MANILA, APRIL 3, 2011 (STAR) BULL MARKET, BULL SHEET By Wilson Lee Flores -[Photo is loading... Jaime Zobel de Ayala, Senator Manny Villar]

Don’t handicap your children by making their lives easy.

—Robert A. Heinlein

If you want children to keep their feet on the ground, put some responsibility on their shoulders.

—Abigail Van Buren

My father didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.

—Clarence Budinton Kelland

Congratulations to Metrobank Group honorary chairman George SK Ty, not so much for the recent launching of his 66-story Grand Hyatt Hotel in Bonifacio Global City in Taguig City on March 24, but more for being a very successful father to hardworking, level-headed, obedient and responsible heirs, led by Metrobank president Arthur Ty and Grand Hyatt Manila chairman Alfred Ty.

Everyone knows that all the children of SM/BDO founder Henry Sy, JG Summit Holdings, Inc./Cebu Pacific Air founder John Gokongwei Jr., and Ayala Group patriarch Jaime Zobel de Ayala are hardworking, obedient and humble.

I have told Sy and Gokongwei that they have achieved true success with their obedient kids giving them no headaches, that this is actually more impressive than just building up a fortune. Most recently, I verified with BDO boss Teresita “Tessie” Sy-Coson, and she said that she was only 13 years old when she worked weekends at the SM family business.

Unlike not a few other rich kids who are spoiled, self-indulgent or confused due to parents not giving them personal attention, guidance or discipline, Ty brothers Arthur and Alfred have also been well trained by their parents George and Mary to work longer hours in the office than their employees, and to exemplify traditional Confucian values.

Like Tessie of BDO, Metrobank president Arthur Ty started out as a 10-year-old messenger boy for the bank, where he learned lessons in humility, discipline and hard work. During summers, he would work as a messenger or clerk in various departments of the bank.

Combining the best of Asian and Western education, he was sent to Taiwan for high school and later to the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) in the US. Two years after college, Arthur took his master’s in Business Administration (MBA) at Columbia University. Younger brother Alfred also received the best of Asian and Western schooling, studying Business Administration at the University of Southern California. Apart from Grand Hyatt Manila, Alfred is also boss of property developer Federal Land and Toyota Philippines.

Another outstanding billionaire who raised good kids is self-made tycoon Senator Manny B. Villar. His sons, 34-year-old Paolo, and 33-year-old Marco, are graduates of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, while only daughter Camille studied at Ateneo de Manila University. Despite their family’s wealth and political clout, all the Villar kids are not spoiled brats, publicity hounds or black sheep — all of them work.

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In Chinese civilization, with 5,000 years of recorded history, there are many tales about heirs and heiresses of emperors and wealthy families who have bizarre moral values and the wrong concepts of success. One example was that of the wise and outstanding emperor Kangxi of the early part of the Qing Dynasty, a ruler who welcomed European Jesuits to China.

Kangxi was so disappointed by the arrogance, bad morals and sheer incompetence of his two sons, whom he had successively anointed as heirs, that he eventually stripped them of their inheritance privileges to save his dynasty from disgrace and decline.

Kangxi then secretly named his fourth son — the hardworking future emperor Yongzheng — as heir to the Dragon Throne, but he kept this choice secret from all. He announced that he would place his successor’s name in an Imperial Valedictory Will inside a box in the Palace of Heavenly Purity, which would be opened only after his death. Due to his guts in publicly censuring and even disinheriting his bad heirs, as well as his successful reign of China for a record 61 years, Emperor Kangxi is revered as one of the greatest rulers in history.

For businesspeople, executives, professionals and officers of organizations or institutions, doing well is only half your success if you cannot plan an orderly succession.

* * *

Last March 24, when George SK Ty launched his Grand Hyatt Manila project, it was great timing since that was also the opening day of the biennial national convention of the Federation of Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce & Industry, Inc. (FFCCCII). The Grand Hyatt Manila launch had a full-page advertisement on the front page of the Chinese-language newspaper World News.

For the past two years, Iloilo-born flour/sugar/feed mill industrialist and philanthropist Dr. Alfonso Uy has successfully led the FFCCCII, whose companies include La Filipina Uygongco Corp. and Philippine Foremost Milling Corp. Dr. Uy was an engineering board top-notcher, a former acting mayor of Iloilo City; he is fluent in Ilonggo, English, Tagalog, Hokkien and Mandarin.

The FFCCCII is well-known not just for encouraging investments but for providing the most private-sector support to Philippine public education with its “Operation Barrio Schools” donating thousands of public-school buildings to poor rural areas nationwide.

* * *

At the last event marking former Liberal Party senatorial bet Atty. Alex Lacson’s civic project held at La Consolacion College Manila (LCCM) on Mendiola Street just beside Malacańang Palace, President Noynoy C. Aquino was impressed with the school’s newly rebuilt auditorium and reportedly joked to LCCM president Sister Imelda A. Mora, OSA that it looked like an ideal wedding venue.

The progressive Agustinian nuns of La Consolacion should also be congratulated for recently making the school the first institution in Southeast Asia to install a South Korean solar energy air-conditioning system (by Distributed Control Intelligence Co., Limited). Chief executive officer Park Won Kuk leads DCI.

This solar-powered aircon system was installed in the Augustine Building of La Consolacion, reducing the use of electric power by 70 percent and also reducing CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. Sister Imelda A. Mora, OSA said, “We in La Consolacion College Manila affirm our commitment to using alternative, viable and renewable sources of energy.”

With the political tumult in the oil-producing nations of the Middle East and North Africa, plus recent nuclear power plant problems in quake-hit Japan, it is imperative for our Philippine leaders, led by President Noynoy Aquino, Energy Secretary Jose Rene N. Almendras, and others to redouble efforts to wean our Philippine economy’s dependence on imported oil soonest!

* * *

One thinking politician with the foresight to invest in alternative and renewable sources of energy is Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos II, who was governor of Ilocos Norte when his province undertook Southeast Asia’s first-ever commercial wind farm in Bangui Bay called the NorthWind Development Corporation. This 33-megawatt wind farm has 20 turbines.

If Bongbong had consulted me on this Bangui Bay project beforehand, I would have recommended that he establish his wind farm in the Philippine Congress, for that institution produces a zillion times more hot air than the entire coastline of northern Luzon!

Last week, it was announced that the Ayala Group has invested half a billion pesos to acquire 50 percent of NorthWind, with Fernando Zobel de Ayala explaining that it is part of their conglomerate’s efforts to build a portfolio of over 1,000 megawatts from renewable and traditional energy sources.

Zobel said, “We believe there are opportunities to make early-stage investments in the renewable energy space, which may have the potential to grow over time given the need to develop alternative sources of energy. In addition to our wind and solar initiatives, we are also developing platforms for hydroelectric power.”

If another political crisis rocks the Middle East, I am worried about the socio-economic impact of world oil prices rising to as much as US$130 or $140 per barrel. Let us plan ahead. If our government is not investing fast enough in alternative and renewable energy sources, I urge more private-sector visionaries like the Ayala Group to blaze the way!

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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