Happy 90th birthday, WS!

SGV Founder Wash SyCip (WS) celebrated his 90th birthday at a formal dinner given in his honor by the SGV partners. Business, government, socio-civic and academic dignitaries joined the SyCip family at the Rizal Ballroom of the Makati Shangri-La Hotel on June 30, 2011. President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay, Secretary of Finance Cesar Purisima and Former President Joseph Estrada were among the honored guests.

In recognition of Wash’s impressive lifework and his contributions to the accounting profession and to the country, President Aquino awarded Wash with the “Order of Lakandula” (Rank of Bayani), the highest honor given by the Republic of the Philippines to a Filipino or foreign citizen whose life is worthy of emulation.

Gifts in the form of donations in support of Wash’s advocacies in education, poverty and rural health came pouring in. The SGV partners surprised Wash by donating playgrounds for 90 schools through the Synergeia Foundation. In the same manner, the Zuellig Foundation announced the planting of 90 trees in honor of Wash’s birthday. Donations on the occasion of SGV’s 65th anniversary were also made to the Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) and Aklat, Gabay, Aruga Tungo sa Pag-angat at Pag-asa (AGAPP). These organizations share a common advocacy for education reforms and literacy development, which are areas close to Wash’s heart.

In his response, Wash reiterated his commitment to continue utilizing his time and resources in support of his many advocacies. He gladly announced that American philanthropist and investor Paul Kazarian had generously set up a fund of 1 million dollars to expand services in basic education and microfinance in addition to another million dollars for research, training and education.

“All these funds will help supplement the funds that I have set aside to provide Synergeia and the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development with resources for basic education. I hope these funds will help the country’s program to reduce poverty,” he said.