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Defying distance, the Supreme Student Council (SSC) of Cebu Normal University (CNU) continued this year’s Leaders’ Congress (LeadCon) via Zoom and broadcasted the webinars live on Facebook from February 25 to 27, 2021.

With the theme “Realized Vision: Youth Empowerment and Engagement”, the 3-day convention, with its seminars and activities, aimed to focus on the 3 Es: Emotional Intelligence, Essential Management Skills, and Ethical Leadership.

In an interview with Ang Suga, Hon. Neil Joseph Iyog, SSC President, stated that the council decided to pursue the activity amidst challenges because they believe that “leadership goes beyond virtual set-ups”.

“Good leadership and governance is vital in this new set-up due to the need of proper representation. We hope that they (potential leaders) will be able to apply what they have learned, for that is the true measure of success in the leaders’ congress,” quoted Iyog.

It was also stated that an “overwhelming amount of applicants” was received by the council; thus, increasing the number of participants from 50 to 70, making event’s chairperson Hon. Charmaine Gentallan “excited” with the thought that a lot showed interest despite the existing challenges.

“Normalites… [are] brave enough to venture what it takes to become leader[s] that think and work smart despite the challenge in internet connectivity and loads of school activities,” furthered Gentallan.

With the event’s conclusion, Ken Vincent Ochia (Bachelor of Secondary Education Major in Social Studies I) shared his experience as a first-timer.”

I thought that the discussion [will be] all about leadership, but it even exceed[ed] my expectations. The major lesson that I learned from the event is to step yourself up and change for the better… It allow[ed] me to think about the things that I should change and motivated me to lead myself first so that I could lead others, too,” he added.

Challenged in multitasking between the virtual conference and academic responsibilities, he also claimed that there were no regrets in prioritizing the event, as it served room for improvement and self-assessment.

Former mayor Osmeña, 2 professionals partake in LeadCon

Three distinguished speakers, one of which was former Cebu City Mayor Tomas “Tommy” Osmeña, were invited by the council to tackle the 3 Es.

When asked by Ang Suga on what is the significance of the 3 Es, event’s chairperson Hon. Jamie Awit answered that an individual’s mental health in a crisis seems to “intensify”, later becoming an “obstacle in handling one’s self.”

I wanted to highlight that having the 3 Es for the 15th LeadCon will allow us, leaders, to recognize and reflect on how to respond to the crisis and that it is a choice that we can control. In support, us, leaders can also create and manage an environment of flexibility, standards, and commitment,” she said.

During the concluding portion of the third webinar, Osmeña gave an advice to the aspiring leaders, “If you do nothing, nothing happens.”

He also stressed out the importance of being willing to risk changes in order to test out new ideas.

Meanwhile, Mr. Alfredo Gabriel Monasterio, a Teaching Pastor at Christ the Word of Life Church, kicked off the first webinar with a reminder that emotions should be a gauge, rather than a guide.

With the emphasis of leaders’ responsibility, Dr. Michelle Mae Olvido, Board and University Secretary and Executive Assistant at CNU, balanced the convention with her reminder on the second webinar, “If you’re tired, take a rest. Take a detour if you need to. Importante lang gyod no, padayon lang gyod.”

Words by Mark Aleson Sanico

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