Following dad's footsteps-A A +A
Saturday, August 31, 2013
RENOWNED hotelier Ed Toncgo used to sometimes bring his children to work while they were growing up. At an early age, his three sons and only daughter were already exposed to the industry he worked in. They would roam around the hotel, visiting the kitchen and the pantry, and quite cheekily, Ed amusingly recalls, they would often charge whatever they ordered under his name.
It then comes as no surprise that two of his children decided to tread on a similar career track. His eldest son Jeremy, now 37 years old, is the food and beverage manager of Alpa City Suites and second son Joward, 35, is the assistant food and beverage manager of Marco Polo Plaza Hotel. As for Ed, he is presently the general manager of Harolds Hotel.
Ed’s extensive career, which has spanned nearly four decades, is a tough act to follow. But far beyond the seeming competition, he remains to be first and foremost their mentor, sharing to them his insights on how they can likewise make a name for themselves in the industry.
“I rose through the ranks,” Ed says. “I started as a dishwasher in Sheraton Manila in the late 1970s and from there worked my way up.”
Ed has been with several hotel and resort properties around the country and abroad, most of which he was part of the opening team.
Originally from Manila, he brought his family to Cebu in the early 1990s when he joined the then newly opened Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa.
He used to be with the Plantation Bay Resort & Spa, Cebu City Marriott Hotel, Imperial Palace Waterpark Resort & Spa, Sheridan Beach Resort in Palawan, among others, as well as properties in Kuwait, China, Burma and Vietnam. The latter was where Ed had one of his career’s milestones—where as director of operations, he was able to serve former US president Bill Clinton during his stay.
In order to succeed as a hotelier, Ed believes that one has to be hardworking, honest and to lead by example and these are what he always instill in his sons and his staff.
“Always start your day with a prayer,” he notes. “Listen to your employees and be a good role model to them. Then don’t think only of your own interest or else everything will fall apart.”
Jeremy used to be with the Shangri-La chain, particularly its properties in Mactan, Dubai and Oman while Joward was with Cebu Parklane International Hotel and the Bellevue Resort Bohol. Meanwhile Ed’s third son Janssen, an accountant, was previously with the hotel industry as well and the youngest, Jamie, is currently pursuing her culinary studies in Canada.
Jeremy says that the family’s passion for culinary operations and service traces its roots to his grandmother’s catering business where he and Joward used to help out as kids. Their mom, he says, is also a talented cook.
Despite the round-the-clock work week brought by the nature of their job, the three make it a point to spend quality time with the family, most especially on Sundays. Jeremy and Joward already have kids of their own, making Ed a proud, doting grandpa of six.
On his free time, Ed says, he and his wife enjoy taking their grandchildren to the movies and on road trips. And who knows? A few
years down the line, one or perhaps all of them just might follow their granddad’s footsteps as well.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 01, 2013.