Creating transformational leaders

They say it takes a village to raise a child. A critical part of this though is the school institution and the education system that would help build the foundation of values or the moral compass that will chart the path of a child’s future.

The Benedictine education that the St. Scholastica’s College of Manila espouses is built on the concept of Ora et Labora (Pray and Work). This framework has instituted among its many students (since its establishment in 1906, a free school with no walls) the idea of prayer and work. The college has since produced brilliant graduates such as former president Cory Aquino; Cecilia Munoz-Palma, the first woman to be appointed to the Supreme Court; and beauty queen and actress Gloria Diaz, to name a few.

Last weekend was the 95th Grand Homecoming celebration where the high school (HS) batch of 1995 was the silver Jubilarians and this year’s host. The overall production focused on two key areas: presenting the Jubilarians by virtue of the values that the school has instilled, and highlighting such performances by the transformational leaders that the school has produced in the process. These transformational leaders showcased exemplary work — Ora et Labora — in the fields of endeavor they have focused themselves in. The main intention of this production is to showcase and give honor to the institution that has helped mold these graduates into leaders of transformation — women who not only contribute to business and society but in so doing help create a transformative way of working.

The transformational leaders or Scholastican Visionaries, as what they were called, were given honor during the show. These Scholasticans came from batches as early as HS 1953 to as recent as HS 1992, effectively spanning almost five decades of sustainably producing stellar alumnae.

These women include: Sister Mary John Mananzan who is known for women empowerment and founded Gabriela and Insitute for Women’s Studies; Tootsy Echauz Angara who has been exposed to social activism at an early age and has since carved a career in media; Margot Torres who is the managing director of McDonald’s Philippines, Leni Iboleon-Dy, a prominent cardiologist who heads the cardiology group in St. Luke’s Medical Center; Sen. Nancy Binay-Angeles who is the chair of the Senate Committee on Tourism, Cultural Communities, Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development; Carol Enriquez who is president and chief executive officer of Our Lady of Fatima University and president of the Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities; former Bataan representative Herminia Roman who is currently part of the board of directors of Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority; Mitch Valdes who has an outstanding career in entertainment; Riza Mantaring who is the current chair of Sun Life Financial Philippine Holding Co. Inc; Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz who is an award-winning writer and accomplished educator; and Tina Monzon-Palma who is a well-respected and distinguished broadcast journalist.

These transformational leaders inevitably contribute to nation building and should be emulated by the younger generation in order to sustain our country’s progress. The homecoming show was truly an inspiring one and, in that sense, helped convey the messages of encouragement and hope to the audience in the process.

The country needs more transformational leaders moving forward and while there are many other things needed on top of education, the silver Jubilarian batch of 1995 has used this occasion to launch the Scholastican Legacy Fund, a program initiated by this Jubilarian batch in partnership with St. Scholastica’s College of Manila. The program aims to further enable the school to engage the best students and continue to build its legacy of nurturing transformative and socially responsible women leaders and advocates of peace. Supporting a scholar will help provide a significant opportunity to future generations of deserving Scholasticans, who, equipped with a Benedictine education, will in turn bring empowerment and positive social change to their communities. This program in itself addresses the sustainability needed in creating and preparing transformational leaders in the years to come.

Interested parties who would like to get involved in this program may reach out to the author.


Kay Calpo Lugtu is the chief operating officer of Hungry Workhorse, a digital and culture transformation firm. Her advocacies include nation-building, education and financial literacy. The author may be reached at