Our lives do not come with a fool-proof user manual. Instead, we are blessed with something better: A mother.
Moms nurture and guide their children until they become their own successful person. Sometimes, in spite of the success, children still gravitate toward their mothers for affirmation when they need it.
This fact rings true for Cebuana lady boss Fiona King, who has proved that women have what it takes to flourish in the male-dominated real estate industry; and daughter Renoa Richelle King, who is an 18-year-old philanthropist heading the non-governmental organization (NGO) Set Forth Philippines.
The apple, indeed, doesn’t fall far from the tree. While Fiona is continuing her advocacy of encouraging the young professionals of Cebu to invest in real estate, Renoa, her first born, is fulfilling her advocacy to empower Filipino children through equal, accessible and transformative education.
Renoa, currently a grade 11 student, established Set Forth Philippines during the pandemic. She aims to reach her goals by developing sustainable and advanced learning initiatives in the spirit of “Bayanihan.”
Set Forth had already distributed school supplies and learning materials to several communities in Cebu, organized a dinner for a cause to fund her organization where she raised P400,000, and distributed aid to typhoon Odette victims, among others.
For Renoa, who was exposed to outreach initiatives at an early age through her grandparents’ and parents’ philanthropy, it was her mother, who inspired her to start her own organization with the advocacy that she strongly supports.
“My mom always wanted to create her own foundation, which she was not able to do given her busy schedule. But throughout that process of planning for her foundation, I saw what went into making an organization from scratch. She taught me the basics and connected me with people who could teach me more about NGOs. Those people would eventually be the same ones who helped me create Set Forth,” she shared.
The young King, who always liked to dream big, admitted that sometimes she would feel inadequate.
“My mom believed in me before I even believed in myself, as cliche as it sounds. She gave me the push and confidence to turn Set Forth Philippines from an idea into a reality. Up to this day, she always reminds me that I can do anything I set my mind to, and she’s right beside me to help along the way,” she explained.
With her goal for Set Forth to be able to provide sustainable projects that will last a lifetime, the young philanthropist hopes to be able to continue their projects that they constructed with sustainability in mind.
“I believe continuity is what brings about real lasting impact, and with the holistic programs we have set, my goal now is mainly to continue our ongoing programs and expand them into different parts of the country as well.”
With Renoa’s dedication and achievements, Fiona expressed her happiness and pride but she said that she’s not surprised, “I have always taken note of Renoa’s leadership and organizational skills. I’m proud that she chose to use her God-given gifts to help others.”
Renoa shared that her greatest inspirations are “most definitely” the women in her life.” These are her mom Fiona, her grandmothers, and great grandmothers. Renoa aspires to be like them—loving and strong, as she described.
In honor of her mother on this very special day, Renoa shared about her special bond with her inspiration whom she proudly calls “Mom.”
SunStar Live! (LIVE!): Describe Fiona King as a mother.
Renoa Richelle King: “My mom is very caring. She can come off pretty strong, but I know her actions root from love and care. If you ask any one of my younger brothers, they will probably say she’s a mom that loves hugs, so much so that you can’t move an inch from her super tight squeezes.”
LIVE!: How do you usually spend time with your mom?
Renoa: “Most of the time I spend with my mom is spent lying in bed. She reads her book, while I chatter on about anything and everything under the sun. Sometimes I think she gets bored listening to me, but she actually remembers a lot of the things I say. I guess she listens after all.”
LIVE!: What is your most favorite thing to do with your mom?
Renoa: “My favorite thing to do with my mom is probably dress-up. Even if we have nowhere to go, we always find ourselves trying on different things and asking each other which one is “cuter” or “classier.” My fashion and style is heavily influenced by my mom, so we understand each other’s tastes quite well. We disagree on a lot of things, but fashion is usually something we see eye-to-eye on.”
LIVE!: What’s the best life lesson you have learned from your mom?
Renoa: “To always be kind. She always reminds me to greet people, like the guards at the mall. She taught me that a simple ‘good morning’ back is the least I can do to let them know that their efforts don’t go unnoticed.”
LIVE!: What’s a message you want to tell your mom?
Renoa: “To Mom: My brothers and I are very fortunate to have you as our mom. You keep us grounded, and you make sure to afford us the best opportunities there are. You are a big part of our successes, and our biggest motivator when we feel like we have failed. Thank you for loving us like you do.”
For the real estate developer who gave birth to her first born Renoa when she was 23, motherhood grounded her and gave her perspective and purpose.
“The gift of motherhood afforded me the opportunity to give myself to my children in hopes that they will become good persons,” said Fiona.
Fiona and Renoa are not just celebrated for their family businesses and philanthropy but also for their warm, and larger-than-life personalities.
True to their last name “King,” this empowering mother-daughter tandem rules their own world, serves as the protector of the unfortunate, and leads the development of their community.
May 07, 2022
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