Lessons learned from Henry’s life

Published February 26, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

Flor G. Tarriela
Flor G. Tarriela

Indeed, Henry (Atty. Felipe L. Gozon) has accomplished much. Most notable, we all know that he has transformed GMA 7, known as a Popeye TV station, from No. 2 to its current position. He is the most intelligent among the four of us siblings composed of our eldest Ben Jr. (a businessman/ chemical engineer), Kay Jimenez (the bamboo queen), Henry and I’m the youngest, in that order. He was Valedictorian at Union Elementary School (now Phil. Christian University), one of the first graduates of UP Preparatory High School (3rd honor) and distinguished alumnus, UP College of Law, Purple feather , 13th place in the bar.
Master of Laws, Yale University. Master Entrepreneur by Ernst and Young.But more than his academic and career achievements, he is also very blest. Once the building where his office was located was on fire, the nearby offices were damaged but stopped when it reached his office?

Recently, he was given an award by Biz News Asia’s Tony Lopez and right there in the middle of the stage, he collapsed!! Everyone thought it was a heart attack but turned out it was simply dehydration.It was good time to have much needed rest in the hospital and he was back on his feet in no time. And more than this he has a good family life, very talented children and grandchildren. He is indeed very blest.

While he is not perfect even if he says “I may not always right but I am never wrong” there must be something he did or does that he is blest beyond measure. It seems somebody up there is taking good care of him. What is it that we can learn from him that we too may be blest.
This is what I see:

1.Honesty and Fair Play

Henry is one of the most honest men he knows according to Philip, his only son, and I agree with him.

He got this from our parents. Our father Benjamin Gozon was a government career official and a very honest man. He told us that sleep is so important to him that “the softest pillow to a good sleep is a clear conscience. ”Our mother Carolina Lapus-Gozon even while young couldn’t call rubber band “lastiko” if it is not hers but call it only “lasti”.

GMA’s “walang kinikilingan, serviciong totoo lamang” is true to form to Henry’s conviction. Sometimes he is so “honest” you can say he is “brutally frank.”To his loved ones and extended family, he says “you are getting fat” and/ or “ you look like your Lola” and need to fix/dress up a bit.I guess that’s also “his way “of showing his love and care.

2. “Honor your father and your mother”/Love for Family
Diko (another nickname for Henry) certainly honored our parents especially our Nanay, to whom he always “agrees.”.. He never contradicted her and just agrees to everything she said, so no trouble and they’re always in sweet relationship.

As a young boy, he promised our mom, he will construct him “a house made of gold”. During Nanay’s last years, she stayed with Henry’s family with his home being close to Makati Medical. With the price of properties in Makati now so high, we can say that promise has been fulfilled.

3.Diko is a family man.

His 3 children stay with him in the compound and he swims daily with his grandchildren. By the way, all his children – Annette, Maritess and Philip (Jr), are very intelligent and well accomplished.

At Colegio de San Agustin, Henry’s children and our eldest brother Ben Jr.’s children were valedictorians and had “chubby cheeks.” The suspicion was that the Gozon children had brains even in their cheeks! Of course, we know that intelligence comes from the mom and so he is fortunate to have lovely wife Teresa Manotok.

4.“If you see God’s hand in everything, then you can leave everything in God’s hands.”

Our mother Carolina Lapus-Gozon is a woman of faith and prayer. Looks like a bit of her faith, rubbed off on my Diko as that saying hangs in his GMA office.

As year 2019 ended and we look forward to 2020, “we don’t know what the future holds, the future is always uncertain but we know for certain who holds the future.”

As Rick Warren says, “life is like a railroad track, every day we have blessings to thank God for and everyday there are challenges to always pray for.”

As we celebrate the Christmas season, with the birth of Jesus Christ who was born to save us, I do hope that like my Diko, we can see God’s hand in everything and no matter what challenges we are facing, we can be assured that we can leave everything in God’s hands.

Ms. Flor GozonTarriela is the Chairman of the Philippine National Bank. She is former Undersecretary of Finance and the First Filipina Vice President of Citibank N.A. She is a Go Negosyo 2018 Woman Intrapreneur Awardee. She is a FINEX Foundation Trustee and an Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD) Fellow. Contact her at [email protected]