|This was taken way back in 1977 (I was just a month old) at Quezon City, Phil|
Lolo Amante, or Daddy Lolo, as we called him, was a mountain of a man in my eyes. His influence was the one I truly remembered when I was growing up. The wisdom he had and the love for his grand kids are what I remember.
Lolo passed away 15th June 2012 at 12pm MLA, survived by his loving wife, Felisa.
Daddy lolo has 9 children (7 girls and 2 boys with my mum being the eldest girl) and I was his first grandchild. It was family legend that the same month I was born the family was able to buy their first car and Daddy Lolo was promoted to be Vice President of the Government Service Insurance System (a Philippine Government incentive to provide affordable services like housing, medical, dental, optical, education and general insurances for government employees). That month brought great joy to the Rimando Clan.
My heart is filled with sadness as I type this. A man I loved and looked up to has departed. Yet a certain joy in my being is pushing away the melancholy. Daddy Lolo is a lover of Christ. His departure from this planet is met with an excitement of reunion in Heaven.
This man is the reason I am who I am today. My decision to be an entrepreneur started when I asked him if we Filipinos can ever be a first world country (me being a Filipino by heritage). His answer was, "The only thing that can change the Philippines is if there is a change in the Filipino's heart. The best way to do that is through a Renaissance. Start with educating the people."
A dream took root in my heart at that stage and my life seemed that it had purpose.
A First World Philippines!! What a thought. Thus bore my greatest dream and my greatest burden. A career life mistakenly lived for fast money in order to finance a seemingly Herculean dream.
Yet as I let friends and family into my dream I realize that not only does Providence provide ways for this Herculean dream to become reality, I have already started progress and I just have not noticed.
Thanks to my Lolo, I have focused my affections into seeing the following:
- 40 acres of land dedicated to a small Training Campus for general trade (carpentry, brick laying, plumbing) and an elementary school with room to become a high school with instructors from overseas (e.g. Gold License Australian Plumbers and Electricians training Pinoy candidates)
- Underprivileged families living in the complex with a 2 bedroom house per family residence.
- Small businesses funding the day to day expenses of running the complex
- Full scholarships for the children until the completion of high school
- Parents of the children have the choice to be employed in these small businesses or be trained to start their own small businesses or be trained to have internationally marketable trade skills from the Training Campus
The whole idea is to produce a generation of forward thinking, proud Filipino professionals with no Colonial dependencies and a rigorous passion to see a First World Philippines.
Though what I have seen I am lacking is my desire to do all of this alone. In this age of Global Villages, I am excited to see what the possibilities are linking like minded people together.
Thank you again Lolo. This has been your legacy to me.