I had no idea what Junior Chamber International (JCI) Alabang was until my friend, Aimee Flordeliza encouraged me to attend the General Membership Meeting last May 15, 2014 in Sonria Alabang. This was actually her third attempt to get me to go to one of JCI Alabang’s events. The first one was for another GMM earlier in the year and the second was for the Books and Roses event that I eventually learned she spearheaded. It was her persistence and a bit of curiosity that got me to go.
A few weeks prior to that GMM, Aimee gave me a brief overview of what JCI Alabang was during a regular get-together we have with schoolmates. She said that JCI Alabang was a newly formed organization that participated in business and socially conscious activities in the area. She also mentioned that JCI as a whole is an old organization that has different chapters worldwide.
Through the years, I learned the importance of networking with like-minded people which made me interested in JCI Alabang. Plus, I also wanted to get involved in similar activities in the area to create some impact.
Another factor that convinced me to attend the GMM last May 15 was that Toby Claudio, the President of Quorum International Inc (Toby’s Sports and Runnr, among others) was going to give a talk. Being an aspiring entrepreneur, I wanted to find out what made him successful in putting up his empire of sports stores. During his talk, he shared his challenges and the habits he needed to form to be successful. He then revealed that JCI played a big part in his family’s success. His father, the founder of Toby’s, got his big break because of the relationships he had in JCI, and the effort he put in to cultivate those relationships in his chapter and grow his business.
After Toby’s talk, the leaders of the JCI Alabang chapter showed what they had done in the recent months. I was surprised that the chapter became active only in January because they already did several good projects! They had helped the less fortunate communities in the area through activities such as the Basketball Clinic and Books and Roses. These further cemented my intention to join.
I was really glad to attend the General Membership Meeting because it gave me a sense of what JCI Alabang could mean for me and other aspiring members. Having the opportunity to network with interesting people is also a big plus. I got to speak with Toby for a few minutes after the event and got to pick his brain a bit. That kind of access to successful people is valuable and could help influence you. You also have the opportunity to give back to the community and help those who need it most. If you are looking for that kind of experience, one where you can both get value and create value for others, I do think that you can find it in JCI Alabang. There is a lot of good that can come from here.
Gabby Gonzalez is a partner in Get Hooked 360, a full-service digital marketing agency with offices in the Philippines and Vietnam. He shares his insights on marketing and entrepreneurship in www.marketinggab.com.