The resilient Filipino spirit

The resilient Filipino spirit

GO NEGOSYO By Joey Concepcion (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 14, 2013 – 12:00am

We all are saddened with the severe devastation brought about by Typhoon Yolanda. Prior to the weekend, I was taking an international flight to Manila with my family and I do have the habit of monitoring the weather in which has provided me the most reliable weather information for many years now, since we love the sea and do go to the many beautiful islands to scuba dive as a family on a boat. So we always are mindful of weather, tide and current.I was shocked to see the storm as it was coming in. It was just getting stronger and was predicted to go over 300 kph which would make it a category 5 storm. Most of the Visayan Islands do not have tall mountains like Luzon to block off the wind so something of this magnitude would surely cause serious damage.

We decided to go straight home and not take shelter in Hong Kong as the typhoon was not going to hit Manila as per the storm tracking. That night Manila was quiet with some rain and wind and when we woke up that day, the Filipinos were saddened when they learned about the tragedy that hit the Visayas area, particularly Tacloban in Leyte and its nearby areas.

A number of foreign correspondents were already in Tacloban, as they knew that this typhoon would make history as one of the strongest to hit the land.

We as Filipinos are all deeply affected to see parents carrying a lifeless child. Imagining the pain one would endure is totally immeasurable. As parents ourselves, we would do anything to keep our children safe. I know words of condolences are not enough to ease the pain that many of our brothers and sisters are feeling.

A lot have cancelled their big parties. Even Philippine Tattler decided to cancel its annual ball and word is they may just have a cocktail to raise funds. There is no Filipino out there who does not feel the pain our brothers and sisters feel today.

My wife, Marissa was moved and felt maybe her contribution was to keep those who lost their homes warm so she through of blankets and she mentioned a goal of 50,000 as she felt she was led by the Holy Spirit, and to do a fund raising drive for this.

At first I thought that was a lot of blankets. I mean, where would she get the supply? Thankfully, she did find one at an affordable price.

She holed up herself for one day calling family, friends, and my entrepreneur community to support Sandy Prieto Romualdez’s request to help her husband Philip’s hometown of Tacloban and the province of Leyte.

I was amazed with the tremendous outpouring of support from the group. In just one day, they were able to raise money to fund 50,000 blankets that are now on the way to the province.

What almost made me cry is when my youngest daughter, Isabella, gave her mom $21 she saved from her tooth fairy which allowed her to donate 13 blankets. My wife said, “Isabella just make it 10 blankets” but she was adamant on 13. She, too, was affected as she kept showing me typhoon coverage of CNN on YouTube.

For someone who is six years old, I would have never thought this was possible. I share this with my readers not to brag about the effort of this group, but to show that the Filipino spirit is still alive in us. We and many of us do really care about our kababayans.

Tragedies like this bring out the best in all of us. Whatever faith we belong to, it is thru the kindness of what we do and how we demonstrate our love for others that secures ourselves a place in our next life.

It was not the number of blankets that one gave, whether it was 13 or a thousand, but rather it was the act of concern that really makes me proud and happy that I was born a Filipino. To our many good Samaritans out there, every little effort is what, in the end, makes us a nation that builds our character.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: