Reading through online newspapers over the weekend got myself caught on one item. An article by this paper’s Editor-In-Chief Jovi De Leon titled “out of the box.”

Well, my attention got hooked not because I belong to the same paper but because it was rather unique. It’s about the wishes of Advocacy for the Development of Central Luzon (ADCL) chairman Rene Romero who celebrated his birthday over the weekend.

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“Out of the box” was also my main point in my lectures on Newspaper Design and Layout. In desktop design applications, it means being more creative by going out of column grid lines to make the publication more attractive.

But I am not here to talk about aesthetics but something more permanent and beautiful beneath the surface –respect and goodwill.

The first one is something you have to earn while the latter is a result or a creation that you beget from the former. It may vary though, depending on the situation you are in.

Respect, as anyone would probably believe, is also earned through a long process. It is not something you get overnight, by a click of a finger, by a snap, by a wink or by patting one’s back. Almost always, it is gained by doing something for somebody else, for neighbors, for a lot of people, for the whole community.

Respect is something one earns through what he says, and doing what he says, and even influencing the community with what he says and do.

This is one notable feat. The same thing that is being accomplished by the ADCL.

The advocacy group has made its presence felt on many fronts – environment, health, infrastructure and even cultural issues, among others.

And I could only wonder how its chairman is accomplishing things for ADCL on an “outside the box” basis. You see Mr. Romero has defined the term as achieving something outside his family and business circles.

But besides the wonder-how on my part, I could only see that his formula is effective. Romero, also known to be a poster boy, has achieved a lot not only for himself nor his family nor his business. He is an effective tool of change for the community.


“August Boys” as they are called, are the birthday celebrators for the month of August. Aside from Rene Romero, they include bossman (as I always call him) Levy P. Laus, chairman of Laus Group of companies.

As in the term “august body” which means respectable or esteemed or honored, our celebrators have gained huge amount of respect not only from their business peers. They have earned the same esteem from the spheres of communities they are identified with.

And they did not earn this overnight. Mr. Laus, for example, has gained it from being a salesman of used cars. Now, he is the most successful car dealership magnate in Central and Northern Luzon (and probably the whole country) with about eight long-established automobile brands in his ward. From one corner shop in San Fernando, he has gone global with the product lines in his tutelage.

Romero, on the other hand, has not gone satisfied with providing jobs to thousands in his manpower services firm. His indispensable presence in the business sector as well as in the who’s who in the power circles has given him the right to espouse for better life through advocacies.

Together, Messrs. Laus and Romero had given the local trade and commerce scene a new likable business environment under the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Pamcham has effectively been helping small to medium scale enterprises to improve and grow through partnerships, business matching, developmental programs that the organization has been creating.