WCKF turns 26, pushes ‘transformation through charity’ principle | Inquirer Business

WCKF turns 26, pushes ‘transformation through charity’ principle

/ 12:06 PM March 27, 2016

It is a foundation that casts a different spin on philanthropy. It provides scholarships to less fortunate but deserving young men and women and runs regular feeding programs in depressed areas. But it also provides assistance to parishes for the repair and reconstruction of old, dilapidated churches.

The Wong Chu King Foundation (WCKF) believes in giving, but its advocacies extend far beyond the usual donations. The Foundation is guided by values laid down by a humble Chinese immigrant named Wong Chu King, and whose passion for hard work and sacrifice are matched by his commitment to charity and compassion.

King started a small cigarette business in 1945 just as World War II ended. He peddled his products on the streets of Divisoria and saw for himself the suffering that war brought on people. It was then that he vowed to do all he could to help other war survivors.


He put up La Campaña Fabrica de Tabacos, Inc., and with the help of his wife, Nelia, and his children, nurtured this small business into a thriving empire that is now known as Mighty Corporation. But through the decades of growth and challenges, King never forgot the lessons he learned in 1945, and his vow to help the less fortunate and needy.


In the years that followed leading to his passing in 1985, King promoted his philosophy of compassion and charity to his family and employees. The legacy he left behind – humility, charity, and love of God – inspired his family to establish WCKF as a vehicle to promote his legacy and spread the core values he espoused throughout his life.


Today, WCKF is actively involved in educational and apostolic advocacies. It provides scholarships to deserving young men and women, especially to dependents and beneficiaries of Filipino tobacco farmers. It also seeks to encourage and promote education and scientific research through its scholarship programs, focusing on high school and university scholarships.

The foundation also addresses concerns in health and nutrition, youth and family welfare, and disaster relief. While its scholarship programs are managed directly by the foundation, other types of assistance are extended through other non-government organizations.

But its involvement in helping parishes with the refurbishing and repair of churches is one of the most notable of the foundation’s activities. WCKF provides assistance for repair and restoration of churches, especially those with great historical and cultural significance to the host communities and the Catholic Church in the country.

It’s notable accomplishments include the refurbishing of the 100-year-old Sta. Rosa de Lima Church in Tuguegarao, Cagayan. WCKF provided assistance for fabrication and ceiling construction work, which have been completed in time for the foundation’s 25th anniversary on March 30, 2015.


The Foundation also built a chapel inside the Xavier School in San Juan City. The Sacred Heart Chapel was constructed and dedicated to the students, faculty and staff of Xavier School in memory of the strong friendship between Xavier School Founder, Fr. Jean Desautels, S.J., Fr, Ismael Zuloaga S.J. and Wong Chu King. They had a shared vision of providing holistic Jesuit education for the Chinese-Filipino community. The said chapel was turned over in August 2015.

WCKF also helped renovate the historic Diocesan Shrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the largest church in all of Cavite, in Naic town. Initially named the Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception, the diocesan shrine first took the shape of a simple low-roofed stone structure.

Its construction began in 1835, after Naic separated from Maragondon as a free parish, and was completed in 1839. But its reconstruction as a church and convent complex in neo-Gothic form began only in 1872 and was completed in 1892.

Assistance to communities

WCKF has also been extending assistance to communities. These include, among others:

Donated a water supply system for Piat town in Cagayan province located in Barangay Minanga.

Built a chapel in honor of St. Michael the Archangel in Barangay Alabug, Tuao, Cagayan, which now provides a place of worship for the people of Purok 5 and 6 of Barangay Alabug, Purok 3 and 4 in nearby Barangay Mungo, and Purok 1 of Barangay Fugu. It was turned over in July 2014 in celebration of the Feast of the Our Lady of Piat.

Helped in the repair and renovation of the Cagayan Police Station office providing in the process a good and safe workplace for Cagayan policemen. The foundation did this project as an active supporter of the town and being a devotee of the Miraculous Our Lady of Piat.

Completed the repair and renovation of the church of the St. James the Apostle Parish in Iguig, Cagayan Valley, in April 2015. The renovation work on the 250-year-old church entailed repair of the ceiling and roofing, laying of new floor tiles, installation of additional pews, and the enhancement of the main aisle.

At the same time, the Foundation provided all-out support to the 51st International Eucharistic Congress held in Cebu City in January this year. The Foundation was among the sponsors of the quadrennial international event and was third in the roster of 42 foundations, companies, families, and individuals who heeded the call of then Pope Benedict XXVI to support the congress.

WCKF supported the international event through the construction of a “Garden of Thanksgiving” monument at the Archbishop’s Residence compound that depicts the Agony in the Garden – in Catholic tradition the first Sorrowful Mystery of the Holy Rosary and the First Station of the Scriptural Way of The Cross.


Anniversary celebration

In line with the celebration of the 26th anniversary of the Wong Chu King Foundation, Inc., on March 30, 2016, the Foundation will turn over the Water System Project in Barangay Calaogan, Piat, Cagayan, the Our Lady of Piat Chapel Extension in Cagayan Police Provincial Office and the beautification of the 250-year-old parish, the St. James Parish in Iguig, Cagayan.

The WCKF heeded the request of Calaoagan Brgy. Capt. Roel S. Baingan through Piat Mayor Camelo Black Villacete to help solve the barangay’s water problems.                      The 24-hour water supply system will greatly improve the quality of life of 230 households of Piat’s northernmost barangay where water is scarce and most residents depend on farming as a source of living.

To help strengthen the value of piety among the protectors of the Cagayan Municipality, The Foundation also supported the request of Police Senior Superintendent Ronaldo Escobar Olay for the construction of the camp’s chapel – the Our Lady of Piat Chapel. The chapel aims to serve as a hub of faith and spiritual development of local police officers.

As part of its commitment, the Foundation responded to the request of the Tuguegarao Archbishop Most Rev. Sergio L. Utleg, D.D. and the parish priest of the Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish in Barangay Nannarian, Peñablanca, Cagayan, to build a bigger church to accommodate the growing number of parishioners in the said area. WCKF has currently completed 50 percent of the construction and is expected to be finished in time for the Mahal na Birhen ng Piat Festival on July 2, 2016.

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As the Foundation celebrates its 26th anniversary, its Board of Trustees, as well as its officers and volunteers, have renewed their commitment to the vision of Wong Chu King to help people in need. This commitment is now driven by the maxim: “Transformation through charity,” and it sets the tone for the Foundation’s next 25 years.

TAGS: Anniversary, Business Monday, charity, philanthropy, transformation, Wong Chu King Foundation

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