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Thanksgiving, Trust and Selflessness

While most boys of his age were enjoying their adolescent years, 14-year old Chinese Lee King Yek, stowed away and found his way to the country in search for greener pastures. He first set foot at a bicycle store in Binondo, Manila where he worked as a helper.

Noticing his hard work, a Chinese businessman named Mr. Poe brought him to Sorsogon where he would later make a name for himself.

Thanksigiving, Trust and Selflessness.

At his new-found home, the young man felt as if he were at the peak with a new life in yet another strange territory. He worked hard, bearing in mind the gratitude for the man who helped him find a new direction. At 17, he became a Chinese teacher at the Chinese Community in Sorsogon, a job he will keep for 25 years.

His entrepreneurial skills shone when he started a buy-and-sell business with his school associate, who would later swindle him. This bitter experience did not affect Lee’s trust and confidence on people, because he believed righteousness and benevolence would always prevail in the end.

True enough, the business-in-a-van paved the way for the Goodluck Commercial in 1978, which started with a mere P4,000 capital that his wife unselfishly gave, into the Goodluck Department Store and later Goodluck Department Store and Supermarket. With the help of his son, Wilbert Lee, the enterprise expanded, properties were acquired, and a conglomerate which is to be known as LKY Development Corporation, was born.

In the early 1990’s, Wilbert has foreseen tourism as the next big industry because of the influx of tourists in the country. Inspired by his father’s eye for business, he articulated his vision in his college thesis titled, “Connecting The Islands: A research on Leisure Craft and Cruises”. More than ten years later, the prophetic vision in the thesis would turn into reality with the establishment of the LKY Resorts and Hotels, Inc. which help redefine the hospitality industry.

A Legacy of Love

When Lee was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2006, Wilbert temporarily left their businesses and brought his father overseas to seek medical cure. Even in his weakest moments, Lee had nothing but great love for his son and the others looking after him. He asked to be brought back to the Philippines to relieve them of the financial and physical burden. He must have served his purpose in his earthly life and be in the bosom of God.

His demise was Wilbert’s saddest point in life, but realizing that his father had touched so many lives gave him renewed zest to continue his legacy of kindness, generosity, gratefulness, loyalty, and commitment to a greater cause. It had been a life-changing experience, a change that made him a better and more conscientious person.