As the Keynote Speaker and Guest of Honor at the 58th Commencement Exercises of the Philippine College of Criminology (PCCR) Graduate School in Manila Hotel on September 23, Retired Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Dr. Nicanor Bartolome (Ph.D. Criminology 2009) always considers it an honor and a privilege to be among his fellow Batang 641. Having been invited to speak to the graduating class once before, he considers every homecoming opportunity exciting and rewarding. Now based in Davao, Gen. Bartolome reminds his fellow PCCR Alumni to find ways to reunite with their classmates and come home to their Alma Mater to have fellowship with their former teachers and professors, and to reminisce about the good old days.
With all of his administrative credentials and experience, Gen. Bartolome credits his Alma Mater for molding him into the kind of leader that he is today. During his stay with PCCR, He was invited by then-President Allan Bautista to go on a trip to South Korea for the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with a Korean University. There he was able to experience cross-cultural engagement, exchanging lessons and tactics with the Korean Police. Although he was not yet the PNP Chief then, Gen. Bartolome felt that he was already representing the whole country in his endeavors, and not just his school.
According to him, PCCR is one of the sources of Leadership Command Management styles that he has always utilized in his profession and career. “In the classroom”, he says, “you can be better than an official who outranks you. Civilians can be better than law enforcers. Everyone has the chance to be better than who they think they are, and not be limited by rank or position.”
When asked about the future of Law Enforcement, Gen. Bartolome has only optimistic projections. He believes that as technology is changing and adapting rapidly and quickly, so too will be the improvements and innovations in the fields of Crime Prevention and Law Enforcement. Although things such as cybercrime are a cause for concern, he believes that with schools such as PCCR educating the next generation, there will always be continuous improvement in our future law enforcement agents.
As a leader of the PNP, he received countless awards and recognitions throughout his career. He was also a decorated leader in the private sector, as President of the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association, Manila Bantayog Club, Rotary Club of Camp Crame, PNP Toastmasters Club, and our very own PCCR Graduate School Alumni Association.
With his long list of leadership experience and accolades, Gen. Bartolome shared four key life lessons with the Class of 2022:
- “Keep on learning” – All skills, according to him, can easily be learned. There is no age limit to learning, just the passion and the heart for learning and improvement.
- “Mentor others” – He urged everyone to be someone else’s model, inspiration, and hero. As a product of PCCR, he believes that the best way to return the favor of quality education is by molding someone else to be a great person. He says boldly that “it’s payback time, and now is that time.”
- “March at your own pace” – Not everybody has the same fate or circumstances. There is no comparison to be made between the Sun and the Moon, as both shine on their own time. Some may accomplish things more quickly than others, but sometimes, success can still be achieved despite delays.
- “Consider your batch/class as your team” – He urged everyone to consult, cooperate, and collaborate with their batchmates and classmates. Just like marriages and diamonds, Gen. Bartolome says the class is forever, therefore the bond between classmates is also forever. He then reiterated that famous quote by bestselling author Robin Jones Gunn: “If you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.”
As people, Gen. Bartolome says, we are just passing through in this world. As we find purpose and meaning in our lives, we do all we can to observe, learn, and grow. Once we have reached the pinnacle of our lives, we return to society and the community as much knowledge, inspiration, and hope as we can.