Filipino tycoons join ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Joining global business and corporate leaders in the campaign against ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis), billionaire Andrew Tan becomes the first Filipino tycoon to take part in the Ice Bucket Challenge.

In a statement, Tan said he was voluntarily participating and donating to the ALS Association. Tan’s holding firm, Alliance Global, is engaged in property development (Megaworld and Global-Estate Resorts), casino (Travellers International), food and beverage manufacturing and distribution (Emperador), and quick service restaurants (Golden Arches Development Corporation, which operates and franchises quick service restaurants under the McDonald’s brand).

"I support the important cause of the ALS Association to promote awareness about Lou Gehrig's Disease that is a threat to humanity. That is why I'm here to take this Ice Bucket Challenge, and at the same time, I will make a donation to the movement," he said in a video recorded in his house on Monday, August 25.

Tan, wearing a long-sleeved pink shirt and jeans, was visibly yet momentarily shocked as a bucket of ice-cold water drenched him. When he gained composure, he laughed softly and smiled as the video concluded.

Tan challenged 3 personalities from the business community to do the same: Dr. Steven DeKrey, president of the Asian Institute of Management (AIM); Mr. Manolito Tayag, country head of Accenture Philippines; and Kenneth Yang, president of Golden Arches Development Corporation (McDonald’s Philippines).

 

ALS is commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease (named after the 1930s baseball pro – the first well-known personality to die from the disease). Affecting nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, ALS causes progressive degeneration of the motor neurons, which control muscle movements. It could lead to total paralysis. The feeling of ice-cold water over the body is said to be similar to the numbing effect of ALS.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge requires participants to record a video of themselves pouring ice-cold water on their heads, to pledge to donate to the ALS Association, and challenge someone else to do the same. (READ: FAST FACTS: ALS and the Ice Bucket Challenge)

From celebrities to CEOs, the challenge has become a global phenomenon, thanks to social media.

Bill Gates and Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, Tim Cook of Apple, Larry Page and Sergey Brin of Google have all participated.

The ALS Association in the US reportedly received $41.8 million in donations between July 29 and August 21, 2014. This was a big jump compared to just $2.1 million received during the same time period last year.

DeKrey, Yang accept Tan’s challenge

DeKrey accepted Tan’s challenge and urged IBM Philippines president Mariels Winhoffer, Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, and Ayala Corporation chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala to do the same.

The young CEO of McDonald’s Philippines also accepted the challenge, and no less than the fast food company’s mascot, Ronald McDonald, poured ice water on him.

Apart from the ALS Association, Yang said he was donating to the McDonald’s own Corporate Social Responsibility effort, the Ronald McDonald’s House of Charities.

Yang challenged his forum mates at the Young Presidents’ Organization – Guillermo Aponte of Coca-Cola Philippines and Xian Lim, McDonald’s Philippines celebrity endorser – to also donate.

Will other Filipino business and corporate leaders follow suit and join the Ice Bucket Challenge?

Let’s see in the coming days. – Lynda C. Corpuz / Rappler.com