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Manny Pangilinan Speech and His Secrets to Success

This is the PLDT Chairman Manny Pangilinan Graduation Speech at Philippine Women's University (PWU). Read the inspiring story of Sir Manny Pangilinan how he started in poverty and in the end he shared his secrets of success.

Manny Pangilinan is the chairman of other several big companies in the Philippines such as:
  • TV5 (ABC Development Corporation
  • Smart Communications
  • Meralco
  • Cignal Digital TV
  • First Pacific Tollways Corporation
  • Metro Pacific Investments Corporation
  • Philex Mining Corporation
  • Digital Telecommunications Philipines (Sun Cellular)
  • etc.
8:00 AM, SATURDAY, 23RD MARCH 2013


Magandang Umaga po sa inyong lahat.

Ako po ay taos pusong nagpapasalamat sa ganitong ginintuang pagkakataon na maging bahagi ng inyong pagtatapos.

Maraming salamat po sa Lupon ng mga Taga-pangasiwa ng Philippine Women's University, at sa lahat ng inyong Tagapamahala. Walang sinuman ang hindi maaanting ang damdamin, sa pagkakataong ito ng ibinigay ng inyong pamantasan.

Doctor Helena Benitez - Pinuno ng Lupon ng mga Taga-Pangasiwa;
Dr. Francisco Benitez - Pangulo ng Pamantasan; Pangalawang Pinuno ng mga Taga-pangasiwa, Eusebio Tanco - Si Mr. Tanco po, ang dahilan kung bakit ako nandito;
Mr. Napoleon Imperial ng ating CHED; Ms. Fides Cuyugan-Asensio; Mga Taga-pangasiwa, mga magulang na maaari nang huminga ng maluwag, mga ginagalang na mga guro at kawani - isang malugod na pagbati sa mga nagtatapos ngayong 2013.


To the graduates: look around you. You are surrounded by people who love you, and made this day possible - your parents and grandparents, teachers, sibling, and friends.

Do not let this day end without thanking them.


I am no stranger to this place. I went to school not far from here. San Beda is just over at Mendiola, near the University Belt.

P-W-U started 94 years ago, with an enrollment of 190 students, and a mandate to prepare young Filipino women for a life or service and leadership. Indeed, it can be regarded as the first University for Women in Asia, founded by Asians. Its American-Era facade was a distinctive landmark, rising above the colonial battlements of Manila - over the "rich, proud coast of an outworn and buried Spanish age" while the LRT may have ruined its view, these great white walls still speak of  pride and purpose - evoking history and citizenshop.

Your school cradled and nurtured many great alumnae-national artists like Lucrecia Kasilag, pioneer social workers like Fanny Aldaba-Lim, journalists like Cheche Lazaro. Your alumnae-especially the Bayanihan Dance Company - have always stood for the grace and promise of the empowered Filipina.

The men of P-W-U added more luster as well to your history. Your first Chairman, Chief Justice Jose Abad Santos surrendered his life, rather than yield his allegiance to the occupying Japanese. He embodied the admonition of your school anthem: "Aral Nya Ay Isaisip / Sa Diyos, Bansa't Lahi." God, Country, People - the Trinity of values on which this great institution stands.

So in my mind, that's what P-W-U stands for: Palaban, Walang Uurungan.


As we celebrate your graduation today, I would be remiss if I fail to mention the tragic loss of Kristel Tejada - one your sisters - last week. I would not surmise, much less judge, the realities which drove this promising, young lady to take her own life. I am sure things are more complex than we know. But of this we are certain - education should be right for all, not a privelege for the few.

Kristel's death devastated all of us - you as students, and us, your elders - because we all now that we continue to disappoint millions of young Filipinos who deserve their education. If we continue on this path, we will ultimately fail our own future.

My work with PLDT, Meralco, Maynilad, Smart, Sun, Tollways, TV5, and Philex has brought me to our coastlines and to our cities, even to the most remote barangays in the mountains. And what do I see? Poverty most everywhere! There's no more tragic illustration of this state than a child whom you see will not get the education, which will enable him or her to rise above destitution.


I myself was not born into a life of privilege or pedigree. Education changed all that.

I grew up in little Baguio, San Juan. Our house stood right on the boundary of a squatter settlement. But from my bedroom window, I could see, smell, and feel the lives of the real poor. I was - to use the title of our program on TV5 - 'FACE-TO-FACE' with real, everyday Philippines.

Pero mas matindi pa sa 'FACE-TO-FACE' sa bintana ko napanood ang mga away ng mag-asawa, at ng kanilang hindi asawa. Mga taong nag-iigib ng tubig sa poso at kanal, mga batang dumaraming parang kabute, mga aking kababata na nakita kong lumaki na walang mapasukang trabaho, sa mga utang listahan sa jueteng, palengke't tindahan. Nagising ako sa mga suliraning pang-araw-araw at panghabangbuhay ng mga Pilipinong hindi pinalad na katulad ko. o katulad ninyo.

My lolo started as a public school teacher in Pampanga, rising through the ranks to become superintendent of public schools and, eventually, Secretary of Education - despite the fact that he did not finish college.

My father began his career as a messenger at Philippine National Bank (PNB), and retired as President of Traders Royal Bank, on of the Largest Banks in the 80's.

During my years in San Beda, I had ten centavos to buy a bottle of coke, five centavos for crackers, another ten centavos to take the bus home from Legarda to little Baguio in San Juan - which I made sure I wouldn't lose, otherwise I would have to walk home.

After college at Ateneo, I wanted an MBA in the United States. But I knew no money was available for this. So I had to find a way myself. Fortunately, Procter and Gamble offered a rare scholarship to the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. It was a national competition. I entered and won.


When I returned to Manila from Wharton in 1970, I immediately looked for a job - any job. I began as an employee - as executive assistant to the President of FILOIL with a salary of 1,000 pesos a month.

Like some or many of you who are sons or daughters or relatives of overseas Filipino workers, I thought that a better life can be found abroad.

In 1981, I started a small company in Hong Kong. Today, First Pacific has more than 120,000 employees in the region - with diverse investments in food, plantations, infrastructure, technology, telecommunications, mining and media. Together these companies recorded two billion dollars in profit last year. This started with a good education and a simple dream.


When I met some of your for ideas to my remarks today, you asked about success and failure.

You were curious about what accounts for success? I say there is no magic, no mystery, no secret recipe. Success springs from old-fashioned values - values that are transcendent, and endure well beyond the context and circumstance of our time. Values as basic as being honest and truthful. Values as essential as working hard, playing fair, having goals and the discipline and determination to pursue them.

Most of all success is about passion. Passion to succeed, passion for excellence. Passion to compete. My Hong Kong experience taught me to believe that depth of commitment can overcome lack of resources. That a spirit of purpose can give impetus to human energy. That the power of ambition can set heroic goals and achieve them.

Now let me deal with the other side of this coin - failure.

Let me tell you this. Two things will be inevitable in your lives - you will have successes. And you will have failures. You must seize both for your constant betterment. Successes tell you that you can attain more successes in the future. Your failures tell you that you can survive, and move one. In the end, it is your character which counts.

A turtle can't move forward without sticking his neck out. You can't score points without shooting that basketball. You can never be successful without taking risks. I therefore encourage you to choose boldness, not safety; excellence, not mediocrity; the strenuous life, not the easy existence.

Finally, remember that success must be defined by something greater than yourselves. At First Pacific, we say nothing is successful unless it improves the lives of people.

Those running a business are not the only ones with this responsibility. You are now richer than most Filipino, simply by having received a quality education. Which means the same question constantly asked of me must be asked of you now: How much of your blessings will go to helping Filipinos uplift their welfare?


Let me conclude by quoting the Argentine revolutionary Che Guevarra who wrote: "The true revolutionary is guided by strong feelings of love."

PWU was a child of such revolutionary love. Nick Joaquin wrote about the nascent romance between Francisca Tirona and Conrado Benitez, who both studied to become teachers at the Philippine Normal School. It was their shared passion for education, combined with a common goal of preparing for a life of service and leadership, that gave life to P-W-U.

Like Che Guevarra and your founders - you can be real revolutionaries - driving by love of country, of family, and of our people.


Magpapaalam na po ako.

Sa araw na ito, ako'y nagagalak at nalulugod na maging kaakibat kayong lahat - lalo na sa pagpapaunlad ng ating minamahal na bayan.

At sa paglisan ninyo sa pamantasang ito, ngayong araw ng pagtatapos, ipangako ninyo na kayo ay magiging bahagi sa pagbangon ng ating bansa. Ipangako ninyo na ang Pilipinas ng bukas - at ng lahat ng mga bukas pang darating - ay magiging mas maunlad kaysa sa Pilipinas ng kahapon.

Congratulations at mabuhay kayong lahat!

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Manny Pangilinan's Secrets to Success

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"Manny Pangilinan Speech and His Secrets to Success" was written by Mary under the Communication / Speech category. It has been read 5246 times and generated 0 comments. The article was created on and updated on 05 April 2013.
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