TO SAY that Liberato “Levy” P. Laus (LPL) had lived a full life is an understatement, because for him, life was a continuous search for happiness and contentment that could only be achieved through living a life of purpose and worthwhile achievements.

So it was a horrific shock for his friends, family and all those who knew him, personally and professionally, when news came that he died after his helicopter crashed into a fishpond in Malolos City, Bulacan, on Thursday, April 25.

Levy could have reached the full age of 70 if not for his untimely demise. He was 68. Despite his unfortunate death, his life was nothing short of a good business story fit for an inspiring television presentation.

The “glamour boy of entrepreneurship” had no shortage of achievements with his Laus Group of Companies (LGC) being his crowning glory that is still unrivalled in the province.

LGC subsidiary companies including CarWorld, Premier Cars BMW, Ford Pampanga, CGIC non-life insurance firm, radio station DWRW 95.1 FM and CLTV 36 carry LPL’s sterling brand image of service and integrity. The Laus Group of Companies which he chaired owns 55 car dealerships across Central Luzon, Northern Luzon, and Metro Manila, with a wide range of brands -- Mitsubishi, Ford, Hyundai, Chevrolet, BMW, Volkswagen, Jeep, Peugeot, Kia, Mazda, Nissan, Suzuki, and Haima, among others.

No businessman doing business in Pampanga has a claim on popularity, prestige, and command and such an enormous respect from his peers than LPL. His business personality was even surpassed by his community image. His social and community advocacies had reverberated a ripple of standards that stirred how the business community sees corporate social responsibility.

His business acumen led government to place him at the helm of Clark Freeport. His presidency of the Clark Development Corporation, although comparatively brief, widened the stage for a new wave of investors at Clark. Laus served as CDC president and chief executive officer from 2006 to 2008, and director of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority from 2001 to 2003.

His CLTV 36 affirmed his commitment to public service, though indirectly, the station stands firm to LPL’s commitment for community development, social change and public welfare. The Laus group also owns media companies CLTV 36 and DWRW FM, and co-owns Sun.Star Pampanga.

His concept of corporate social responsibility was exceptionally evident when he led concerned city residents in organizing the Save San Fernando Movement (now a Foundation), which along with a similar group Save Pampanga, strived and fought for the construction of the FVR mega dike.

He was the guiding light at the helm of the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (PamCham). His invaluable support has led PamCham to declare him as Chairman Emeritus.

PamCham continues to lead the whole province’s business sector into new and better possibilities. PamCham, with LPL, has been more influential than ever before.

Before he died, Levy had projected a much wider horizon of things to do, business ventures to pursue and development and social programs to

accomplish. Asked about what he wished the most amid power, resources and influence surrounding him, LPL would only smile and utter three words: “peace of mind.”

“Peace of mind is the root of happiness and contentment. But currently, I am happy with my friends, family and the community of loved ones that I have worked or met in my many years of work, I also wish them happiness,” LPL told this reporter in a previous interview.

Levy P. Laus will be greatly missed. A great light has gone out.