The piece below was written by my wife, Hilda ‘Deeda’ Villadolid Gonzalez, a masteral graduate of the
If you want to live an exciting life, dare to dream big and then work hard to make it come true. It was Oscar S. Villadolid who, when I was fresh out of college, first showed me the validity of this philosophy in pursuing a successful career.
While my father had built a reputation in journalism, corporate communications and public relations, guided by such a truism, it was his stint as Philippine ambassador to the Holy See at the
In 1991 when my father began his tour of duty, the social plight of Filipino overseas workers was an issue unfolding at the margins of Philippine diplomacy. While the OFW’s presence in
Early in his five-year stint, however, my father focused on the OFW’s social welfare. His goal was to place their spiritual and social needs and aspirations on the foreign affairs agenda, given their sizable presence and their contribution not only to the
While his framework was considered to be “against the grain” and met with some skepticism at the time, he kept to his trademark approach--boldness in ideas and tenacity in implementation. Towards the end of his stint, his approach proved prophetic when His Holiness, Pope John Paul II, proclaimed the Filipinos in
When I became a parent in 2004, my first thoughts were of my parents, Oscar Villadolid and Alice Colet, for the steadfastness they displayed, as they raised a family of nine children while building successful careers. Our childhood was a collage of stimulating memories. There were the conversations around our long dinner table, where my mom and dad would share with us the latest news in politics and society and then encourage us to pitch in our opinions or ask questions. Older siblings took care of younger ones, and everyone had chores.
In grade school, my first responsibility at every weekday was to awaken everyone for school. Afternoons were spent playing patintero or doctor-doctor in the yard while mom, who like dad never stopped working, typed away on her telex to beat the deadline for The New York Times. Books were handed down from the eldest to the youngest. Despite their busy schedules, dad and mom brought us every summer to the
Looking back and marveling at how our parents managed to raise 9 children, I attribute it to a confluence of sacrifice, boldness and faith. As his family was growing, dad set aside his passion for journalism and joined San Miguel Corporation, building a career of 25 years to eventually retire as senior vice president.
Even as she directed our upbringing, mom built a career in journalism--becoming the
Today that filial fabric woven in one generation remains sturdy. We have sought to give back to our parents by following their example, not in the number of children, but in mirroring their hard work and in maintaining the strong fabric of closeness despite the pull from different locations.
Deoji, the eldest, owns and manages a successful distribution and trading company after years in San Miguel in
It was Joey and Anna who inherited the artistic genes. Joey melded entrepreneurship and the arts, successfully establishing his own professional photography studio in
Tina spent years in the country’s biggest corporate foundation and applied her graduate units from