“They are all my heroes and the country’s nation builders.”
The Supreme Court has scrapped the publication of the first 10 topnotchers of every Bar exam every year, for good reasons.
The Supreme Court considers this publication of the 10 Bar exams topnotchers elitist. In a way, this is true since in the practice of law, the best lawyers, especially the best litigators, I know are not Bar topnotchers. Santa Banana, did you know that many of our best failed in their first Bar exams? I won’t name them, but that’s a fact. Most of the best civilists, who have written books on Civil Law, and some of our best Criminal professors were not Bar topnotchers. To me, my gulay, topping the Bar exams is often a matter of luck and not proof of being a good lawyer.
My late elder brother, Desi, a noted civilist and Civil Law professor, who became a Court of Appeals justice, did not top the Bar, but became a noted author of Civil Law Reviewers. His books are used in Bar reviews until today.
I have been told the reason why the Supreme Court decided to scrap publishing the list of Bar topnotchers was in fairness to those who did not. I consider that as a very good decision, in fairness to all those who took the Bar and who made it.
As far as I know, the best lawyers have not been Bar topnotchers. I say this not because I did not top the BAR in 1955 although I tried very hard despite my crowded schedule when I was a professor at the old Ateneo de Manila at Loyola Heights at Quezon City.
I still recall those days when, after teaching at the old Ateneo de Manila, I had to run back in my old bumpy surplus jeep to catch up with my Bar review.
As a yearender, I’d like to cite the first 10 taipans and tycoons, who not only became multi-billionaires and made the Philippines what it is today, but who in my opinion were the honest-to-goodness nation builders.
In my list of nation-builders not necessarily in the order of importance are the the following:
The Henry Sy Sr. siblings, who continue to make “SM” what it is today, still the No. 1 retail department store with more than 100 shoppping stores nationwide and 4 in China. SM is also in property development and tourism. The Sy siblings include Tessie Sy-Coson, who is in investments and in-charge of the biggest bank, BDO (Banco de Oro), Henry Sy Jr. often called “Big Boy Sy” and Hans Sy.
Then, there is the richest “brown Filipino” as he is often called, former Speaker and Senate President Manny Villar, who is engaged in the building of medium-scale housing nationwide and is now in retail opening many shopping centers called “All Day” and is also in other related businesses. There ‘s also Ricky Razon, chairman of the ICTSI (International Container Terminal Services Inc.), who has contracts worldwide, making the name of a Filipino respected in business. Razon is also chairman of Bloomberry, Inc. the biggest casino in the country, and is now with the Ayalas in water distribution and took over the Panay Electric Corp. formerly owned by the Cachos.
Ramon S. Ang, now the president and chief executive officer of San Miguel, now the largest conglomerate, that went outside of its core business in non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks. SMC is still in drinks, packaging and foods, to become the largest infrastructure developer. It is also in banking with Bank of Commerce and likewise in the cement with its Northern Cement. There’s Petron Refinery with its hundreds of Petron gasoline stations. The biggest CSR or Corporate Social Responsibility of San Miguel is the dredging of Pasig River and its tributaries without any government expense. I consider Ang a visionary and great nation-builder.
There is of course Dr. Lucio Tan, who is also in drinks and property development. Tan, of course, is the chairman of the flagship carrier, Philippine Airlines, who is also in banking, the Philippine National Bank, and tourism. Then, there is Andrew Tan, who is in property development, making the Resorts World close to the airport, composed of brand name hotels and shopping centers complex with condominiums.
Lance Gokongwei, who took over his father’s conglomerate, Robinsons, is also the chairman of Cebu Pacific, known as the budget airline. Gokongwei is likewise also in banking, property development and retail with its Robinsons Department Stores.
There is Manuel V. Pangilinan whose Metro Pacific owns Maynilad, the other water distributor. MVP owns Meralco, power distributor, PLDT and Smart. He owns Channel 5 television and part owner of the other, the largest newspaper in the country today MVP is also in mining, with Philex.
There are the Ayalas and the Zobels – Jaime and Fernando, whose contribution to the country is legendary with the BPI (Bank of the Philippines Island), property development, water distribution with Manila Water, now co-owned by Razon, and tourism development. There would be no financial center in Makati or the high end villages without the Ayalas. Makati would not be what it is today without the Ayalas and the Zobel.
There is Roberto V. Ongpin, one time my student at the Ateneo who is in high-end property development with the Balesin Island Club, and its related development the gateway of Balesin with its international airport, resort hotels, the Baguio Mountain Lodges, called the “Baguio Forbes Park” nine kilometers from Baguio City proper. Bobby Ongpin also has Makati Place, awarded the best hotel-residence in Metro Manila, City Club, the biggest leisure and sports club in Metro Manila with its multi-restaurants. Ongpin is also in mining. Ongpin was a former trade secretary.
Finally, there is Tony Tan Caktiong of Jollibee, now worldwide with Jollibee making the Filipino name worldwide.
I would like to mention the others, but space constraints prevented me from doing it. They are all nation builders who provide employment of the sands especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. To me, they are all my heroes and the country’s nation builders. May their tribe increase.
On the daily Department of Health data of COVID-19 new cases, death and recoveries, I believe it was a big mistake to discontinue the daily data. People need to be notified on what is happening to keep them abreast with the latest, if only not to be too complacent on the effects of the pandemic, especially with the Omicron variants already in the Philippines. I was just wondering, why.
With only a ban on prohibited firecrackers, we can expect tonight’s revelry for New Year with hundreds of injuries – hospitalized because of firecrackers. It’s the same every New Year’s eve. They never learn.
What I cannot understand is why President Duterte cannot totally ban the use of firecrackers and other forms of pyrotechnics when he knows full well what can happen. And here we go again with the same sad story of children, even adults getting hospitalized in tonight’s revelry with some getting amputated fingers and hands. Why, why?