Pioneer AIM grads celebrate golden jubilee with book launch



Rigorous as it is to gain entry into the Asian Institute of Management (AIM), it doesn’t hurt to have enormous intellect and cojones to let alone to survive once you get in.

AIM is explicit in its qualifications:

“We look for candidates who possess the resilience and capacity to graduate from the Institution’s programs. Admissions test scores are one way to measure quantitative, verbal, and reasoning skills necessary for successfully completing studies at the graduate level.

“But the test measures only potential – although it wouldn’t hurt to have a lot of it. We also look at how applicants fared while taking earlier courses. Academic distinctions are noted favorably, as these indicate the student’s likelihood to excel at AIM.”

Plainly, you have to be way above average to be even considered – something that Master of Business Management (MBM) Class of 1971 had in copious reserve.

MBM ’71 is in itself a special bunch. Remarkable savants to begin with, the Class are actually pioneers since they hold the distinction of being AIM’s first graduating batch.

[For transparency’s sake, there was a class ahead. But Batch ’70 was a hybrid Ateneo MBM class, which makes MBM ’71 the first true full batch of AIM.]

As 2021 approached, MBM Class ’71 made plans on how best to commemorate their Golden Anniversary.

They weighed options, and on suggestion of WAC (Written Analysis of Cases) professor, Santi Dumlao,the class with the big cojones did as they are wont to do: 

They cooked up a ‘Soup Number Five,’ metaphorically speaking.

Or, more specifically, a ‘Soup Number Five-Oh’ for the golden jubilee.

Thus was the genesis of First Fruits.

“Not a traditional yearbook with class biographies, but rather, a collage of life stories narrated by the class or their (surviving) families,” describes batch member Rene Valencia, Chairman of Omnipay, Inc., Lead Independent Director of GT Capital, and EEI Corp.

The opus is a poignant narration of memoirs; of short and easy reads, with some pieces sent in honor of departed batchmates; such as that of Carlo Katigbak in behalf of his father Nick; Rufo Colayco for his brother Boy; Mariter and Alex, wife and son, respectively, for class president Art Macapagal; and Mariel, who penned a “moving Valentine piece for husband Chito,” wrote batch member Tony Samson, Chairman and CEO of TOUCH xda, and Director at PhilEquity Fund, in his Business World column.

It was indeed a labor of love; a collaborative work led by its Editorial Board of Dumlao, Samson, and EmmyLagniton Hayward; Advisory Board of Dumlao, Anthony P. Golamco, and Francisco H. Bautista; Executive Committee of Renato C. Valencia, Tomas V. Apacible and Manuel G. La O’; Creative Team of Marily Orosa, BG Hernandez, and Ermil Carranza; Publisher Studio 5 Designs, Inc.; and Managing Director Lagniton Hayward.

Ever the professor, Dumlao proudly drew parallels from the Book of Deuteronomy, relating MBM ’71 to the Israelites who, at last reaching the Promised Land, paid back the “good things which the Lord your God has given.”

AIM President Jikyeong Kang similarly gave praise to the school’s very own crop of ‘first fruits,’ saying, “I am absolutely amazed… 50 years later, you demonstrate that you are (still) in the forefront of innovation. Your commitment, passion, zeal for life… it’s all coming from this wonderful book.”

But then again, such are the expectations of any AIM product.

Long has the institute been an assembly line for alpha executives destined to scale the high echelons of the corporate and civil service world, or leave it with an indelible mark.

As this calls to mind a Danish proverb that says, “Too many captains will sink the ship,” it is curious that with so many successful and strong willed individuals, things still manage to get done.

“(At AIM) we’re not just here to learn, pick up skills and values, but we’re here to make friendship that last a lifetime,” Kang said.

With First Fruits, the accomplished members of batch MBM ’71 have proven themselves ego-less and capable of working in concert. But more importantly, of remaining the best of friends.

All while each of them helming the country’s many great ships and becoming captains of its industries in the years that followed.

First Fruits launched last October 26, 2022 at the AIM facility, where the journey for MBM ’71 began, with batch members and/or their survivors attending in-person or online. 

And if the reader shall forgive this shameless plug, a copy is available for a goodwill price of just P2,000 at the AIM Bookstore.