12 inspiring stories to tell your kids and grandkids

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez (The Freeman) - January 12, 2021 - 12:00am

To inspire your children and grandchildren, don't tell the boys about Superman, Batman, Spider-man, and girls about Sleeping Beauty or Red Riding Hood. These aren’t true events and will only confuse their young minds and distort their imagination. These can’t help them face the realities of the world and harsh truths about life. These don’t mold character, or prepare them for the puzzles and riddles of life.

Tell them instead about the inspiring lives of men and women who started poor and reached the summit of success. Tell them the stories about Manny Pacquiao, Manny Pangilinan, Socorro Ramos, Injap Sia, Asiang Reyes, Tony Tan Caktiong, the three Leelin sisters, Joe Magsaysay, John Gokongwei, Lucio Tan, Don Vicente Gullas, and Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. Tell them about purpose, perseverance, passion, persistence, planning, principles, prayers, and prosperity. Don't teach them to study hard and be employees all their life, which most Filipino parents normally tell their children. Teach them to study hard, work harder, and pursue the hardest and more rewarding life as entrepreneurs. Tell them Manny Pangilinan started as a fish vendor in Tondo. Today, he owns Meralco, Maynilad, Smart, PLDT, and many first-class hospitals, like Makati Med, Asian Hospital, Cardinal Santos, and many others.

Tell the story of Manny Pacquaio, a diminutive boy from Gensan, whose very poor family was abandoned by his father with only his mother supporting her children by selling vegetables. Manny went to Manila before 15, worked as a pan de sal vendor, construction worker and other difficult and dangerous jobs. He found his passion in boxing and won eight different world titles, the only boxer with that distinction. Today his net worth is more than 9 billion and owns two mansions in the US, five mansions in the Philippines, one private plane, a number of helicopters, a yacht, and more 30 expensive cars and motorcycles. He is a senator and a future candidate for president. Tell them about Socorro Ramos, who at age of 19, started the National Bookstore with a capital of only P300.

Tell your kids and grandkids about this Ilonggo guy Injap Sia who dropped out of school at 19 and in 2016 started Mang Inasal at a small stall in front of their house in Iloilo. He became a millionaire before 30 and a billionaire at 40. Jollibee was threatened by the phenomenal success of Mang Inasal. Tony Tan Caktiong, Jollibee's owner, brought three-fourths of Mang Inasal at a dizzying cost of P5 billion. Injap retained one-fourth of ownership and the two became partners, going into real estate ventures, the Double Dragon operating the Hotel 101, CitiMall, Hotel of Asia, Iloilo-Guimaras Ferry and many others. Injap is an outstanding model for our young ones to be inspired and to emulate. Tony himself is amazing. He built Jollibee into a giant multi-billion business empire in the Philippines, Asia, Middle East, and the USA. MacDonald’s is being beaten by a local brand only in the Philippines.

Tell them about how John Gokongwei sold food items riding a bicycle here in Cebu City. Now, his children led by Lance own a multi-billion empire that includes Robinsons, Cebu Pacific, and a host of other foods and commodity companies. Tell them how Lucio Tan started as a lowly employee of a tobacco company and ended up owning PAL, PNB, UE, Tanduay, and a hundred other firms. Tell them about Aling Asiang Reyes and how she struggled starting in 1930, operating for more than 90 years, the Aristocrat Restaurant. Tell them about the Leelin sisters, Milagros, Clarita, and Doris, who founded the famous Goldilocks. But my favorite is the story of Don Vicente R. Gullas who founded the University of the Visayas in 1919, and nurtured it until the second and now the third generation of Gullases took over.

My own inspiration is the story of Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., who used to walk barefoot in his elementary days in the ‘40s in the mountain village of Colawin, Argao. He became a topnotch UP-educated lawyer, elected as assemblyman, then as delegate to two constitutional conventions, in 1973 and 1987. He was appointed Comelec chairman, associate justice and chief justice of the Supreme Court. He was appointed as ambassador extraordinary plenipotentiary to the United Nations. I am writing a book entitled: HGDJr, From Colawin to the UN. Tell these to your children and grandchildren. These will truly inspire them.

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