Monday, 02 November 2015 00:00

Who Is Jinky Aguinaldo?

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For someone who is known to be very accomplished, I expected to receive a 5-page resume listing all her achievements. I was pleasantly surprised when all I got was a one-page resume complete with a 2"x 2" photo within the equally margined frame of a letter-sized paper. Without enumerating what she has done in her professional life, she managed to highlight her forte, strengths and accomplishments – enough for any potential employer not to doubt that Jinky would be an invaluable partner to any executive she works with. Indeed, what she has achieved in her relatively short career is quite remarkable.

But there is more to this woman who now works for the president of Ayala Land, Inc., one of the biggest commercial and residential property developers, which is part of Ayala Corporation, the oldest and largest conglomerate operating in the Philippines.

Her life is the stuff the real-life TV drama "Maalaala Mo Kaya?" shows. Jinky Tacadao was quite young when, due to poverty, she and her siblings had to be separated and she was sent to live with her grandmother in Iloilo. There, she learned to help till the land, plant peanuts and fetch water from a nearby well. Fuelled by her desire to find her long-lost mother, Jinky was 14 when she came to Manila, and where she stayed when Jinky found her.

The 14 year-old "promdi" girl studied in ­­­ Ramon Magsaysay High School where she caught the eye of 21-year old college boy Jerry Aguinaldo, who was to become her husband eight years later. Confident that it was true love, Jerry and Jinky planned their future and even signed an agreement outlining their plans. While Jerry worked abroad, and with the signed agreement in his wallet, Jerry put Jinky through school. All the time that Jerry was overseas, Jinky stayed with his family in Manila, where her life was not exactly a bed of roses.

Jinky took up AB Philosophy at UST, in preparation for her going into law school. Unfortunately, constant migraine attacks precluded Jinky from finishing her law degree. Nevertheless, with most of their plans in their agreement accomplished, Jerry and Jinky got married in civil rites. A few years later, after giving birth to her first child and with her husband overseas, Jinky decided to join the workforce and was hired by a Taiwanese company where she stayed for five years.
Knowing that she can do more than sell trucks, Jinky checked the classified ads which led her to Hopewell Energy (later to become Mirant). In her position as Accounting Secretary, she acted as timekeeper, HR staff, and provided immigration services and travel arrangements for about 500 expatriates. She came to work early and left late, facts which did not escape the notice of the President, Mr. Ed Bautista. Having seen her potential, Mr. Bautista hired her as his secretary and in the next 10 years Jinky was promoted several times. Mr. Bautista mentored her and even sponsored her Basic Management Program at the Asian Institute of Management. He also encouraged Jinky to join the Philippine Association of Secretaries. Her last job with Mr. Bautista was with Corporate Planning, which involved monitoring project implementation. When it was time to leave the nest, Mr. Bautista continued to take care of her and encouraged her to join Mr. Jim Ayala at Ayala Land. Jinky now works for Mr. Antonino Aquino, President of Ayala Land.

While several circumstances at Mirant led Mr. Bautista to a direction different to Jinky’s now, Mr. Bautista, albeit at a distance, continues to monitor and check on Jinky to make sure she stays on the right course of her career path.

With this kind of mentor, and an education in philosophy, our question on why she has a penchant for frameworks was answered. Jinky says while she has a simple mind, she has a list of ideas. She always asks the purpose in what she is doing; she is inquisitive. Her training in philosophy leads her to build a framework before she can come to a conclusion. She is results oriented and follows a structure to get things done.

In the same token, while having an eye on the goal and conscientiously working towards it, she forgets about involving other people. This is a challenge area she says she is aware of and is working hard to overcome it, especially as it is a "weakness" that spills over on the home front. Having a husband who is overseas most of the time, she is used to making decisions on her own and doing things independently in her own way; a fact that her husband sometimes bemoan when he is in town. But again being aware of this weakness, it’s half the battle won.

Asked where she is now and what she sees the future to be, this lola’s girl and mother of three says she is in the path of the 4 D's:

Discover – appreciating, recognizing, valuing the best of what is

Dream – visualizing and envisioning what might be

Design – organizing and co-constructing the kind of organization that would attract,support and facilitate development of L.E.A.P. members; choosing what should be

Destiny – creating, innovating and sustaining what will be a learning, empowering culture

The administrative profession is "the profession I love, and I want to give back and steward other professionals to be servant leaders." For Jinky, there is no better way for self-fulfillment than to be an instrument for the growth of others.

By Frances Peria