On Graduation Day, the Palawan State University main campus was honored to have in their presence one of the most successful business tycoons in the Philippines, Mr. Hans Sy. He is no less than the son of Mr. Henry Sy, patriarch of the biggest business empire in the Philippines and also the brains behind SM.

He was able to impart some very valuable knowledge at the recently concluded PSU Main Campus Graduation, celebrated in the Coliseum in Puerto Princesa City. He shared that the biggest thing that he has learned by far is the value of hard work.

“As we always say in SM, we work hard during good times, and in bad times we work harder. Hard work is something I live by because there is no secret or guarantee for success or happiness,” said the highly respected businessman.

Unknown to many, the Sy clan has its very humble beginnings. Mr. Henry Sy was a very simple shoemaker who could barely survive on what he earned, but it was his will to provide affordable shoes to the simple Filipino which started his journey. Eventually, this enabled him to build the best shoe store in the Philippines, and throughout the years, Henry Sy has acquired different sorts of businesses.

As it is, each of the Sy siblings has an active hand in running all of their businesses. Mr Hans Sy stands as the Chairman of SM Prime Holdings, but when there is a need to make huge decisions about the direction of the company, each of the siblings has a shared responsibility.

Mr Hans Sy himself did not exactly live his life like a prince even if his father had enough for them to live a life of luxury, free from the sting of hard labor.

“I went from starting as a utility steward in the SM Department Store, to starting my own small business while I was still a college student, to working full time within the SM group, and along the way to raising a family too. It was a long climb to where I am now, having worked almost every day of my life even up to now that I am president and chairman of several companies,” he shared.

Another piece of advice which he offered to the 1,500 newly recognized PSU alumni on was about happiness and how it relates to hard work.

He continued, “To want to work hard, you must be doing something you like. It must be something you are passionate about. So I urge you to find your passion and pursue it. Then working hard will not be as hard. Succeeding and being happy will not be as hard. Doing or working for something you really want is already a step into being successful and happy.”

Mr. Hans Sy is now officially entitled Dr. Hans Sy, with the PSU headed by Dr. Jeter S. Sespeñe personally giving him the recognition that he deserves. He was conferred an Honoris Causa on graduation day and he is now a Doctor of Humanities alumnus of the Palawan State University.

As a final note, he shared his ideas about adversity. He concluded, “Problems and challenges are not obstacles. They are meant to bring out the better in us and teach us to be creative and resourceful. It is always a going forward mode while being practical and realistic.”