“We absolutely need to connect the dots,” said Dr. Jesus P. Estanislao, co-founder of UA&P and founder of the Center for Excellence in Governance (CEG), to the more than 270 participants of the National Family Workshop Forum held at UA&P on January 25, 2024. “There is a gap between the things that we are preached to and about and the things that we actually practice. That is the most serious challenge that we face at this time.”

The workshop forum, entitled “Enhancing the Filipino Family: A Gift to the Nation,” centered on the challenges confronting Filipino families and involved the participants in formulating action plans to respond to these challenges. In his executive keynote address, Dr. Estanislao talked about how every transformation program needs to focus on the core values that they believe in and would like to establish as the very foundation of that institution. He said that any kind of transformation program rooted in core values must be for the Filipino, by the Filipino, and of the Filipino.

“At the end of the day, the core values must mean something for individuals. In other words, what we need to do is to make sure that all the operations of every parish or institution serve the needy, the poor, the constituency… the stakeholders of the institution. That’s the first thing. We’re here to serve. How can we serve better, much more efficiently, much more effectively?

“That’s the most effective way of transmitting values, the idea that we’re here not for ourselves but in service of others, and, therefore, the only aim of transformation is that this for the Filipino: this is for the poor, for the Navy, for the Army…this is for everybody who wants to have their passport given to them in record time… We cannot say we’re great Filipinos but we do not help other Filipinos. Transformation has to be for the others.”

Dr. Estanislao also presented the qualities that should characterize the work made by the Filipino: efficient, effective, professional, knowledgeable, scientific, and systematic. He also proposed to the audience to not just do things separately of themselves. Instead, he encouraged them to connect with the others.

“There are institutions that are already transforming themselves. Why can’t we connect the dots? Can you imagine if the business community and the local government unit in every place in this country would be working with the school districts, with the school superintendents, for a program of transformation?”

“We’ve got to reach every Filipino, and therefore we have to work with other institutions that are already doing their bit,” Dr. Estanislao said. “If you want transformation, it cannot be only for the others; it cannot only be by Filipinos. Eventually, it will have to be of the Filipino himself, of the individual himself or herself…that all of us become better by the work that we do. In the words that are always repeated in this university, we sanctify ourselves by the work that we do, by the quality of work that we do.”

Read more about the National Family Workshop Forum at Universitas.