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!
Let’s meet the dynamic duo behind Celadon’s Publications Department (PUB): Vice-President (VP) Joshua Cheng, and Associate Vice-President (AVP) Faith Ong!
What made you want to become a Celadon leader?
Joshua Cheng (JC): “I want to give back to this organization in my own mad way.”
Faith Ong (FO): “I became active in Celadon during my sophomore year. It was the time that I was trying out in a lot of organizations. I had so many interviews back then applying to this and that. Somehow, Celadon made a deeper impact to me. I was drawn to the events and the people and I started to join them. And it was then that I realized that I could do more and give more for the organization that has helped me grow in so many ways.”
What was the biggest risk that you’ve had to take as a leader?
JC: “Elements Magazine and the Publications Department.
“I used my AVP term in 2014-2015 to revive Chinoy Magazine with a ragtag team, and despite the long list of troubles, we made it. Took a risk to change the long-running tradition and renamed the organization’s official publication, established in 1998 by Oscar Franklin Tan, into Elements Magazine.
“CNP’s operations became too heavy to survive on its own, so I petitioned to split it into COMM and PUB. Discernment talk already finished, but I had no magazine printed yet to prove that PUB can make things happen. But it was now or never.
“I pursued the meetings on discussing the partition and submitted the petition I drafted during the December break, with the help of Oscar Franklin Tan, Timothy Ching, and Belrica Ma. After a narrow vote, the department was established.”
FO: “The biggest leap I’ve ever taken was running for my current position now. It was something that never crossed my mind when I first became active in Celadon and it took an incredibly huge amount of courage to do so. But back then, I knew that it would be a wonderful opportunity for me to grow, not just in skill, but as a person as well. That, and I greatly enjoyed being a part of the organization and I wanted to serve it in a bigger way – so I took the leap. Months later, I can say that it had its equal share of terrible stress and fun, but I learned a lot of new things and met new people. So it was all worth it. One thing is for sure though, the challenge only pushes me to do even more and perhaps it’s a risk that I’d love to take once more.”
When was your most memorable Celadon event? Kwento please.
JC: “Spring Film Festival 2013. It was exhilarating, having to face so many fronts as the volunteers head: the holding room, the Grand Atrium, the movie house, the registration, the hallway, and the backstage. A lot of people were late, so I didn’t get to brief much of them. It was memorable for having to be everywhere at once, but I also remembered my shortcomings. I learned to better assert myself.”
FO: “‘MAF marketing girl,’ as the VP for Corporate Relations calls me, my most memorable Celadon event is, without a doubt, Mid-Autumn Festival 2014. It was my first ever Celadon event and I applied as core team and they placed me in marketing – something I had absolutely no idea of back then. Unexpectedly, it became a source of fulfillment and exhilaration I’ve never experienced before. The memory is still quite fresh.”
Has there been anyone special to you during your Celadon journey?
JC: “Of course, the EB and the people in PUB this year are a great source of friendship and fun.
“Timothy Ching: Rooftop talks, phone talks, resto talks. Our wavelengths sync well. Thinking with him’s like fireworks, supernovas, and I appreciate insane angles we can tackle about anything. EG Dizon: His structured way of thinking gave me perspectives on rule and order and on social intricacies. Every carpark talk in the dark is a welcome exchange of insights.
“Robert Cuartero and Alyssa Cheng: Growing with them so much in the past year gave me a lot of strength to create the department and plunge into a wholly challenging territory.
Aldwyn Tan: We have different ways of seeing things that makes driving conversations novel, and I learned a lot from him about emotional maturity and reliability.
“Oscar Franklin Tan: He’s a challenging mentor who pushes me to my limits, and the night-out’s I’ve spent with him always felt like a future waiting to unfold itself.
“Faith Ong: Her blend of aesthetic taste, sensitivity, and practical taste is unique. Being with her pushed me to grow in many ways. We learn a lot from each other, and I couldn’t imagine how this year would have been without her.”
FO: “None, in particular because almost everyone has their own unique way of becoming special to me even from afar, but there are three people that I can definitely say have helped me in my journey.
Let’s go back to the very beginning and I’d say, first off, Jesse Lui because I was under him in my very first event and it had such a huge impact on me. I realized that I could contribute to something as big as that event was. I guess I learned from the best. Secondly, Isaac Cheung. He doesn’t know it, but he says the most encouraging things sometimes, especially after FormSem. And lastly, my VP, Joshua Cheng, who developed Elements Magazine, a part of the organization that I loved since my sophomore year. I have learned so much from him in this journey.
Of course, my PUB babies are more special than the rest 😛 just kidding haha”
Where do you see Celadon in 5 years?
JC: Similarities: It’ll always stay true to the people and the culture they represent.
Differences: The org will find new, blue oceans for itself. New ways to engage members with activities and culture. New ways to spark interest in promos and published pieces. New ways to reach out and expand the things that make it a home.
Hard to imagine? HA! The future is what we make it to be. But it should be anything but B.O.R.I.N.G.
FO: “I see a Celadon that performs better than ever. In 5 years, I’m sure that the organization will be able to pull of more successful events, secure more partnerships, and find new ways and areas to delve in to. At the same time, I see it continuing being a “home” to its members, a place to form new friendships and memories.”
Summarize leadership in one sentence.
JC: “To spark people’s hearts to push themselves to grow, to bear a hell in your heart to make a contribution that will transcend yourself and your team.”
FO: “Leadership is being able to inspire others to work together with you for a common vision.”
Get to know the rest of the EB!