Forbes cites 2 Filipinos as “Heroes of Philathropy”
TWO FILIPINOS, an octogenarian real estate developer and a veterinarian who helps educate children in Zamboanga, landed on Forbes Asia magazine’s 2016 “Heroes of Philanthropy,” an annual list of some of the region’s noteworthy givers.
Geronimo De Los Reyes, 80 – chair emeritus of Gateway Property Holdings Inc., a company engaged in vertical and horizontal real estate development and the holding company of industrial Cavite estate Gateway Business Park (GBP) – was among those honored this year along with 50-year-old veterinarian Anton Mari Lim who helped start the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation.
Forbes Asia honored 40 philanthropists from 13 countries across Asia Pacific in its July issue, handpicking
a mix of billionaires, businesspeople and captains of industries who are also “making a mark with their generosity.”
The list not only features philanthropists who have made the news with their donations in the past year but also recognizes people who have compiled a long record of supporting worthy causes, the magazine said.
The magazine noted how De Los Reyes had started his namesake foundation in 1995 to provide scholarships and support faculty development and research. “His GBR Museum exhibits photographs of the Philippine Revolution, the Filipino-American War and the country at the turn of the last century,” the magazine said.
In the case of Lim, the magazine noted how in 2010 he helped start the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation to build boats for children from the mangrove village of Layag-Layag, who had to swim to school.
So far, the foundation has built 1,045 boats, five schools and two dormitories, giving 11,942 children better access to education.
Based on its website, the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation was formerly referred to as the “Philippine Funds for Little Kids,” which in turn started out as “Zamboanga Funds for Little Kids.”
Aside from donating the yellow boats, the group has since then branched out to building and maintaining a day care center, building classrooms and schools, dormitories, providing scholarships, providing school bags and other school supplies, conducting medical/dental missions, and empowering the community as a whole through applicable environmental and livelihood programs.
Yellow Boat Foundation is now present in 40 communities across the Philippine archipelago.
De los Reyes-led Gateway Property built a 180-hectare industrial park in Cavite which was the first to have a centralized industrial waste water treatment plant. This was to return clean and processed water to preserve the pristine condition of Halang River where wildlife and fish abound.
In 1995, De los Reyes established the Geronimo Berenguer de los Reyes, Jr. (GBR) Foundation, Inc. which manages the GBRMuseum, where the most extensive 19th and 20th century photographs of old Manila, World War II and other environs in the Philippines are exhibited. He also built the “Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish Church” across his industrial estate in 2007 due to his deep devotion to our Blessed Mother Maryand Our Lord Jesus Christ. The church can accommodate 1,200 – 1,500 parishioners.
In 2004, he was recognized as an “illustrious adopted son of the Province of Cavite”, for supporting communities and public schools across the province through the GBR Foundation’s programs for social and educational development including the ‘GBR Award and Excellence’ in History, Culture, Mathematics, English and its continuing program to promote computer literacy towards gaining global competitiveness for the Caviteño youth”.
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