Thirty (30) Freshmen College students, from all over the country, composed the 17th Batch of the Ninoy & Cory Aquino (NCA) Leadership Journey. They were brought together in Malvar, Batangas to go through the 3-day Leadership Retreat last October 29-31, 2015.
In partnership with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the participating students belong to the first batch of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) high school graduates. The program was particularly designed for the scholars, to help them transition from high school to university life and the pressures brought about by their own situations at home and in their personal lives. The NCA Leadership Journey, modeled after Ninoy and Cory’s own spiritual-leadership style, guided the participants through various activities of reflection and prayer. They went back to their own life stories and identify key moments in their lives that have helped them become the persons they are now. They also shared stories and experiences with one another, trading insights and offering encouragement.
Distinguished speakers imparted their own stories of faith and service to the participants. NCAF’s own program director, Jampao Reyes, and Under Secretary to the Department of Education’s Rizalino Rivera both gave talks on the love of God for the first day; DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman, President of Philippine Toy Library Mr. Edsel Ramirez, Executive Assistant of Aquino Foundation’s Executive Director Ms. Amor Castillo, and Jesuit Music Ministry Director Bro. Roseller Atilano Jr., for the second day; and Ms. Joy Critica of the De La Salle Philippines for the last day.
At the end of the program, the participants expressed their extensive gratitude. Crisha Ferl from Iloilo shared, “I will bring so much with me from this Journey. First, to humble myself and ask for help when I’m in need. I realize that I am loved by God. Even in the times when I hate Him and reject Him, He was still here.” Jayson Reperuga, from Cagayan Valley, summed up the Leadership Journey experience as he said, “Today may be the culmination of our 3-day Journey, but tomorrow will be the start of our new Journey. Tomorrow I won’t go back to normal, I will go home changed by this Journey experience.”
The Ninoy & Cory Aquino Foundation (NCAF) traces its roots to the Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Foundation (BSAF), established by the late Senator’s widow in November 1983 to perpetuate his legacy. It seeks to build on the legacy of Ninoy and Cory Aquino by supporting activities that embody the spirit of People Power as a strong and positive force for social change in a robust democracy. Since 2008, the Foundation has made a deliberate effort to strengthen this advocacy through leadership formation development.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is the government institution responsible for the protection of social welfare rights and promotion of social development. Under the leadership of Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, DSWD envisions a society where the poor, vulnerable, and disadvantaged are empowered towards building an improved quality of life. They develop, implement, and coordinate social protection reduction solutions for and with the poor and marginalized.