SO, THEY landed on Forbes’ list of wealthiest Filipinos.
Dennis and Grace Uy, co-founders of the Philippines’ (and probably Asia’s) fastest growing internet company Converge ICT Solutions could be turning red now. I don’t think they are used to getting that exposure, individually and as a couple -- business and personal wise.
Knowing how simple the guy is, Dennis might just be felling awkward, annoyed or uneasy, or worse, sulking over it. While he could be proud of his accomplishments in life, he might not just too happy over all the undue attention (read: publicity on wealth) that he is getting.
Dennis remains firmly grounded on the ground though.
Few days before the Forbes Magazine announcement that he and lovely wife Grace landed the 6th spot among the richest Filipinos (with $2.8 billion worth), he was with his brothers Jack and Allan watching the Pacquiao-Ugas fight.
As seen in an FB post, they watched the boxing match from inside an ordinary room. Modest as the siblings are, they were not in a lavish room or a cinema-like home theater with giant screen, in-wall Atmos speakers powered by Macintosh AV receiver, acoustic wall panels, automated lights and drapes, and reclining chairs.
Rather, what they had was a simple LED television (looked like probably not even 55 inch) which understandably must have been brought at Savers Appliance Shop, courtesy of Kuya Jack.
In spite of achievements that started in Betamax, VHS rental shop in the 1980s, these people had not gone over their heads. Jack would still greet shoppers at Savers Mall on the way up his office that is also located in the same building. If he gets to stay until early evening, he would try to talk to his hotel and restaurant staff, making sure that they are alright.
He would not let-up in expanding his business ventures like the appliance stores and Best Western Hotel despite the pandemic. That’s because he wants not just business opportunities to himself but also continue to help provide jobs for many people who need it these difficult times. Allan does his usual routine of meeting friends and peers at his community or civic clubs over a round of golf. He would always don a smile to everyone.
The siblings would meet every now and then in short pants, munching chicharon, mani, with beer or wine. On occasions, some friends would bring them goat meet cooked in either kaldereta or pinapaitan. They would prefer that over caviar, deep sea bass or blue marlins, prime steaks and other extravagance that rich folks would often have.
Even with discussions for satellite technologies (in outer space of course) via billionaire Elon Musks’ SpaceX, Dennis Uy is still so down to earth.
Multi-billionare? That could be Converge’s financial stock. But one thing is for sure – he is so wealthy with ideas and friends that had put him in his current admirable lofty place.
Converge recently wrote to the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) of Angeles City, thanking the August body for its recognition conferred to Dennis and his multibillion peso company.
The letter was actually a response to SP Resolution initiated by Councilor Jesus “Jay” Sangil and was unanimously adopted last month. The friendship of Sangil and Converge top honcho goes all the way back in their Jaycees days in the 1990s. They collaborated on a lot of socio-civic projects for thousands of Angelenos. They burned the lines, networked with well-meaning groups and individuals in the name of service.
They seemed joined at the hip. In the 1990s, Dennis even wrote column articles for Angeles Sun that was run by Sangil, with journalist-turned-diplomat Elmer Cato, now Consul General in New York City, as publisher. I was also a part of that nicely laid-out, well edited, widely-read powerhouse newsweekly.
Not too many know that Sangil was even a groomsman in Dennis’ wedding. Yes, that’s proof of the long-time friendship and a story of two peas in a pod that could very well serve as model to many peers and beer buddies out there.
Pushed by Sangil, the resolution states: “the initiatives, motivation and diversification from their start-up business had led to attainment of a vision for greatness which also redounds to greater benefit for Angeles City.”
The Council cited Uy as “a true dedicated son of Angeles City, is now also considered as one of the great minds of Asia, entrepreneur par excellence, a business genius, a stalwart of technological innovation who remain committed to Angeles City’s progress.”
In his thank you letter, Dennis wrote that Converge remain “committed to give back to the community, particularly to our hometown Angeles City” where it currently provides connectivity to its vaccination centers as one of the many initiatives during the pandemic.
Dennis reassured SP Presiding Officer and Vice Mayor Vicky Vega that it will honor its continuing partnership with the city not just in terms of internet service and online connectivity. Converge, for its CSR program, supports the Abacan River and Watershed Advisory Council for a clean water supply for Angeles City and Pampanga province.