Once A Titan, Always A Titan
People come and go—some stay and linger for a while, others often leave quickly, but everyone leaves footprints in the sands of time. 15 years ago, Enderun first opened its gates to nurture young minds. With that, comes the students who journey within the campus and walk out as proud and polished Titans. Although time has passed, and changes continue to occur, the ignited spirit gained from their stay in Enderun has not wavered. Hence, INK took the initiative to collate the stories of a few of the many notable alumni the school has molded since its inauguration. Here are the stories of a few notable alumni over the years:
BS – INTERNATIONAL HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT
Caleb (Kyungku) Han
Initially, Caleb didn’t think he would become a hotelier. In fact, his first course in university was to become a fireman—a future career that didn’t quite resonate with him. However, after much contemplation and reflection, Caleb had an epiphany that changed the course of his life. After his mandatory military service in Korea, he had realized he wanted to pursue something he could genuinely enjoy for the rest of his life.
When Caleb first discovered Enderun, he thought that it was a school that had a vision, a promising curriculum, and great professors. Without much thought, Caleb enrolled right away. His journey in Enderun was nothing short of fruitful. Within the two years of his stay on campus, he was able to learn valuable life lessons. As he had described himself, “One thing that I learned the most is a way of life.” He mentions how he learned the significant lifestyle of a hotelier which balanced every aspect of his life.
Through the opportunities Enderun offered, Caleb was able to participate in a variety of events, such as catering and wine exhibitions. One of the most notable events he experienced was when he was granted the chance to organize an event with both the organizations, Cultura and Korun. It was the 1st Korean Cultural Event and was bestowed with the honor of being joined by the ambassador of Korea. Later on, he was doing multiple promotions around the world. Such as but not limited to, Cambodia and Thailand.
He also hosted a variety of world summits like APEC and has had a long list of lavish events to his name. Caleb has also received multiple awards. However, his best achievement, he says, was meeting his colleagues and regular guests who eventually became constants in his life. Here, Caleb was able to cultivate the skills necessary to become a successful hotelier.
Much like Caleb, Natasha wasn’t exactly keen on entering the field of hospitality management. It was her younger sister, Tanya (another fellow alumna), who suggested that she should explore and keep her options open. Although she stepped out of the Enderun Campus more than a decade ago, what she has learned in Enderun still serves her well to this day.
Natasha says her Titan journey has led her to manifest a deeper appreciation for travel, culture, and genuineness. She says that through these three factors, she was able to learn leadership skills that have helped her in attaining both her own and her organization’s goals.
One of those mentioned goals was to discover more of the beautiful Philippine islands outside of Metro Manila. Enderun helped make it happen by aiding her until Le Soleil de Boracay and then El Nido Resorts in Palawan granted her an internship. Her multiple reputable internships helped shape herself and her view of the hospitality industry, further solidifying her passion for providing exceptional service.
Natasha humbly held her chin high once she graduated Cum Laude. But of course, she says that the bonds and lessons she garnered with her fellow Titans will always be memorable to her. During her career in Hyatt, she met special people who have coached and mentored her into her position before she moved on to the next path of her hotel journey.
BS – CULINARY
Kyla just couldn’t turn down the opportunity of a scholarship! Prior to finding out about Enderun, Kyla was ready to take on the world and make the world her oyster. However, because of a financial setback, she was also set on putting her culinary dreams on hold. When Enderun stepped in to help her achieve her goals, Kyla instantly became grateful for the opportunity.
One of the most notable professors she had during her time in Enderun was Chef See. Over a decade later, she still shares a mentor and student relationship with him and is currently receiving professional guidance as a professional.
Other than the culinary-related tips and techniques she gained from her classes, Kyla also learned a thing or two about treating other people equally. She makes it a point to make sure to treat the janitor, security guard, steward the same way you would treat the CEO or General Manager of the company.
She also believes that what distinguishes Titans the most is their business-minded or entrepreneurial approach when playing their roles in a company. She adds that Titans thrive in marketing and customer service roles because we were trained to deal with different people very early on. Her local and international internships are proof that these skills have helped her advance in her career.
BS – FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
Isabel (Izzy) Matias
Choosing Enderun with its balance in theory and practice, Izzy enrolled with an academic pursuit in Finance and Wealth Management. She wanted to try something different and was also granted a full merit scholarship. She believes that theory shouldn’t exclusively stay as theory, but she believes that this should be put into practice. With that said, she took every opportunity to apply the theories she learned in class and applied them to real-life situations. She always asks herself, “how can I apply this in my life right now?”, carrying a mindset that every lesson that is taught to her has a significance or importance that would be beneficial to her in the future.
Aside from academics, she has participated in various extracurricular activities. She applied for Models United Nation, which allowed her debate and public speaking skills to grow. Her leadership skills were honed when she applied for the American Chamber of Commerce’s Business Leadership program, admitting her as one of the selected 30 students in the Philippines to meet like-minded individuals and business industry professionals. However, even with all this wide array of extracurriculars, being the Editor-In-Chief in INK for two years, was the highlight of her stay in Enderun. This further honed her leadership skills and gave her insights on how to manage the online and printed platforms in INK. The entire experience and knowledge she earned in Enderun have influenced the way she manages her current focus now—blogging.
Her internships were also remarkable as she did 3 internships as an Enderun Titan. She worked under Bella Luce Publications, BPI, and Unilever. With all the experience she had accumulated, she worked in BPI Private Banking as her first job, followed by being a writer and producer in CNN Philippines, and even being a Marketing Associate Manager at Ayala Malls organising events and marketing activities for Alabang Town Center.
The span of time she’s spent in Enderun was worthwhile, she’s especially thankful to her professors, namely Sir Erwin Lizarondo, Sir Rocky Laurel for their unique and enjoyable teaching styles, and even Ms. Marissa Felix who is supportive and is still in touch with her today. She is proud to be a Titan, always reminiscing all the experiences and time she’s spent on campus with her classmates and friends.
Katrina (Bea) Ibarra
Seeing Enderun as a relatively small school, Bea was drawn to the environment it offered. She saw this as an opportunity to build extensive relationships, not only with the other students but also with the admirable faculty.
Her time in Enderun was a fruitful experience, unlocking the deepest potential that was hidden inside her, eventually aiding her as soon as she set foot in the real world. In terms of her academics, she was a part of the Honors Program, allowing her to thrive in an ever-growing environment along with her talented and highly motivated classmates, helping each other push themselves to greater heights.
Partaking in various extracurricular activities, such as Cultura, allowed her to expand her soft skills—most notably leadership and interpersonal skills, allowing Bea to leave her comfort zone and further develop herself as an individual.
With Enderun being known for its remarkable internship program, it helped Bea prepare for the corporate world. Whilst on her internships, she had a chance to interact with recognized professionals in the finance and business scene, such as April Tan from COL Financial & Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala(JAZA) in Ayala.
Bea believes that being a Titan is defined as “having the drive to constantly surpass expectations and prove that the professionals Enderun produces are just as good as any of the big schools in the country”.
Developing amazing relationships with the faculty, she is most grateful for Ms. Marivic, who to this day has been supportive of Bea’s career aspirations and provides professional guidance to her. During her stay, she also remembers Ms. Felix, as she scolds those who are not wearing the proper attire on school grounds. Bea is extremely grateful for what Enderun has helped her achieve and continues to impact and shape the person she is today.
BS – ENTREPRENEURSHIP
As a Titan, Amber’s time in Enderun allowed her to evolve and adapt, better preparing her as soon as she set off in the real world. Reminiscing about her time in Enderun, she has learned two significant lessons—with the first one being, “Always have a goal”. She identifies goals as if they were a “…lighthouse in the rough sea of life, you will constantly and consciously look for ways to get there.”, aiming for an end goal that will lead us to attain our true purpose in life.
The other lesson that she learned was that it’s okay to say “no” or “that’s enough”. Amber believes that it is beneficial to grab every opportunity that comes your way, however, don’t take in too much that you’ll suffer or drown from the workload. However, to her, failing is part of the learning process to eventually meet your end goal.
Amber has been a part of numerous organizations and programs in Enderun. One of the most notable being the Enderun Leadership Program, which aided her leadership and social skills, as well as being open-minded with the issue of sustainability when she partook in the Sustainable Regional Development Program in collaboration with Mikunigaoka Highschool from Osaka, Japan.
Another program that she enlisted in was the American Chamber of Commerce Business Leadership Program, a 10-day painstaking business idea competition that Amber’s team emerged victorious in, earning the Business Competition Championship Medal at the end of the program.
Focusing exclusively on the time she spent in Enderun, she has learned so much especially with her course, enabling her to deal with problems and devise a creative solution, further strengthening her thought process.
Amber worked at Green Sun Hotel for her internship, where exposure from experienced individuals helped her grow, and has also broadened her patience and stress levels.
From our esteemed faculty in Enderun, Ms. Marivic Ignacio was the most memorable to her. Amber looks up to her as a career compass and as an idol, aiding her to persevere through hardships.
To her, being a Titan is someone that “Thinks outside the box” and an individual that “always aims to make an impact”, traits that were invoked to her during the period when she was studying in Enderun, something that she still utilizes even to this day.
Everyone had a unique background prior to joining Enderun and David was no exception. During his high school years, David was homeschooled, and after graduating, he proceeded to do mission work in Mindanao and India for 3 years. Due to this, David had not studied for so long and was afraid that he would not pass the college entrance exams. Subsequently, he didn’t pass any of his target schools. However, this was a blessing in disguise as after he was offered a full scholarship from FEU, Enderun had called David to ask if he wanted to enroll. After being interviewed by Dean Ed and was offered a scholarship, David got in and was instantly appealed with being taught by professors who are or formerly industry practitioners.
David’s life in Enderun was a unique experience compared to the others, as he had to work side jobs to fund his allowance and the rest of his tuition. He had a hard time when it came to transportation as well, especially with a relative distance between school and his home, traveling on 4 modes of transport. He can also recall being on a budget whilst on his stay in Enderun, rather than eating out in restaurants during lunch. This was an educative time in his life, that having these experiences allowed him to be thankful and to make the most of everything—academics, friendships, and hardships, giving David the necessary strength to persevere through the impediments that came his way.
Being an Entrepreneur student allowed him to be knowledgeable in the finance, marketing, and operations field, allowing David to display flexibility in the corporate world and aiding him in the start-up business that he is currently developing.
Ms. Marivic Ignacio was the most memorable to him. Her teachings allowed David to reach a commendable level in accounting, which is remarked by auditors. An extraordinary feat for someone who isn’t an accountancy graduate. To David, being a Titan is someone that does not back down from any challenges, who is able to pull and persevere through. This made him better equipped and motivated to help his family and other people as well.
These are just a handful of the many Titans who have proved that their journey did not stop once they stepped out of Enderun. Truly, Titans are capable of defying expectations. May these stories spark something within the current students of Enderun, to feel inspired and persevere to work even harder to be the next batch of future leaders.
With the current situation that the world is in, the hardships and trials will allow these future leaders to be more resilient and to adapt to challenges that may arise. To the next batch of leaders, the torch has now been passed on to you. And remember, once a Titan, always a Titan.