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An Early Peace Wish for 2020 – a letter from Dr. Manson Fok

by Christopher Cottrell  &  Rhodora Gonzales, Ph.D. l  Chairman’s Corner

Dear Friends of Peace:

I find myself, as I am sure you do, reading or watching the news and feeling a sense of great unease sometimes. Peril seems to lurk everywhere. Leadership indecision or misdirection and social media too,  look like they’re spoiling the broth. 

On days when the worst seems to cross our minds after absorbing sorrowful news, it is easy to feel sad, sour, even jaded. A feeling of malaise can set in.

Personally, I like to unwind with painting during moments of heavy stress—and recently has been no exception.

Watching the world from Hong Kong, Macao, and the Greater Bay Area, I feel a growing sense of urgency to increase peace. And I want to offer an early wish for peace for 2020 today. 

I keep the resolve knowing that the Sino Phil Asia Peace Award Foundation here in Manila, Philippines is taking a step in the right direction. Many senior leaders of this board are top business people. When we talk about peace, we often seek out ways to nurture the poor and indeed this foundation recently donated wheelchairs and toys to a local orphanage in Quezon City, Philippines. They did so with great volunteers at the orphanage, one of whom is a CEO of a local Philippine bank.

When I learned about this, I thought I should reach out to more business leaders of this type through this channel. Having a base here in the Philippines offers many chances for us to harness international and local business leaders, not to just give to the poor, but to invest in socially responsible businesses that lift young people up and forward. This bank is charting this course in its low profile way. 

Many challenges face the Philippines—from climate change to poverty to environmental health matters brought about by rapid urbanization. These are typically aided by NGOs and government, but must also be bolstered robustly by businesses of today and those focused on potential problems of tomorrow. This rings true of new diseases that will arise from zoonotic borne ecologies wrought by climate change that will potentially ravage the weakest among us and in urban settings. In the medical field, we are looking at such long term solutions now with new drug innovations and mobile medicine with sharper communication structures in public health.  

Solutions for these require more than mere capital or management. They require mentors to get into the communities, train with workshops and set reasonable short, near and long term goals. 

These goals should engage the actors directly in meaningful ways. Going forward into the year 2020, I have encouraged this board and those beyond in my area of biotechnology and medicine to take heart and look for broader solutions. We will need to read the news critically to conduct ourselves correctly in the coming years. Hopefully, new leaders will find more innovative channels to help us do so. Many might be sour graping about the press and what they grouse about. I encourage business leaders to dig deeper, ply their ideas, and harness the information to build up viable solutions and to regularly share their ideas with young entrepreneurs whatever their age, ability, or background. Too much is at stake not to. 

Thank you for your attention to peace.

Dr. Manson Fok

President Emeritus 

Sino Phil Asia Peace Awards Foundation



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