Sangil: My life, my journey

Max Sangil

SOMEONE said life can be summarized as one big cycle, but somehow after
making its rounds it will snap to make an end. It means the travel is complete. My life, yours and anybody, is three parts. The past, the present and the future.

There were more hardships than comfort when I was young since I was born at the time our country was devastated by the war. The comfort I had was I came from a loving family of nine siblings, with a very caring mother and a spoiling father despite the lack of material wealth. We were all sent to school, and luckily I chose the pontifical university which somehow gave the road map to trek a future. I became a media person. There is no regret until today. My being a media person gave me the needed tools how to grope into realities of life. It gave spices. It posed challenges. It gave rewards. Forty years. It is a long time. But within that time frame I became Max Sangil. I was an ad man, hotel and casino manager, printer, businessman, public relation man, government information officer, columnist, radio-TV commentator, corporate man, being director of some of the biggest private (Lucio Tan's Philippine National Bank and the Ayala's Fort Bonifacio Development Corporation) and government owned controlled corporations, Clark Development Corporation, Clark International Airport Corporation, Bases Conversion Development Corporation, long serving city councilor, vice mayor for one day and city mayor via succession for more than four months. It is a spinning cycle. Pray to God that the snapping will come much later.

The ladder to achieve meaningful personal success is stiff, but I needed focus, patience, determination and perseverance, and my family as my perpetual inspiration. I am mighty proud that I had in my life so many friends, in social, political and business and in many places. In a corporate world where I tackled issues with the best minds in the corporate world where their sheepskins pasted on the wall came from the best economic schools all over the world. I went to places like Louisville, Kentucky with Manny Angeles and convinced the UPS people that Clark is a better hub than China, Vietnam and Thailand. I went three times with Levy Laus at the headquarters of Samsung in Seoul, Korea and haggled for the putting up an investment in Clark. I was in London with Alex Caugiran and discussed for two days with the Transport Ministry of the British government for air services rights. I was with Chichos Luciano and Nestor Mangio when we invited Singapore Airlines to put up a MRO facility in Clark. So many tiring travels and exhausting panel discussions.

In all these, and many more I thanked God daily that I did my best and that the derived benefits cascaded down to many people, workers and businessmen those living particularly on adjacent areas like Angeles City, Mabalacat, Bamban and Porac. The most gratifying is when I see people, kids playing, young lovers exchanging sweet nothings at the Bayanihan Park. It was an idea hatched in a CDC board meeting to compel SM Mall owners to advance P70 million for the development of the park. There are more stories I am proud to write but the space will not permit it. My morning and evening prayers are petitions to the Almighty that I be given more years. I can still see myself serving my community in the best way I can. That I can still have laughs with my friends at Monday and Wednesday Clubs and attend my Rotary Club meetings every Thursday.

Editor's Note: We are reprinting this column already published some four years ago as a tribute to the columnist who will be celebrating his birthday tomorrow. The author is a tri-media person being on radio, television and print media. He anchors a weekly TV public affairs program at PepTV.