Primus Inter Pares

by Joel Pablo Salud

The bosses one gets to laugh with from time to time, share a drink or two even in the thick of a stressful situation, are as rare as gems.

In my dealings with the corporate world, these people come few and far between, and like the co-workers that they are who log in more hours on the job than any of us could ever dream of doing, I feel deeply honored to have worked side by side with some of them.

No, they’re not perfect, not by a long shot. But their one overriding skill–their gift of building relationships with their corporate family–makes them a cut above the rest.

They walk with no airs, make no pretenses to power despite the wealth in their hands, the same wealth they share only too willingly with those in need.

Yes, I’ve seen these people and I’ve worked with a few of them, no more than the fingers in one hand.

One of them is D. Edgard A. Cabangon, current chairman of the Aliw Media Group and son to our beloved former chairman emeritus, the late Amb. Antonio L. Cabangon Chua.

After 10 years as editor of the Philippines Graphic, I’ve witnessed this young man’s growth as a businessman and friend to his corporate family.

He’s a strict boss and a meticulous worker, this much is certain, but one who never fails to approach his people as one of their own, regardless of who they are, logging in more hours in the office and on the field than the rest of us combined.

Notwithstanding his status in the corporate world as one of its most successful executives, I would always catch him saying to his older colleagues, “Nandito po ako para mapag-utusan niyo.”

I met boss Edgard years before his rise as chairman of the Aliw Media Group–at the ambassador’s office or along the hallway. Among all the executives at the ALC Group of Companies, he seems to be one of those who are well-loved, and with good reason.

Suffice it that he gives new meaning to the friendship he extends to every man and woman in the office. It’s one of his rare qualities.

Being in constant tune with what is happening around him is another. While he rarely minces words, he is never one to lose his composure even when faced with impossible odds.

His rise in the company was nowhere near being a walk in the park. His father, our boss Amba, was as good and strict a mentor as any worth their salt. During Edgard’s early years in the business, and despite the gains of his father’s companies, he was a working student–the one-man staff of the gasoline station his father owned.

From there Edgard started his slow rise in the company while studying law.

In the cutthroat arena of the corporate world, it’s a great achievement for one so influential to be so amicable. It’s a quality only a handful of executives have ever reached. For Edgard and his father Amba, this is the one attribute that has made them so esteemed.

So on behalf of the editors and staff of the Philippines Graphic, we wish you a happy and fruitful birth anniversary, boss Edgard (and his twin, Edward). May God bless you and keep you. G



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