JCI-Manila is the oldest leadership development organization in the Philippines and in Asia. It was formed primarily to fill the need to properly channel the energies and idealism of the Filipino youth into an organization that undertakes activities and projects that would eventually rebound to benefit the community as a whole. The organization was formed on the first organizational meeting held on December 20, 1947 at the Champagne Room of the Manila Hotel.
JCI-Manila is the first and premier Chapter in the Philippines and in Asia, which contributed to the growth of other chapters all over the Asia-Pacific region. The Chamber's very first project, the cleaning up of the City of Manila from the debris of World War II, immediately propelled the Manila Jaycees into national prominence that not only attracted scions from prominent families all over the country to join, but also made the organization a major player in government policy-making.
JCI-Manila is an association formed to develop the leadership abilities of young men, aged 18 to 40, through community service activities. In the Jaycees, one learns to interact proficiently with fellow members, many of whom assume high positions in government and business. It is also in the Jaycees that many learn how to speak well in public, conduct meetings, motivate peers, campaign effectively, communicate ideas skillfully, deal with all sorts of people, and organize a gamut of worthy projects that would benefit the community at large. Membership in the Manila Jaycees is open to everyone, regardless of nationality or creed, for as long as he belongs to the 18-36 age bracket (inclusive) and possesses good moral character.
Throughout its fifty-five years of existence, JCI-Manila could boast of the fact that it has developed a long roster of successful business and government leaders who have assumed positions of importance in the Philippine society. Some of them are currently with government: Atty. Edgardo B. Espiritu (former Finance Secretary), Orlando S. Mercado (former Defense Secretary), Atty. Jose D. Lina, Jr. (Interior and Local Governments Secretary), Atty. Feliciano R. Belmonte, Jr. (Quezon City Mayor), Dante M. Lantin (LTFRB Chairman), Robert C. Nacianceno (former General Manager of the MMDA), Agustin R. Bengzon (former Chairman of the Maritime Industry Authority), Sen. Juan F. Ponce-Enrile, and Sen. Alberto G. Romulo. Other prominent personalities include Henry Sy (founder of Shoemart), Washington Z. SyCip (founder of SGV & Co.), Albert F. del Rosario (Ambassador to Washington), Alfonso T. Yuchengco (Ambassador to Japan and founder of Malayan Group of Companies), Cesar Enrique A. Virata (former Prime Minister), Salvador M. Enriquez, Jr. (former Budget Secretary), Roberto V. Ongpin (former Finance Minister), Ramoncito Z. Abad (DBP Chairman), Alfredo D. Ramos (founder of National Book Store), Raul T. Concepcion (former President of Concepcion Industries), Atty. Ramon S. Bagatsing, Jr. (former Congressman), Mariano Que (founder of Mercury Drug), David M. Consunji (founder of DM Consunji Construction), William Golangco (founder of W. Golangco Construction), Hilarion M. Henares, Jr. (businessman-TV personality), Atty. Raul M. Manglapus (former Senator), Harry S. Stonehill (controversial cigarette and cotton mogul), Aurelio O. Periquet, Jr. (former PCCI Chairman), Carlos G. Palanca, Jr. (founder of La Tondena, Inc.), and Jose Mari L. Chan (businessman-entertainment personality), among countless others. Of course, being the first Jaycee organization in Asia, it has carried the distinction of organizing the nucleus of the Philippine Jaycees with its first twelve chapters in the country on February 11, 1949. The Jaycee chapters in Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Indonesia all started with JCI-Manila.
Moreover, as a leadership organization devoted to community service, JCI-Manila started many projects which have since been adopted by the JCI-Philippines, some of which were: Voice of Democracy Oratorical Contest (1950), Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines (1959), and the Ten Outstanding Policemen Awards (1966). Other projects included the "Walkathon" (1959), "Operation Brotherhood" (1955), "Operation Helping Hand" (1960), "Operations Saklolo" (1960), "Project Clean" (1972), "Kawal Awards" (1974), "Operation Bagong Pag-Asa" (1975), "Banyuhay" (1980), "Camp Pag-ibig" (1982), "Mother Teresa Awards" (1983), among many, many other projects. With these activities, the Manila Jaycees was awarded countless awards and citations over the years. It has also distinguished itself of becoming the only Jaycee organization in the world to receive the coveted "Most Outstanding Jaycee Chapter of the World" award from the JCI not less than seven times (1963, 1966, 1967, 1977, 1982, 1983, 1994). In addition, the JCI-Manila prides itself in being the only Jaycee chapter in the Philippines to win the "Most Outstanding Jaycee Chapter President" four times (1981, 1983, 1991, 1994). Moreover, as a leadership organization devoted to community service, JCI-Manila started many worthwhile community projects that became institutions in Philippine Society. With these activities, JCI-Manila was awarded countless awards and citations over the years. It has also distinguished itself of becoming the only Jaycee organization in the world to receive the coveted "Most Outstanding Jaycee Chapter of the World" award from the JCI not less than seven times since 1963.
History of JCI Manila
JCI-Manila is the first and premier leadership organization established, not only in the Philippines, but also in Asia.
It auspiciously began with the curiosity of a young World War II veteran, the venerable Artemio L. Vergel de Dios, who read about the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees) in the October 1946 issue of PIC Magazine and forthwith wrote the United States to inquire how a similar organization could be established in the Philippines.
By September 12, 1947, Vergel de Dios got the cue from Robert H. Richards, Executive Secretary for External Affairs of the United States Jaycees, who referred him to Bertram J. Talbot, a former Jaycee from St. Paul, Minnesota, who was then the traffic manager of Northwestern Airlines in Manila. At about the same time, Talbot got a letter from Junior Chamber International World President, Taylor S. Cole, about Vergel de Dios' intention, suggesting that he and Robert R. Trent, then representative to the Hawaiian Sugar Planters in Manila, meet with the Filipino.
As advised, the meeting among the three was arranged and held at the Rotary Room of the Manila Hotel on September 25, 1947, where initial plans were drawn for an organizational meeting. With the support of other United States Jaycees who were stationed as multi-national expatriates in Manila such as Robert R. Trent, Wylie H. Young, Steve B. Brodie, Stephen G. Stonich, and Charles F. Gebhart, as well as other rising Filipino young businessmen with the likes of Atty. Roberto S. Benedicto, Segundo O. Esguerra, Ramon V. del Rosario, and Eugenio J. Puyat, the Manila Junior Chamber was formed with sixteen young men, nine Filipinos and seven Americans, on the first organizational meeting held on December 20, 1947 at the Champagne Room of the Manila Hotel. It was on this date that JCI-Manila was born.
By the time the Constitution and By-laws of JCI-Manila was taken up and approved on January 3, 1948, forty-two members had signed up. The first Board of Directors elected the following as officers: Ramon V. del Rosario (President), Eugenio J. Puyat (Vice-President for External Affairs), Jose N. Mayuga (Vice-President for Internal Affairs), Artemio L. Vergel de Dios (Secretary), Gregorio M. Feliciano (Treasurer), and Steve B. Brodie (Public Relations Officer).