MOMI REFLECTS| Lead like Jesse

Jan 2, 2017 | Life, Only Berlin

Note: Momi Berlin attended the Lead Like Jesse seminar three years ago.  She found this writing from her knick knack box and decided to share it with you.  She also hopes that as she continues to grow, may Sec. Jesse’s values remind her of what she aims to pursue.

Walk like Sec. Jesse

“The death of Sec. Jesse Robredo becomes a celebration of life.” BCDA President and CEO Arnel Casanova said during the Lead Like Jesse seminar I attended many years ago.  And yes, indeed!   Though I did not get the chance to meet Sec. Jesse Robredo personally, the far-reaching effect of his integrity and sincerity echoed in the hearts of the privileged individuals who worked for and mingled with him.  And that stretched and extended up to my reach.  Since then, his acts have moved me and inspired me to walk like Sec. Jesse.

I do not have a corporation. Neither do I lead a nation nor a small community.   But I have a family. And within that family are children I would want to grow up seeing a dedicated and sincere mother who leads by example.  That is where I do my walk.

Lead like Jesse

The Lead Like Jesse is a youth leadership training program aimed to introduce the tsinelas leadership style of Sec. Jesse Robredo. The program gathered some of his close friends and colleagues to talk about Sec. Jesse’s leadership ways.  The program likewise brought together at least 35 youth leaders from different colleges.  They were students within the Metro, and even some flew from distant provinces.  They all have one goal –  be inspired and be empowered.  And in the end, be agents of change.

I was not one of those college students.  But after learning Kaya Natin would organize such program, I asked for the organizer’s consideration to allow me sit down and join.

Of all the things that Sec. Jesse was known for, it was perhaps his simplicity that empowers the Filipinos to call for change.   He had such a pure heart. That despite living in a world full of corruption and greed, he was able to adapt and anchor his governance on his values.   Those people who have known him testified of Sec. Jesse’s good governance and transparency.   That is why Mr. Arnel Casanova described Sec. Jesse’s death “that becomes a celebration of life.”   In his death, he had become so much larger than life.  His death was celebrated by the many because he displayed a life well-lived. And now that he was gone, it even empowered the many to follow his lead — strive to become better nation builders through honesty, simplicity, and integrity.

Handed on the torch

I may say that he didn’t die.  He merely stepped aside and handed on the torch to us.   And that may his good leadership ways inspire us to look, act and strive to be better individuals in whatever we pursue in life.

And in this world full of wolves and confusions, my belief has been reinforced after joining the Lead Like Jesse training program.  As we continue to grow, it should be our values that anchor us and remind us of what we are aiming to pursue.


Participants of the Lead Like Jesse training program last September 2013.


  1. Nilyn Matugas

    This “torch” thing reminded me of the recently concluded Ms. World, it was part of Ms. PH’s answer. She didn’t win, unfortunately, but she’s also Bikolana. Back to Robredo, I’ll be honest, I didn’t know about him until he died. That’s when I learned how good he is at doing his job. Sayang maaga sya kinuha sa’tin. My previous trainer from Sitel, who was a Bikolana really grieved for his loss, like he was a friend to her. They even went to visit sa funeral.

    • momiberlin

      I didn’t know Sec Jesse as well until he died. Many were saddened. And many stories surfaced. He was indeed a good man.

      I remember Ms World. I now remember her answer to that q and a. And I thought she will bring home the crown. She’s so graceful and beautiful, too.

  2. mhaan a

    Same here, I didn’t know Sec. Robredo not until he died. I think he’s a good man, a loving father, and a husband. I can totally relate losing the head of the family. Glad that Leni and her kids are doing great despite their loss. May God bless their family.

  3. Melisa Sanchez

    I didn’t know Sec. Jesse, siya ba ang husband ni Lenie Berns? I think He was the Governor and a Mayor sa Naga City before eh napanood ko sa news. but his legacy being a good leader inspired us to be a good citizen because he is a good man with a good heart willing to sacrifice his life for the Filipino. Being a servant to many is tough he is willing to sacrifice his family, at yun nga naiwanan ang kanyang pamilya ng maaga.

  4. cieri

    My dad worked with Sec Jesse in one of his assignments and I must say he has good stories about him. I can say that he is a respectable man. Respectable — a trait which is scarce nowadays as we see, hear the politicians we have (sad but true). I also have relatives and friends from Cam Sur in Bicol and Robredos are well loved because of humility and integrity according to them.

  5. ROBERT LEE | Amazing Life Daily

    I have no doubt that the program is a good initiative, and I suspect too, that the color of politics is here too. Why? It is in our DNA, but I digress. The point is that the youth of today needs to learn, but learning is not to be taken advantage of.

  6. Ms. Crystalline

    The best part I like about your post is when you mentioned that:

    “I do not have a corporation. Neither do I lead a nation nor a small community. But I have a family…”

    I think some people feel that what they do, is too small to impact the society, but in reality, every single thing one person does do can affect someone else’s actions, and you’re right, it starts with the family. It’s really important to lead by example and walk the talk and to create leaders, and inspire and empower others, especially the youth, to do the same.

    Great post! Thanks for sharing. Cheers!

  7. Andre

    Having a family is the most wonderful thing and often being a parent, can be as challenging as being the head of an international cooperation. Leading by example, showing other people what to do, empower them, motivate them and is simply a great thing to do. For me it is inspiring to see people, who I gave an advice in the past and how they developed over time. 🙂

  8. Sam Coronado (@followyouroad)

    I would love to go to this kind of leadership program. Sec. Jesse has earned the admiration of many people that transcends political parties. It’s kind of bittersweet that his memory is being tarnished by political rivalries. At the bottom of it, without the political agenda, we actually had, albeit short-lived, a true Filipino leader.

  9. Veronica

    Great people always stay in people’s hearts! I am very happy that your people had him as an inspiration! Do you have leaders who share similar values nowadays?

  10. Orana Velarde

    Even though I have no idea who Jesse is, it sounds like he was a great person. One that all youth should look up to. Kids are lucky to have this teacher in their lives, even if through the teachings of others.

  11. Aika

    Leadership trainings are those i miss attending. i used to when i was in college. I can see that there is a good objective for the organization. is the wife part of the org too? I remember Sec. Jesse. he is someone to be looked up to. but i can still remember how he died. and the controversy and hearsay behind it.

  12. Virag Horvath

    I never heard about this training program, it sounds very interesting. A good leader can change many people’s life and I think that happened with you too. It was nice to read your memories and I’m sure you are also a gread leader in your family.

  13. ASKSonnie

    Sec. Robredo is one of a few Filipino politicians I admire. Aside from his simplicity, transparency and sincerity, he don’t play politics and PR. He just do his job. Let’s hope we can see more of his leadership qualities in our current breed of politicians.


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Motherhood, as I live it, is a gift not everyone can appreciate until she learns to truly live it. More musings and realizations, fun discoveries, and mommy tips at Momi Berlin's blog.

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