Apxn Rommel Caranto
NATIONAL PRESIDENT, APEX PHILIPPINES, 2017-2018
Association of Apex Clubs, Philippines elect Los Baños businessman as National President
Apex, a community service organization of business people and professionals, elected businessman Rommel M. Caranto, current President of the Apex Club of Los Baños, as its National President for Apex year 2017-2018. The election of new officers was held during the 42nd National Convention of the Association of Apex Clubs of the Philippines held recently in Puerto Princesa City.
Other national officers elected were Joselito Bawi of Apex Batangas City, National Vice President; Atty. Dennis Guevara of Apex Iloilo City, National Service Director; Gilbert Alea of Apex Batangas City, National Membership and Extension Director; Wendy de la Cruz of Apex Leganes, National Action and Citizenship Director; Ramon Teruel of Apex Iloilo City, National Bursary Scholarship Director; and Dr. Edwin Acebedo of Apex San Pablo City, International Relations Officer.
Rommel comes from a family of Apexians. His father, the late Andres J. Caranto, Jr. and brother Wilfredo Caranto are members of Apex Los Baños. His mother Lydia, wife Lizbeth, and son Andrei Benedict are all supporters of the Apex Club.
The new National President earned his B.S. Agribusiness degree from the University of the Philippines at Los Baños (UPLB). He has graduate units in Masters in Management, also from UPLB. He has been engaged in the dormitory business since 2014.
Rommel started his career as student assistant with the International Rice Research Institute, then with the Land Bank of the Philippines. He has long years of experience in the motorcycle industry, having worked as store manager, and later as business development manager with Honda Motor Sports Group of Companies; and branch manager with the Motor Central Group of Companies, Star Honda, Inc., and Citibike Sales, Inc. He also handled sales with the Sterling Tobacco Corporation and Zuellig Pharma Corporation.
He has attended seminars and training courses on organizational transformation, team building and leadership, managing work attitude, Allen Management Program, and agribusiness management.
Rommel is an alumnus of the UP Beta Kappa Fraternity; founder and founding president of the Los Baños Road Runners Inc.(2007); president of the Laguna Motor Riders Federation Inc. (2011-13).; vice-chairman of STAND LB (2013), a local political party in Los Baños; and co-founder and founding president of the CALABARZON Motoriders Confederation Inc. (2013).
The national convention drew Apex members from all over the Philippines, Australia, Malaysia, India and Indonesia. Prominent delegates included David Pan and TT Singam, National President and International Relations Officer, respectively, of Apex Clubs of Malaysia; Kate Huth, Past National President of Apex Australia, Past Apex Chairman, and Organizer of Apex Indonesia; Edward Mai, Vice-Chairman of Apex Global; and David Sinay, Past Apex Global Chairman.
Apex originated from Australia in 1931 and was formed in the Philippines in the early 70s. Apex sends poor students to high school and college; promotes proper nutrition, works for environmental protection; campaigns against drug abuse through sports, helps victims of natural disasters, conducts free medical, dental and optical services, and promotes the use of the national language through oratorical contests, among many other community service projects.
The Convention was held in Cowrie Island while the Fellowship and Gala Nights were held at A and A Hotel in Puerto Princesa. Local and foreign delegates were awed by Palawan’s natural wonders, including the internationally famous underground river. World class entertainment was provided by the Palawan Provincial Government through its cultural and singing groups, courtesy of Vice Governor Dennis Socrates, who also served as the Gala Night keynote speaker. Guest speaker at the Fellowship Night was Past Apex Global Chair Kate Huth.
Highlighting the convention was the lifting of the Apex retirement age of 45 while the gala night featured the giving of national awards to the following: Balik Eskwela Project of Apex Los Baños, awarded as Service Project of the Year; Apex San Pablo City, Share Apex Award (biggest increase in membership); Rommel Caranto of Apex Los Baños, Apexian of the Year; Past President Jasper de Luna of Apex Women’s Club of San Pablo City, Outstanding Service Award (member with the highest number of community service hours); Salvador Tagumpana of Apex San Pablo City, Director of the Year; Bobby Race of Apex San Pablo City, President of the Year; Apex Los Baños, Most Improved Club of the Year; Apex Iloilo City, Boomerang Award (biggest number of delegates); and President Vanesa Escueta of the Apex Women’s Club of San Pablo City, National President’s Choice.
The Apex National Convention was hosted by the Apex Club of San Pablo City and supported by Laguna Governor Ramil Hernandez, Laguna Congresswoman Sol Aragones, and San Pablo City Mayor Loreto Amante.
Association of Apex Clubs, Philippines
Apex Club of San Pablo City
Apex Clubhouse, Dagatan Boulevard, San Pablo City, Philippines 4000
Apex Philippines; The Beginnings
In 1931 in Geelong, Victoria, Australia, three young architects inspired by the ideals of service, fellowship and citizenship formed a nucleus of what is now an international organization called Apex. The group grew in numbers until Apex Clubs spread throughout Australia, eventually forming the Association of Apex Clubs.
Apex grew so big and reached out to Asian and Pacific countries. In 1955, the late Lord Casey, then Australia’s Minister for External Affairs, urged Apexians to consider exporting the ideals of Apex to Southeast Asia. A young Australian Rotary scholar who became his country’s Vice Consul to the Philippines, William Ginnivan, opened the Philippines to Apex. Literally love struck, he did not only bring back to Australia the names of prospective Filipino Apexians but also a winsome Negrense for his wife.
The seeds of Apex were first sown in the early 70s when Apex Australia’s Zone 7 President Graeme Elvey and Extension Chairman Richie Trevaskis visited the Philippines on July 5, 1970 and chose Makati, Quezon City, and Bacolod City as launching pads for the Apex movement in the Philippines. A year later, Bacolod became the first club.
The birth of Apex in the Philippines parallels that of the original group in Geelong. A group of young businessmen, headed by Architect Jerry Ascalon, founded the first Apex Club in the Philippines, in the City of Bacolod. Jerry became the first District Governor of Apex in the Philippines in 1971-1972.
In 1971, George Sprague, successor to Richie Trevaskis, witnessed the formal inauguration of Apex in Bacolod City. Follow-up visits were made by Zone 7 President Peter Slade, International President Brian Horgan, Extension Chairman Peter Squire, and Bob Coombs of Tatura Apex Club. All these visits enhanced international understanding and friendship between Australian and Filipino Apexians.
The Apex Club of Bacolod was chartered in 1971 and became Club No. 640 under Apex Australia and Club No. 1 in the Philippines. In 1972, two more clubs were chartered, the Apex Club of Los Banos (Club No. 673) and the Apex Club of Negros Occidental (Club No. 675). In 1974, the Apex Club of Iloilo was chartered as Club No. 709, followed by the Apex Club of Calamba (Club No. 744), and the Apex Club of Passi (Club No. 754) in 1975. In 1976, the Apex Clubs of Quezon City and San Pablo City (793) were chartered. In early 1977, the Apex Club of Calauan was chartered. All clubs were renumbered after the Association of Apex Clubs of the Philippines got its autonomy in 1977.
The year 1977 was a milestone for Apex in the Philippines. After seven years of being administered by Zone 7 of Apex Australia, Apex Philippines became an autonomous organization in May.
In September 1979, Apex Philippines became a full member of the World Council of Young Men’s Service Clubs (WOCO) during its Annual General Meeting in Christchurch, New Zealand. Since then, Apex Philippines had been visited by WOCO International Presidents Van Jacobsen, Bob Chandran, Tom Chapman, Joseph Tabona and John Bennet, as well as other WOCO travelers from all over the world.
In 1986, Past National President Monico Puentevella from the Apex Club of Negros became the first Filipino to be elected WOCO International President. Recently, WOCO folded up and was replaced in Asia by Apex Global.
What are some of Apex Philippines achievements?
In terms of community service, Apex has contributed a lot to communities where they operate through various programs – youth development through sports, drug abuse prevention, campaign against child malnutrition, green revolution, beautification and cleanliness campaigns, scholarships for the poor, free medical and dental services, free anti-rabies vaccination, and construction of infrastructures.
The first work party was in 1979, when 22 Australian Apexians came to Iloilo City to construct the Apex Nutrition Center in a record time of three weeks. The Center was inaugurated by Australian Ambassador Richard Woolcott, where a grateful City Government awarded the 22 Australians with the keys to the city and were adopted as sons by a City Council Resolution.
The record biggest work party was in 1983, when 63 Australians constructed the San Pablo Nutriward in six weeks. The City Government awarded each Australian with a symbolic key to the city and declared April and May as Apex Months in San Pablo. The project won the Golden Fleece Award of US$2,500 from RT Belgium.Specific Apex achievements through the years include, among others:
- Construction of the Apex Nutrition Center in Iloilo City in 1979 which won the National Green Banner Award for Nutrition and the Golden Fleece Award received at Stockholm, Sweden in 1980.
- Construction of the Apex Malnutrition Ward Building at the San Pablo City District Hospital in 1983 which won the Golden Fleece Award during the WOCO Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Bombay, India.
- Best Film on Community Service by the Apex Club of Bacolod City at the 1983 WOCO Film Competition.
- Construction of the Apex Nutrition Centers by the Apex Club of Los Banos, funded by the Kinsmen Clubs of Canada; and by the Apex Clubs of Passi and Victoria, Australia.
- Construction of the Malnutrition Ward at the Corazon Montelibano Memorial Hospital in Iloilo City.
- Construction of the Iloilo Pediatric Infectious Ward, the first WOCO ASPAC Regional Project in Iloilo City.
- Construction of the Bacolod Youth Center by the Apex Club of Negros.
- Construction of the Holy Family Orphanage in Bacolod City.
- Construction of Barangay Centers in Kabankalan, Negros Occidental.
- Construction of the Apex Multi-Purpose Building in San Pablo City.
- Construction of the Barangay II-F Health Center in San Pablo City in cooperation with Round Tables of Hong Kong.
- Construction of school buildings in Batangas City, Oriental Mindoro, and Iloilo City.
- Construction of the Del Remedio Day Care Center (biggest in San Pablo) by Apex San Pablo and Tasmania.
- Hosting by Apex Iloilo of the First WOCO Asia-Pacific Convention in 1984 where Monico Puentevella was elected as Asia-Pacific Chairman; and WOCO President in 1986.
- Nationwide scholarship program for the poor.
- WOCO and Apex Global assisted programs for emergency relief and financial assistance to hundreds of families affected by natural disasters in the Philippines.
As of August 2016, Apex Philippines has 9 active clubs with 180 members.Today, Apex continues to play significant roles in the civic sector of cities and towns where they operate.