Forging Your Path: Empowering Tomorrow’s Businesses

By Russel Palabon and Oliver Alvarez | Posted on October 15, 2023

The Rotaract Club of Manila and the Rotaract Club of Adamson University joined forces in collaboration with the Rotary Club of Manila as a knowledge partner to organize a series of professional development talks entitled KICKSTART: Forging Your Path: Empowering Tomorrow’s Businesses. Under the capable stewardship of Rotaract Club of Manila’s Professional Service Director Andrea Cuevas and President-Elect Stephanie Bernardo, KICKSTART Sessions will feature top-caliber speakers from different industries to inspire students and young professionals to “kickstart” the passion for innovating and creating entrepreneurial endeavors.

The inaugural session was held last September 9, 2023, at the Penthouse of the Eastgate Center in Mandaluyong City, with over 60 students and young professionals from various schools and community organizations in Metro Manila. The event saw two very prominent businessmen and members of the Rotary Club of Manila, namely Mr. Francisco “Paco” Magsaysay, founder and creator of artisanal ice cream brand “Carmen’s Best Ince Cream” and currently President and CEO of Asian Vision Enterprise, a leading content and cable provider in Luzon and Mr. Joshua Aragon, Founder and CEO of Zagana, Inc., a leading online source of Farm-to-Kitchen harvested directly from our local farmers here in the Philippines and local online grocery shopping platform

The event commenced with a joint call to order by Rotaract Club of Manila President Arvin Christopher Reyes and Rotaract Club of Adamson University President Grizel Lorenz Dela Cruz. President Arvin Christopher Reyes extended a gracious welcome to all attendees during his opening remarks, emphasizing the objectives and significance of the event.

In the first session, Rotarian Paco Magsaysay recounted his remarkable journey in establishing a thriving ice cream enterprise, underlining the importance of pursuing ventures that resonate with one’s passions and interests. He underscored the pivotal role of a “Unique Selling Proposition” (USP) in setting a business apart from competitors, exemplifying Carmen’s Best unwavering commitment to utilizing the finest, freshest ingredients sourced directly from their family’s dairy farm. Mr. Magsaysay’s dedication even spurred him to keep learning by attending an Ice Cream Short Course at the Pennsylvania State University in the United States. Notably, Carmen’s Best ice cream garnered international acclaim, finding its way onto the menus of the nation’s flag carrier, Philippine Airlines, and was even served during Pope Francis’s return flight to Rome after his papal visit to the Philippines in 2015 and is one of the top favorite ice cream brands of His Holiness. Mr. Magsaysay concluded his address with an inspiring message: “Everything comes to you at the right time. Be patient and trust the process.”

Manila Rotarian Franciaco “Paco” Magsaysay responds to the attendees’ questions during the open forum of the KickStart Session.

The event’s second speaker, Rotarian Joshua Aragon, emphasized aligning corporate objectives with personal aspirations and unwavering determination. He underscored the significance of performance indicators to monitor progress, the importance of a well-defined mission and vision, and the role of core values in shaping a company’s identity. For, the mission revolves around connecting consumers with fresh produce suppliers through technology, facilitating the direct delivery of farm-fresh produce and frozen goods from local farmers at equitable market prices. Mr. Aragon exemplified the transformative potential of technology in shaping lives and fostering purpose-driven communities.

Over 60 participants joined the Kickstart Program from various Rotaract Clubs from multiple Rotary Districts. DGE Joaquin Rodriguez of the Rotary Club of Manila and Rotaract Club of Manila Club Adviser Oliver Alvarez from the Rotaract Club of Manila also joined the event.

The event also featured insightful addresses by distinguished Manila Rotarians, including District Governor-Elect Jackie Rodriguez, Hans Palacios, and Past Director Nick Locsin, whose contributions added depth and wisdom to the event, reinforcing the prevailing theme of empowerment and community engagement.

In a concluding segment, President Arvin shared a glimpse into Rotaract Manila’s forthcoming initiatives about Project WASHed, Project CREATE, and the highly anticipated 2023 Mooncake Festival, igniting anticipation for the upcoming projects.

President Grizel expressed her profound gratitude to all participants and esteemed guests, culminating in the resounding success of an event dedicated to nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit and fortifying the businesses of tomorrow. The day bore testament to the immense potential unlocked when like-minded individuals unite with a shared purpose, forging unique paths toward a brighter, more empowered future.

 The Rotaract Clubs of Chinatown-Manila, Makati, and San Antonio de Padua co-hosted the event.

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Arvin Christopher Reyes

About the Rotaract Club of Manila

The Rotaract Club of Manila is the Premier Rotaract Club of the Philippines. It was chartered on January 11, 2001, and is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Manila and co-sponsored by the Rotary Club of Manila Magic. It is a dynamic organization committed to community service, professional development, and fostering global connections among university students and young professionals. With a strong focus on empowerment and collaboration, the club strives to positively impact society by nurturing tomorrow’s leaders and entrepreneurs.

About Rotaract Club of Adamson University

The Rotaract Club of Adamson University is a leading university-based organization founded on September 10, 2019, under the nurturing guidance of the Rotary Club of Hiyas Ng Manila. The club promotes youth leadership, community service, and international understanding. Through innovative initiatives and partnerships, the club aims to inspire young individuals to create positive change in their communities and beyond.

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