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In his lifetime, Ambassador Ramon "Monching" V. del Rosario was such a cheerful and invigorating presence that it was easy to forget what daunting historic tasks he set himself. He sought to reinvigorate the young Filipino's sense of purpose, to restore the strength of our nation's fledgling enterprises during a period of uncertainty and to redirect the deteriorating moral compass our of society.


Fatherless at nine, he was introduced early to the nuances of hard work, helping his mother survive on a meager teacher’s salary during the Depression. During his schooldays at La Salle, he had to contend with missed lunches and often dispensed with the luxuries of motorized transport simply to meet the costs of quality education. And out of that circumstance came a young man of steadiness, calm and a cheerful confidence that life would bring good things.


His remarkable motivation and matchless determination to succeed carried him out of mediocrity and away from the Depression. He became the first Filipino General Manager of IBM Philippines in 1946 at the tender of 29. In 1951, he joined Philippine American Life Insurance Company as Executive Vice-President. In 1953, he embarked on his first entrepreneurial venture by helping his siblings set up the Del Rosario Brothers, Inc. ­ a company that manufactured and distributed household appliances to customers on an installment basis.


In 1956, he ­ together with a few of his friends from the JCI movement ­ incorporated the Philippine Investment and Management Consultants (PHINMA). From his ventures in PHINMA, Monching del Rosario quickly secured for himself a premier position among young Filipino business entrepreneurs.


Apart from his illustrious professional career, he was active in a number of civic and professional associations, including the Philippine Institute of Certified Public Accountants (where he was serving as National Secretary). He was also elected President of the De La Salle Alumni Association, and thrust to stalwart role in the Rotary Club of Manila and the Knights of Columbus. But it was in a small fledgling leadership development organization that cemented his lasting legacy to millions of young Filipino upstarts.


For all his achievements, Ambassador del Rosario seemed unperturbed by the widespread accolade. Unlike most of his contemporaries who seemed content on waxing nostalgia, he was a man always on the move. No time was wasted in him and he abhorred idleness. Even in his advanced age, Monching possessed the passion of a 16-year old. On many occasions, he shared with me one philosophical core: “It always goes back to our purpose here on earth.” He added, “We are here for a reason.”


Let it be said that Monching del Rosario has a remarkable way of trying to turn whatever he touches into a cause. To be involved in difficult problems with difficult goals seems to lift him up. He was a promoter with a national mission, a throwback to the kind of Filipino entrepreneurial zealot who believes unblushingly that his causes represent a force for good in the world. And with the legacy he left in JCI, PHINMA, and the millions of lives that he has touched over eight decades, as evidenced by the countless honors which he has received from the church, the business community and the international neighborhood, his time-tested ideals of professionalism, integrity and love of country, have certainly found their uniquely esteemed place in our history.

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