Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Life and Philanthropic Works of Don Ramon Aboitiz

As Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) celebrates its 46th founding anniversary, its people give tribute to the life and philanthropic works of Don Ramon Aboitiz.

During the Nov. 17 episode of "Pagtuki", the official radio program of RAFI, a drama was made to give snippets on the life of Don Ramon leading to the establishment of his foundation.
Ramon Aboitiz was born on Nov. 16, 1887 in Ormoc, Leyte. He was the frontliner of the of the Aboitiz and Co. in Cebu, the company that his father Paulino started, and together with his
siblings, he further developed. The business today covers power generation, banking, and real estate, among others.

Ramon was born in the year when the country joined the world trade. This was also the year when there was an influx of business opportunities. At the age of nine, Ramon left Ormoc to study in Spain and London. When he returned to the country, he worked as a clerk in a merchant firm in the province. His father then made him run their company.

Through his perseverance and dedication, the company grew big and became a success. Ramon grew up helpful to people. With his business success, he held a promise to help
less fortunate people. Away from the public eyes, Don Ramon silently reached out to different groups in Cebu.

Though he was known as a businessman, his generosity to the less privileged made him closer to the hearts of the Cebuanos. He also befriended laborers at ship ports. Don Ramon married Dolores Sidebottom. They had two children, Eduardo and Maria Luisa.

His passion to help others led to the establishment of a foundation, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc., or RAFI, in 1966. With the help of the Aboitiz family, the Salesian Society of St. John Bosco was able to enter the province and established schools for the youth. Don Ramon gave the Salesians a lot in Punta Prinsesa where the Don Bosco Technological Center is now located. Don Bosco is just one of the many institutions he helped. Dominica Chua, chief operating officer of RAFI, also shared her insights on Don Ramon based on the accounts she learned.

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