Sunday, November 4, 2007

San Beda Competes in SIFE World Cup '07

Back in my college days, I was approached by a blockmate and asked if I was interested in joining this organization that he just started. Being the nonchalant guy that I am, surprisingly, I said yes. Being in my senior year, I need to try out something different at least before leaving the halls of my beloved Den. That organization is S.I.F.E. or Students in Free Enterprise. It’s a non-profit type of organization that networks business students from around the world, to be trained as future leaders with a promise of making the world a better place to live in. Seriously! I was in over my head. I was actually a part of something, for a cause. I feel like a hero, out to save the world. Or, it was just a convenient way of meeting new people, (which “partially” turned out to be, at first). Their cause is obviously, so not me. But then again, this a good chance for someone like me to make a difference, or at least get good credentials to beef up my resume.

Of course, that was not the case. As it turns out, I actually learned something from it, and unexpectedly enjoyed the cause. Proud of being a pioneer officer of the organization, we did our best to make our school proud. Together with some juniors, namely Aika, Jikkie, Rona, Cathz, with Ryan as our president, it was an all-star roster. See, S.I.F.E. hosts a competition for all its members around the world. Different schools from six continents compete in their own respective Nationals, and ultimately, for the S.I.F.E. World Cup. Sounds sporty, but it’s really not. Students are to look for a local area that needs to be developed and improved, with the help of their school and corporate sponsors. Sound simple, but again, it’s really not. The preparation for the competition, the training for the presenters, all the paperwork needed, begging for big-shot people to sponsor our cause, sleepless nights, are just some of the things that we considered and did back then. The motivation: the one who wins the Nationals gets to compete with international schools in an “international venue.” Now wouldn’t you work hard for that? Especially after finding out that that year, the S.I.F.E. World Cup will take place in France . If that is not motivation for you, then I don’t know what is.

The first year of S.I.F.E. as an organization in San Beda, we actually cleaned out the Nationals but lost to some unknown school from the South. Our project then involves a fishing village in Talim, Rizal. Using our entrepreneurship skills, we taught the villagers simple business ideas and ventures that they can use and do for means of living. It was my first and last chance for that World Cup experience as I was graduating that year. No matter, we left the organization in good hands, as two years after; San Beda College S.I.F.E. Team did our country proud.

The article below from relates the story of SBC-SIFE 2007.

After winning the recent SIFE National Exposition, the San Beda College Students in Free Enterprise (SBC-SIFE) will represent the Philippines in the SIFE International Word Cup Exposition (visit, to be held at the Hilton Hotel in New York, USA on Oct. 9-13, 2007.

SIFE is a global organization of schools promoting student leadership and community self reliance by teaching entrepreneurship, financial literacy and independence.

The group presented their program on promoting self-reliance and community development among residents of Pagsanjan, Laguna, through the promotion of entrepreneurship and financial literacy, environmental awareness and health. The project was implemented in cooperation with the local government of Pagsanjan headed by Mayor Jeorge E.R. Ejercito Estregan.

57 SIFE member schools nationwide participated in the exposition. The elimination round was held at the San Beda College Campus on July 10, 2007. Other finalists were the Divine Word College of Calapan, Mindoro; Mindanao State University, General Santos; and the Sultan Kudarat Polytechnic College.

The San Beda College SIFE presenting team is composed of the following students: Jikkie Lee, team captain; Patricia Salang, Irish Soria, Joshua Dino and Kester Sarmiento. The team was coached by Dr. James Loreto Piscos, SIFE adviser and assisted by the following faculty members: Albert C. Oasan, Malu Jimenez and Lester Toribio as technical advisers.

The Team will be headed by SIFE Philippines CEO Dr. Bobby Galindez and former SIFE President Dr. Ramon Ricardo Roque, also representing San Beda as Chair of the Board of Trustees.

It's pretty obvious that we left SBC-SIFE in good hands considering the glory they brought not just for the Den, but for the whole country as well. Being in that organization was one of the most memorable things in Tim’s life. Exposure to the real world, to the people that needed help and saving, met lasting friends, and developed my skills. Regrets? None, as I don’t believe in regrets. But I sure would like to be in that team who stayed in Hilton and a taste of 10 days of the Western life. Hehehe.

Images taken from FilAmImage

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