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Corporate Center

BUGSAY: The Aboitiz Self Driven Development Mindset

Mia Zamora | November 16, 2017


“Bugsay is the Cebuano word for paddle. It enables you to make progress in life, but it requires you to make distinct decisions—you must first determine where you want to go, then pick up your paddle and apply effort, stroke by stroke, to get there.”

This is a quote from the late Mr. Bobby Aboitiz in 2009, when he was addressing a group of young leaders and using his Bugsay philosophy to inspire them to chart their future.

Watch the Bugsay video:

Bugsay, the Aboitiz Self-driven Development and Career Management Program

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Indeed, what better symbol could there be for the self-driven development mindset we have across the Aboitiz Group than this? Being self-driven cuts across everything we do, from steering our own careers to planning the development and seeking out the support we need to get to each next step.

Talent Optimization follows the 80-20 principle. 80% of your success comes from your own hard work and your efforts. The other 20% comes from the support of others—be it your team leader, your mentors, the resources provided to you. It’s important for us to keep this in mind. You can’t do much with the 20% without putting in that 80%.

–  Txabi Aboitiz, Chief Hunan Resources  Officer, AEV

It is for these reasons that the Aboitiz Group Talent Optimization team decided to relaunch the Self Driven Develop mindset, now called ‘Bugsay’, last October 16-20 at the Talent Optimization Week. It is meant to encapsulate the process of planning your career and your future here at Aboitiz—starting with these four steps:

  1. Discover your strengths. Have you taken the time to truly understand where you can best add value, and which competencies you are naturally good at? This is important in defining your career goal. The Harrisson Assessments (HATS) tool offered by Aboitiz Group HR, and the accompanying talent profiling sessions that come with it, can be of great help. You may request for a new HATS assessment by getting your team leader’s approval, and sending an email request to Ciarah Pacheco or Carl Borromeo.
  2. Set your destination. As per Mr. Bobby Aboitiz, “In life, you have to plan where you’re going. And then, wishing is not enough—you have to get your bugsay and row your way there.” So if you haven’t stopped to think about where you would like to see yourself in the next 3-5 years, and what your ultimate career goal is, now is the time to do so.
  3. Plan your journey. To get to where you want to go, you need a roadmap to get started. Talk to your leaders and mentors to help you determine what the best development options are for you to acquire the skills and competencies needed
    for your targeted role, refer to all the learning and development resources available to you in the Always Learning academy, and capture all of these in your Individual Development Plan to keep you on track.
  4. Track your progress. It is critical to measure your progress so you’ll know if you’re headed in the right direction. Use your performance appraisal conversations with your team leader, as well as sessions with your mentors, as guideposts.

Whether you are a part of Pilmico’s “Project Me” program, or UnionBank’s “My Career”, or AEV’s “Better Me”, all of these have the same foundation: a self-driven mindset, the Bugsay philosophy that serves as our inspiration to push forward and become the leaders that we can be.

“Bugsay” is online and powered by Agora. Visit for more information.

Read stories of our team members who have successfully used Bugsay in navigating their careers in Aboitiz:

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