WHILE Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant cruised to victory in the final game of his career last week, dozens of individuals gathered that same day at the Muzeo Museum in Anaheim where accomplished Filipinos shared their ingredients to success.
The Filipino American Chamber of Commerce of Orange County (FACCOC) on Wednesday, April 13, hosted its eighth annual Secrets to Success. The event featured five Filipinos who have made large strides in their careers, including ABS-CBN broadcast reporter Stephen Angeles, who moderated the panel discussion event.
“You take whatever greater good you can get, you take whatever blessings, and you just run with it,” Angeles said.
Angeles attended the event straight after covering Bryant’s retirement at the Staples Center and participated in telephone interviews with ABS-CBN news channel ANC while in Anaheim.
“And for some odd reason I’ve run with it for the last 11 years and it’s I guess it’s worked,” he said of his blessings. “They haven’t kicked me out yet. I’ve been in trouble a lot at the office, but the fact that they’re calling me right now to bug me and ask me where Kobe Bryant is, I guess it’s cool.”
Other panelists included Louie Jocson, director of culinary operations at Zov’s Restaurant Group; Wendell Alinea, a photo journalist and official photographer of Manny Pacquiao; Giovanni Ortega, an actor, author and director; and Linda Young, founder of event production company Elite OC Productions.
In his speech, Jocson dissected the word “success,” which he noted was associated with terms like achievement, purpose, passion and triumph. However, they did not include others, such as choice, hard work, support, positive perspective, balance, persistence, joy and sacrifice.
“All the words, this word success it was just telling you what it is, but it didn’t tell you anything else that went with it. Which were action, which were verbs, right. You have to do something. It didn’t just hit you in the backside and voila: success. Right?” he said.
When he was younger, Jocson was subject to peeling and mincing garlic, and peeling and dicing onions, a requirement his mother imposed before he could go out and play. At one point, he was required to cook dinner twice a week for his family, and would have to stop whatever he was doing to attend to the responsibility on days he had to cook.
Jocson eventually went to the California Culinary Academy while some of his friends made it into prestigious institutions like Harvard and Stanford. Although going to culinary school was looked down upon when he went in the ‘90s, Jocson said it’s something many professionals want to do these days.
Pacquiao’s photographer, Alinea, began documenting the now retired boxer’s life in 2012. Nine years ago, Alinea said he was diagnosed with leukemia and was given only a short period of time to live. Today, he is cancer-free and attributes his success to that time in his life.
“Many people said you have to live every day as if it is your last and for me I experienced that literally. I lived my day as if it was my last. Every time I woke upI’m thankful that I’m still alive, and everything is a bonus. Maybe that’s the secret…. I don’t feel pressure to succeed because I think everything’s a bonus as long as I’m alive,” Alinea said.
Ortega, an assistant professor of theatre and dance at Pomona College who wrote “Criers for Hire,” a comedy production about professional Filipino funeral criers and one based on some events in his own life, told the audience that struggles are a reason for people to succeed.
“The struggle of my past is not the reason for me to fail. It is the reason that I continue to succeed, and that is based on ambition,” he said.
He also left the audience with four tenets of success: be a visionary, be collaborative, be nurturing and be decisive.
One of the considerations when it comes to success, is that the definition of the term varies depending on the individual, Young said in her speech. For some, she said it might be dependent on the money one earns or the size of one’s house; For others, success could be based on the amount of hard work one invests into their career or family, or how well one manages to balance different areas of their life.
“[Given that], it’s really, really difficult to really determine what the secret to success is in your life,” Young said.
In the end, panelists suggested that keys to success include never forgetting one’s faith and that success is a choice.