ATTY. Simplicio "Sammy" A. Palanca, founder of the Bacolod Real Estate Development Corporation (Bredco) port, joined his Creator at the age of 98 on July 10, 2021.

He was instrumental in stimulating the economy of Bacolod City with the fulfillment of his Herculean task of establishing the international seaport and the reclamation of approximately 250-hectare foreshore land Bacolod City, which serves as the gateway of Bacolod City.

His entrepreneurial spirit was remarkable it would be hard for someone to fill in his shoe or follow his footsteps in business.

In his heyday, Uncle Sam, as he is fondly called by those in his bloodline and circle of business partners and friends, exhibited courage and guts in pursuing his business undertakings as he was more of a "hands-on" executive in most of his business endeavors.

From real estate, entertainment, and leisure with his cinemas and carnival rides, he continued to plan further on how he can help propel the economy of Bacolod, thus, his vision to pursue the unthinkable dream of building the Bredco port and reclamation works came true despite the tough challenges.

The visionary man is often seen scribbling on his pad paper, planning out strategies on how he could accomplish the numerous plans he had for Bacolod City and its citizens through employment opportunities and business undertakings.

Uncle Sam had remarkably achieved it.

He withstood the tough challenges in those years, that may have been aimed at distracting him. Those challenges encompassed the legal, political, and other differences, but Atty. Sammy Palanca overcame it.

Uncle Sam's nephew John Palanca Alonte, who currently sits as Bredco president, has a vivid recollection of his uncle.

"He was my mentor. I learned a lot of things from him. He opened a lot of opportunities for me. He was the epitome of generosity and kindness. Any person who needed his help was always ready and willing to help the person out. I had never seen him turn down anyone who went to him to ask for his help. He was kind and generous. He was soft-spoken. He was very gutsy. But he was a man who never traveled outside of the Philippines. The farthest north that he reached was Pampanga."

Alonte further shared that he has tried many careers in the past, but when his uncle learned that he became the Regional Head for Warner Bros, he was proud.

He further said it is hard to fill in his shoe. He is a different character. He believed that where there's a will, there is a way, and he would always find a way to do it. He encountered a lot of challenges and problems, but he managed to overcome them. "That is one amazing thing about the guy. He is gutsy. Many Bacolodnons got rich because of him."

Uncle Sam's friend the late Henry Sy, a prominent business magnate, once described him as a "man of his words."

On the other hand, Rolando J. Corona, grandson of Palanca, likewise recalls Lolo's extraordinary entrepreneurial spirit which began when he developed a subdivision and the golf course in Barangay Bata, Bacolod City. He firmly believed in doing things first and success will just follow.

He was also the biggest operator of cinemas and carnival rides. He was also into the transportation business citing the Victorias Royal transit which is the dominant bus company in the community before. He was always the first to initiate a business undertaking in Bacolod.

"Lolo Sammy was the first to initiate reclamation works in the Philippines in the 1960s before the creation of the Public Estates Authority currently named as Philippine Ports Authority, which was established in the 1970s, he shared.

Bredco port has helped propelled the local economy and liberalized the shipping industry where foreign and local shipping firms choose to patronize it. The utilization of reclaimed lands also provided a multiplier effect as compared to the productivity gained from vast agricultural lands, Corona said.

Furthermore, the latest achievement of Atty. Palanca, when he was advancing in age, was the establishment of the Magikland theme park in Silay City.