3 Corporate Executives Open Up on What it Means to be Successful
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Being Dad: 3 Corporate Executives Open Up on What it Means to be Successful

Being Dad: 3 Corporate Executives Open Up on What it Means to be Successful

Parenting | June 16, 2022
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Success is the name of the game and these corporate executives turned dads weigh in on parenthood, personal success, and their professional achievements.

Strict, cool, hardworking, funny, and my superhero⁠—these are just some of the words often used to describe dad. But just how important is the role of a dad in their children’s lives? And more specifically, how does the role of a father impact the development of their sons and the persons they grow up to be?

In this article, three corporate executives share their parenting stories and how they value personal success vis a vis their professional achievements.

KELVIN ANG (56): Chief Executive Officer of AIA Philippines

Having lost his father at a young age, Kelvin Ang became the head of his family in his early teens. This experience affected him profoundly and taught him the importance of risk management and being financially prepared for the future⁠—so much so that when he became a father himself, he opted to focus more on his work to ensure his son James (now 24) will have a comfortable life and be spared from the struggles he has had to face in the past.

“I am mainly a provider to my boy. We have a respectful rather than a close relationship as father and son. I regret not being present in his formative years but I’m doing my best to establish a more meaningful connection with him now—[and] have a more active presence in his life,” narrates Kelvin.

Financial Savant⁠—Kelvin Ang believes that it is every parent’s job to make sure his child is well-versed in managing his finances.

James, who is currently studying law in Australia, likes to play video games. Try as he might, Kelvin can’t find the same enthusiasm for PC games as his son does. They have managed to find common ground, though, in enjoying science fiction action films like the Star Wars and the Jurassic Park series. Eating out is also a favorite activity.

“My son is like me in many ways. We are both very focused when it comes to achieving our goals,” explains Kelvin. “Sometimes, however, he unduly stresses himself. I have to remind him that⁠—yes, his goals are important but equally so is that he enjoys the journey itself.

As a CEO, Kelvin says that people assume his life is perfect. “The irony is that I’ve had to make a lot of sacrifices so I can give my family the security I did not have. The success came at a price. I don’t want my boy to make the same mistake. I want him to be free to choose a path where he will be fulfilled and happy⁠—both personally and professionally.”

A family on the Mend. The Ang Family is catching up on lost time as they work on establishing closer ties.

STEPHEN L. YU (46): President of Commercial Business and COO of Seaoil Philippines, Inc.

As a businessman, Stephen Yu is responsible for leading the country’s most extensive downstream fuel and supply chain distribution operations, as well as overseeing the company’s nationwide B2B commerce platform.

Meanwhile, as a father, he models himself after his own dad, Mr. Francis C. Yu, who is the patriarch of both the family and the business. “My dad is known to us as a benevolent father at home and at work. That description embodies our stewardship value, which has greatly influenced me,” says Stephen.

Living the Faith⁠—The value of stewardship influences how Stephen Yu leads at home and at work.

The pandemic was an opportune time for the Yu family to grow closer to each other. Stephen designated an area in the house where he could see his children study as he worked nearby. Pre-lockdown bonding activities include traveling and gastronomic adventures. While in a bubble, the family spent their time cooking meals together, listening to music, and enjoying movie date nights.

Stephen believes that it’s important to “prepare the kids to launch” and he has made it his mission to help the young ones discover their life’s purpose and pursue it resolutely. The young COO is also deeply faithful and tries to inculcate important values in his family. “My wife and I have framed life’s priorities in this order⁠—God, spouse, family, ministry, friends, and others,” he explains. “It’s a guide for every family member when we are at the crossroads.”

And true to his convictions, Stephen sees every waking day as a chance to serve The Maker. As his children navigate life’s challenges, he prays that they will rely on God’s Word to help them in their individual journeys.

Building a Bright Future Together⁠—The Yu Family is united in faith and ministry.

CARLOS ANTONIO M. BERBA (58): Managing Director of San Miguel Brewing International, Ltd.

Carlos Berba is responsible for all San Miguel Brewery’s international operations, including brewery and sales operations in China, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Thailand, as well as the company’s export business in more than 50 countries worldwide.

“Caccus,” as he is known to close friends, has always been an achiever and a go-getter. He studied BS Electrical Engineering in UP, got married, and took up his MBA at Wharton School, the University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated with distinction. And he became a young father for the first time, too, along the way. He and his wife Luisa now have three boys: Jimpo, a doctor and fellow in Gastroenterology; Digi, who works in marketing for a telco company, and Jero, who is taking up Industrial Engineering at UP.

Achieving the Perfect Balance⁠—For Carlos Berba, success in the workplace and the home front is possible. In his words, “Happiness comes after contentment.”

At this point in his life, Caccus is happy in his career and even moreso with what his sons have achieved for themselves. “I think all parents must manage their expectations of their children,” he shares. “There is no gold standard for personal or professional success. Each child has to carve his own path to be truly happy⁠—no corporate title can give them that.”

Happiness is a conscious choice. Things will not always go your way. It’s during the difficult times when you must be grateful for your graces,” Caccus adds. “I try to lead by example and be present in my children’s daily lives. We have different personalities but we have built commonalities. Eating out and traveling around the world are some of the things we enjoy doing as a family.”

Carlos has taught his sons the value of faith and family, integrity, and managing their wants. Moreover, he believes in living below one’s means as a surefire way of finding contentment. But what would make him happiest as a Dad? “If, one day, my sons will say that they want to be the father that I was to them to their own children…. ahh… then I can say I’ve done my job well.

Family Date Nights⁠—The Berbas love to exchange stories over good wine and a hearty meal.

Cheers to all the hardworking dads! Happy Father’s Day!

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