HIS name is already popular in the local scene because of the success he made in the cable TV company. But nowadays, VIPs have begun trying to get an appointment to meet with “The Dennis Uy” of Angeles City.
Leaders from across the seas, politicians, and business tycoons begin to acknowledge what he can do in the future of fiber technology. And one of the differences between Dennis Uy and other business people is that he understands the roots of his business because he created it.
His inspiring story from his humble beginnings and high level of curiosity led him to studying at a local technical institute at a very young age.
The “original” Dennis Uy embraced his grit and fascination with technology. Converge ICT is now geared towards the future and we as Filipinos are so excited to experience the long awaited fast internet service that we deserve.
Another secret to his success is that he never forgets where he came from and he always remembers those people who helped him during his trying times. And I had this great opportunity to witness first hand, Dennis Uy’s homecoming after 40 years.
Dennis Uy invited me and 2012 Top 8 World Mayor Ed Pamintuan for a short trip to China.
Upon our arrival at the hangar of chartered planes, a high-speed wide-cabin Gulfstream G150 awaited us. The twin engine jet with a 7-passenger 2-crew seat configuration took us to JinJiang International Airport. Also on board was his brother Jack, who does not seem to age, their nephew, and two gentlemen from the fast-growing Huawei.
The flight was a quiet breeze and somewhat historic because our visit became the first private plane landing from the Philippines to that tarmac.
We went to see his family for lunch. It seemed like the whole restaurant was reserved for his huge family during that time.
There, I met one of his brothers and my friend too, Mr. Allan Uy, wearing his rare amber bracelet. We were having one heck of lunch in one large round table with your choice of whiskey and finest cognacs. EdPam and I had a few rounds with them. They have an uncle who is a former governor, another who is a village chief, and also one police deputy chief.
They were all excited to see Dennis Uy in flesh again...especially his mother. I can’t forget that distinct look of her mother who wore that authentic smile, an image of what a mom’s love is.
After lunch, we’re scheduled to pay a visit at the elementary school where Dennis attended. We were accompanied by the school’s principal.
There, he donated digital boards in classrooms as his way of giving thanks to the place that provided him the formative years as a child. But his motivation to strive did not come from school. It started from their home. And to his old house we headed.
We went to his ancestral house in Fujian Province.
This homecoming was four decades in the making. The Uy brothers were riding a luxurious black Mercedes Benz sedan with former Secretary and former Mayor Ed Pamintuan.
In front of their car was our service vehicle, a 7-seater black Mercedez Benz SUV with massage seats leading on the convoy. I was with Richard (nephew) and Huawei’s Roby Sun and Charlin Zhao.
Upon arrival at their old house in Quanzhou City, Dennis showed the exact place where he was born. The structure was not there anymore because the family decided to donate the property to the Buddhists for a monastery.
I thought the stairs was big,” Uy said as he was pertaining to the cramped staircase where he fell dislocating his shoulder when he was a young boy.
He showed a brick-walled deep well just outside the house which is now drained and enclosed. He told us that was the main source of their water in the 70s.
On their compound was where he learned to make tofu and harvest root crops.
His ordinary breakfast was sweet potato, freshly reaped from the backyard. If it’s a special breakfast, they just add porridge on the sweet potato and that was considered then as a heavenly morning meal.
As we walked into a paved road, he mentioned that a lot has changed in his hometown. He pointed out a concrete wall which was not present during his childhood years.
“There was a mud there and I fell into that ditch and I almost died there. Someone just pulled me out,” he said.
His family was not considered poor. But that’s how life was back then in their community. But his childhood made it hard for him during the communism.
The family had decided to transfer Dennis away from China to safety.
I remember Dennis sharing this touching story to me: “I went up to the room of my relative to see him before I leave the country and he told me that I will do good in the Philippines. Three days later, I found out he passed away.”
Dennis Uy’s great leap did not happen overnight.
Like any other success stories, it all went into a process of a lot of factors like hard work, dedication, passion, and fortitude.
But when one does not forget its roots and past that is something special. And this is what keeps him apart from other individuals who have attained success.
And today, he is leapfrogging to the future. Such an inspiring story Dennis Uy truly has.
Jose “Kuya Jay” Pelayo IV is the president of Metro Angeles City Journalists Association, Inc. and the president of Pampanga-Tarlac Energy Press Corps. For comments and suggestions, e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org