Tomorrow, we will be celebrating my father’s 79th birthday. JoeCon, as he is known by many, finally retired as the Forbes Barangay Captain after 16 years. I jokingly told him he was getting too close to Marcos’ term of 20 years. Don Jaime Zobel hosted a dinner for him and paid tribute to his dedication for serving in whatever role given to him.
My father will forever be known as Mr. NAMFREL, with the slogan: “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” In my tribute interview for him, I mentioned that he is the reason why I started my Go Negosyo advocacy. Rather than complain, do something to help shape a better future for our country.
I will always remember my growing up years with my parents, especially during Christmas, as a kid looking forward to Santa. Those times, we lived a simple life in our old home in Pasay City. We had simple desires and expectations. My dad loved to surprise us with toys. Baguio was the place where we would spend our Christmas and New Year. Our old home in Legarda still stands, but not liveable anymore.
As my dad celebrates his 79th birthday, my Christmas wish for him is to continue to live a long and healthy life and to be an inspiration of Filipino fortitude. Dad, we all love you. Happy birthday!
Let me share with you more Christmas memories from fellow entrepreneurs. Thank you to the so many entrepreneurs who responded.
The Christmas lights and lanterns, Christmas songs and carols, the gentle cold December breeze, and the Merry Go Round as well as the many fun rides in the carnival. The numerous gifts I received from my parents, my ninongs and ninangs. –SL AGRITECH CHAIRMAN AND CEO HENRY LIM BON LIONG
Two years ago, Marge, my wife, and I were joined by our children and grandchildren in celebrating Christmas. The quality time spent together — exchanging life’s stories and gifts, hearing Mass, sharing the Noche Buena and experiencing the season’s merriment, made it my warmest Christmas ever! -PLANTERS BANK CHAIRMAN AND CEO AMB. JESUS TAMBUNTING
It was my first Christmas with Tessa in 1993. We had just started going out two months earlier and it was over the Christmas holiday that we got engaged. That was my best Christmas gift ever. –PHILWEB PRESIDENT DENNIS VALDEZ
One of my fondest Christmas memories is my first Christmas with my daughter Leonna. –FOLDED & HUNG PRESIDENT RONALD PINEDA
My fondest memories of Christmas are the family get togethers. Especially with our older children living abroad, we cherish the time we get to spend together. It is also a time when we try to help the less fortunate enjoy the significance of the holiday. –ALASKA PRESIDENT FRED UYTENGSU
Christmas 2009 – My nephew Dennis and his wife, Cielo came home from San Francisco to celebrate the holidays with me and my THREE sons. Our Christmas celebration started nonstop from Dec. 20 till January 8! –VIVIAN SARABIA OPTICAL PRESIDENT DR. VIVIAN SARABIA
The ABIVA Clan singing the Christmas carol, “Joy to the World”, together with my Mom Playing the piano. –FELTA PRESIDENT AND CEO MYLENE ABIVA
When I was a child, my Mom and the whole family help decorate the church in preparation for the Christmas Eve mass in Labo, Camarines Norte. Our family is seated beside the altar and we were in our best attire to await the Birth of Jesus being celebrated during the Mass. Now, with my grandchildren, Christmas eve is still the most memorable time. –RICHWELL COO MYRNA YAO
I believe this year should be my fondest Christmas memory. This will be the first time that we will be spending it out of the country, in San Francisco. –EVER BILENA PRESIDENT DIOCELDO SY
We gathered as a family one Christmas morning (parents, siblings, and children) with each one dressed as someone or something from the first Christmas. My dad came as a wise man, I think I came as the moon, but Kiko simplest – literally “dressed down” – as Baby Jesus. Not a few came as a particular animal in the manger scene. –MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER ANTHONY PANGILINAN
I love the anticipated simbang gabi in Ateneo. When I was in college, I would complete the nine masses. -RAGS2RICHES PRESIDENT REESE FERNANDEZ
In the Christmas of 2007, Reese and I got together. Now, three years later, we got married on Dec 22. –MICROVENTURES CO-FOUNDER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR MARK RUIZ
Seeing my family and relatives together and having fun. –SULIT.COM PRESIDENT RJ DAVID
I was a small boy, and our family tradition was to have noche buena at 12 midnight, and strictly no opening of gifts before 12, or else it will be taken away for good. We will all patiently wait for midnight as the whole house will smell so good from the food that my lola is cooking. –FOOD ASIA PRESIDENT RICHARD SANZ
My fondest Christmas memory with regards to my business is the continuous expansion and blessings that we’re receiving in our business, R. LAPID’S CHICHARON & BARBECUE. –R.LAPID’S CHICHARON & BARBECUE FOUNDER REY LAPID
The birth of our first grandchild, Matthew, a month before Christmas 2007; and the formal recognition given by the Government of Japan to our 2nd son, Jason Jose, LLM (Kyushu Univesity), as a lawyer – the first Filipino lawyer in Japan accorded the privilege. –XC MANUFACTURING AND TRADING ENTERPRISE PRESIDENT DONNA JIAO
It was my first time to spend my Christmas alone and treated myself for a vacation in Mauritius when I was still single and working abroad. –AQUABEST COO NEIL DELGADO
We travel to Hong Kong with the children and stay at the same hotel every year. This has actually become a tradition for us and recalling each visit sure brings back wonderful memories. –PR GAZ HAUS COO SIU PING PAR
This is the most meaningful Christmas for me, for GOD made me pause for months, to re-evaluate and reflect the essence of my existence. –MSA ACADEMIC ADVANCEMENT INSTITUTE FOUNDER MERLE ALFEREZ
When I was about six years old, my Dad lit a match to light his cigarette and flipped the match stick behind him, at the tree. The tree suddenly caught fire, turns out the artificial snow we’ve always put on the tree was highly flammable. No one got hurt, nothing burned but a black tree and a black ceiling above it. I had a good laugh at my Dad that night. –POTATO CORNER CEO JOSE MAGSAYSAY
When my Lola Julia was still alive, being the grand dame of her Estrera clan, all the relatives from the old folks to the grandchildren would all meet up at our New Manila house. There were free flowing food, fun and family fellowship. –ENTREPRENEURS SCHOOL OF ASIA DEAN PAX LAPID
I can’t help but reminisce the good old fashioned way we celebrated it when I was still a kid – simbang gabi wearing my pamaskong outfit, playing with cousins capped by Noche Buena to feast on home-cooked Chinese ham (the dry, hard-as-wood kind hanging in stores wrapped in manila paper with net), keso de bola, sopas and bread. –HR CONSULTANT AND SELF-HELP GURU PING SOTTO
(My fondest memory will be) this Christmas, because I always believe that better times are coming up. – DTI UNDERSECRETARY MERLY CRUZ
My family went to a ski resort with one of my closest shareholders and business partners. The snow was perfect and the conversations around the fireplace allowed us to discuss our personal lives. –RAMON GARCIA
As Muslims, we don’t have Christmas but we join our Christian brothers in its celebration. Exchange gifts, song and dance numbers and the colorful decorations are the things I look forward to. –REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL COTABATO CITY PRIVATE SECTOR REPRESENTATIVE BAI SANDRA BASAR
My first Christmas with my first born is undeniably the most memorable Christmas to me. My young heart and inexperienced mind was overflowing with love and joy just staring at my son. –MARYLINDBERT PRESIDENT LINDA LEGASPI
Christmas is the time when I get to spend time with my whole family. Two of my children study abroad, so I really enjoy all of us having meals together and having our own family bonding moments. -–SPLASH PRESIDENT DR. ROLAND HORTALEZA