June 21, 2024

After my University of the Philippines Law studies and Bar review in “Diliman Republic” (as what most UP alumni describe our alma mater), I returned to our city to rest and await the results of the Bar examinations.
Having passed the Bar examinations and taken my oath as a new barrister, I took up my desk in the Claravall Law and Public Service Offices that my father Pedro and I set up along Session Road. Soon, I received invitations to join civic and religious organizations.
But one invitation that appealed to me was from the Baguio Jaycees, Inc., through Dr. Reynaldo Bautista who was then the president of the University of Baguio and the designated chairman of the membership committee of the Baguio Jaycees headed by Dr. Antonio Pay Seng.
The letter-invitation were actually extended to the new lawyers who had just passed the Bar, which included my fellow UP Law alumni, Luisito “Bembo” Afable and Manuel Mayo, and our fellow Bar reviewees at the UP Law Center, Damaso Bangaoet, Jr. and Benedicto Carantes, who were the valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, of the Saint Louis University College of Law.
The Baguio Jaycees is one of the oldest chapters of the JCI Philippines, having been chartered a year after the recognition of the Philippine Jaycees as a member of the World Junior Chamber, International.
The Philippine Jaycees holds the distinction as the first nationally organized leadership development organization in Asia. It has institutionalized the “Voice of Democracy” oratorical contest among students and “The Outstanding Filipinos” (formerly Ten Outstanding Young Men), and the humanitarian project adopted by the JCI World known as “Operation Brotherhood”.
Many leaders in Baguio and in our country, who have distinguished themselves in the business, political, industrial, medical, and other fields of endeavor have been a Jaycee, too numerous to name them in this short narrative, but perhaps in future write-ups.
What really caught my curiosity is that the Jaycees is mainly a leadership training organization for youths aged 18 to 40 years old. It is also a service and a civic organization. The members undergo basic training emphasizing on business development, management skills, leadership training, community service, and international connections.
During our time, we attended seminars upon seminars conducted by lecturers and professors from the Asian Institute of Management (AIM). It cost us very minimal seminar fees, as members of the Jaycees, what would have cost an arm and a leg to enrol at the AIM.
We were required to wear white collared shirts, neckties, dress pants, and shoes during the meetings. My trainings and experience in the Jaycees became very handy when I assumed various leadership positions in civic, religious, and political organizations and as a government official.
What we learned from the seminars were applied to hands-on community and service-oriented projects that were conceived by a member or a committee, discussed and approved by the general membership. Our meetings were conducted through parliamentary procedure that we learned and took to heart lest we suffered with the embarrassment of being ruled out-of-order during meetings or in national or international conventions.
Our leadership skills were tested in the projects that we chaired. The cardinal rule was “You can commit a mistake only once, so learn from it.” It is granted that at the age of 40, a Jaycee must already possess and mastered all the qualities of a true leader and must have instilled in his lifestyle the Jaycee Creed which states:
We believe:
That faith in God gives meaning and purpose to human life;
That the brotherhood of man transcends the sovereignty of nations;
That economic justice can best be won by free men through free enterprise;
That government should be of laws rather than of man,
That earth’s great treasures lies on human personality; and
That service to humanity is the best work of life.
For its Diamond Jubilee celebration, the three local chapters, namely the Baguio Jaycees, Inc. headed by President Kenneth de Guzman; the Baguio Sunflower Jaycees, headed by President Lianne Pauline Carreon; and the JCI Las Chicas del Baguio headed by Lea Vanessa de Guzman, together with the JCI Baguio Senate, headed by its President Vanessa Roncal, are now busy preparing a two-day celebration to be held on May 24 and 25.
A golf tournament is scheduled on the first day which will be held at the Pinewoods Golf and Country Club. In the evening of May 25, a point of view stand-up comedy to be performed by lawyers entitled “Legally Funny” shall entertain the guests at the Avenue Place, Palace Hotel along Legarda Road.
This stand-up comedy has earned rave reviews in its performances in Metro Manila and Mindanao. It will clearly be a hit in Baguio. The show will be followed by the anniversary dinner and awards program for past presidents and outstanding past Jaycees.
So, if you were a Jaycee or a Jayceerette or a Jaycee fan, you are all invited to the affair.
See you there!