Starting a business is easy. Creating a legacy is another story entirely. In most cases the real burden falls on those who come after, on those who must not only keep the ship straight, but sail it farther into uncharted waters. As The Philippine STAR looks back on three decades of history and legacy, we also welcome the next generation of leaders who are poised to make their own.
Executive Director, Alliance Global Inc., Senior Vice President, Megaworld Corporation, and Head of Megaworld Lifestyle Malls
My childhood dream was to be a pilot.
My dream now is for my daughter to be happy, healthy and successful.
For me, success means constantly innovating yourself so that you can continually create value for others.
My business icon is my dad.
The best thing my parents (Andrew Tan and Katherine Tan), taught me is to be honest, considerate and to be charitable.
The best thing about my job is meeting, talking and learning from so many different kinds of people.
Legacy to me is building something timeless.
In 30 years, I’d like the Philippines to have grown its GDP by six times.
Cristalle Belo Henares
Managing Director, Belo Medical Group and Intelligent Skin Care Inc.
My childhood dream was to become a cashier, then it evolved to being a businesswoman.
My dream now is to have a solid business empire with my fiancé Justin Pitt so we do what we love — help people, help animals, raise our children by giving them learning experiences, in and outside of school, and travel the world.
For me, success means being able to pass on knowledge, skills and passion to people who want success but don’t know where to begin. They, too, can have an opportunity to achieve their dreams and goals, and I want to be instrumental in that journey.
My business icons are my parents, Atom Henares and Dr. Vicki Belo.
The best thing my parents taught me is that anything is possible if you put your mind and heart into it. But at the end of the day, it all boils down to action.
The best part of my job is being able to change people’s lives by giving them a way to gain more confidence.
Legacy to me is not one big thing but making a small impact on many people’s lives.
I’d like the Philippines to evolve by setting aside personal agendas and truly taking care and looking out for one another, especially those who don’t have much.
General Manager, Nissin Universal; Robina and Hunt’s Universal Robina
My childhood dream was to find Prince Charming and live happily ever after.
My dream now is to live happily ever after, then meet Prince Charming.
For me, success means being the best in whatever career you’ve chosen.
My business icon is my father, John Gokongwei, of course.
The best thing my mom (Elizabeth Yu-Gokongwei) and dad taught me is no work, no pay.
The best part of my job is I get to eat Yakisoba, Cup Noodles and Hunt’s Pork and Beans every day, for free.
Legacy to me is passing on a good name to your children.
In 30 years, I’d like the Philippines to evolve into a country that gives every Filipino child a quality education so that he or she may have the opportunity to elevate the lives of his or her family.
Assistant Vice President, Filinvest Hospitality
My childhood dream was to be an astronaut.
My dream now is to build the leading Filipino hospitality company.
For me, success means creating something that people admire and desire.
Mariana Zobel de Ayala
General Manager for Ayala Malls The 30th and Ayala Malls One Bonifacio
My childhood dream was to work in the entertainment industry.
My dream now is to look back and have a life full of stories to tell.
For me, success means finding the right balance between personal fulfillment and meaningful, broader impact.
The best thing my parents (Jaime Augusto Zobel and Lizzie Eder) taught me is discipline and diligence trumps all — including intelligence.
The best part of my job is working in an atmosphere as dynamic as the Philippines where consumers and the market are evolving in real-time — where we are forced to tweak, adjust, and get very creative on a daily (and sometimes hourly!) basis.
Legacy to me is making a distinctively positive impact.
In 30 years, I’d like the Philippines to evolve into a country that is no longer surprised or shocked by its own successes and capabilities.
Jaime Alfonso Zobel de Ayala
Management Associate, Consumer Mobile; Business Group, Globe Telecom
My childhood dream was to produce feature films.
For me, success means something different every year.
My business icons are currently the Fertitta brothers of the UFC. They achieved the greatest ROI in sports franchise history by embracing regulations and transforming a previously unpopular sport into a media empire.
The best thing my parents (Jaime Augusto Zobel and Lizzie Eder) taught me is to never fear failure.
The best part of my job is working directly with the end customer.
Legacy to me is an evolving concept, defined by the efforts of all individuals that have contributed towards a common goal.
Business Development Head, AF Payments Inc. (Joint venture between Ayala Corporation and First Pacific Group)
My childhood dream was to be a pilot.
My dream now is to eventually retire on a working farm.
For me, success means finding fulfillment in one’s endeavors. I believe you find that when you are achieving worthwhile goals, continue learning, and are happy.
My business icon is my grandfather, Jaime Zobel de Ayala.
The best thing my mom (Bea Zobel Jr.) taught me is to treat others as you would like to be treated.
The best part of my job is the fantastic individuals I get to work with every day and the opportunity to make a difference in the commute of Filipinos.
Legacy to me is leaving things better than you received them.
In 30 years, I’d like the Philippines to evolve into a country comfortable in its own skin after achieving its full potential.
Policy Researcher, Oscar M. Lopez Center for Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Management Foundation
My childhood dream was to be a marine biologist.
My dream now is that what I’m doing now —making people more aware and building our resilience against climate change — will affect our world and one day climate change will be infused all throughout society, where it’s not something that’s debated about.
Success means being content with who I am and knowing that I didn’t get to this place by stepping on anyone else.
My business icon is definitely my mom. She’s the embodiment of a very strong and independent woman. She’s one of the few women in the family to take on the reins of the business (in ABS-CBN and the Lopez Museum).
The best thing my parents (Vicente Vargas and Cedie Lopez-Vargas), taught me is not to be dependent on anyone else but myself. Not in the sense that you’re so anti-man, but in the sense of knowing that even if you don’t end up with a partner, you’ll be fine. Having your own money, being able to stand on your own two feet.
The best part of my job is that I get to read a lot.
Legacy to me is being of service to the communities and the societies that are part of the family business. It’s always having a social responsibility to the communities that basically keep our business alive.
In 30 years, I’d like the Philippines to evolve by having a full understanding of what climate change means for the country, not just for me and the people who work in this field, but for everyone, because the people who’ll be most vulnerable to climate change are the people who can’t adapt to it.
Hans Sy, Jr.
Vice President, SM Engineering, Design & Development
My childhood dream was to be a fighter pilot. When I was a kid, I had so many books on jet planes, and then I realized my eyesight would never let me become one. I had a high grade: 800 at one point.
My dream now is to do what I do and make it even better. I’m working for SM right now, so my dream is basically to take it bigger than what it is, because it’s not enough to be dominant locally. The dream is to be able to match the achievements of my predecessors and at least maintain that level of performance.
Success means being content with yourself. It’s that sense of self-fulfillment that I know at the end of the day. I’m happy with what I’ve done, I’m happy with who I am. The fact that you’re satisfied with what you’ve done.
My business icon is, no question, my grandfather, Henry Sy, Sr. He’s done so much that his actions have more than inspired a lot of people to deliver even more than what has been done. He’s been such an inspiration to us, through both his actions and the way he lives his life.
The best things my parents (Hans Sy and Carol Sy) taught me are the family core values of humility, diligence, hard work. We’re very happy that, you know, at the end of the day, we don’t really have people who talk bad about us because we’re generally nice people.
The best part of my job is that I’m able to do things that no one else can do and that’s what keeps me going. We have a very hectic schedule and a lot people ask me, “Why do you work the way that you work? Why do you bother, why do you stress?” At the end of the day I tell myself that God gave me an opportunity to be in a place where I can make things happen or where I can make a difference.
Legacy to me is the story you leave behind for people other people to tell. It depends on what you’ve done. Is it enough that people will talk about it? As you can imagine, remembering the stories of the past, it’s only the big ones that stand out.
In 30 years, I’d like the Philippines to evolve into the country that it should have always been. We all know the stories about the ‘60s; we were an international superpower. Hopefully, we get back to where we were meant to be. There is no question in my mind that we should be up there among the other nations because we got everything. All we lack, really, is good governance and discipline.
VP for Business Development, Suyen Corporation
My childhood dream was to be a successful businessman.
My dream now is to be able to pass on the traditions and values I learned from my parents to my children, in life and in business.
For me, success means having a solid foundation for my family. Seeing my kids happy and successful. Seeing our company grow. Likewise, providing good opportunities to our employees.
My business icon is Bill Gates. And my uncle Ben Chan, founder of Bench.
The best thing my parents (Virgilio Lim and Nenita Chan-Lim), taught me is hard work and humility.
The best part of my job is I get to meet dynamic people from all over the world, learning from them and applying it in our business. Life is about constant learning.
Legacy to me is leaving a positive imprint on society. It has to be solid enough to last generations.
I’d like the Philippines to evolve by becoming a first world country in the next 30 years.
Resident Gemologist, Royal Gem
My childhood dream was to own and run a business. Somehow growing up in a family with both parents (Jack Gaisano and Vivian Gaisano) being active in the business, seeing them work and hearing their stories and learning from them, naturally shaped my mindset that someday I’d also be doing the same.
My dream now is to further expand the jewelry business. Making it accessible to areas where there’s demand. Since the business has been there for decades now, my mission now is to further its growth — to inspire more innovation and be a leader in the industry.
For me, success means achieving goals you’ve set. In terms of business, success means being able to consistently grow and ultimately become the leader in the industry in terms of sales volume, nationally; at the same time, seeing the entire team develop together. In life, happiness is success.
My business icon? Good question. Elon Musk. Not only is he good-looking and intelligent, he’s such a risk taker, a forward thinker, taking the word “innovation” to a whole different level.
The best thing my mom and dad taught me is to always uphold values of integrity, generosity, humility and doing things for the common good. Decisions, actions should always consider the question “Will it add value to society?”
Legacy to me is having imparted something meaningful to people that would have a positive impact on them. Touching or inspiring them to be better.
In 30 years, I’d like the Philippines to evolve by becoming a First World country! Where people’s standard of living will be significantly improved. Most people will be able to enjoy a decent, comfortable life and not worry about whether they can afford their basic needs. Quite idealistic, but 30 years is a long way to go.
Owner, Casa Bella and Design Story
My childhood dream was to be a mathematician.
My dream now is to make people happy with good design where they live and work.
For me, success means having enough resources for both my career and my family.
My business icons are my dad and mom, Peter Coyiuto 0`and Elena Coyiuto.
The best things my mom and dad taught me are to be kind, and to do what you love, but make sure you’re good at it.
The best part of my job is meeting interesting people, whether in furniture or insurance. It’s a diverse set of people, really.
Legacy to me is making sure people remember you as a decent person.
In 30 years, I’d like the Philippines to evolve by having a real sense of creation, not just adaptation. When we create things and concepts that are truly grounded in an understanding of our culture while integrating it to international culture.
Head of Store Development and Expansions, Rustan’s Department Store
My childhood dream was to be a soldier. I think it was very typical for kids to want to be a soldier, a policeman, fireman, etc. I wasn’t any different from most kids.
My dream now is to be able to help grow the family business by doing my part, and being a steward of the business that my grandparents and parents set-up together.
For me, success means living a life surrounded by my family and loved ones.
My business icon is Amancio Ortega.
The best thing my parents (Anthony Huang and Nedy Tantoco) taught me was to always work hard. If there is anything that you want, you must earn it.
The best part of my job is being able to help expand the business by building new stores and being able to see firsthand new technologies, innovations and interiors being used in different retail formats around the world today.
Legacy to me is making a difference and leaving an impression without sacrificing integrity.
In 30 years, I’d like the Philippines to evolve into a strong economic and developed country, and truly become the “tiger” of Asia.
Managing Director, Vista Land
My childhood dream was to be an entrepreneur.
My dream now is still the same. I strive to be successful in my business endeavors. Also, to help create and be a part of a company that can be admired for its ways and the products that it provides to the consumer, whether it’s in the form of a place to live, a mall, or a store.
For me, success means achieving your goals the right way and reaching a point where you are happy and content with what you have achieved.
My business icons are Tessie Sy-Coson, Steve Jobs, and my parents, Manny Villar and Senator Cynthia Villar.
The best thing my parents taught me is that your dreams can be achieved through hard work and perseverance.
The best part of my job is being able to work alongside and learn from my family as well as the fulfillment I get from seeing plans come to fruition and building something from scratch that people use and appreciate.
Legacy to me is making a positive difference.
In 30 years, I’d like the Philippines to evolve into one of the most developed and admired countries in Asia, a thriving economy. I hope that we evolve into a country where our citizens can come home and no longer have to look for work abroad because life is better here.
Managing Director, National Book Store
My childhood dream was to be a journalist or an author.
My dream now is to make National Book Store a globally competitive Filipino brand delivering great customer experiencing across a strong brick and mortar network complemented with an online channel.
For me, success means continuing the legacy and building upon the successes of my Lola Coring, Socorro Ramos, founder of National Book Store and at the same time being a good mother to my kids and wife to my husband.
My business icon is my grandmother. Lola Coring showed that success is achieved through hard work and perseverance.
The best thing my parents (Alfredo Ramos and Presy Ramos), taught me is to believe in myself and pursue my passions, while working for them.
The best part of my job is traveling around the world to discover new brands and new ideas to share with consumers as well as meeting authors whose books I greatly admire.
Legacy to me is making a lasting difference to communities by encouraging kids to love reading and learning, by giving them access to books and school supplies.
In 30 years, I’d like the Philippines to evolve into a society that puts the highest value on education and learning and embraces the importance of reading and writing in our culture.
Co-Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director, Century Properties
My childhood dream was to explore the world and space travel.
My dream now is to change the world for the better and have fun along the way.
For me, success means a happy life at home, and a meaningful contribution to society at large.
My business icons are Richard Branson, for his astonishing success as a serial entrepreneur and his bravado both in business and personal pursuits; Elon Musk, for his bold innovations that will literally change the world; my dad, Jose Antonio,for his all accomplishments and contributions from humble beginnings.
The best things my parents (Jose and Hilda Antonio) taught me: Believe in yourself, be grateful, and be kind to others.
The best parts of my job: Living my passions and having our developments embraced by our customers, and working with my father and brothers, and a group of highly competent professionals.
Legacy to me is building today what will be the future of others.
In 30 years, I’d like the Philippines to evolve by educating and investing in our youth — our future, by cultivating their self-confidence and implanting in them the mindset that the Philippines is world-class.
Founder, Solar Philippines
My childhood dream was to become a lawyer and politician.
My dream now is to make the Philippines a great nation through innovation and entrepreneurship.
For me, success means doing the greatest good for the greatest number of people.
My business icon is Elon Musk.
The best thing my parents (Antonio Leviste and Senator Loren Legarda), taught me is to never take no for an answer, and that you can always find a way.
The best part of my job is getting results sooner than others thought possible, for things others once said were impossible.
Legacy to me is accelerating the transition from expensive fuel-burning plants to low-cost renewable energy.
In 30 years, I’d like the Philippines to evolve into a First World nation that all of us can be proud of.