(Left Photo) A scene during Opening Ceremonies led by NP Rip Lesaca with Vice Gov. Rolex Suplico of Iloilo who represented Guest Speaker Senate Pres. Manny Villar. (Right) The General Assembly in session during the Opening Plenary at the  Zambaonga Convention Center.     

A memorable and fun filled 60th JCI Philippines National Convention

       It was indeed another year of success for JCI Philippines with the JCI Greater Dipag played host this year’s 60th national convention last October 8-12, 2008 in Dipolog City.  Held at the Zanorte Convention Center located right at the center of Dipolog City.  Delegates trooped to this northern part of Zamboanga province dubbed as ‘Twin City Province” known for its beauty and charm of the orchid city of Dipolog and the historical rustic quaintness of the Shrine City of Dapitan.  This was the first time for the host chapter to host a JCI Philippines national convention in its 12 years of existence. With confidence, the host LOM showcased their leadership skills to host such event.

        This year’s host LOM Convention Organizing Committee team composed of young breed of members led by National Convention Director, 2003 NP Michael Alan Ranillo and LOM President Ryan Asprer.  Under the direction of National Convention Chairman National President JCI Senator Raphael A. Lesaca with the assistance this year’s National Board, was able to encourage around eight hundred delegates into flocking to this picturesque location. The host local JCI organization had worked hard for the past two years to ensure its smooth flow of events.  The convention proper proved to be a truly enjoyable and fun filled affair.  

         The 9th JCI Philippines Academy had an unprecedented number of incoming JCI Local Presidents participating.  Over a hundred incoming JCI Local Organization Presidents converged at the Top Plaza Hotel. The event was conducted by the National Training Commission led by NTC Chair Tony Garcia assisted by NTC 5 Comm. Glenn Dasmarinas with ITF Mennen Aracid as the Head coach.


        The annual Planning Session and the First Special National Board Meeting of the incoming National Officers were held and presided over by 2008 National President-elect, JCI Senator Fulbert C. Woo.  The following day, the 4th regular meeting for the outgoing Board was also held where they capped off the remaining activities to be accomplished for the rest of the year, as well as provide guidance to the incoming national board during their joint meeting.


         The 4-day event included the Opening Ceremonies, held last October 9, 2008 at ABC Civic Center a spaciously-covered coliseum in said City.  It was here that Convention Chairman, National President Raphael A. Lesaca, formally declared the convention open.  The excited delegates who attended the ceremony had their anticipation for a very festive affair featuring excellent showcase of cultural dances prepared by the host.  The opening salvo was a foretaste of what was to be expected with the convention.  The first fellowship night was indeed one hot fellowship dubbed as “White Rave Party” and was accented with a  fruits and sea foods festival made more festive with overflowing beverages. It was just a bit after midnight when most of the delegates surrendered for an opening “night salvo”.


      The Opening Plenary on the second day was attended by the JCI Local Organizations’ chief delegates, together with the National Board members. During the Plenary, chief delegates actively participated in the debates on the issues presented, particularly on salient issues affecting the organization.  In the evening, delegates anxiously awaited and felt excited in proceeding to the Zanorte Convention Center for the awarding ceremonies.  Before the ceremonies,  cocktails were served while waiting for the formal awarding ceremonies dubbed as “3rd Temiong Awards Night”. The awarding was fast-paced yet perfectly executed by this year’s National Records and Recognition Chairperson, JCI Sen. John L:uga of JCI Cavite Magiting. Although the venue was jam packed.  After the awarding ceremonies, the delegates proceeded to Gloria de Dapitan in Dapitan City for a fellowship night hosted by JCI Magalang Mekeni led by 2008 JCI Vice President JCI Senator Dennis L. Cunanan.  The delegates enjoyed a festive night of fellowship with plenty of food and beverage. The festivities were made more enjoyable when Past National Officers gave an impromptu dance number up on stage. One delegate who was all giddy with excitement stated: “This is like a high school dance. I love it!”  The affair lasted till about 3am.


        During the convention, several activities were also conducted to maximize fun for the delegates, first timers delegates were all impressed with how camaraderie among members of the organization. To add more pleasure and leisure to the delegates, sports and eco-tours were also organized, such as the Bowling and Basketball, swimming etc.. The many sports and recreation facilities available catered to the diverse interests of our membership.  The Trainers' Assembly organized by the National Training Commission was also well attended by JCI Philippines pool of trainers. The Twinning Ceremonies and the National Speaking Competition also went on smoothly.


      Energies were still running on high after 2 nights of partying.   The Closing Plenary on October 11, 2008 was still well attended. It is here where the different national upcoming major events made their presentations like next year’s Natcon to be hosted by JCI Puerto Princesa Peacock campaigned hard for delegates’ attendance as next year’s host for the 61th National Convention in Puerto Princesa City inviting everybody to also come and visit their place known to be as the city in the forest.     


       On the third day, delegates flock to the famous “Dakak Resort” to attend the culmination of the highlights of the affair which was the annual President’s Ball and the Closing Ceremonies. The evening’s Guest of Honor and Speaker, Senator Chiz Escudero gave a very inspiring message.  He commended JCI Philippines for being a dynamic organization in the active participation of its members which, in his opinion, is a vital leverage necessary for positive change for better leadership in the country.


     The ceremony was followed with the traditional turn-over ceremonies and the transfer of the Presidential Medallion to the incoming National President JCI Senator Fulbert C. Woo and outgoing NP Raphael A. Lesaca who delivered his valedictory speech by summing up the accomplishments during his term.  As a tribute to him a video presentation which the highlights of the activities on his official as function as National President was shown.. Incoming National President JCI Senator Fulbert C. Woo delivered his acceptance speech where he laid out his plan of action with a theme Stability, Growth and unity.  A video presentation was also shown congratulating him for being elected as national president..  

      Finally, the JCI Manila hosted the finale fellowship night.  With overflowing excitement, delegates were once again overwhelmed  with sumptuous food and beverage.  The delegates enjoyed the party music and dancing on the beach. The delegates were dressed in Hawaiian Luau attire.  JCI Manila organizers did a splendid job moving fluidly amongst the crowd... serving drinks to everyone.  The dancing and fellowship continued while the rain gradually increased intensity. The crowd was simply charged and they paid no mind the impending strong downpour.  

The 60th National Convention in Dakak was truly a NATCON to remember!