Commencement Speaker Savers Group Chairman Jack Uy to Graduates: “Overcome challenges, with perseverance and above all trust in God” 

Echoing themes of perseverance, resilience, readiness, and change at the 7th Commencement Exercise of the City College of Angeles (CCA), commencement speaker Jaime Jack Uy, Chairman and CEO of Savers Group Holdings Inc., urged graduates to lean into the lessons provided by the pandemic and push through toward new challenges.

Uy — a leading business tycoon and investor who weaved his way to success from a small video rental store inside Johnny’s Supermarket owned by his uncle to cable TV technology, appliances, the internet, hotel and restaurant, and various industries all combined for almost four decades —- spoke to the Class of 2022 held at SMX Convention Center, SM City Clark with City Mayor Carmelo Pogi Lazatin Jr, CCA Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Dr. Frankie Villanueva, CCA OIC-President.

“Your hard work, dedication and perseverance have truly paid off. Today, you reap the rewards of the long hours you have put into studying. I can only anticipate the emotions that will radiate from within you once you hold that precious diploma in your hands. I also would like to congratulate your parents, faculty members, relatives and friends, who have silently or expressfully given you their support. To all the graduates, I am sure you will not forget or take for granted the sacrifices and effort of your parents in supporting your college education,” he said.

Uy who earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration Major in Management from the Holy Angel University and Masters in Entrepreneurship from the Asian Institute of Management, said “I wish to congratulate you, graduates. Considering the extraordinary circumstances of studying, brought by the pandemic, which is still very much with us, you have reached your finish line. Studying under ‘normal’ circumstances is hard enough. And we all realize how much more difficult and different this current set up is. As GenZers, you are all very lucky. You were born and educated when the state of technology in the world is already a realization of what was only found in science fiction movies during our days. Clearly, after having overcome the most challenging years we shared with pandemic, your perseverance, backed by modern technology, has prevailed.”

“With your every pursuit, I can only wish for you to be able to strike the balance, so that technology and all the advancements do not drown you and your purpose. Please do not cave to peer pressure by indulging in what is in, for it may just eventually fade,” he said. “Virtual interactions have caused social skills to take a back seat. Anxiety and other mental health issues have risen alarmingly. As you set out to face the real world, there will be a new level of challenges, obstacles and frustrations that you would need to overcome with perseverance, integrity, hard work, zeal for excellence and above all trust in God.”

Uy emphasized the theme of adversity in his speech to the Class of 2022. “As all businesses, our family companies have gone through countless challenges in the past. We have just opened the first Savers store in 1986 when the EDSA People Power Revolution happened. We have launched ACCTN, the first cable company in Pampanga, few months after Mt. Pinatubo erupted. Eventually, ACCTN has evolved into Converge ICT. Amidst the Asian financial crisis in 1998, we built and opened Savers Mall, the first town mall in Angeles City. And now, at the tail end of the pandemic, we are about to complete the extension of a commercial and hotel building that we began building at the start of the COVID-19 scare.”

Uy also urged graduates to embrace growth and learning, not only because it promotes learning new skills but also because it’s an important recipe to long-term success . “I am sharing all these with you to prove that trusting in God as we persevere will help us in achieving our dreams, no matter how impossible they may seem at first. Always welcome the opportunity for growth and learning. Embrace each experience that comes your way. If your pursuit cultivates not-so-favorable results, just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep moving forward. Do not hesitate to keep trying to be a better version of yourself. After all, you are your greatest competition.”

“Savers Group Holdings is a company that was born and continues to grow in Angeles City. Our humble beginnings take us to a small video rental shop called Jack’s Video, which was housed inside Johnny’s Supermarket in Miranda Street. It was 1983, and I was a 19 year old college student at the Holy Angel University. From that humble video rental shop, the business evolved into various companies catering to different industries, with two of our companies, Savers Appliance and Converge ICT establishing national presence,” Uy recounted.

Meanwhile, in his welcome address, Mayor Lazatin said the Angeles City government has inaugurated in June this year the 4-storey new annex building of the CCA funded by a P50 million donation from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and allocated P259 million for additional classrooms, offices, laboratory and canteen. “Once completed the additional new classrooms can accommodate 1,760 more students because we are expecting that our enrollment will rise to about 5,700 students by the opening of the new school year and will probably rise to 8,000 within the next few years,” said Lazatin. The CCA now offers 13 courses, far from only three courses available during its opening in 2010.

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