The Association of Secretaries and Administrative Professionals in Asia Pacific (ASA), formerly known as The Association of Secretaries in Asia (ASA), was founded in 1974 in Manila by Mrs. Virginia P. Elbinias, then incumbent President of the Philippine Association of Secretaries and Administrative Professionals, Inc. (PAS) to provide an opportunity for secretaries in and around Asia to meet and share their knowledge and experience.

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Today’s Vision -Tomorrow’s Reality


by: Chat M. Maneja

Vision and Reality are two sides of an equation.. VISION is the goal or objective; REALITY is the end result or outcome.

Vision may relate to our own personal aspirations in life and/or refer to the objectives of a business enterprise.

To have a meaningful contemporary discourse on the above topic, there is a need for us to consider and dissect the present global situation.



Much has happened lately —CHANGE… CHALLENGES…. OBSOLESCENCE…. PARADIGM SHIFTS…. INNOVATION…. characterize the present millennium.

Change is inevitable as Peter Drucker had said. It is constant and the only permanent thing in life. There are many positive aspects of change which cannot be overlooked. It gives us new insights and widens our perspective in life. It keeps us attuned with time and acts as a catalyst for us to become more innovative and creative. It provides us an avenue for fusion and cross-pollination of ideas, a blending of old and tested notions with new radical views resulting to a hybrid of bright ideas. Change is a universal truth and those who refuse to welcome change and join the mainstream of human progress will be left behind.

We experienced paradigm shifts and challenges in the new global economy brought about by the IT revolution. Computing and the Internet rose to prominence as access to global information became readily available and interaction through social media emerged as a new phenomenon. IT development creates and obliterates jobs at unimaginable speed, and changes our novel ideas and perception of things. Advancements in telecommunications paved the way for a seamless world with real time connectivity and labor and capital were dragged along in the race against time. An adverse effect though is the rise in crimes facilitated by technology, like terrorism, rampant cyber bullying, bank heists, security breach, espionage, identity theft, etc.

The “Era of Human Capital” came into being with knowledge-based individuals recognized as the most important resource a company must have driving workers strive to upgrade their skills and core competencies. Leadership is redefined, giving emphasis to vision, values and the ability to set priorities based on the customers’ point of view. The so-called digital leaders are both great enablers and team leaders, building partnerships within the company. They form alliances and make decisions with a global perspective. Bill Gates coined the phrase “business at the speed of thought” as little time separates each new encounter with change, the decision to act on its implication, and the resulting execution. Conversely, thought must also move at the speed of business. Dynamism is not just aggressiveness and decisiveness, but is inclusive and aptly describe as ‘unleashing energy, freeing, growing, evolving’. Effectivity has outshadowed efficiency. Excellence equates to industry leadership, brand superiority, and the impact the product or service makes to the end-users.


The 4th industrial revolution – the EXPONENTIAL AGE – I tto hit mainstream in a decade from now is on predicted by Udo Gollub at Messe Berlin, Germany. Talking about changing times, technology, and society, he foresees changes to happen in the field of artificial intelligence, health, autonomous and electric cars, education, 3D printing, agriculture and jobs.




Companies come up with vision and mission statements to create public awareness on their corporate goals and philosophies primarily intended to capture the interests of their target markets.

In the corporate world, vision is expressed in terms of targets and projections. Vision may also relate to our own individual dreams and aspirations—a futuristic image of what we would want ourselves to be, personally and professionally.

Vision is the goal. Reality is the end result. To achieve the desired outcome, setting out an ideal vision requires certain features and parameters:

  1. Soundness: Is it practical and realistic?
  2. Tenet and Philosophy: Is it aligned with my ideals, values, principles, etc.?
  3. Practicality and Viability: Is it attainable and measurable?
  4. Timeline: Is this a short- or long-term goal?
  5. Static or Dynamic: Is it constant or flexible, depending on the needs and circumstances at the time?
  6. Social Influence or Benefit
  7. Business Impact


Vision is synonymous to dream. And words are only half the dream. It is only when we believe and live it out that these dreams come true. Thus, a dream’s fulfillment in reality requires that it should be “PASSIONATELY LIVED OUT”. And remember, success in life is a matter of choices not a matter of chances.


Life is what we make it. Our past and present deeds determine our future. Logically, it is indisputable. But then there is “Kis-Met”. Our ancestors believe on what is “written in the stars”. Something bigger than life, a strong magnetic force that propels us to the direction of our final destiny—sometimes vastly different and totally opposite to what we had aimed, valued, and worked for. We reach a crossroad in our lives, pivotal moments when we experience an ambivalent feeling, when choosing a path or not deciding at all leaves not much difference. A time when turning back does not offer much an option, and the ensuing outcome of the action made has much larger effects in the future to come.

This does not mean though that we shall not passionately live out our dreams and just remain fatalistic. The true worth of a person is measured when, with all humility, he can claim: “I had lived my life and kept my faith. I fought a good fight and finished the race.” Truly, as the philosopher Kierkegaard said: “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.”