It was a rare treat for the young student leaders of Region 8 to interact with one of the nation’s highly respected and regaled business icons.

The Guest of Honor: Mr. Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala – Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Ayala Corporation.

The occasion: Opening Ceremonies of the 6th Eastern Visayas Student Council Leadership Conference last September 01, 2011 at the Leyte Normal University Gymnasium, Tacloban City, Philippines.

A sampler banter during the ensuing Open Forum after Ayala’s keynote address:

STUDENT LEADER: Sir, how would you describe yourself – are you highly intelligent than most people or just plain smart?

[Audience: Laughter]

AYALA: Hahaha! I certainly would like to think I am not stupid!

[Audience: More laughter]

On a more serious note, Ayala’s main message: Leadership should be value-based and should emanate from good core values and anchored on principles.

Inevitable was the reminder for the youth of being Rizal’s “Fair hope of the Fatherland!”

Participants to the 3-day conference organized by An Waray Partylist were student council leaders – more than a hundred of them – coming from colleges and universities from all over Eastern Visayas.

The conference’s theme this year: “Never Too Young to Change the World:  Braving Together the Challenge of Transformational Leadership”

Whoa! Maybe there’s still hope for the nation!

Cheers to that! :)

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