JCI Manilena History

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Articles taken from 2020 JCI Manilena P.R.I.M.E. Magazine

It was in April 10, 1980 when the Board of Directors of Manila JCs then headed by President Ricardo “Dick” Nicolas passed a Resolution to organize a Lady Chapter. With the guidance and mentoring of one of the Directors of Manila JCs, Jose Ma. “Digoy” Fernandez, who later became the 1981 President of JCI Manila, the first organizational meeting of MANILEÑA JCs (now officially registered in JCI Philippines as JCI MANILEÑA) was held on May 27, 1980, at the Manila JCs Clubhouse located in Ermita, Manila.

Then, on July 9, 1980, MANILEÑA JCs was recognized and chartered during the 1980 Metro Manila Chapter Presidents Meeting. There was an initial thirty-one (31) professional young ladies recruited to constitute the Charter members of the Chapter. The first set of Directors and Officers elected were:

  • Josephine “Joji” Ruivivar- Ubaldo – Charter President
  • Asuncion “Siony” Sudario-Martinez – Vice President of Operations
  • Brenda Hernando – Vice President of Development
  • Gloria Castro-Noble – Vice President of Programs
  • Amor Noble-Roque – Treasurer
  • Marivic Zarate – Asst. Treasurer
  • Laura Zalamea – Secretary
  • Teresita Tan – Asst. Secretary
  • Trini Valencia-Sanchez – Director for Records & Recognition

The first few years of JCI MANILEÑA were full of challenges. At official JCI functions, the Chapter was always introduced as the Lady Chapter of Manila JCs, the Premier Chapter of the JCI Philippines. A tall order to follow but we had to deliver. The group of 31 young ladies blended well with each other. Things happened so fast, considering that we were just new in the JCI community.

Leadership skills were developed and honed, with JCI being a Leadership Organization. Membership recruitment and membership retention were given emphasis. “Growth Through Jayceeism” i.e. growth in membership and growth of the organization in general, were the set goals. To keep the Chapter afloat and provide project funding for the community development projects, fundraising projects were started.

Various community projects and other projects relevant during our term as Presidents, were initiated during the 1st decade of JCI Manileña. We are proud to say that those projects won for the chapter, various awards in the JCI Area and National Conferences and the JCI World Congress as well as the prestigious Chapter awards, The Outstanding Chapter (LOM) and The Outstanding Chapter (LOM) President for several years.

MANILEÑA JCs was not just an organization for the 1st Decade Presidents and members of the chapter. We refer to it as our FAMILY. One big family. Where we are now in the hierarchy of the corporate world is partly because of Manileña JCs, where our leadership skills were developed. We were practically together in almost all of our projects. It was very fulfilling indeed seeing the other side of Manila, where JCI Manileña extends whatever assitance to families who are living in the depressed areas. Attending area, national and international conferences were all fun-filled activities. The camaraderie was built over time. Manileña’s 40th year is also a celebration of our 40 years of friendship, very much alive and going strong.

The special friendship was not just amongst us in JCI Manileña but also friends we meet outside of the chapter. It is a long list of JCI friends and they know who they are. They were with us in our 40 year journey and are still with us up to now, though some of them have left and are now in heaven. Our regular reunion or get
together happens when majority of us can come, usually is a birthday celebration We hold it a number of times in Manila, outside of Manila or if time permits us, outside of the country.

The lyrics of the song entitled “Through the Years”, aptly describes our group and the friendship developed with our special JCI friends outside of the chapter. 40 years of togetherness with special friends, “through all the good and bad times”, as the song goes.

In parting, for and on behalf of the 1st Decade Presidents of JCI MANILEÑA, we are proud to say that WE MADE IT! Our goal 40 years ago was to see JCI MANILEÑA become the leading female JCI chapter in the JCI Philippines.

On our 40th year, JCI MANILEÑA remains to be one of the leading female chapters in JCIP, no doubt about it! As proof of our dynamism, the chapter was able to charter JCI SENATE MANILEÑA in 2018, THE ONLY, ALL-FEMALE
JCI SENATE CHAPTER in the country and THE ONLY JCI Senate Chapter allowed and approved by the 2016 Board of Directors of JCI Senate Philippines (with clearance from the Board of Directors of JCI Senate Manila), to be
chartered within the City of Manila, despite the existence of another JCI Senate chapter in the city, which is JCI Senate Manila. Under the JCISP Constitution and By Laws, only one (1) JCI Senate Chapter for each City is allowed. This is another milestone for JCI MANILEÑA!

Our wish is for the future Presidents of JCI MANILEÑA to bring the chapter to greater heights. Preserve and maintain the values, principles and culture of the chapter, the very reason JCI MANILEÑA is where it is right now.

Thank you Charter members of JCI MANILEÑA and Past Presidents for gracing our 40th year celebration. To all our friends in the JCI community and our guests, thank you for joining us tonight in the celebration of JCI MANILEÑA’s 40th year.

Thank you also to the 2020 JCI Manileña President Charis Gutierrez and her 2020 Board of Directors as well as the technical people who made our virtual Ruby celebration of JCI Manileña possible.

PP Siony Sudario-Martinez
1982  President
Charter President and 2020 President, JCI SENATE MANILEÑA
JCI Senate #  39243  and  PJSF Chairman Circle # 53
2020 Treasurer, Phil Jaycee Senate Foundation, Inc. (PJSF)

The 90s is an exciting decade – the start of new technology, great entertainment, as well as unique fashion trends.

Who could not remember the grunge music, pop culture, karaoke parties, MTVs, boy band groups like BackstreetBoys and N’Sync, girl group craze of Spice Girls, OPM bands of Eraserheads, Rivermaya and Side A, the rise of internet and the world wide web. The fashion trends which were very cool – baggy or embellished jeans, tie-dye, track suits, black and white dresses

The 90s is a very nostalgic decade, including our best years as members of Manileña Jaycees.

When I first heard about the Jaycees movement, I knew that this organization will make me a better person. I was invited for an orientation with the other female guests and knew right away that I will be in an awesome organization. Three Past Presidents of Manileña Jaycees – Past President Siony Martinez, Past President Lorii Abela and Past President Suzette Montayo gave us an overview about the leadership organization of Manileña Jaycees – its purpose, objectives, history and the organization as a whole. During that same meeting, the then NEVP JV Ejercito encouraged us to join and be active members. That same night, people who were present at the orientation became instant members and officers of a reviving chapter of Manileña Jaycees.

Based on history and track record of Manileña Jaycees, the chapter has been significantly recognized as one of the outstanding local chapters of the organization. Unfortunately, in 1995 and 1996, the chapter became inactive due to feeble membership. So, the challenge of the reviving chapter in 1997 was to start a new and bring back the glory days of Manileña Jaycees at its helm.

Even if it was a swift recruitment and membership orientation, the revival chapter of Manileña Jaycees bloomed fast enough to gain its strength in membership and active participation not only at local chapter level but up to national level.

And I would like to give my 3-Cs of our 90s:


After we gave our “Yes” to become members of the revival Manileña Jaycees, all the members gave its 100% commitment to fully support the chapter. We conducted thematic and interesting general membership metings, attended various inter-LOM activities like inductions, community services, trainings, MAMO, area and national conferences. We were instant favorites again of many local chapters because of our commitment to have joint projects, fellowships, trainings and active participation in area and national projects.


Caring is sharing, that ”service to humanity is the best work of life”. Manileña Jaycees extended various community projects that all members enjoyed to espouse. We institutionalized a toy library in a public school in Manila, supported programs for women and children, and corroborated environment advocacies.


Manileña Jaycees will never be Manileña Jaycees if friendship was not anchored among its members. The fellowship and bonding that were created made the chapter very strong. Our new recruits became our travel and shopping buddies. Some became business partners. All became each other’s BFFs (Best Friends Forever). Manileña Jaycees extended friendship with other local chapter members. All the activities became very memorable, adventurous and fun.

Looking back at Manileña Jaycees in the 90s, the best memories of being committed to the organization, the caring for others and becoming selfless people, and the friendship that tied us all together were the most precious contributions to the legacy of the 40 years of great success of JCI Manileña.

Cheers to all and Congratulations fellow Manileñas!

PP Maria Arlene “Ayen” D. Garcia
1997 President

To describe the 3rd decade, we can think of three words… DIVERSITY, RELATIONSHIPS and WINNINGS.


The chapter’s members come from different backgrounds, from the hip and young fashionistas, business owners and corporate women. The diversity of personalities has crafted JCI Manileña to where it is now, like coal that went under high pressure and temperature, eventually turning out to be a rough diamond and soon to bloom and cut to perfection. JCI Manileña continuously recruited members and sought ways to improve membership retention. It was a challenge since some became moms and some had other priorities, so membership recruitment has always been a priority. Even under tough times, JCI Manileña is still strong and ever growing. As a testimony to that, JCI Manileña was awarded as Best in Membership Recruitment Program at the Areacon 2006 hosted by JCI Marilaw.


JCI Manileña experienced tough times, with pressure within and all-around. Void of acceptance and support, the chapter re-emerged by nurturing past relationships and forging new friendships locally and internationally. We blossomed relationships to make our JCI days memorable and exciting. Several twinnings happened especially in the latter part of the decade, with JCI Iloilo, JCI Cebu Inc., JCI Zamboanga, and rekindling relationships with JCI Hongkong Islands and JCI New York-Philippines. We have forged new ties with our now sister chapter, JCI Moriguchi Kadoma from JCI Japan. It was a sweet and accidental encounter but a friendship that was meant to be and meant to last. Even up to now, all members, past and present enjoy the friendship that was nurtured decades ago. Third decade Manileñas actively attended several international conferences such as: ASPAC Nagano, Busan and World Congresses in Japan amongst others.


JCI Manileña bagged various awards in this decade from Best Membership Recruitment Program (2006), Outstanding JCI Local Organization 2006 and 2010 and Best Youth Program 2009 just to name a few. Another highlight of this decade, through the concerted efforts of all members including Past Presidents, JCI Manileña hosted the Areacon 2010 Metro Area ROCKS held in Canyon Cove. It was one of the most highly acclaimed hosting in an Areacon. A carefully planned program addressing the needs of the JCI members, entertained by El Gamma Penumbra with a dinner gala of fun and charity works. The smiles of every participant truly made JCI Manileña proud and validated our mission to provide a fantastic Areacon.

PP Sheila Jaucian
2008 President

The fourth decade is when JCI Manileña shined brighter and soared higher. This decade was when we outperformed the other chapters in Category 3. This was the age of confidently beautiful women with a fiery heart to serve humanity; The new JCI Manileña image. Almost all the JCI Manileña Presidents in this decade won the Best President and Best LO Chapter for Category 3 in Area Convention and National Convention.

We hosted the Metro Area Convention again in the year 2017 during the term of Pres Stephanie So which took the Metro Area Convention Hosting a notch higher and showed the Metro Area that JCI Manileña can always make a difference despite our limitations in numbers.

New flagship projects were set such as Biznet during the term of Pres Lizle Guillarte, Short Hair We Care during the leadership of Pres Karen Romarate and Hydrocephalus Project during the term of Pres Joam De Guzman as well as Flowers from the Heart of Pres Shen Sol.

This is the decade where we started to adopt Happy Land Community during the leadership of Pres Lizle Hilario and since then, this community has been the recipient of most of our CSR projects.

We had been very competitive especially in Area Competition. We were the hall of fame winner for Got Swag Talent Competition, the Area Project of 2011 Pres Odessa Bernardo during her term as the Area Vice President of Metro Area 2 in 2012. No chapter can beat us in terms of dancing… from Waka-waka to modern street dancing, thanks to Pres Milanie Thomas, Pres Karen Romarate and Pres Joam De Guzman and their gang. They ensured our consistent victories in every talent competition.

JCI Manileña in this decade was well rounded. Not only did we excel in dancing, but also sports. We won the overall 1st runner up in Metro Area Olympics during my term last 2014. We could have been the Champion if we hadn’t gotten points in Men’s Basketball for cheering for our sister chapters.

During my term also, we relaunched the Lena Manileña Doll where we sold all the remaining dolls and managed to order for a second batch to sell. Furthermore, Lena Manileña made her official debut on Social Media which I earnestly hope you can continue to follow and promote each year.

My term was also when we were able to outperform JCI Manila for the Best Newsletter for the first time in both Area Convention and National Convention. This is quite an achievement for me because I was proud to have improved our newsletter in terms of content, layout, and number of pages.

My term as President was significant for this decade because I bridged Generation X and the new generation of JCI Manileña. I was happy to inspire the new generation to be more involved and be more passionate about our chapter. This was evident in each community that we were able to help and touch lives. From then on, JCI Manileña President’s position has been the most coveted. I hope that we continue the succession of grooming JCI Manileña Presidents as a passionate servant leader to our members and community.

Above all, I am happy to see new groups of friends are formed within the JCI Manileña and even with other JCI Chapters throughout this decade. We should continue to treasure the friendships and nurture the relationships we have forged with our fellow JCI Manileña sisters and with our fellow JCI Chapters both local and international.

Congratulations JCI Manileña! We have come a long way. Kudos to Pres Cha and the 2020 Board of Directors for making our 40th milestone an eventful one despite our community quarantine limitations.

PP Althea Marie Peñalosa
2014 President