Into the Unknown

Picture of Aaron Siapuatco
Aaron Siapuatco
Computer Science Student at University of the Philippines Mindanao
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By Robs Briones

For someone who has danced with organizational work for almost most of his life, the Opportunity-To-Impact event was, for me, a fresh breeze. Conducted last Jan 13, 2024 at Jade by the Sea, this program truly lived up to its ideals of being a cradle of leadership and a model of strengthened brotherhood. However, on a more personal note, I entered the venue aware that my heart was beating faster than usual, entrapped with anxious anticipations; it left me in a hiatus in this seemingly unfamiliar position. Yet my OTI story did not only run that way. It was much more than a story of a young man embattling with his fears and anxieties. It was also a story of individuals from different backgrounds coming together to seize the opportunity to impact. It was also a story of leaders whose main objective was to breed more prototypes of diverse servant leaders. These collective and vibrant stories have been the hallmark of my OTI experience. 

Once I entered the event room, the first plan of action was to find myself a chair, sit tight, and observe my surroundings as if the tornado of emotions behind my head had never existed. Minutes later, I saw this young boy who was an inch or two shorter than me, whom I recognized. It was one of our predecessors in our student government body when I was still in senior high school. We talked and exchanged reminisces from the years we have worked together, and yes, just like me, he was also all over the place trying to keep it close as much as he could. 

Then, the main program finally took off. It started with an innovative bingo game where we had to roam around and complete our cards. Although winning felt great, being able to converse and know the people joining the event was the real trophy of the game. Soon after, we had our preliminaries and introduction of JCI Davao Inc. and JCI Daba-daba in a holistic approach. I have witnessed the success stories, triumphant personalities, and the sound environment these organizations offer. Truly, JCI deserves all the recognition it has and will certainly acquire.

Yet, after all of these, the event would not be complete without our mini-team building. The room was immediately filled with fun and waves of laughter. It was also the opportunity for most to showcase their leadership capabilities and step up. All the teams demonstrated excellent teamwork, camaraderie, and competitiveness, which are all reflective of their personalities and their mastered skills, as everyone is on the pedestal fighting hard to get the win. 

The expertly crafted series of events concluded in the best way possible. I was accustomed to the kind of culture JCI promotes that I deem promising. The participants were immensely engaged and were given the opportunity to impact and be inspired by all the stories combined, from veterans to newbies, from the pioneers to the risk takers. Indeed, the story of JCI entails not merely a story of a single person but also of the shared experiences that make JCI the organization everyone looks up to.