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Wilcon dads speak up

Published Jun 16, 2024 5:01 am

Being a parent in this century is not easy. One must be tech-savvy, culturally aware, informed enough to answer the offbeat and potentially awkward questions, and be nurturing yet firm at the same time. Being a father is even more challenging because you must provide for the family, shape core values, and be a friend and advisor to your growing kids. Some people can achieve that magical work-life balance, but not without their own share of hits and misses.

The challenge increases exponentially when you are father not only to your family but to your company. Surprisingly, the values and strategies of parenting a family are very much congruent to that of a giant home construction business like Wilcon. The company is approaching a significant milestone when it launches its 100th store this year. Wilcon’s founder and chairman emeritus, William Belo, and other dads in the company share the joys and valleys of fatherhood and success in the workplace.

Balancing act

For William Belo, the company’s patriarch, balancing family and business has always been challenging, even more so when he was just starting the company in 1977. “My focus has always been strategic and balanced. Even with a hectic schedule and a slew of responsibilities, I always made time to attend significant events of my children such as graduations and birthdays,” Belo shares.

Mr. William Belo

Alfredo Bosch, operations manager of Wilcon makes sure that all the family’s needs are attended to before leaving for work. Even with the proliferation of technology that facilitates digital connections, Bosch usually prefers the simple joys of watching television and personal conversations with his kids. He adds, “I nurture my relationship with my children by spending time with them, watching TV, and by having face-to-face conversations with them. Nothing beats presence.”

Merchandising supervisor Marvin Baron on the other hand stresses that “To work effectively and efficiently and still have enough quality time to bond with family and loved ones is essential.”

This sentiment is echoed by Emil Obispo, Wilcon’s executive HR manager. He says setting boundaries is key. “Kapag nasa work, focus dapat, and kapag nasa bahay, make sure to give quality time sa family,” Obispo adds.

Life’s lessons
William Belo with Careen, Lorraine, and Mark Belo

Belo admits that life is fraught with challenges, and it is the responsibility of parents, especially fathers to prepare their children for what lies ahead. “I’ve taught my children that setbacks are inevitable. What matters most is how we respond to them.” Belo says the trick is to develop an adversary quotient—the ability to thrive in the face of difficulties is crucial. He shares the Ps to help one deal with the life’s hiccups – perseverance and practicality. “I instilled in my children that perseverance is key in overcoming obstacles. I’ve encouraged my children to remain steadfast in their pursuits even if the path forward seems daunting. But in the same breath, I told them to be practical and grounded in both their personal and professional lives”, he adds.

Alfredo Bosch with his children

For Bosch, making kids appreciate the value of education and doing tasks is important. He says, “I advise my kids to stay away from bad habits and focus on their academics. I also expose them to household chores to make them more responsible.” He realizes that as a working dad, he knows that his role is to provide for his children and look after their health.

Best times

Baron on the other hand says that gratitude, presence, and affirmation are key factors in rearing children in the right path. “It is important to praise and thank our creator. We also engage in sports activities in our spare time,” he adds.

Emil Obispo and family

Food is the love language of the Obispo family. And it doesn’t even have to be expensive. “We have two daughters, the eldest is 29 and the youngest is 21. Our bonding is food trips. Ako ang nagluluto kung ano ang ni-request nila or sometimes we eat out”, he stresses. He also fondly recalls the time when he taught his youngest to bike and their rides are always a memorable bonding moment.

Core values

Ironically, these fathers’ secret formula mirrors the company’s core values.

Obispo says that “loyalty and integrity are key in work-life balance. Yung bigyan mo ng malalim na kahulugan ang trabaho, ingatan mong wag masira ang tiwala na binigay sa iyo.”

Marvin Baron and family

Bosch and Baron validate this saying that hard work is important in maintaining balance in parenting and being a good worker. They know that kids learn by example, and they must strive to be excellent in their endeavors. They simply must walk the talk. Both attest that success in the home and in the workplace are possible if parents, particularly fathers lead the family with integrity, innovation and collaboration.

But it is the Wilcon patriarch Belo that says it best. “Family has been a cornerstone of my success, providing both motivation and support throughout the history of our family businesses. The reason I worked so hard is to ensure a bright and secure future for my family. I am proud of my children as our business flourishes and passes to the next generation”, he emphasizes.

Belo fondly recalls one Father’s Day. “During the early days of my business, when my children were still in grade school, I found a handwritten card on my car’s steering wheel. That simple gesture brought immense joy and reminded me why I was working so hard. That gesture made the sacrifices all worthwhile,” he muses.

Hail to all fathers! Just follow the lead of the Wilcon dads and you’ve got this.

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Editor’s Note: This article was provided by Wilcon Depot.