able to get to know her daughter more through her interactions with friends, and boyfriend. But more than that, they became each other’s cheerleaders. “Her confidence in me helped me get through the last few sleepless nights of working on our MRR,” Mara recalled. Making a Difference Having two masters degrees (including her recent MDM diploma) and a law degree under her belt, Cherry was always on the go. A testament to her keeping busy, while in the 11-month intensive MDM program, she was also able to update her book on barangay governance and was able to write a new one, a “simplified Katarungang pambarangay.” “I try to make a difference in the lives of elected city and barangay officials,” Cherry shared, “They are the clients of our office… That is why I went to AIM. To become a better public servant.” Mara, meanwhile, was in Surigao for two years, working for Philex Mining Corporation. In a league of her own, Mara has also been a licensed geologist since 2012. When she came home to tell her parents that she had decided to pursue her MBA degree full-time, both parents were supportive. Coincidentally, Cherry also decided to enroll in AIM after coming home from a training on infrastructure and urban development in Taiwan. She had already been accepted in the MDM program in 2012, but chose to


continued from page 49

pursue the program full-time after a couple more years. When both started their respective programs in 2014, there was no doubt that they would turn to each other for a quick morale boost or support for assignments. “Our lives were actually worlds apart, but our time together at AIM made us share a world where we were classmates and equals,” Cherry said, “It did not matter that I was a lawyer and had a career outside of AIM. What mattered was I had a class and she would remind me that we had assignments to turn in.” One instance that illustrates the support system they built was when Cherry was on travel. She needed her written analysis of a case (WAC) printed and dropped off at the WAC box overnight. No matter that it would mean Mara would have to wake up earlier than usual – she printed and dropped off her mother’s WAC promptly at 8 am the next day. Cherry shared, “I know I would rearrange my schedule and my life for my daughter because I am her mother. But our experience at AIM showed me that my daughter would do the same for me – no matter how mundane my needs were.” To Mara, having had her mother as a classmate and a peer was an experience she also cherished. “My mom has always been supportive of me and my sisters, and we’ve always had a good bond,” Mara said, “I think this experience allowed us to support each other not just as family members but as fellow students and peers, which is quite unusual for a mother and daughter.” Together, they joined the ranks of 143 graduates as they reaped the rewards of their hard work over the past school year. The mother and daughter team of Cherry and Mara can now add one more cherished milestone to their relationship: graduating together from AIM.

AIM alum shares truth on post-MBA life “Grit and humility.” These are two key ingredients that helped shape the life of Regnard Raquedan (MBA 2008), chief executive officer and co-founder of CubbySpot, a start up mobile app that connects parents and daycare centers in Toronto, Canada. Regnard also shared how the Asian Institute of Management played a big role in his success story to the students of Cohort 11 during the Alumni Hour on November 12, 2015. Regnard is not your average MBA graduate, he is an MBA who can code. He is also a blogger and the author of “Did You Read the Case?”, a book on how to survive the case method at AIM. His wit and humor, tech savvy, and experiences were all combined to produce a presentation that was a big hit among the students. His Alumni Hour sharing is considered as one of the more memorable ones to date. Among the interesting nuggets of wisdom he imparted with the cohort were his “5 Truths About Life After MBA”. These are: 1. You will see many new pathways opening up. 2. You will be tempted to break your word. 3. Love will be tested. 4. You’ll forget why you’re doing what you’re doing. 5. You will experience failure. Seeing Regnard engage the students as he expounded on these “truths” is akin to watching a magician holding court over wide-eyed children, mesmerized with his every move. The students thoroughly enjoyed his presentation and were impressed with his journey as co-founder of a tech start up. Regnard happily answered the many questions that the cohort asked him.



Profile for AIM Alumni Publication

AIM Leader January 2016 Issue  

AIM Leader January 2016 Issue