Renowned public speaker Anthony Pangilinan talks about his journey of being a father and finding a calling in life.
A lot of times we often hear the word “calling” or the strong urge of a person toward a particular way of life. Most of us are confused as to whether we have already found our calling or are still in search of it, and many times we often mistake it for something else. But for Anthony Pangilinan, a father of five, a well-known advocate, and a seasoned motivational speaker, finding your life mission is the definition of a person’s true success. This definition is what he often shares in his talks.
Over time, Pangilinan mastered the art of public speaking and working with teams. Being the first and only Filipino to become president of AIESEC International, he has a lot of experience in leadership, training, and motivational speaking. “I’ve always been involved in a lot of training since I was in high school, when I got into college even though I took up architecture, I joined AIESEC, and I headed that in the world. I am the only Philippine president in 75 years. I finished my architecture degree but during that time, I was starting my own management consulting company, which is Business Works, and I literally knocked on doors to offer my seminars in the beginning,” Pangilinan shared.
A PASSION THAT PROMOTES POSITIVE CHANGE
Looking back at the success of his company, Pangilinan shared that if you set up something and you are able to succeed in it, your next move is to create a positive contribution to society. “So I started doing free seminars, public seminars. And I also got into media.”
Pangilinan also recalled the time when Filipino broadcast journalist Korina Sanchez invited him as a guest on her morning talk show to talk about his experience as an AIESEC president, “Korina contacted me and said ‘Can you guest? We want to talk about your experience abroad’ because I was traveling as president of AIESEC in 64 countries. I went to Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe. Right after I guested, Korina asked, ‘Can you be my co-host?’” Pangilinan chuckled as he recalled the conversation.
“So while I was growing my business, I was also hosting. I also did news for a while, so those you see right now, YouTube, digital, social media, they’re just new platforms now, I’ve been making content for the past couple of years already.” Pangilinan, reflecting on all these things he’s done, opined how it has always been his passion to serve the public.
Pangilinan heads Called to Rescue, Inc. (CTR), an antihuman trafficking organization that helps rescue children and youth who have been abused or trafficked. So how did he start it and how did that change his life? “At first, I was just invited to volunteer, then after one task I told myself ‘This is such a big problem’ because it’s anti-trafficking and anti-abuse. Usually, the key to solving this problem is connections, when a child is abused, who will be the people involved? Policemen, politicians, media, sponsors, psychologists, I’ve realized I have all of those connections. So after that one event, I told myself ‘I can do more,’ and that’s what I’ve been at for 12 years.”
The seasoned advocate admitted to feeling fulfilled when reaching out and helping others, “On one hand, the fulfillment is there especially if you help a person or a group, but the guilt is also there if you failed to do something knowing you can do it.” Pangilinan also mentioned calling, “You know when you’re called and you don’t respond to your callings? That’s heavy.”
A MOTIVATOR, FIRST AND FOREMOST, TO HIS CHILDREN
When asked how he manages to still bond with his kids despite his busy schedule, he shared: “Whenever there’s a chance, you really have to bring them with you when you travel. When I have work somewhere in Cebu, I’ll bring one kid, or sometimes I take my wife. In that way, my kids can also get exposed to people.”
“You also have to do things together. For example, I got into the triathlon, all of them joined Ironkids Philippines. You really have to find a common interest; take Hannah, for example, we just finished shooting our first full-length film, it’s a mother-and-son story of my wife Maricel and my son Donny. It’s more of E-sports so more on gaming, and Hannah, she’s good with editing and camera work so she’s the creative producer of the movie,” he proudly declared.
“You really have to let them join. Like Ella, she’s one of the members of our NGO Called To Rescue because that’s something she can resonate with. So whatever interests your kids have, you really have to support and join them.”
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Photos by Ed Simon of Kliq, Inc.