Jose Mari Chan offers accolade to Chinese immigrant father

BACOLOD CITY Jose Mari Chan, singer-songwriter and business magnate, offered the honor bestowed to him as adopted son and honorary mayor of Bacolod City to his late Chinese immigrant father.

I offer this honor to my father who came to this country as a penniless immigrant, sacrificed, and became successful and now he's part of heritage of Negros having helped the sugar industry, Chan said in his acceptance speech before the City Council Friday afternoon.

All that I am and all that I have, I owe it to my father. If he were alive, he would be proud, he said.

I accept with sincere gratitude and humility this honor being adopted son of Bacolod City, he added.

Chan, who was joined by wife Mary Ann, received a copy of Resolution No. 81, Series of 2018 declaring him as adopted son of Bacolod, from Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran and the members of the City Council.

In separate rites, Chan was also conferred the distinction as honorary city mayor by Mayor Evelio Leonardia, who gave him a copy of Executive Order No. 6, and the symbolic key to the City of Bacolod.

I'm not a stranger to Bacolod. I was only 11 or 12 when I first came to Bacolod without knowing that one day, I would be permanently connected to Bacolod because of the sugar business my father started, he added.

Chan said that it was in 1960 when his father opened his sugar trading company in Bacolod.

I've always been proud of my father because from nothing, he made a name for himself. He provided comfortable life for our family. He trained us to be hardworking and most of all, to be honest and credible, and be of service to the people. His heart was always for the poor, he added.

Chan also thanked the Filipino-Chinese community of Bacolod led by BacoLaodiat chairperson Jennifer Gochangco-Ong and directors Alfredo Barcelona and Leonito Lopue for endorsing him to become the adopted son and honorary mayor of Bacolod.

The distinctions bestowed on Chan were part of the celebration of the 13th BacoLaodiat Festival, Bacolod's celebration of the Chinese New Year.

As a businessman, Chan, 72, sits as the chairman and chief executive officer of Binalbagan-Isabela Sugar Company Inc. and A. Chan Sugar Corporation.

As a singer-songwiter and recording artist for 51 years, he is the biggest selling recording artist in the history of Philippine pop music, with more than 43 platinum sales.

Source: Philippine News Agency