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boholano-thumbTomorrow afternoon in Makati we celebrate the launching of “Jun” Berba’s master piece: his memoir as a genius in business and technological management, a humble nationalist, a true Christian.

Honored to be asked by him to write the foreword to his book, let me share part of it here.

A Passion to Learn and Teach, Lead and Transform

This is how I’d describe Filemon “Jun” Berba: a Filipino business leader par excellence with a passion to learn and lead: to teach and transform co-workers, the organization, and the business itself. In his own words, he humbly believes in “leading ‘ordinary people’ for extraordinary performance.” And, indeed, he led many of them with extraordinary results, consistently in the view of his co-workers and company owners.


I greatly admire Jun Berba as I do David M. Consunji. The University of the Philippines conferred the Doctor of Laws honoris causa  on Consunji in 1993 when I was U.P. President.

In my extended foreword to “A PASSION TO BUILD: A Memoir of David M. Consunji,” published in 2004 jointly by our Center for Leadership, Citizenship and Democracy at the U.P. National College of Public Administration and Governance, with Dacon Foundation, Inc. I concluded:

“In sum, David M. Consunji is a modern, progressive Filipino citizen, builder and transforming leader—a role model par excellence in a country so sorely wanting in leaders to help in building a peaceful, just and humane, and prosperous democratic nation. A world class builder, his passion to build is coupled with his passion for excellence and his innate integrity and love of country. He is a loving husband, father, grandfather, and brother, and a loyal and caring friend and parishioner. He is also a distinguished, loyal, and generous alumnus of the University of the Philippines and its College of Engineering. Like acknowledged leaders the world over, he is ever the humble learner and inspiring teacher.”

In his long life, building many physical structures—buildings, homes, factories, highways, a royal palace, coal mines, farms, and so on—D.M. also became a builder of various business enterprises that enabled him to build a huge fortune. In fact, he became one of our ten richest Filipinos. And becoming a tycoon was the outcome of his original passion to build physical structures the very best way he could as a model for others to emulate. And they do.

Both alumni of the U.P. College of Engineering, and contemporary business leaders for a long  while, David Consunji  and Jun Berba have known, interacted, and admired each other very well. Younger by 17 years, Jun calls David: “My idol.”  Jun and I have known each other very well as personal friends, U.P. alumni, and round-the-corner neighbors in Beverly Hills, Antipolo City since 1969. We’d remind each other I’m only 10 years older.

In sum, I’d say that “Jun” Berba is a modern, progressive Filipino citizen, and a humble, warm, appreciative, and transforming business leader—a role model par excellence in a country so sorely wanting in leaders to help in building a just and humane society, a prosperous economy, and a functioning and egalitarian democracy.


I have wondered how Jun shaped his humble and warm personality and sterling character.   Jun was the first of eight siblings and his father came from a same size family, “a low middle class one” Jun recalls. He studied mostly in public schools. As a scholar he learned electrical engineering at the University of the Philippines. He graduated magna cum laude and the valedictorian among 1500 graduates in 1959, and then topped the government board examination. On a scholarship, he obtained his M.B.A. in Wharton School in Philadelphia.


A loving couple, Jun and Bobbie are loving parents to Leonard, Caccus, Gilbert, Trichie—all U.P. alumni with graduate degrees earned abroad, and making their mark in their own careers. Their second daughter, Lia, finished in our Kalayaan College. Jun and Bobbie are now doting grandparents to 13 grandchildren. Jun is also a loving and caring brother who helped his brothers and sisters in their education. He is a concerned member and once the president of our village homeowners’ association, and a caring friend and parishioner in our Sacred Heart Chapel.

A world class corporate leader, Jun has a passion to learn professionally and practically in order to lead efficiently, effectively, and profitably. Innately knowing Filipino values and culture, he interacts with executives and rank and file employees personally and warmly. He makes them enjoy working and earning and clean their work place and toilets. All these make them feel valued, respected, at home, and secure.

Like admired leaders the world over, Jun is ever a humble learner and inspiring teacher. In achieving success in life, he said the keys are “a strong focus, warm interpersonal relations, good communication, and love for work.” Reflecting on his experience, he said: “I did not search for “superstars” to hire. I created the environment to make workers “superstars.”


Retired from corporate life, promoting science and technology to build the country’s competitiveness continues to be Jun’s passion. He is the president of the Philippine Foundation for Science and Technology (PFST) which operates the Philippine Science Centrum (PSC) and Traveling Interactive Science Modules that go around the country to introduce elementary pupils and high-school students to hands-on interactive science exhibits.

One of the founders of the Philippine Quality and Productivity Movement, Jun has been very active in organizations and foundations involved in science and technology, and in industry-academe linkages. He is president emeritus of the Philippine Quality Award Foundation, the Philippine version of the Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award in the United States. By promoting science and engineering, he believes he is helping the country achieve continuing progress.


Jun Berba’s living legacy. Once more I’d say: Jun Berba is one of our country’s most admired


business leaders and corporate executives. His passion for managerial excellence and humanity is one with his known humility, integrity, and love of country.

He has “A Passion to Learn and Teach, Lead and Transform.” Like admired leaders the world over, he is ever a humble learner and inspiring teacher: enabling “ordinary people to become extraordinary workers.” And he contributes to our country’s progress continually and immeasurably.

His book embodies the invaluable knowledge, experience, and wisdom that Jun Berba has gained and shared in the business work place in much of his fulfilling lifetime. By its reading in homes and offices, and its use in our universities, technical schools, and business organizations, Jun continues to help our country’s economic development and social progress.

Filemon “Jun” Berba’s Great Book:

“Leadership for Extraordinary Results—

Bringing Out the Best in People”

Indeed, this book is a global asset to business leadership and management.

Mabuhay ka, Jun! (By Jose “Pepe” Abueva)

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