I randomly write any topic about health here which I find interesting and informative. Wealth topic is also published here so that you will get some ideas on how to earn money too. Health and Money Awareness are my objectives in writing in this blog.

Why Henry Sy believes the Philippines is not hopeless

"I am optimistic that we can achieve a better future. It's not true that the Philippines is a hopeless case," 82-year-old SM Group and Banco de Oro founder
Henry Sy recently told The Philippine STAR. "I'm an immigrant who came here at 12 years old, spoke no English or Tagalog, but I came to appreciate the natural beauty and many economic advantages of the Philippines more than many other people do, and I kept working and investing with positive thinking."

The exclusive three-hour interview took place at his simple but elegant bungalow in North Forbes Park, Makati City, and at Tanabe Japanese Restaurant in his
SM Mall of Asia in Pasay City.
In the over two decades I have known the legendary rags-to-riches taipan and shopping-mall pioneer, Henry Sy has become more mentally sharp and energetic than ever before. He is strong despite his weak knees, which occasionally forced him to use the wheelchair when we briefly toured his newest pride and passion - the SM Mall of Asia.

PHILIPPINE STAR: Congratulations on the success of the SM Mall of Asia. What did your competitors say about your biggest shopping-mall project yet?

HENRY SY: I called Robinsons mall boss John Gokongwei Jr. to personally invite him to the blessing of the SM Mall of Asia, but he said he couldn't make it. Even though we are competitors, I don't think Gokongwei has any complaints about me.

Your executives tell me that one million people came to the SM Mall of Asia on your first day, May 21, then 400,000 came the next day, Monday. Why are people coming here, when this location is not along a highway like SM Megamall or at a crossroads like SM North Edsa?

A lot of the customers to this mall came from the provinces - they enjoy touring the place. It's not only constructing the place that creates a good mall, we at SM create destinations using continuous research, studies and new ideas to match the needs and
wants of the people. Doing a mall is not only construction of the physical place, what's important is the merchandising mix. We strive to serve the convenience of the public. We want shopping at our malls to be a unique and an enjoyable experience.

Why did you build an Olympic-size ice-skating rink in this mall?

Very few people know this: I love skating and bowling. I used to roller skate a lot in my youth on Taft Avenue, Manila. That's the reason there's always a skating area in all my SM malls. I want more people to share my love for skating.

When you were a kid, what was your original ambition?

I've always wanted to be a businessman. No other ambitions, I just wanted to be in business, even when I was a child in Fujian province, South China.

Why did you invest P7 billion in Mall of Asia's 500 outlets, 180 restaurants and other facilities, at a time when the Philippine economy is not that strong?

It's investment that manifests my strong confidence in the Philippine future. I hope this biggest mall project will have a positive impact on the Philippine economy and I hope to encourage other business people to invest, too. Not everything I do is purely for money. Of course, as a businessman and as head of publicly listed companies, we have to earn, but at this point in my life, there are other considerations more important besides just money. I took a risk and invested in SM Mall of Asia because I wanted to create something that could contribute to Philippine tourism growth. If I am only after profits, the easiest way is for me to construct high-rise condominiums here along the seashore facing Manila Bay, or I could just develop high-end subdivisions here and subdivide the lots to cash in quickly with big profits. But
constructing this mall is a long-term investment; it is proof of my faith in the future of the Philippine economy. I wanted to build a beautiful destination for
shopping, wholesome family-oriented entertainment and leisure. That church outside this mall, I donated it - everything from the structure, the land, to the interior furnishings and decor - it's not for profit.

What else do you wish to achieve after the SM Mall of Asia? What other big projects can we expect from you?

My biggest wish is for government, the private sector and all of us to work together to make the Philippines the best tourism destination in Southeast Asia. This is the reason I am always optimistic that the Philippines is not a hopeless case, contrary to what a lot of cynics claim. What Thailand can offer in tourism places and services, we in the Philippines can match, except for our past reputation in peace-and-order problems. That's what has held back our tourism growth. Philippine economic prospects are very good; we just have some problems in the investment environment which the government is now rectifying. Other export industries often rely on imported raw materials and the Philippines often only earns the labor input, but in the tourism industry, the Philippines can earn as much as 80 percent for every dollar spent here on food, shopping, entertainment, hotels, transport, etc., while 20
percent probably goes to imported liquor and other luxury goods. I'm into tourism with Tagaytay Highlands, Taal Vista Hotel. We shall keep investing in new tourist-friendly malls, we are now master-planning a new 5,700-hectare seaside tourism project called Hamilo Coast� in Batangas, and many others.

Why do you think the Philippines is ideal for tourism?

First, there's the location: we are just two to three hours from all the major Asian cities like Singapore, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and others. Second, our people are famous for the best service in Southeast Asia. Third, people here are proficient in English. Fourth, the Philippines has many naturally beautiful tourist destinations, beaches, thousands of islands, unique flora and fauna, vast fishery
resources, and others. Fifth, the Philippines is excellent in entertainment, which is important in tourism. Look at the singers and bands in top hotels, from Shanghai to Seoul to Tokyo, many of them are Filipino entertainers. Sixth, you don't need much
capital or foreign investments for tourism development. Seventh, Philippine hospitality is better than others in ASEAN - just look at the people's smiling faces.

In our Chinese language, we call this ho khe chieng, or people who are warm and hospitable in welcoming clients and guests. There are many more advantages. I could spend all day and all night talking to you about the tourism potentials of this
country.

What are your suggestions on how to build up Philippine tourism?


I have a very simple formula based on common sense that will help accelerate Philippine tourism growth: the government should improve the peace-and-order situation as well as the international image of the Philippines on this crucial issue. The government should upgrade infrastructure, there should be a strong information campaign worldwide to promote the Philippines as an ideal tourism destination. In a recent event of HSBC, a TV talk show host of CNN asked for my advice to politicians and I shared only a few words of advice: work more, talk less.

Government every year claims over two million tourist arrivals. What do you think should be the ideal number of tourists coming to the Philippines annually?


Our target should first be to attract five million tourists in the first five years, then go for over 10 million in 10 years. Every time I meet President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, I always tell her this dream of mine and my excitement about Philippine tourism potentials because I know she really wants a better Philippine economy.

In this era of globalization, SM is also going international like the western multinationals Walmart, Carrefour, Metro and others. What are your plans in
China?


We have four major projects in China. In August or September this year, we shall inaugurate our new mall in Chengdu City, the capital of the 100-million-people Sichuan province. China is a dynamic place, it is amazing in progress.

Why is it that your children didn't grow up spoiled, and seem to have imbibed your work ethic and business acumen? How did you train them?

I think it's their innate natural drive. I also trained them in the importance of hard work. Even while they were in high school, my children used to spend their free time working at our SM Department Store in Makati.

Who among your six children - Tessie, Elizabeth, Henry Jr., Hans, Herbert and Harley - will become your future successor and the leader of the SM Group's next generation?

I cannot for now ascertain who will be the leader. We are organized as corporations, publicly listed firms. Whoever becomes the leader of the next generation shall rise based on merits and abilities. Unlike other top Chinese business families in Asia, which favor male sons over daughters, all my six children are treated equally. My eldest child Tessie is hardworking and very capable; it doesn't matter that she's a
woman. She always wants to learn and she is a fast learner.

A billionaire asked me recently who is richer, you or Lucio Tan?

How can I know for sure who is bigger in net worth when each person has his own strengths that not everyone fully appreciates? I don't like to say this guy is the biggest in wealth, because some people have wealth which is hidden - isn't that a fair point of view?

John Gokongwei Jr. told me that when he first applied for a loan with PBCom it was not approved, and it was China Bank's Dee K. Chiong and Dr. Albino SyCip who approved his first loan of P500,000 in 1950. What about your first loan?

I don't usually like to get loans. In fact, the reason why we did well and completed our first mall project, SM North Edsa, even after the 1983 economic crisis and after the Ninoy Aquino assassination, was because we had very little loans then. I got my first credit line in 1949, it was from China Bank and they lent me P1 million. My credit line was approved by Mr. Yap Tian Siang in their head office before at Juan Luna Street, corner Dasmarinas Street.

Did you ever imagine in 1949 that you would someday own more than 70 percent of China Bank, and that you would have Banco de Oro and soon, possibly, Equitable PCIBank?

No, I never imagined then that I would own banks. You know, despite our many shareholdings in China Bank, the Dee family of the original founder has managed the
institution so professionally and profitably, we never attempted to change the incumbent chairman Gilbert Dee or president Peter Dee. We are not that greedy, it's
not good. I don't believe in wanting both power and financial gain. Even those executives who have been with China Bank for many years, they are still there. If a venerable institution like China Bank is doing so well, why make changes?

Is it true you already own 11 percent of San Miguel Corporation?

I have invested a lot in that well-managed company, but I don't want to mention figures.

What are the business principles or strategies that made you successful?


I wouldn't classify this as a secret to success, but one of my lifelong practices is to pay my obligations on time, especially my suppliers. Even in my early years as retailer, I didn't delay my payments to suppliers, because I tell my kids that we have to be considerate to suppliers and think of their own hinyong or how they have to protect their sense of trustworthiness with others. If it's time to pay others on Monday, we would already deposit the money in their bank accounts on Friday, so they need not even come to our office to collect.

Your SM Cinemas do not allow R-18 or For Adults Only movies, including The Da Vinci Code. Are you a Catholic or is it just your wife?

I am Catholic, but yes, it's my wife Felicidad Tan Sy who is the most devout among us in the family. She devotes almost all her time and money to the Catholic
Church.

Your SM Group leases out or has retail businesses in millions of square meters of prime commercial space. When you came to the Philippines as a 12-year-old boy, how big was the sari-sari store of your father and what was its name?

It was a small ha-ya-tiam, it had no name. It was located on Echague St., which is now Carlos Palanca Sr. St. in Quiapo, Manila. It was only about 30 square meters in floor area.

Why did you cry when you first saw your father in his store?


I cried because I saw how hard the life of my father was as a small shopkeeper. He worked from early morning to late at night every day. He would go to chay-chi-khaw area or Divisoria to buy goods, carrying them himself on his back in order to resell in the store. I learned the importance of honest hard work, frugality and discipline from his example.

Where did you and your father sleep at night, on the second floor or at the back of the store?

Our sari-sari store was so small it had no back or second floor, we just slept on the counter late at night after the store was closed.

When you were a kid and you saw your father struggling with his sari-sari store, did that motivate you to aspire to become Southeast Asia's Shopping Mall King?

As a kid, I had the will to strive for excellence and to overcome the hard environment, but I never imagined attaining big success. Whatever I have achieved did
not happen overnight; ever since my teen years I've devoted many, many years of my life to non-stop studying, diligent work and dreaming of a better future.

1 reaction:

virtual office makati said...

There are still a lot of business developments going on.

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Lipotropic Fat Burner/Appetite Suppressant— $19.95
Lipotropics are substances that prevent an abnormal accumulation of fat in the liver. The four lipotropics are methionine, choline, inositol and betaine. Lipotropics increase production of lecithin by the liver thereby...
Lipotropics are substances that prevent an abnormal accumulation of fat in the liver. The four lipotropics are methionine, choline, inositol and betaine. Lipotropics increase production of lecithin by the liver thereby helping to keep cholesterol more soluble and lessening deposits in blood vessels. They prevent accumulation of fats in the liver. They also detoxify amines which are by-products of protein metabolism. * Increases your body’s metabolism to burn fat, plus aids in removing/transporting fat out of your body. * The average person taking 6 capsules per day may lose 2 pounds per week. * You could see 2-5 pounds per week weight loss. * Reduce your body fat levels without having to practice starvation dieting. INGREDIENTS: 100% Pure Pharmaceutical Grade L-Carnitine. 100% Pure Pharmaceutical Grade Choline Bitartrate. 100% Pure Pharmaceutical Grade Inositol. 100% Pure Pharmaceutical Grade Betaine. 100% Pure Pharmaceutical Grade Methionine. 100% Pure Pharmaceutical Grade Chromium Picolinate. 100% Pure Pharmaceutical Grade Siberian Ginseng. 100% Pure Pharmaceutical Grade Caffeine. Dosage: Take 1 to 2 capsules, 3 times EVERY DAY before meals; 90 capsules/bottle *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
19.95 USD InStock
★★★★☆1 pc selling Pocket Mini Contact Lens Case Travel Kit Mirror Container High Quality Cute portabl— $5.00 (Save 50%!)
Description Brand New & High quality. Material : plastic. Case size : 5.1*5.8*1.8cm. Accessories:solution bottle + tweezers + stick connection + lens holder + mirror. Green and environment,nontoxic. Suitable for...
Description Brand New & High quality. Material : plastic. Case size : 5.1*5.8*1.8cm. Accessories:solution bottle + tweezers + stick connection + lens holder + mirror. Green and environment,nontoxic. Suitable for using during travelling or outdoor activity. Small and easy to carry, keeping your contact lens clean and clear. Please wash the plastic contact lens case for a few times before first use. Package Included: 1pcs X Contact Lens Case Packaging Details Unit Type: piece Package Weight: 0.035kg (0.08lb.) Package Size: 15cm x 12cm x 6cm (5.91in x 4.72in x 2.36in)
4.60 5
5 USD InStock
★★★★☆Neoprene Patella Brace Knee Support Strap Adjustable Protector FREE SHIPPING— $16.00 (Save 19%!)
Features: Comfortable material provides your knees support and protection Description: Item Type: Knee Strap Material: Neoprene, nylon Size: About 47.5*19cm Color: Blue and Black (choose the one you like)...
Features: Comfortable material provides your knees support and protection Description: Item Type: Knee Strap Material: Neoprene, nylon Size: About 47.5*19cm Color: Blue and Black (choose the one you like) Package Included: 1 X Knee Strap Notes: 1. The real color of the item may be slightly different from the pictures shown on website caused by many factors such as brightness of your monitor and light brightness. 2. Please allow slight deviation for the measurement data.
4.20 10
16 USD InStock
★★★★☆Magnetic Therapy Posture Back Shoulder Corrector Support Brace Belt FREE SHIPPING— $9.90 (Save 44%!)
Brand Name:Vakind Waist: 68cm-76cm 100% Brand new and high quality Ease back pain with 12 magnets Help you stand taller and straighter to make you look better and feel younger Help you correct your posture Fits...
Brand Name:Vakind Waist: 68cm-76cm 100% Brand new and high quality Ease back pain with 12 magnets Help you stand taller and straighter to make you look better and feel younger Help you correct your posture Fits 90-110cm chest and waist (strap is adjustable) Sporting design helps correct harmful posture 12 strategically placed magnets target the spine and lumbar region No restricting, unisex design for man and woman Fully adjustable for you Suitable for: working, walking, exercising and relaxing Color: white 1 x Magnetic Posture Corrector Belt
4.11 19
9.9 USD InStock
★★★★☆Feet care 2pcs/lot special hallux valgus bicyclic thumb orthopedic braces to correct daily silicone — $4.00 (Save 50%!)
Item specifics Item Type:Foot Care Tool Type:Orthopedic Supplies Material:SEBS Size:RYP05 Model Number:Other Brand Name:None Package include: 1 Pair =2Pcs Feature: Material: silicon Features: Small and...
Item specifics Item Type:Foot Care Tool Type:Orthopedic Supplies Material:SEBS Size:RYP05 Model Number:Other Brand Name:None Package include: 1 Pair =2Pcs Feature: Material: silicon Features: Small and exquisite appearance, it is convenient to carry. Silica gel material, it is soft and comfortable. Designed for people who suffer from the hallux valgus. It can relieve pain from bent toes, overlapping toes and hallux valgus. Packaging Details Unit Type: lot (2 pieces/lot) Package Weight: 0.030kg (0.07lb.) Package Size: 15cm x 15cm x 15cm (5.91in x 5.91in x 5.91in)
4.11 9
4 USD InStock
★★★★☆☆Digital Step Pedometer Walking Distance Calorie Counter— $10.00 (Save 37%!)
Description: The most practical and useful device. Unique design and beautiful appearance. Advanced pedometer counts your steps,the distance you walked and how many calories you burned. Uses one button battery...
Description: The most practical and useful device. Unique design and beautiful appearance. Advanced pedometer counts your steps,the distance you walked and how many calories you burned. Uses one button battery (included),power saving and supply for a long time. A fail-safe mechanism,it will automatically cuts off power when it not in use. Package Included: 1x Pedometer(color: send by random) Note: Please don't dismounting the pedometer, except install the batteries, otherwise may affect the accuracy of the pedometer.
4.00 21
10 USD InStock
★★★★☆☆Therapy Gloves Gel Filled Thumb Hand Wrist Support Arthritis Compression Raynaud FREE SHIPPING— $13.90 (Save 22%!)
Features: Brand new and high quality Material: Spandex and nylon. Color: Beige Size: one size fit more Its special design will make you look unique It is a good gift for your lover,family,friend and coworkers...
Features: Brand new and high quality Material: Spandex and nylon. Color: Beige Size: one size fit more Its special design will make you look unique It is a good gift for your lover,family,friend and coworkers Especially designed to provide warmth, compression, and pain relief from thumb injuries such as Arthritis, Skier's Thumb, Thumb Ligament Injuries, Sprained Thumb, Bennett's Fracture plus more! Beneficial for sports such as RUGBY, TENNIS, BADMINTON etc, where damage is caused to the Metacarpophalangeal (MCP) joint of the thumb, or the Ulno and Radio (IP) Carpal joints of the wrist. The light and soft brace supports and protects the sore points of the thumb with its Silicone Gel pocket. Enjoy soothing relief from muscle and joint pain with this pair of tight fitting hand gel cushions. Designed to be a very tight fit, they are ideal for people who suffer from arthritis, rheumatism or general hand pain. A circular silicon gel cushion covers the thumb joint. Suitable for people with small or medium sized hands only. Stretch fit. Intentionally designed to be a very tight fit. These innovative tight fitting therapy glove / bandages are the perfect way to get welcome relief from painful pressure points and aching joints. They contain soothing gel filled cushion for protection and comfort. They come tight fitting fully elastic for a supportive yet snug fit. Suitable for men or women. Can easily be worn under gloves or shoes without excess bulk. One size fits most but for large hands you may find a little too tight. Designed to be a very tight fit and are ideal for people who suffer from arthritis, rheumatism or general hand discomfort Wash by hand in warm water. Package Included: 1 pair Therapy Gloves NO Retail Box. Packed Safely in Bubble Bag.
4.00 5
13.9 USD InStock
★★★★☆☆Fitness Relax Health Wooden Roller Foot Care Roller Massager FREE SHIPPING— $13.50 (Save 19%!)
pecification: Material:Wood Size: About 13.8(L) X6 .6(W) X 3.1(H)cm Description: Wood material, lightweight . 3 row roller, easy to use. Mini size, but large enough for both feet, convenient to store and carry....
pecification: Material:Wood Size: About 13.8(L) X6 .6(W) X 3.1(H)cm Description: Wood material, lightweight . 3 row roller, easy to use. Mini size, but large enough for both feet, convenient to store and carry. Convex point on the wooden wheel will stimulate the acupuncture points of the feet. Eliminate fatigue, relax stiff muscles. It is benefit for your health when you often use it. A great gift for the old and office worker. Package Includes: 1 x Wooden Foot Massager
4.00 5
13.5 USD InStock
★★★☆☆Health Care Glasses Pinhole Glasses Vision Care Pinhole Glasses FREE SHIPPING— $14.00 (Save 33%!)
Specification: Material: Plastic Color: Black Dimension: About 15 x 12 x 3cm Description: Activates your natural vision ability to see clearly. Special designed to improve eyesight, especially for eye focusing...
Specification: Material: Plastic Color: Black Dimension: About 15 x 12 x 3cm Description: Activates your natural vision ability to see clearly. Special designed to improve eyesight, especially for eye focusing problems. Wearing for 15 minutes one day will help to improve your eyesight within 2-4 weeks. Adult or children who has the problem of myopia, astigmatism, and hyperopia are all suitable to wearing. Pinhole glasses are Helpful for the following Eye Problems: Myopia, Hyperopia ,Presbyopia, Astigmatism, Cataracts, Eye strain . Package Included: 1 X Pinholes Glasses
3.94 16
14 USD InStock
★★★☆☆Toe Ring Fat Burning For Loss Weight — $4.00 (Save 50%!)
Package: 2 pcs=1Pari × Toe Rings Brand new and packaged. Slimming Health Silicon Magnetic Foot Massage Toe Ring. 1100 magnetic Gaussian scale to stimulate the foot massage Reduce fat on body. Increase your metabolism,...
Package: 2 pcs=1Pari × Toe Rings Brand new and packaged. Slimming Health Silicon Magnetic Foot Massage Toe Ring. 1100 magnetic Gaussian scale to stimulate the foot massage Reduce fat on body. Increase your metabolism, thus helping with weight loss. Massage the foot. Improve blood circulation. The rings are soft and comfortable to wear and are virtually invisible. Material: Transparent medical silicone / magnet Color: White Magnetic strength: 1100 Gauss Number of magnets: 2 (1 per ring) Diameter of each ring: 25mm/0.985" Width of each ring: 13mm/0.51" Instructions: 1. worn on the feet of the middle toe and toe food 2. toe ring projecting toward the inner portion, worn toe and middle toe food Precautions: 1, whether to walk or not, as long as no toes strange feeling, you can always wear; 2, if the use of congestion, pain or itching and other strange feelings, please stop using; 3, away from the gas fire; 4, in a place away from the children; 5, if the toe ring sets of color, non-product quality problems, the effect is still the same; 6, with warm water or neutral detergent to clean; 7, dried please save. Japan Product Name: magic toe ring Product Description: set in the thumb and toe walking, body weight will naturally be able to gather inward, effectively the activities of the body is not easy to exercise muscles and improve human muscle sagging! Usage: Toe rings set in the toes of thumb, ensure the diskette on the middle toe (reference package diagram). How to use: Wear the rings on the 2 big toes. Make sure that the magnets are positioned beneath the toe and in the middle. You can go about your daily routine while the rings work at slimming you down. The secret lies in the 2 pieces of magnets which can emit 1,100 Gauss's magnetic force to stimulate the acupuncture points. This will activate those areas which are normally not in use while walking, and also helps to improve sagging muscles. Washable with lukewarm water and mild detergent.
3.83 6
4 USD InStock
★★★☆☆Magnetic Massage Shoe Insole Foot Massager Health Care FREE SHIPPING— $14.00 (Save 33%!)
Features: Sweat proof, refreshing, venting, shockproof. Can be cut according to your own size by yourself. It accelerates blood circulation, soothes nerves meanwhile does magneto therapy. Description:...
Features: Sweat proof, refreshing, venting, shockproof. Can be cut according to your own size by yourself. It accelerates blood circulation, soothes nerves meanwhile does magneto therapy. Description: Material: Silicone Size: Free size (Can be cut according to your own size by yourself.) Male Length: App 29 cm Female Length: App 25 cm Width: App. 7-9cm Style: Female, Male Color: As the pictures show Quantity: 1 pair Package included: 1 x Pair Massage Insole Note: 1. Due to the difference between monitors, the picture may not reflect the actual color of the item. We guarantee the style is the same as shown in the pictures.Thank you for your understanding. 2. Please allow 1-5mm errors due to manual measurement.
3.64 14
14 USD InStock

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