Wilson’s way


Jullie Y. Daza

On a good day Wilson Tieng can tell you when the next sale will be scheduled at his Gourdo’s store – where you find nice stuff for the house, from pillows to pint-size porcelain vases – but that’s as far as it goes. Like his brother William says, “I work so Wilson can gallivant and spend the money.”

Wilson, whose most recent acquisition was not another building but a Star at the Eastwood City Walk of Fame, is now also a member of the board of trustees of PGH Medical Foundation. His faith in medicine and medical practitioners is as deep as his pockets. But that’s another story.

Once upon a time when he gave me a ride home after lunch, we passed a familiar-looking building which prompted me to ask, “Isn’t that your office, or one of your offices?” He replied, “Maybe, but I don’t think so. I don’t know what I own.” Then he pointed to his corduroy pants, “These cost me ₱450, bilib it or not.” He may be a penny pincher, but when he’s not dropping coins into his mythical piggy bank, Wilson is an art collector, with a special place in his heart for struggling/starving young artists. 

Although Wilson’s stores are in upscale Greenhills and Makati, he remembers how his elders set up business in Chinatown, “where they sold glassware” for the dining room. Today, Gourdo’s class of glass may be a far cry, but if you ask him when to schedule a “sale,” he’ll tell you he leaves that to the managers, or, better yet, ask William.

Besides being the face of Gourdo’s, Wilson is president and CEO of Solar Entertainment, which brings in those Turkish-made soap operas where the actors could very easily pass for Filipino mestizos and mestizas. Why Turkish? Knowing Wilson, it must be the price points. But Turkey, I advised Wilson, is great for shopping – they have a gold street where jewelry is said to be crafted in 18-k gold, their “mall” for Turkish carpets is the size of a neighborhood, and glassware, yes, glassware gleams like a dream – bowls, tureens, plates large and dainty – in incredible colors and designs.

Wilson, time to introduce Gourdo’s shoppers to merchandise from Istanbul, as exotic and fanciful as the name sounds.