The greatest man I know 

When one thinks of great men, we often think of Steve Jobs, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, and Barack Obama and the list goes on. What do these men have in common? Success, Wealth and a massive influence on society. Most of us aim to be like them. As the late Steve Jobs said, “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish”  Especially in this dog-eat-dog world or shall I rephrase man-eat-man world — (trust me, I’ve been there) you always have to be on your guard, aggressive and ahead of the pack to survive this corporate jungle.

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However, if you ask me, who to me is the greatest man on earth? In a heartbeat and without a blink of an eye, my answer is my Dad.

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My Dad, Ariel C. Rivera, is the second child of Betina and Felino Cruz. A smart and resourceful kid from Los Baños, Laguna persevered to make a living in the big city of Manila. At the tender age of 16, he was on his own studying in the big city with minimal support from his parents. With his passion and determination, he rose up the ranks in the marketing and sales field until he and my mom decided to build a company of their own. Having built People Movers Inc, he quit his corporate job to focus on the company. However on June 14, 1998, he lost his wife to pancreatic cancer and was left with three little girls to raise. He became both our mom and dad, who takes care of our baon and still brings home the bacon — a Houseband, in modern day lingo. Despite all of the unexpected events, he was able to adapt well with the situation.

Then on January 15, 2014, the unimaginable happened, I was diagnosed with bone cancer.

As we started this journey as a family, my dad lead the family to always remain very positive about the entire situation. He is always very sensitive to any actions taken that might possibly hurt my feelings. I even remember when I had my head shaved, he too had his hair shortened even if he barely had any. Anything that might make me a little comfortable, he will sacrifice and ‘go through heaven and hell’ just to get it for me–not just to me but anyone one he loves dear. Like Superman, he never gets tired — or that’s just what he shows us. He really spends every percent of his energy for his family. He is the most selfless man I know.

Through my dad, I have learned what love is. Love is wholehearted sacrifice without expecting anything in return, it is a vocation, it is passion, it is unconditional. 

Thank you for everything that you do for us everyday, I love you Dad!

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