Mac - ASEAN Food Rescue - Philippines
What three things do you do differently after your program at the East-West Center (SUSI/YSEALI)?
Three things I do differently after EWC are: my leadership style - by applying The Leadership Challenge Workbook by Kouzes and Posner in work and daily life, the technical skills in creating and evaluating projects, and my perspective for my country and the world.
The Leadership Challenge has always been my go-to template in organizations I am a part of whether my role is a leader or a member. By actively contributing to the organization’s goals and vision, you are showing other members how it is to be part of the group. You are modeling a way to members that should also be their constant reminder. The goal is to be an effective member of your community.
Through YSEALI workshops, I learned how to create and evaluate projects. I and my peers have joined and won grant competitions. We would not have won if we did not have any training from EWC. Knowing what’s important for funders, sponsors, or purely supporters is crucial if you want to be part of your greater cause. You should know what they are looking for, know what makes their hearts tick, and definitely show them that you are innovative and significant.
My love for country, for ASEAN and the world was triggered the most when I got accepted to attend YSEALI. It was an opportunity that came with a big responsibility and expectation. I would not say I was the best representative but something inside me that I should do my best and greatest once I reach home after YSEALI. Food Rescue ASEAN was my greatest takeaway. I told myself that I will do this project even without funding because it was as easy as pedaling a bicycle. It was my light bulb moment. It really is my ticket to expanding my networks especially in building a greater community in the Philippines and everywhere in the world.
What impact did the program have on your career?
For now, I would not say that I am in my desired career path. Every day, I encounter different challenges at work, at home, with friends or myself but this are aspects where I am able to learn about me and the issues around me. Despite work, I am happy that I am still able to run my passion and advocacy projects outside my job.
I hope anytime soon I can find a job or start the career that is mostly aligned to my passion and desires. EWC and YSEALI will be my guidance to choose the career that will translate my passion and desires into a legacy that will benefit my community.
The YSEALI network has been a support system in different aspects of my life. This will continue to grow and be stronger, and this goes way beyond the YSEALI community too. Especially with Food Rescue ASEAN, I have made communities talk about their daily consumption at the store or at the table. After meeting me, the issue and project will have stirred conversations with others. This has given me the chance to collaborate more with people of various works. Especially that I am now in Manila, I have been expanding networks, this is a responsibility that I should take advantage.
What issues are you most passionate about in your daily life?
I am involved in other organizations outside Food Rescue ASEAN and day job. I am able to share my passion by actively contributing to the betterment of the organization. Taking action to what I believe the most. This will spark attention from members that it is about action that will move the organization. I have shared to my organization documentation and evaluation techniques I learned from YSEALI, which is very important for every organization or event life event. I also document through photos and videos as these also are my hobbies turned to passion.
Actions are patterned from your strengths and capabilities. There will be a need of delegation if there are tasks you think someone else can do it efficiently. Thus, there is also a need to link delegates to your vision.
If answer be substantial, I am still passionate about food wastage. Our project’s greatest challenge as of the moment is expanding operations in Metro Manila. I have to build a new team to continue this project and I have been overwhelmed by so many potential partners.
I am also passionate in knowing people’s dreams and sharing to them my knowledge from YSEALI and my other experiences. Of course, I also am very open in learning from everybody’s stories. It is what keeps me going.
How have you come to see leadership?
For me leadership is being self-aware, know your values and desires in life. If you want others to be involved, it is important to have intimate conversations with these people by getting to their values and dreams as well. You will lead these people by leading yourself to action. What your people see is the only basis for their actions in the group and projects.
It will be through these relationships where you are able to tackle issues and find solutions through collaboration, at the same time, you are able to bond.
Constant evaluation especially while any project is ongoing, constant evaluation for myself and the members are musts to keep track of everybody’s purpose.
EWC and YSEALI’s alumni engagement is the true leader in my life now. I am happy that activities such as these as well as scholarships for EWC and YSEALI are ongoing even with the new US administration. I am hopeful to see more leaders in my community, ASEAN and the world. All the best to all of us!