As the summer vacation in the Philippines comes to an end, high school graduates who are now bound for college should start taking life more seriously, especially if they have not done so in high school.

For most of us who have taken our high school education in the Philippines, it was a time when we enjoyed the most. We met friends and continued to be friends even after high school. This is why today, the veladas, homecomings and alumni gatherings in the different schools are growing more popular, with more people taking time to attend these events.

As parents, we now enjoy taking trips down memory lane. We still enjoy the company of our friends from high school, some who have not changed at all in attitude, but mainly in looks. When my wife and her batch mates get together, they still think they’re in high school. I guess this is how you build on a relationship that cannot be learned but experienced and developed overtime.

I am a parent with five children, with a one-year-old youngest child. Some people can’t believe that, specially my friends who think I am over the hill as I turn half a century old next month. But, I am still able to pull off looking younger while on our summer trip in America. I was buying a cigar in a shop and a lady asked me for an ID. I asked her if she was sure about asking for my ID, and as she saw it, she was surprised to see my age. Another instance was in a restaurant in Washington, I was with my kids and I asked for a margarita. Again, a lady asked for my ID. She was surprised as I told her that the people sitting with me are my children. I told my kids, “You guys look ‘our’ age.”

Taking time out and being with our children this summer is something my wife and I have been doing for many years. Now, as my only son is in college and with a daughter who is going to college, my dream is for them to be able to do what they really enjoy doing. Yes, they do need a bit of pushing and directing but that is the most one can do as parents. The best we can do is to teach the right values that will make them successful in life.

Success is not guaranteed even if one is a bright student. There are values that we are able to give our children in terms of what they have seen in us as parents. First and foremost, for parents to keep a good family relationship, both parents must hold on to their marriage vows. They must always remember to live a God-centered life and the rest of the values will just come along.

Carla Limcaoco, daughter of Carlos Salinas, a low profile entrepreneur who is into shipping and transport, has been able to live on her father’s dreams. Presently a trustee of Philippine Center for Entrepreneurship, Carla was able to make her dream come true, with her daughter who is into teaching. Her daughter has started to put up her own school this June. Carla says that as parents, we provide our children with the roots and wings and let them fly.

This is the very essence of our role. We may make millions of pesos but in the end, if it is turned into waste because of chaos among family members, then all is lost. I guess what we all really want is for our children to live a happy life no matter what. Some might want just a simple life, but they may still be the happiest persons in the planet. I guess for those who have watched the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness”, this movie best shows what life should be.

For the next two to three columns, I have asked other parents to share their dreams for their children. We all want the best for them, but we have to show them how to be the best. Remember that we are the examples of what they will follow.

I asked the following questions to parents from the Go Negosyo community: What would you want your children to be? Do you think local schools can help attain that goal? Do you see your own son or daughter owning a business one day? What would your advice be to other parents?

Here are some of their insights:


Apart from being professionals (if the college course they choose to take is not commerce or business administration), I’d like my children to also have their own businesses. I will advise other parents to encourage their children to have their own businesses and be entrepreneurs.

Eric Alberto (Senior Vice President, PLDT)

I would wish for my three pre-college kids (two girls and a boy) to finish post graduate studies in a course of their choice and best interest. Paramount to such wish is for them to all become socially responsible and productive Filipino citizens. I still believe excellent education can be obtained in the country which can mould any diligent student to be a successful corporate professional, better yet entrepreneur. Yes I would be thankful if one or all of my children would pursue entrepreneurship, as this would allow them to create value multipliers not only for themselves but for others as well. Their mother, Chari, and I do everything within our means to support each of our children to be the best of what they can be in their chosen vocation.

Carla S. Limcaoco (Vice-Chairman/Executive Managing Director, Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Inc.)

I would like them to pursue professions or establish businesses in accordance with their passions. I would like to see them succeed in all aspects of their lives and whether they work because of necessity or because they love what they do or maybe because they have to, I would like to see them happy.

Yes, I believe that the top universities are able to provide the foundation for this goal although they must constantly look at what is happening around the world and in the area of teaching and education to ensure that the youth are provided the standard and substance of education that will allow them to be competitive in today’s globalized world.

What concerns me more are the other schools that may not have the capability due to limitations in teachers and equipment and since many of our youth go to these schools, we are once again challenged in terms of how we can help them compete and responsibly contribute to our society.

Yes (I see my children owning their own business someday), if he or she has it in his or her blood. From the time she was young, my eldest daughter wanted to be a teacher. After graduating she taught for awhile and then decided, together with a group of friends, to put up a pre-school. After a lot of hard work, this has become a reality and now they are marketing their pre-school which is scheduled to open in June. I believe that she is very lucky to be able to pursue a business which is also her passion. This is where it has to begin. There has to be that passion for something, whether it is a product or service, and then there has to be that willingness to venture out and take the risk to make your dream a reality.

Somebody once said that our role as parents is to provide our children with roots and wings. If we do our job right then our kids will have the foundation that they need to start their own lives and more importantly, take responsibility for their actions. In the end they must discover their happiness. We can continue to support and help them along the way, but ultimately, they must make their choices and stand by it.

There will be more insights and sharing from parents in next week’s column. We will be featuring an interesting insight given by Dean Pax Lapid of the Entrepreneurs School of Asia.