Angelo King: Motel King is also King of Philanthropy
- Wilson Lee Flores () - February 12, 2003 - 12:00am
Make love, not war" may be the slogan of peace activists across the globe, but entrepreneurs prefer to make money above everything else and whatever the circumstances. Even as US President George W. Bush and his allies beat the drums of war over Saddam Hussein and Iraq, these ominous dangers will certainly not dampen the amorous fervor of people worldwide over Valentine’s Day, thus ensuring the happy ringing of cash registers.

Among the diverse businesses traditionally profiting from this annual day for lovers are flower shops, chocolate manufacturers, greeting card producers, telecom firms with the expected deluge of text messages, restaurants, concert producers and, of course, the motels. Archimedes King is the boss of the Victoria Court motel chain while his younger brother Wyden King inherited control of the Anito motel chain. Both brothers are heirs of self-made business leader Angelo King. Now a born-again Christian, Wyden is reportedly diversifying out of the motel business, steadily transforming his motels into real hotels and investing in his Legend resorts and hotels.

Although self-made billionaire Angelo King succeeded in the money market and other enterprises – financing, banking, real estate development and trading operations – he earned the title as undisputed "Motel King of the Philippines." Unknown to most people, Angelo King is becoming king in another field, having today become perhaps the most generous philanthropist in the Philippines. Ever since he launched his Angelo King Foundation, Inc. on September 20, 1978, he has poured funds into hundreds of buildings, schools, homes for the aged, orphanages, women’s homes, malnourished children’s centers, drug rehabilitation centers, cultural centers and an amazingly wide range of educational, medical and other charities all over the country Philippines. This civic largesse is unprecedented, exceeding generations of charities by even the country’s traditional elite clans. Not forgetting his ancestral roots, Angelo King also donated a civic center building to his ancestral Say-Phi Village in Fujian province, donated an endowment fund for writers at the Beijing University and financed the monumental scholarly project "Overseas Chinese Encyclopedia."

Media-shy and extremely low-profile, Angelo King rarely attends the opening or inaugural rites of his many civic projects. He recently agreed to give Philippine STAR an exclusive interview despite his frail health.

When asked why he has exceeded other well-known big business names and elite clans in his multi-billion peso charities over the past 24 years, the 76-year-old Angelo King explained, "As a child, I had been active as a boy scout and had already learned the importance of helping others. As a young entrepreneur, I also had the privilege to have been elected as the first ethnic Chinese to become national president of the Philippine Jaycees Movement, which has a strong tradition of public service. When I became 60 years old in 1986, I formally retired from my different businesses and devoted my full attention to my philanthropic foundation."

Angelo King added, "I wish to stress that my civic endeavors were not my personal undertakings alone. I am grateful for the cooperation of many different organizations. All my philanthropic donations and charities were accomplished in synergy with different non-governmental organizations or NGOs like the Philippine Business for Social Progress, community groups and other civic organizations. My foundation cooperates and relies on the organizational setup and the know-how of different groups to reach out to the many less fortunate people. There is so much mass poverty, social injustice and misery in our society and the world, that I strongly feel I should do something to alleviate these conditions. I sincerely believe in the moral duty of private business to help with social development and progress. There are many Chinese proverbs that teach us to live our personal lives for the benefit of others, that we should sacrifice self-interest for the common good, for the betterment of the community welfare."
Buildings & Charities
A complete single-spaced typewritten list of all the schools, hospitals, orphanages, buildings, scholarships and other charities donated by Angelo King totaled six bond papers.

Under the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), King funded the construction of 104 buildings in all regions nationwide such as 44 training centers, 43 multi-purpose centers for poor communities, 12 trading/livelihood centers and various vocational/technical schools. Among the numerous recipients of his educational and cultural charities are the De La Salle College of St. Benilde Angelo King International Center Building, the Assumption Sisters Convent St. Martin School, the Angelo King Institute for Economics and Business Studies at De La Salle University, the Angelo King Center for Research & Environmental Management at Silliman University, Educational Trust Funds for the Philippine Lioc Kui Foundation, Inc. (Manila and Iloilo chapters), scholarship and teacher welfare funds for his alma mater Chiang Kai Shek College, Endowment Fund for Assumption College Faculty & Student Scholarships, the Kaisa Angelo King Heritage Center in Intramuros founded by activist Teresita Ang See, Angelo King Cultural Center of De La Salle Santiago Zobel School, restoration of the 19th-century organ pipe of San Agustin Museum, Angelo King Special Education Center for Philippine Cerebral Palsy, Inc., buildings and numerous medical equipment for St. Martin de Porres Charity Hospital, Angelo King Medical Research Center for DLSU in Dasmariñas Cavite, facilities and modern machinery for Manila Sanitarium Hospital & School of Medical Arts, Angelo King Allied Medical Sciences Building for Silliman University, Angelo King Medical Arts Center South Tower in St. Luke’s Hospital, facilities renovation and machines for UST Hospital, Seminary for Chinese priests of Jaime Cardinal Sin, funds for repairs of the Pontifico Collegio for Filipino priests in Rome, Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity building in Dagupan City, drug rehabilitation centers (Bulacan, Tuguegarao, Cavite and other places), homes for the aged (San Fernando in Pampanga, Borongan in Eastern Samar and Laoag in Ilocos Norte), homes for the disabled, homes for orphans, homes for the abandoned and sick, homes for women, and many others.
From Glass Business To Finance & Real Estate
Born in Binondo, Manila, the son of immigrant King Su from Fujian province, China, Angelo’s family originally engaged in the glass business. After high school at Chiang Kai-Shek College where he learned Chinese history and literature, he studied engineering at the Mapua Institute of Technology but eventually dropped out in order to manage his family’s glass business. Under his entrepreneurial leadership, the Philippine Glass Company flourished, enabling him to raise capital to diversify into other businesses.

Although unable to finish his formal education, Angelo King became an alumnus of the School of Hard Knocks, like other Philippine tycoons such as Lucio Tan (who was poor and was unable to complete his chemical engineering course in Far Eastern University, where a classmate is reputed business rival and now PIATCO boss Vic Cheng Yong), George S.K. Ty, Henry Sy (who got a certificate for his two years in Far Eastern University), Tan Yu, et al. In America, among the world-class billionaires who were college drop-outs are Bill Gates of Microsoft and his arch-rival Larry Ellison of Oracle, while the world’s largest fresh fruits and vegetables producer Dole Foods, Inc. is now controlled by high school dropout billionaire David Murdock. Like Bill Gates, who has become the undisputed world champion in philanthropy, the "Motel King" Angelo King has made a name for himself as a champion of Philippine philanthropy.
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Thank you very much for sending your comments, suggestions and even jokes to or or P.O. Box 14277, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

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