Life begins at 40. Whereas 60 was previously the new 40, today they say 90 is the new 60. That makes 80 still young. Dr. Angel Lazaro lll recently celebrated his 80th year with the book launch, “MY Life: One Miracle After Another.” The book, the story of his life, is a life of miracle after another, some small, some life changing. The foreword was written by former President Fidel Ramos, and other notable figures as Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Manuel Bonoan, GMA 7 Chairman Felipe Gozon, former Far East Broadcasting President Dan Cura, former DPWH Secretary Dr. Gregorio Vigilar, Ma. Lourdes “Tish” Bautista of DLSU Tuesday Club, and Bamboo Queen Kay Jimenez.
Who is Dr. Angel Lazaro lll? Dr. Angel is the eldest child of Architect Angel Lazaro Jr. and Magdalena “Nena” Lapus, of Malabon, Rizal. Architect Angel Jr. was known for his exceptional intelligence, his engineering and architecture board examinations scores unsurpassed to this day. Nena, equally competent was a lawyer and an accountant. No wonder all the Lazaro children are achievers: brother Delfin , former Secretary of Energy , well respected in the Ayala Group. Sister Amelia, former head of UP Dermatology Department and youngest brother Ismael, a successful businessman.
Dr. Angel, a civil engineer is a product of the University of the Philippines with a Masters and PHD from Princeton University. He enjoyed three distinct careers: teaching or the academe, engineering consultancy and government, each of which would have been enough for a lifetime.
Academe. He was professor at the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Engineering and Dean at the La Salle College of Engineering. He was elected as Academician of the National Academy of Science and Technology.
Engineering Consultancy. Interestingly, Dr. Angel wanted to be independent of his father who was well established in the industry. Out of pride, he ventured in a different direction for a decade before realizing that his best professional move was to align his career with his father’s firm, Angel Lazaro and Associates (ALA). This later evolved to Angel Lazaro and Associates International (ALAI) as it started projects outside the Philippines. ALAI played a vital role in designing and constructing highways, expressways, bridges, flyovers, buildings and other infrastructure that enhanced people’s lives and contributed to the country’s’ development.
Government. Dr. Angel had two major positions which he did not aspire for:
Administrator of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS)
As MWSS administrator in 1995, he took over a system known to provide inferior, inefficient services. Manila was grappling with a severe water crisis then and water shortage rampant. His task was to oversee the privatization of the water system which was, successfully accomplished in less than two years. In 1997 the service was turned over to two concessionaries: Manila Water and Maynilad. The privatization has undeniably transformed Manilas’ water supply and sanitation services for the better.
Chair of the Board of Civil Engineering, Philippine Regulation Commission (PRC).
As Chair, he played a crucial role in safeguarding the public, civil engineering profession and the more than 150,000 registered civil engineers by ensuring the integrity of the Board Examinations and regulating the practice of the profession.
The evening was a heartwarming celebration among Dr. Angel’s family and close friends. His three children: heart specialist Dr. Victor, civil engineer Michelle (Payumo) and Daniel were present with their families. His five beautiful granddaughters, Angel, Daniela, Christine, Lizelle and Cara, all “Miss Universe” in his eyes, performed for their LOLO with gusto. A surprise number was the duet of gospel singer Tricia Jimenez and Dr. Angel. But the main highlight of the evening was Dr. Angel ‘s serenade for his lovely wife Zeny. He was teased to be GMA 7’s next discovery.
Dr. Angel’s achievements are a testament of his unwavering commitment to excellence, education, and service. At 80, he has definitely contributed to making this a better world to live in, with his life of miracles, one after another. For the rest of his years, he continues to be excited to do the good works he can still do according to God’s plans. How wonderful to be expectant of God’s miracles in our lives!
Ms. Tarriela was former PNB Chairman. She is currently PNB Board Adviser, Nickel Asia Lead Independent Director, and director of LTG Inc., FINEX, TSPI and TSPI MBA. A gardener and environmentalist, she founded Flor’s Garden in Antipolo.