Continuing a legacy
Razel Estrella (Pilipino Star Ngayon) - April 21, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Jonah, one of the most well-known biblical characters, went against God’s command. Instead of going to the city of Nineveh to deliver His message, he set out in the opposite direction. But in spite of his disobedience, God created ways to bring him back to his initial purpose.

Dr. Antonio “Tony” Laperal Tamayo – the man who runs the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA and JONELTA, one of the largest group of companies in various fields – likens his story to that of Jonah’s. “We are like the chips in God’s great computer,” says Tony. He trusts that the success he achieved and the positions he reached were already predetermined by the divine being.

To him, each of us has a destiny to fulfill, and he learned what his is in the most unconventional way.

“I wasn’t predesigned to have an interest in basic education,” he shares. “I was more on the streets than inside the classroom.” He explains that if he had been deeply engrossed in schooling, he would not be a creative problem-solver and come up with out-of-the-box ideas. One of which is pioneering the business high school program, which was borne out of the need to raise tuition fees despite a decree against it. “We didn’t solve the dilemma in the usual way. We didn’t reduce cost to the point of mediocrity. We created another option,” he continues.

His acceptance to a friend’s invitation to join Lions Club International was his first step in getting into politics. After two years in the Lions Club Las Piñas, Tony became the club president. Everyone recognized his invaluable work and contribution to the organization that he was pushed to become district governor. However, to become one, he must first be a district chairman. During that time, the sitting district chairman died in the middle of his term and the governor appointed Tony to fill in the vacancy; and, consequently, this qualified him to run for district governor. “Isn’t that destiny?” beams Tony.

If our fate is already written, how then can we replicate Tony’s triumphs? Tony advises to simply do your best – study, work hard, pray – and leave the rest to God. “If you do something all the time, it becomes your habit; and your habit becomes your character,” he says. “When I was young, I kept on gallivanting, so I turned into a lakwatsero,” he continues and admits to indulging in vices. And just as Jonah was swallowed by a whale, work consumed Tony’s mind. He deems it was God’s method of bringing him back again to the right path: “So working became a habit and now I’m a workaholic.”

Even being married to a charming and intelligent wife is something that boggles him and he believes that it could only be a gift from above. “I didn’t know why I got my wife,” says Tony. His wife, Daisy Aguilar Moran-Tamayo, is also working in the University of Perpetual Help System DALTA as chairman and chief executive officer.

Ultimately, Tony discerned that running the Perpetual Help System is his destiny.

“I hated schooling, but God gave me a school. I hated medicine, but God gave me a hospital. I thought that running the school and the hospital was my destiny, but then it was just another chapter in my life. It was able to help me develop my competence in health and education, and give me enough resources to fulfill my actual destiny, which is to fill in my father’s shoes when he dies,” shares Tony.

Among the things his father taught him are the values of responsibility, hard work, fairness, dedication, and integrity – which is all about upholding the family name. These same values are what he also strives to teach his children, for he wants nothing more than to continue his father’s legacy. “I want to pass on the heritage,” he concludes.

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