Delivering Christmas joy

FROM THE STANDS - Domini M. Torrevillas - The Philippine Star

Here’s some quick Christmas math that I’m sure Santa Claus (if not everyone from the North Pole) would be very interested in. At present, there are approximately 7.3 billion people in the world. Let’s assume, for the sake of discussion, that only those under 14 years of age are entitled to a special Santa gift. According to World Bank statistics, that’s about 29.8 percent of the population, or 2.17 billion individuals.??         

Apart from the production challenges of manufacturing all the toys and presents for billions of kids, can you just imagine the amount of logistics needed to deliver all those packages? That’s 2.17 billion parcels, spread over 196 countries, covering a total distance of 510 million square kilometers – all having the same delivery date in 24 time zones.??       

Fortunately, Santa has countless helpers across the globe to make his job easier. One local company, LBC Express Inc., has made an impressive mark in the international arena, establishing itself as the Philippines’ leading cargo and courier forwarder for Filipinos all over the world. Through a global presence in over 30 countries in Asia-Pacific, North America, the Middle East and Europe, LBC’s network of 4,400 locations, partners and agents continues to grow impressively.??         

That’s the big picture, macro description of LBC as a vast business enterprise. On the other hand, LBC touches individual lives on a deep and personal level; indeed, this cherished brand is quite literally welcomed into innumerable homes and met with joy and happiness. Their ubiquitous “Balikbayan Box” has entered into the Pinoy lexicon, and is an enduring (and tangible) symbol of the hard work, effort, and thoughtfulness that loved ones from far away send back home.??       

At the very heart of Filipino spirit is sharing, most frequently expressed through pasalubong and padala. As expected, this reaches a frenzied peak during the Christmas season, so cargo and courier companies have to be in top form and rise to the challenge.??       

LBC not only understands this great responsibility, it embraces it. Apart from strengthening its own capabilities, the company continues to make a determined effort to work seamlessly with the Bureau of Customs (BOC) to ensure the proper, safe, and timely entry of cargo into the Philippines. This revitalized collaboration has resulted in a number of wins, such as the recently concluded Asia Logistics Summit (with BOC Commissioner Alberto Lina as one of the speakers), and a regular Live Chat between overseas officers/ customers of LBC and BOC officials. More importantly, both parties have expressed a serious commitment to continue and improve this relationship for the betterment of Filipinos.??        

More than the actual padala, what is essential is the padama behind it. We are fortunate that there is  a Filipino company that recognizes this, and handles our packages accordingly.

*      *      *

One of the nicest pre-Christmas celebrations I attended was that of Dr. James Dy, who turned 85 two weeks ago, amid the joyous cheering of what I thought was the whole of the Chinese community’s prominent members. James is chair and president of several corporations involved in recording, real estate, manufacturing of heavy and light machineries, electrical wiring devices, and the hotel and tourism industry. He chairs the Filipino-Chinese General Chamber of Commerce Inc., owns and operates the Chinese General Hospital and Medical Center, to mention a few of his endeavors. He is also governor of the Philippine Constitution Association, the Philippine Red Cross and of the World Lees Association. Among his awards are the Outstanding Father of the Year, and The Outstanding Filipino (TOFIL)  Award for Humanitarian Service from the Philippine Jaycee Senate and Insular Life Insurance Ltd.

James has  doctor of humanities degrees,  honoris causa,  from four universities. He was appointed Special Envoy for Medical Services by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2010.

What was so admirable was the participation of his family, led by wife  Julieta Dy, and their  children and grandchildren. Julieta and her close friends sang for the celebrant, and so did the couple, who were married in 1951. I liked the introductory remarks made by grandson Gavin, fluent both in English and Chinese languages.

Aside from the sumptuous lauriat, guests were treated to the performances of the never-fading Pilita Corrales and composer Jose Mari Chan, whose career was launched by the celebrant some 40 years ago, and a band and a singer from Kuala Lumpur.

Guests included taipan Lucio Tan, businessman Alfred Ching,  former Sen. Dick Gordon, Manila Mayor Erap Estrada, Sen. Migs  Zubiri,  lawyer Lorna Kapunan, Former Justice Secretary Agnes Devanadera, Congresswomen Baby Arenas and Annie Serrano, Congressman Conrado Estrella II, UP College of Law dean Danny Concepcion, Saeed Daof, and other officers of PHILCONSA and the Philippine Red Cross.

The celebrant cracked jokes that brought the house down. All in all, the celebration was fun. Wait till James turns 90.

*      *      *

I’d like to share with my readers the following message I got from Baba-mail. I hope it gives you the same feelings of peace and happiness I got when I read it past midnight a couple of nights ago.

“The most satisfying words: HELPING OTHERS

The most endangered species: DEDICATED LEADERS

The greatest natural resource: OUR YOUTH

The most effective sleeping pill: PEACE OF MIND

The most powerful force in life: LOVE

The world’s most  incredible computer: THE MIND

The worst thing to be without: HOPE

The most powerful relationship tool: THE TONGUE

The two most power-filled words: ‘I CAN’

The greatest asset: FAITH

The most worthless emotion: SELF-PITY

The most prized possession: SELF-ESTEEM

The most contagious spirit: ENTHUSIASM

The most beautiful attire: A SMILE”

What the message did not convey, is,

The most beautiful gift God gave the world: JESUS CHRIST.

Have a very, very merry Christmas, and great years ahead.

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