There will always be a little boy or girl in all of us who is anchored on the maternal experience of love and care that make us whoever we are.
A mother’s advice may come in small packages of wisdom, like that of Felicidad, mother of Potato Corner co-founder Jose Magsaysay, whose specific instruction was to stay home at night because night-outs mean spending money all the time. It may also be as abstract as to work hard and pray harder, especially in difficult times, as taught by Mommy Jasmin of Tax Whiz Mon Abrea. Or it may be as practical as taking care of your health, as a persistent reminder of Ofelia, the mother of entrepreneur-trainer Paulo Tibig. It may also come in a pragmatic recommendation to look at people’s eyes to see through their soul like that of Ida, the mother of business advocate Jorge Weineke. The 88-year-old Bienvenida would always nurture her children and ask them to support, follow and love their Dad, the late Ambassador Antonio Cabangon-Chua.
The Wonder Woman:
Jennylle ‘Yeng’ Sorongon Tupaz, as President, navigated Ayala Malls amid the Covid-19 world guided by the lessons of endurance, resiliency, resourcefulness, and kindness. There is a wonder woman behind the lessons learned by this only Filipino cited by the Poets and Quants as one of the 100 Best and Brightest Executive MBAs around the globe in 2019. That wonder woman is her Mommy Menchu whom she witnessed to have led the family by making ends meet for their survival. Menchu would insist on the valuable lesson of finding one’s worth, and striving to endure and survive whatever life throws at you. She imbibed in her family the value of discerning potential and working on extracting and creating value out of it despite challenges and roadblocks. Where business thinking and organizational development are concerned through 23 years with Ayala Land Inc., Yeng Tupaz would give credit to her 76-year-old Mom for her street-smart wisdom that greatly influenced her youth.
Similarly, Jovy Tuano was preferred by his Mommy Themy to escort her in the market and to help run the family business in his young age. Jovy must have learned well by doing, as he is now engaged in various successful food business ventures in the United Arab Emirates.
The Model Miss Universe
Milagros, the mother of Bo’s Coffee founder Steve Benitez, taught the discipline of delayed gratification and working hard to get what one wants. She modeled entrepreneurship as she operated a grocery and restaurant. Patience and attention to details is also what business and industry leader Sergio Ortiz Luis cites as best lessons from his mother Lourdes, who was a lawyer and a politician, from whom Mr. Ortiz learned the language of the industry. Atty. Crystal Dias demonstrates to her children the need for hard work, blood, sweat and tears to make dreams a reality after establishing her Law Firm in London 12 years ago, which, with her development work, led her to be one of the 100 Most Influential Women in the World by the Filipina Women Network.
International Professor Eric Soriano would be happy if he can put in half of the effort that her mother Professor Estela has done for many years. The professor-mother taught the professor-son to be a fighter for the family, for those who have less in life, and for those he believes in. On his part, finance guru Chinkee Tan learned from his mother Shirley what he is teaching all his life in financial literacy—savings. And he first learned from his mother the formula that income minus savings equals expense, and that how-much-one-earns is less important than how-much-is-saved.
Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato de la Peña must have become an engineer and a scientist from the lessons of his Mommy Luz who was very assuring that there are answers and solutions that can be figured out for problems and challenges that may come. Rhoda Caliwara, the President of Philippine Association of Legitimate Service Contractors, shares the need to have a good purpose and intention, and in being part of the solution to the problem, which the Mother of Philippine Franchising, Bing
Limjoco, refers to as the need to see the big picture in business. She advises to start everything with happiness from within and discover contentment from it.
The Legendary Homemaker
Make sure your family gets the best of you, not what is left of you. This is what Emma who, strong at 84, still teaches Anthony Pangilinan what to always prioritize and never neglect—the family. Similarly, for Dorothy, the mother of Sheril Ramos Quintana who is the President of Philippine Franchise Association, building memories with children is done by cooking with them and by building a home with them where they feel safe and happy. Socialite Bayani Ortiz intentionally exposed her children and grandchildren to humanitarian service as she lives a life of philanthropy that taught her positive humility and service.
Golden ABC matriarch Alice Liu, as a mother, allows her children the free choice of being part of the business, but demands ability and capability to run the business, which can be demonstrated by their feet being in the water. She upholds what her husband Bernard formulated: the 5 G’s of stewardship, where everything is a G-ift for which one should develop the sense of G-ratitude with a duty to G-row the resources entrusted and to G-overn selves well and the need to G-ive back to society.
And all mothers featured in this column made an indelible ink of faith. As Ambassador to the Holy See, Grace Princesa simply advises from Matthew 6:33 to “seek God first and His righteousness and everything will be given unto you.”
As for this writer, his Mom Siony is the spark that ignited his entrepreneurial spirit in the road less traveled.