WATCH: How one promise made in 1907 endured and lasted beyond lifetimes
Euden Valdez ( - February 28, 2020 - 2:45pm

MANILA, Philippines — The year was 1907. Dijo Sy first arrived on the shores of the Philippines as an immigrant from China.

As the family’s first patriarch, Dijo made sure to give his children not just a good future but a brighter one. He sought insurance from Sun Life of Canada (Philippines) Inc.—the first and oldest insurance company in the country—to be ready for whatever was to come.

It was the right choice. Through the changing times, the Sy family of Cagayan de Oro faced challenges and losses, but always prioritized one another and persevered together.

And together with Sun Life, they are ushering the new decade with six generations of rich history and family ties.

Lifetime partnerships built on trust

Needless to say, Sy’s family outlook in prioritizing family and financial security has been passed from one generation to the next. They also only trusted Sun Life.

“Due to Sun Life's trustworthy track record, it has garnered a staple name in the insurance industry. Thus, when we were kids, when you talk about insurance, it is only Sun Life that comes to our mind,” told Benjo Sy, the fifth generation Sy patriarch, to

“Sun Life has taught us that it is important to find a good reliable institution. Good enough to deliver what was promised. If our great, great grandfather Dijo Sy had mistakenly invested in a less reliable company, a company that cannot deliver what was promised, all the savings or investment placed by him will be at lost,” he added.

His sister Cathy noted how Sun Life helped their family when they lost their mother. “Our mother’s insurance really helped us. The insurance claim was very fast and readily available upon our request.”

Artist Abigail Angeles interprets the colorful journey of the Sy family toward financial freedom. Her work is part of "Portraits Beyond Lifetimes," an exhibit commemorating the 125th anniversary of Sun Life. Cagadas

Benjo then revealed that everyone in the family is already insured and added, "Each of us is insured in Sun Life with different plans in life insurance, investment, health and education. Currently our dad, Ben Sy, makes it a point to give insurances to his apos as his first birthday gift and it is always with Sun Life.”

Lastly, the Sy family wishes to share to their fellow Filipinos one lesson on financial security.

“We should change our mindset of thinking investing in a good insurance is an expenditure on our part. We don’t realize it but investing in a good insurance is actually a forced savings, making it less of an expense. We should see an insurance policy as an income rather an expense,” Cassy, daughter of Benjamin, said on behalf of her family.

125 years of making a brighter future

Sun Life’s partnership with Sy family for six generations is a testament to its commitment to give Filipinos a brighter future. It has done so for over a century.

As the leading insurer marks its 125th anniversary, it now sets to transform it products and services that will empower the next generations of Filipinos toward financial freedom.

“We aim to strengthen our relationship with the Filipino people and reiterate our commitment to helping them achieve a brighter future,” Sun Life Philippines CEO and Country Head Benedict Sison concluded.

(From left) Sun Life Philippines CEO and Country Head Benedict Sison, Sun Life Asia President Leo Grepin, Insurance Commissioner Dennis Funa and Sun Life Financial President and CEO Dean Connor unveil the 125th anniversary commemorative marker at Sun Life's head office in the Philippines. Cagadas


For updates on Sun Life’s 125th anniversary celebrations, visit and follow @SunLifePH on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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