My best Christmas memories

December 23rd, 2010

Just two sleeps more ‘til Christmas… Our youngest, Isabella, eagerly counts her “sleeps”. It has been a busy Christmas season. There have been parties, family gathering and weddings.

Two social entrepreneurs, Mark Ruiz and Reese Fernandez, tied the knot yesterday. Mark is the Co-founder and Managing Director of Microventures/Hapinoy, with Bam Aquino. Reese, on the other hand, is the President of Rags2Riches and was named one of the five Rolex Young Laureates. Both of them are Go Negosyo Inspiring Young Filipino Entrepreneurs. Also, the son of Franco Delgado (a good friend who passed away two years ago) and Ros Ros got married over the weekend in Cebu. Juan Mig got married to Ana, the daughter of Bobby Aboitiz. We awarded Bobby in Cebu a couple of years back. I guess this will be the best Christmas memory for both couples.

For this column, let me share with you the fondest Christmas memory of our entrepreneurs and Angelpreneur mentors.

Christmas has always been a very busy time for us. When we were just starting, it was a luxury if we had three hours of sleep or if we had the chance to sleep at home at all. I guess you can say my fondest memory was when I was already able to have time to rest and be with my family even if it was a busy season. Of course, that would not have been possible if it weren’t for the help of our hardworking and dedicated people. –CDO FOODSPHERE FOUNDER CORAZON DAYRO ONG

My fondest memory of Christmas was last year at Beijing with my wife’s clan. There were 30 of us and it was 20 degrees below zero at the Great Wall. We were all wearing panda hats. What a blast! – DEPARTMENT OF TRADE AND INDUSTRY SECRETARY GREG DOMINGO

I volunteered to sing a Christmas Carol to the passengers onboard Southwest Airlines from Las Vegas to San Francisco. –MARINE RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT FOUNDER ROSALIND WEE

My fondest memory is praying around the Belen with my family on Christmas eve. –PHILIPPINE TRANSMARINE CARRIERS EXECUTIVE MANAGING DIRECTOR CARLA LIMCAOCO

I come from a relatively large family of seven children. My fondest memory of Christmas is when we all gather around the Christmas tree before the clock strikes midnight on Christmas eve, and our parents hand out our carefully thought of gifts – which is a result of my mother’s and late father’s month-long research of what each of us would like as presents. The gift giving session was immediately followed by a family prayer over the Noche Buena table, a feast lovingly prepared all day by my mother which includes the yearly staple of home cured ham, arroz valenciana, callos, baked fish, potato salad, fruit cake, and a bowl of pineapple orange punch laced with rum or brandy. –PLDT SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT ERIC ALBERTO

My fondest memories of Christmas time were in the 60’s. We would, as family, take a double decker bus that would cruise what was Dewey Boulevard then from Luneta to Baclaran. Afterwards, we would enjoy refreshments in an ice cream parlor before heading back home to Binondo. –THE FRENCH BAKER PRESIDENT AND CEO JOHNLU KOA

It was prior to the 1980’s when the sisters and brothers of my mother who were still alive then, as well as almost all of my first cousins who all used to reside here, gather in a big Lapus family reunion at the then residence of my aunt, Dra. Marina Lapus Villanueva in Singalong, Manila every Christmas. Apart from the bonding that occurred within the family members, we received our Christmas gifts from our aunts and uncles and exchanged gifts with our cousins. It is now my fondest Christmas memory because this can no longer happen again. –GMA NETWORK CEO ATTY. FELIPE GOZON

Every year brings me fond memories because my family who are closest to me are around. Unfortunately, this Christmas, my eldest child won’t be joining us due to constraints. I hope that we are complete in future Christmases. –SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR HARESH HIRANAND

The Christmas of 2008 that I spent with my mom in the US is the most memorable. It was the 8th month after her diagnosis of terminal cancer in March of the same year. I prayed that she lives longer to spend more Christmas celebrations with us. Until now she’s with us. It’s going to be her 3rd Christmas after the diagnosis. –R.A GAPUZ REVIEW CENTER PRESIDENT RAY GAPUZ

My best Christmas was the Santa Claus years! –MANG INASAL PRESIDENT EDGAR “INJAP” SIA

My fondest memory was my participation in the singing Christmas tree in Luneta, spreading joy to people. –LAMOIYAN PRESIDENT AND CEO CECILIO PEDRO

This particular Christmas season is the most meaningful one by far for me. Alice and I have just emptied our nest this year with all our three kids now in University abroad, so having them all back home for the Christmas break fills our hearts with so much joy. Waking up in the mornings and seeing them having breakfast enjoying the light banter amongst themselves gives me that warm feeling that no material gift can ever replace. –GOLDEN ABC PRESIDENT AND CEO BERNIE LIU

All my Christmases are filled with fond memories because I spend them privately with my family. I have realized that Christmas is joyful and memorable no matter where you celebrate it, as long as you’re with family. –SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR CYNTHIA VILLAR


My fondest memories of Christmas are all tied up to my childhood and growing up years. I remember looking forward to the Christmas tree going up and all the lovely decorations my mother would put on the tree. I loved the many little presents but most of all, I remember with great fondness the warmth and love of family that the Holiday Season would highlight. Christmas truly is made special by the ones we love and look up to. –THE PHILIPPINE TATLER MANAGING DIRECTOR IRENE MARTEL-FRANCISCO

I remember asking for a toy microphone for Christmas when I was about nine. I did not get it as my folks said it was too expensive. Later in life, my sister Tessy wrapped a karaoke microphone for me and gave it to me for Christmas. I was so touched that she remembered what I wished for many years ago. Only a sister or brother would remember your childhood dreams…that you never got! –ECHOSTORE CO-FOUNDER CHIT JUAN

Traditionally, the children would be required to perform in front of the rest of the family during the Christmas get-together. And as the Aquinos are a large, highly competitive and very extroverted family, the talent show presented by the kids would be extremely entertaining. Some of my cousins would dance, others would sing or say a poem, and still others would recite verses from popular plays. My contribution would always be a protest or campaign speech and this would always bring a smile to my Lola’s face. Years later, the tradition is still alive, but this time with my brother and my cousins’ children doing the performances with us older ones in the audience, slightly relieved that the next generation has taken over these duties. –MICROVENTURES PRESIDENT BAM AQUINO

My fondest memory was the Christmas when I was 17 years old. It was our last Christmas with our dad before he suddenly died the following July. –FORMER ISABELA GOVERNOR GRACE PADACA

Growing up in the rural area of Arkansas, my fondest and most memorable Christmas was waking up and seeing all the trees and roof tops covered with ice sickles. While we could not visit relatives or go to church, the day was magical and enchanting. –USAID PHILIPPINES DEPUTY MISSION DIRECTOR ELZADIA WASHINGTON DANAUX

To be continued…