CINQ: My 2014 CIMA Global Business Challenge Journey


Cinq Solutions. French for five. Four members, one coach. We made a difference. Hihi.

Until this day I still find it hard to believe that I was chosen to be part of the team. But well, God has His plans. 🙂

We arrived in the NAIA airport at fifteen minutes past two in the afternoon on the twentieth of June. I was not excited to tour the city as I have been there before. What I could only recall was that I was too excited and nervous for the experience ahead. I was on a “bring it on!” spirit, it was just that it is not easy to be brave when you are forced to be in a silent mode. The series of practices we had for the past few days have been so stressful on my part that I ended up having cough and colds. I cannot speak. And so I stayed that way for the whole day.2


My thoughts revolved around being positive about it all. I was desperately trying to tell myself that perhaps I’ll get well in the morning and that I should not worry. But what really consumned the entirety of my thoughts was the fear that I would end up being the liability of the team. That all would go well except for the issues I am going to discuss. I was praying for the ginger and cold compress to work but I had a restless sleep that night.

Morning came. My head felt heavy. I keep on trying to speak while being in the bathroom. I had another silent ride to the contest venue with Ma’am Loable and Bryan. I could hardly keep my calm. We were the first team to arrive at Century Park Hotel, Manila. It was a great place really and I was sorry about not being able to take a picture of the amazing fountain in its lobby. HAHA. Anyway, we took pictures, greeted the judges who were rather early, the organizers and explored the place.



We were all called to an adjacent room to wait. The organizers gave us IDs with numbers as the basis for the Best Presentor Award but I was too nervous to even care. I tried to put on a confident smile, though. I tried not to get intimidated by the other contestants who came from prominent schools. We were then asked to pick a number and we ended up being the second presentor. I came up with a strategy then in order to avoid being a liability to the team: I would compensate the bad quality of my voice with confidence. I have to convince the judges and everyone, for that matter, that I can defend the team’s stand despite my condition. Our video was played and I could only hope to forcefully release my voice and make it audible enough with all the emotions I held inside me. When it was my turn to speak, I looked at the eyes of every judge and for an instant, I felt relieved that I held their attention. Sir Christopher Bautista, the Chief Financial Officer of the SM Prime Holdings, Inc showed the greatest interest in my topic and that enabled me to calm my nerves and present accordingly. We finished our presentation ahead of time and were able to successfully answer the question of the judges. That, I believe, gave us an edge over the other teams. I was confident we would win.

I really had a crush on one of the judges. Well, no it’s not really a crush but more like an admiration. He looked so smart and well, business-like. He is the Director of the Asia Client Operations Group of Barclays, Mr. Roy Teo. He came from Singapore and I just can’t easily take my eyes off the formal way he holds himself. I can’t even help looking at him occassionally while we were having our lunch, but the suspense of being kept in the dark about who the winners were going to be kept my admiration at bay. (LOL)

Afternoon came, I was excited and nervous and anxious to hear the winners. The judges were all looking at our direction with amused expressions on their faces. Perhaps, they were pretty much confident our team would win. The winner for the video contest was announced and it was not us so I could care less. The master of the ceremony then tried to ask the crowd which term to use. I never cared even until she said that the Best Presentor came from our team. I was sure it would not be me anyway. Get real. HAHA. Eighteen. The host called. I looked around and asked myself, “Wait. What was my number again?” I looked down to see the big fat eighteen written in bold on my ID. I stood up, going on about how impossible this is, I have a hoarse voice, yada, yada. And for a moment I forgot I was in Manila. I was mumbling in bisaya and really, I could care less. I could NOT believe it!

Then the time came for them to announce the top three. I was really relieved when we were not called for the third place and I was hoping we’d be called for the first place. haha. But, we were called for the second place and I guess that is just how good things are going to get. We still got awards but we missed India. I was a bit disappointed to be honest, I knew we did our best, but it was irrevocable. I tried to settle my thoughts and ended up being happy and contented. I live the life of a super senior BS Accountancy student in a top performing school and I know I had to make use of the time. India is not practical now.

When the program ended, Mr. Bautista came to me and we shook hands. He told me how I did a very good job and that made my day. We also took a picture with Mr. Cuaresma, the Chief Executive Officer of Punongbayan and Araullo. We jokingly told him, “Sir, mag-aapply na po kami.” and he replied, “You’re hired. Add me on Facebook!”

It was really a great opportunity for me and for my team. And despite not being able to win all the way to the global finals, I was happy knowing that God has greater plans in mind. We brought home a machine for the school! Hihi. We were able to meet great people in the business world. Sometimes, though, I think about wanting to be like those people. May be I am meant for the business world, after all. 🙂 As for Cinq, well we will always be Cinq. The frienship and teamwork we had was priceless! To GOD be all the glory!




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