Great leaders inspire. For 30 years, Ateneo Celadon has produced a string of great leaders, and this year’s batch is no different. Hence, we’ve decided to interview Celadon’s current executive board, so we can learn valuable insights from the very best of the organization!
To kick things off, let’s meet the org’s president (and Master Shifu himself) EG Dizon!
What made you want to become a Celadon leader?
“I wanted to become a Celadon leader because I felt at home in this organization. In a way, the people that I met in Celadon inspired me to be more active, and to be more effective. I felt that it was through the leadership that I could actually do more for the organization I felt responsible towards.”
Summarize leadership in one sentence.
“Leadership is the inward capacity to [develop one’s self] in the pursuit of the growth of the other.”
What was the biggest leap/risk that you’ve had to take as a leader?
“The biggest risk/leap I took would be running for presidency. I honestly believe that nobody is always 100% ready when they take on the role. Just as the many before me, we learn along the way to know what and how to do things the best way possible. As always, we move in the best interests, not of ourselves, but for the organization we love. Taking the next step is always a risk, but I can say that it was a risk and leap worth taking.”
When was your most memorable Celadon event? Kwento please.
“The whole journey was the best experience because everything that happened has contributed to who I am now, and to where we are now as an organization.
“If there is one event that I’d like to highlight, it would be LDP (Leadership Development Program). I’ve been going to LDP every year since I was a freshman. Because of this, I can truly say that I’ve seen it change so much and develop in ways that… is simply amazing. It’s memorable because of the LDP Magic. Year after year, LDP has allowed people like myself to feel recharged, and invigorated to love and serve the org even more than where we are now.
“I started out as an active member. I was active because I was a constant volunteer in almost all the projects that Celadon had to offer during my freshman year. After my first LDP, I felt this desire to go beyond being just an active member. I did not want to be just another Celadon member; rather, I wanted to be a leader. Being a freshman at the time, my only option to enter the EB was to become an AVP. To cut the long story short, I became the AVP for Cultural Affairs during my sophomore year. It was an exciting year, as an Executive Board we set the path to where Celadon was headed for the years to come. Much of the projects we know now as the Mid-Autumn Festival, Teacher’s Appreciation Week, Binondo Amazing Race, among others all started during that year. By the end of my sophomore year, I had a great experience working with people who had the best intentions of Celadon in mind. It was because of this that I tried my hand by running for VP for Cultural Affairs. By now, we were trying to better establish the projects that Celadon had to offer to our members. As the Chinese New year drew near, I was able to make that crucial decision to run for Presidency. And here I am now, enjoying the company of an amazing set of Executive Board members, Managers, and active members whom I draw my inspiration and strength from. It all sounds like a long epic journey, but it all started with my freshman year in LDP.”
Which among the four LDPs stood out for you?
“The first and the last stood out the most. Being an active member during my freshman year, I was quite excited with my first out of town org event. Along with this however, was a feeling of uncertainty to what I would be going through in LDP. This sense of unknowing however, is also what opened me up to this sense of wonder and interest to what this Leadership Development Program might bring. After that event, everything suddenly made sense. Everything became a lot clearer. That LDP magic tapped into my desire to be of relevance to an organization where I felt I belonged. From that point on, I knew that Celadon was calling me back home.
“My last LDP as a student was truly nostalgic. It was truly heartwarming seeing the amount of heart and effort that everyone – EB, Manager and Core team, and participants – all gave in making sure the event was a success. Seeing our young participants upping their game and pursuing their own Celadon journey brought back thoughtful memories and even old feeling of wonder, amazement, falling in love, and going back home to the org. Hearing our participants stories on how they did feel at home in Celadon, was such a joy to hear since that has been the goal since day one. Truly, this Leadership Development Program is one for the books.”
Has there been anyone special to you during your Celadon journey?
“In my four years here in Celadon, there have been a lot of people whom I would consider special. They remain special to me because they not only served as good mentors and work partners, but to a greater extent became really good friends. I believe that they helped me grow as both a leader and a person. I’d like to mention some of them now: Mazie Lim, Jo Sy, Drew Santos, Mon Ocampo, Kimball Tan, Erika Angeles, Timo Ching, Joao Jose, Gem Fernandez, Aldwyn Tan, Eugene Andojoyan, Nina Ong, Steph Sayson, and Isaac Cheung! These people are the best of the best. I look up to them as my sources of inspiration in the things that I do. Above all that, they are good friends whom I am willing to fall for again, knowing that they’ve got my back.”
Where do you see Celadon in five years?
“I think that Celadon is headed towards a direction of development in the next five years. It will be gradual, but the organization will be able to strengthen its hold on the culture and its people. Celadon’s projects by then would become more improved and still culturally-rooted. I strongly believe that Celadon will go through a great amount of change, while remaining true to her purpose and nature.”
Interview conducted by Joel Lim
Get to know the rest of the EB!