A Story of Hope
While most boys at fourteen were having the time of their lives playing and studying, Lee King Yek, with only his diploma clutched beneath his shirts, stowed away and found his way to the Philippines hoping to stumble on his dreams in a foreign land. He first set foot in a bike store in Binondo, Manila where he worked as a helper. He was practically a “stay-in” boy since he would be locked up together with the goods inside the store until the next day. With nothing but a sturdy ray of hope in his heart, he would stay close to the area where light from outside was passing through, looking at the world outside, certain that one day, Lady Luck would come opening the locked doors for him. As if the angels were listening while he was praying, a Good Samaritan introduced himself to the young man, saw the kindness and determination in his eyes, and brought him along to Sorsogon where he would later make a name for himself.
A Tale of Thanksgiving
In Sorsogon where the Chinese businessman, Mr. Poe brought him, the young Lee King Yek found a new home. On top of stacked copra, the young man felt as if he was at the peak having enjoyed a new found freedom in yet another strange territory. Lee King Yek worked hard, bearing in mind the gratitude he had for the man who helped him find a new and better beginning. Still, in his heart was a fountain of hope that gave him the strength and the courage to move on. Three years of hard work finally took its toll when the Chinese Community in Sorsogon founded a Chinese school where he applied as a Chinese teacher at the age of 17. Again, with nothing but sheer high school diploma and good intentions, Lee King Yek got the job and kept it for 25 long years. It was in the Chinese school that he grew and emerged as a respectable man, well-loved not only by the school populace but the community as well. It was thru his involvement in the academe also that he met his wife, who was another Chinese teacher.
A Saga of Trust and Selflessness
Like most responsible man, Lee King Yek, wanted a bright future for his family. His entrepreneurial skills shone when he spearheaded a buy and sell business together with his school associate. The business acumen in him prevailed and everything went well for 5 years. His trustfulness got the better of him. In a snap, the business he worked so hard for slipped thru his hands – the partnership was gone. His partner went away with the business and all the resources leaving him empty-handed. But Lee King Yek was not a bit torn. He had his wife and a son to draw strength and hope from and a combi van to start a new venture with. His former business ally may have done him wrong but Lee King Yek’s trust and confidence in people was relentless. For him, righteousness and benevolence would always prevail in the end. True enough, the business-in-a-van paved the way for Goodluck Commercial in 1978. The business, which started with a mere P4,000 capital that Lee King Yek’s wife unselfishly gave her husband flourished into Goodluck Department Store and later Goodluck Department Store and Supermarket. With the help of his son, Wilbert, the enterprise expanded, properties were acquired, a conglomerate was formed and was later called LKY Development Corporation during the 90′s. Like most businesses in the Philippines, LKY was not spared from the global financial crisis. But Lee King Yek’s optimism had never been extinct. Father and son tandem saw the corporation struggling but full of hope, new projects, a bright future to look forward to.