The Sandakan Episode

July 1994 (or 2004???)

    Mr. Sakai-san of Hayashi Marines offered and invited me sometime early July of 1994 (or 2004???) to inspect in Japan one of their company-owned small 1972 built ferry roro vessel Nakajima.

    After complete inspections of the ship I made a counter offer US$20,000 less than their asking price of US$500,000 which according to him was refused by their Chairman Mr. Eiji Hayashi who at that time owned brand new ocean going luxury ships bigger than the biggest (second-hand) Super Ferries of WG&A, 2 brand new hotels the size and glamour in the category of Shangri-La’s hotels, and many other business in Nagasaki, Japan.

    I was billeted of course by my host to stay in one of their glamorous hotel for free with nightly expensive authentic Japanese diners and drinking with Mr. Sakai-san and other ranking company officers (Mr. Nakamoto-sanXXXX - right hand man, Mr. Ninomiya) of Mr Hayashi.

    On the day I was to fly back home to Manila, Mr Sakai-san pick me up hurriedly as I arrived in my hotel after a morning jog and told me that Mr. Hayashi wants to talk to me. I was not even permitted to change my T-shirt and jogging pants as I was brought still perspiring to Mr Hayashi’s office to talk to him about the price of his vessel. After still not agreeing to his price I was whisked out from his office to a waiting room as he conferred with his officers, and after a few minutes Mr Sakai-san came in with a happy face telling me that Mr. Hayashi-san finally agreed with my price at US$480,000! He then brought me downstairs to another floor of their office building were hundreds of Seiko watches were on tables and told me that Mr Hayashi would want me to have for souvenirs for my family back home! Even as I wanted to get only one piece, Mr Sakai-san insisted to get as many as I want because according to him those watches were from a failed join venture of Mr. Hayashi-san and it were nothing of great significant to them. (I’m not sure if those watches were given to me at that time or on my taking delivery of the vessel).

    When I arrived Zamboanga and told Papang and you about the MOA I signed for the acquisition of our first ever roro vessel, Papang even castigated me by saying in-front of around 10 office personnel that who in the world will give you free watches, and insisted that I was lying?! I can still remember Lito Lim’s sitting and his uneasy facial expression and Bonnie Tan bowing his head to escape my looks as they heard and I tried to looked at them in disbelief of why a father would want to tell the world that his son is a liar!

    But after a week or so I noticed Papang wearing the watch that I gave him. I guess at that time that maybe somebody made him realized that I was telling the truth and that he was wrong in his accusation to his own son in-front of so many people. He wore it actually for so many years!

    Same month that year I went with the 21-man delegation of Mayor Agan to Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, and Brunei on a business exploratory talk between our city with said Malaysian cities. Our delegations met with the cities’ mayors and their respective businessmen, traders in the hope of exploring business opportunities that can be created with the 4-nations economic thrust called BIMP-EAGA (Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines/East Asian Growth Association).

    During our dialogues with our Malaysian business counter parts it has always been about traders saying that they will ship their goods if there is a vessel plying but on the other hand shipping lines representatives were asking from traders for prove from traders what cargoes they can or intend to load. Our last city to visit was Sandakan and it was there that I decided to deploy MV Danica Joy 1 to ply a once a week schedule between the Ports of Zamboanga and Sandakan.

    Atty Orlando Ong who was also with our delegation, drafted for me the letter of intent dated July 23, 1994 which I presented to the surprise and delight of everyone present in our meeting with Government Officials of both countries and businessmen.

    I also showed to them a photo of M/V Danica Joy and told them that the one way fare will be 875 pesos for non-aircon and 975 pesos for aircon accommodation.

    But of course I didn’t decide to deploy our vessel for the sake of publicity. I decided on the basis after knowing that there were 500,000 legal Filipinos working in the whole Island of Sabah, Borneo and I calculated that 500,000 divided by 12 (months) divided by 4 (week) gives 10,000 plus which was way out far from the full capacity of M/V Danica Joy 1.

    Although M/V Danica Joy were used in Japan with accommodation for 500 seats only and no sleeping accommodations, I calculated that she can accommodate 400 to 500 over-night passengers if I construct sleeping bunks and install them on the wagon deck and the price of bunker fuel at that time would support its commercial operations even at 875 pesos one way fare.

    I was further interviewed after the meeting by a local newspaper writer and he published the following morning in his newspaper detailing everything I told him including the schedules, fare, photo of the vessel and the targeting date month of start of operation which I planned for October that year.

    After our delegation’s arrival back to Zamboanga, I had a call from the late Marina Administrator Boy Balbon who informed me that he received direct instruction from Mr. Paul Dominges, who at that time was President Ramos’ Presidential Assistant for Mindanao who accordingly read and came to know about my decision to deploy a vessel in the Zamboanga - Sandakan route that coming October.

    I knew Boy before he became the Marina Administrator the reason why he was able to tell me that Mr. Dominges called to him and personally gave him special instruction to “get hold of me” because accordingly it has been some time that the BIMP-EAGA concept was formulated but no shipping lines have decided to deploy any vessels and without shipping, BIMP-EAGA trading concept will not materialize.

    I told him about the problem of the travel tax, emphasizing among others our fare of only 375 pesos and the Government’s 1,200 pesos tax that passenger’s will surely noticed. He told me that I should asked the help from our City Government for them to pass a city resolution for the temporary exemption of travel tax for my planned deployment of a pioneering ferry services between Zamboanga City and Sandakan emphasizing among others its importance to the BIMP-EAGA project.



    I remember calling my cousin Atty Joe Tan and asking him how to draft a City Resolution and he told me to start the resolution with “Where As” Aleson Shipping is a corporation engaged in domestic Philippine trade, where as ASLI intend to deploy a pioneering ferry service in the Zambaonga - Sandakan route, where as ASLI’s intended fare is only 975 pesos, where as said shipping service is vital to the start of the BIMP-EAGA trading concept . . . and to end it with a prayer that a tax exemption be granted to my deployment of the shipping service between Zamboanga and Sandakan route.

    Next I went to asked for a letter head from the Mindano Regional Council explaining to them that it is important that I print the Resolution in their letter head after which I went around to have it signed by various Government Departments like The Department of Tourism, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Filipino Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Hotel Associations Heads, and many others and submitted it to Mayor Vitaliano Agan for the city’s resolution approval and submission to NEDA and to Mr. Paul Dominges Office in Davao and ultimately to be submitted to the Office of President Ramos for his approval.

    President Ramos later issued P.D. 1183 allowing the Philippine Tourism Authority to issue Travel Tax Exemption in time for the October Maiden Voyage of M/V Danica Joy 1 to Sandakan !

    I went back to Manila and busied myself with the documentations from Marina for the importation of M/V Danica Joy, brought the 7 conduction crew to Manila whom I personally chosen to apply with them for our visa at the Japanese Embassy, and applied a permit from National Telecommunication Commission (NTC) for the SSB Radio which I intend to bring with us in our flight to Japan.

    I doubt if there are other local shipping lines who send their own company crew for the conduction of their acquired vessel from Japan. Even before I asked the conduction crew to come to Manila for their interview applications in the Japanese Embassy I had already prepared and completed their application papers with invitations for each of them from Japan that in almost all of my applications for all of them, it took only the maximum 3 days approval of their visas. The SSB radio that I buy is from a store in Manila who doesn’t issue receipt but price is the lowest.

    When I went to take delivery of Nakajima (TBN: M/V Danica Joy 1) with our own company crew, Papang gave me only one instruction and that was never to buy or carry any motorcycle onboard.

    However, on the day the vessel was scheduled to sail from Nakajima, Japan for Zamboanga City, some people whom our crew befriended went out of their way and brought their old motorcycles to the vessel itself and gave them to our crew. A day before, I and some of the crew (after already having prepared and trial-run the vessel and turned over to us by the owner’s Japanese crew and bunkers, foods, water & other supplies already loaded onboard) went out walking in the small island of Nakajima in search to buy second-hand bicycles, television sets, and refrigirators for the crew but not allowing them to buy any motorcycles.

    Anyone in my position would not at that very moment like to deny the happiness of my crew receiving the motorcycles from their Japanese “friends” who even brought by their motorcycles themselves as gifts and especially knowing for the fact that it will take 8 days navigation of the vessel to reach Zamboanga and I have installed radio onboard the vessel where I can give instruction to throw it out to the sea if it really will be a problem with Zbga Customs.

    After the vessel had left Japan, I flew back to Manila and related Papang by phone of the motorcycle-on-board story. He was in raged! Even if I explained to him that it would be very difficult for me not to allow the crew to accept the motorcycle gifts from their Japanese friends at that moment plus the fact that I gave our crew a pre-condition that they will disassemble their motorcycle and hide it completely or that they will have to throw it out of the vessel on their way if we think we will have problems upon arrival at Zamboanga with Customs, he just would not listened to my reasoning. But he never also want the crew to throw their motorcycle to sea. He simply was just angry on me. The vessel arrived Zamboanga safely without Customs problem and our crew having their assembled motorcycle gifts to themselves.

    After the customs cleared the vessel and converted to domestic status, I immediately deployed welders and carpenters to take out the seats, re-configure and install double bunks on both upper and wagon deck, ordered marine plates and even the orders of the bed foams. I decided to extend fully the rear end of the vessel to accommodate more passengers.

    I worked with welders and carpenters in time to have M/V Danica Joy 1’s maiden voyage to Sandakan as promised, October 24????, 2004.





    An hour or so before the departure of the maiden voyage, we received a call from our Malaysian Office Agent, Mr. Chan Kok Hing saying that the Malaysian Authority would not permit the vessel to berth.

    This was a tremendous setback since onboard were a Governor (Real) and his wife, some mayors of nearby towns, Government Department representatives, and businessmen with their local products that will be showcased onboard for Sandakan people to see in the hope that they will place future orders.

    I have invited many local manufacturers thru the help of the Department of Trade and Industy (DTI) to join us and had them install booths for their product display weeks before the scheduled maiden voyage.

    With all the things that people had been thru, it was difficult for us to cancel the maiden voyage and so we decided to have M/V Danica Joy 1 sail even against the repeated advice of our Malaysian Agency Office that the vessel will be arrested when she arrives Sandakan.

    I went with the vessel and true to our Malaysian Agent’s warning, M/V Danica Joy 1, with all its Government Official, Trader passengers were held to anchorage area and not permitted to dock!

    For the next 24 hours we were stuck onboard and each passing hours the pressure mounted on me on why these things were happening. VHF Radio was the only communications we have with Sandakan but this helps little since we can only radio to the Sandakan Ports Authority and all we can get from them is an order that we will not be allowed to enter their port.

    It is with our SSB Radio that we can communicate back home to Zamboanga Office to relay to them our situations and with it we more or less were told that Government representatives from the Office of Mr. Paul Dominges are in Sandakan trying to sort out things for our docking permit.

    After hours on achorage, Ms Carol Arguiles of Philippine Daily Inquirer was angry and said that the Malaysian Authority cannot do what they were doing so she wanted that she be given to communicate to her Manila base home office using our SSB Radio onboard to report what was happening. I told her that better to be patient and give time to Secretary Paul Dominguez personnel whom we learned are aware and were in Sandakan to diplomatically negotiate to allow us to berth even just for humanitarian reason especially we have very little drinking water.

    But she was furious that I didn't allow her to change the frequency of our SSB Radio for her to contact her Manila office.

    Governor Real, who was the most highest ranking Government Official onboard our ship was as relax as a person could be. When he was asked for his opinion on what to do of our (predicament) situations we were in, he having maybe observed, heard, and saw how people onboard were reacting, meeting, discussing, contacting and exchanging said with a relax manner that since almost everything has been done possible so there’s nothing else to do but wait and there for the first time I heard one of the most wonderful advice to a person who had done what was possible to wait and that eventually things will just fall to its proper places!

    At that time, Engr Siason (not sure, if my memory serves me right) came to report to me that water onboard was critically low and that there is a need for water rationing. I went down to the engine room to personally validate his report because it was hard for me to believe why on Earth after just 24 hours we had run out of water?

    After my inspection and evaluations, my fear of his report of being unwontedly correct sunk into me as I went up to announce another bad news for our passengers. However, I gave orders that all our bottled water be given to our passengers for free hoping for their patience and understading. I myself was helping distribute the bottled water to each passengers saying so sorry about these things.

    Most were nice passengers who even in their discomfort showed that they understand. However, there was one passenger I remembered who was restless, who even insulted me with his 100 pesos saying that he can pay for his coffee as long as he don’t have to fall in line.

    As I served and gave him his free hot coffee hot I wondered how it would end if instead of giving him his hot free coffee I would pour it to his face! I remember that moment well because I almost did it.

    Then after almost 24 hours afloat on anchorage, we finally received the good news over our VHF radio the Malaysian Port Authority informing us that we are allowed to dock!

    Everybody was happy to hear the good news especially me knowing together that my decision to hold my ground of not allowing to let Carol Arguiles of Philippine Daily Inquirer get hold of our SSB Radio to make a report to her Philippine base station was but correct!

    Our vessel and the trade exhibits onboard were only allowed to stay for a couple of days. But, it was a joyful and festive experiences for everyone. Our traders onboard were able to finally showcase and sell their products to the Malaysian public who were curious to see what we have back in Zamboanga. In a way it was a successful trade exhibit, a first of it's kind.





The Manila Pier Episode

January 13, 2006



Dear Papang,

    First of all I’d like to thank you for your great gesture and continuous desire to have me be with you in your company despite our previous differences and pains.

    Allow me however, to relate to you an incident that happened last December, a day after I send my 14 pages letter to Mamang.

    After receiving continuous text from my staff at pier 16 asking me what they have to do because accordingly, Engr Clyde and Colonel Guerzon were presiding a meeting which was described as if “sobra pa na dwenio, makagumita uwi” and asking them that they have to decide whom they will support, Aleson or Alex because according to Engr Clyde that “talagang wala na si Alex sa Aleson, hinde na maayos ito”, I emailed a copy of my 14 pages letter to them in the hope of explaining what is happening to our family business.

    However, even after the email, Engr Clyde and Colonel Guerzon were still demanding from my Pier 16 staff for their decision which prompted me to go to Pier 16 office the following morning.

    When I arrived the following morning, Clyde and the Colonel greeted me nicely and they invited me outside the canteen and we had a nice talk over bottles of mountain dews in which I was able to elaborate and explained further the content of my letter to Mamang.

    After having a nice gentlemanly conversations with them for more than 2 hours, exchanging pleasantries, life stories, jokes, inviting them to visit me in our Corinthian Residence, and even exchanging celfon numbers, I requested Clyde very nicely with appropriate reasoning that I prefer him for the moment not to stay at pier16 but consented having Colonel Guerzon stay respecting too well of your long family friendship ties with him.

    At first he says he is waiting for Romy Princepe but I called Romy and he said has no appointment with Clyde that day.

    Then he reason out that he is following some papers in Marina and that he has to stay for 2 – 3 more days. I offered him our E. Rodriguez house where he can stay more comfortable, it’s closer to Marina I said. He says that it’s difficult for him to stay there because he will have difficulties with transportations?!

    He shoots for reason to convenient himself not even caring to know that our E. Rodriguez house is main road for jeepneys and taxis.

    But more irritating is the fact that both of us knows that our Pier-16 Office is not accessible to jeepneys or taxis. It’s a 15-20 minutes walk thru heat, dust, and dirt to the nearest road where jeepneys plies.

    And yet he insist with his reasons which prompted me to insist (but still in a nice manner) that I shall have to asked driver Edwin to drive him to E. Rodriguez house. As I brotherly embraced to escort him to our Isuzu pick-up, he appealed for the last time “konting respeto naman Alex, aalis naman ako mamaya”, professional naman ako and he promised to leave on his own before noon.

    And so I obliged to give the man his honor.

    After an hour or so driver Oliver came with the food I ordered. I asked him to look for the Colonel outside the yard to invite him for lunch but both the Colonel and Clyde were nowhere to be found.

    After lunch, a police mobile came in looking for me.

    The arresting police officer, Colonel Duran, with three (3) escorts with long fire arms, escorted by Col Guerzon, carried with him a photocopy of my suspension order issued by you and used it as a basis to invite me to their police station ?!

    I was surprised and shocked but calmly told the arresting Colonel that this is a family problem which our “family” friend Colonel Guerzon knows and fully understand. At that time I had no inclination that the Colonel was responsible of bringing in the police for my arrest. I even continued to say to the arresting Colonel Duran that Colonel Guerzon understand fully well of what is happening, hoping to get his support.

    But to my shock, Colonel Guerzon responded “Na-intindihan namin ikaw kaso hinde mo kami na-intindihan!, I treat you as a son but your father is ordering us to evict you and we are just following his order!”.

    Just two hours ago that same very morning I thought I was able to explained to the Colonel about how I valued Pier 16 as my home especially to almost everything in it were solely because of my effort and ideas. I even mentioned many times to him that any person whom my parents would insist to stay in my house and would insist to do so even knowing my story is only taking advantage of the situation and I would consider that person only having a personal agenda of his own and not to help our family differences.

    In my 14 pages letter to Mamang I prominently mentioned Colonel Guerzon, even mentioning my hope that maybe thru him, being a very close to you and a good family friend, he will be able to help me talked and maybe convince you and Mamang that its best to retire.

    But I guess I was wrong about the Colonel. He has his own personal agenda, his own personal interest.

    He continued by saying that you have ordered them to evict me and that they are just following your orders and he further suggested that I should get myself a lawyer to depend myself so this family problems of ours can be solved in court if needed. Kunin mo na nang abogado, he mercilessly continue to suggest.

    I depended myself by saying back to him, with the arresting police officer listening, that I also treat him as a second father, him being a close family friend.

    But a real family friend should not bring it to court much more bring in the police to even arrest me!

    I told him that such family indifferences should first be better solve by the family either talking or asking other family elders or family friends who are in a position to act as in between.

    I mentioned the name of General Mison. I asked that he call you to ask the number of the General so that I can call the General myself and ask for an appointment. I told them that a month or so ago, I had a dinner with the General and Mrs. Mison together with Nelson and during which I had more or less express a little of my problems with you after he asked me how I was doing along with my father.

    This I said should be the way to help solve our family differences and not to suggest to bring it to court or worst to call in police to arrest me!

    And so with that story, the arresting police officer had a clearer picture of what was happening and the “family friend” Colonel’s true colors were exposed and because of this they didn’t have the conscience-reason to arrest me and bring me to their police station.

    Before leaving, the arresting Colenel even invited me to come visit him sometime as he said his station in just nearby at Pier 14. After office hours he says we can drink a bottle or two at his office.

    Colonel Guerzon still requested one sentry to be left behind. I went back inside my office and stayed there until pass 5 pm. The re-tired Colonel, Clyde stayed sitting outside the container yard guarded by the sentry with long fire arms in hand.

    Of course I could have gone to our pier office the following day and continue to do so until the Colonel will feel unwanted staying outside in the yard. But I opted not to waste my time as I can do many other important things in my Pioneer Office which has better facilities to monitor our operations.

    When I was vacationing in the States I received a text from Pier 16 staff Chara that you had a memo ordering her and driver Oliver to report to Zamboanga Main Office. I was told that Colonel Guerzon demanded from you that if both of them would not be transferred he would resign!?

    Oliver is my personal driver and occasionally I allow him to go to the pier if I don’t need him. He is from Manila. I don’t understand why he would have to be ordered to report to Zamboanga Main Office.

    When I called to asked Mamang, she blurted out to say that “no sabe ya kame con kien ele ta trabaja” and regarding Chara she says there was a reason but can’t remember what but that she will ask and tell me later!? Whatever their reason was, their transfer was more to please the Colonel’s desire than the operations at our pier office.

    Chara was send by main office Zamboanga, personally recommended by Ely Castro after I have to fire out all my Manila Pier Staff because of their threat to mass- resign. Among the four employees at our Pier 16, I consider her the best and brightest and rightfully was acting OIC until you designated the Colonel. Her only mistake is that the Col, who has zero knowledge of shipping operations wants her out disregarding even to send a replacement before her departure.

    It is painful for me to allow her and my personal driver to resign especially it is very obvious that the only reason I can think of is most likely that the Colonel doesn’t like them because of me. But because you or Mamang choose to have them transferred I allowed them to do so that we shall have peace in the family house.

    It pains me no less to remember how both of you resisted your own son’s demand and protected Lindamore, Jane and many others while this Colonel’s demand were given.

    Maybe it’s the Filipino culture in us that you give the best plates of the house to your visitors. But will still it be right for parents to continue to deny the best plate to their son if their son so desires?

    Sometimes last December before I left for the US, I scolded Ely Castro over the phone because when I had asked for photocopies of the Provisional Authority

    (PA) of our vessels I received a reply from her that I should ask from you. I’m 100% sure she knows that PAs are public documents and that anybody can have copies of it. And I’m 100% sure that she knows that if she tells you that I’m asking for such simple request you would deny me. Her act of bringing my request to you is typical of people surrounding Mamang and you who whisper limited information to your ears (for us to quarrel). One thing leads to another as I scolded her on these and told her to take a leave for rest of the month but defiantly she challenged and angrily contested that she will resign instead!

    This kind of people speaks to Mamang and you so nicely and they support and cater to all your needs. But we are family and we should not fall prey to such personal need that encourages us to go against each other.

    Even Bobong had complained to Stephanie and me that Ely has had the nerve of getting angry and shouting at him.

    Our family should always abide by the rule that we shall never employ anyone who offended anyone of our family member. It is a rule to keep the family all together

    no matter what the consequences will be for what good shall fortune be if the family looses one member much more be at odd with one another and (over an employee)?

    Employees are replaceable. Family members are not.

    We should not be ashamed to let our employees know that this is our family business rule because they too have family and having such house rule in their family is but right. I don’t believe anyone of our family member would have the conscience to terminate just anyone for his or her pleasure.

    So in response to your beautiful letter asking me to leave our mistakes in the past and to join you in uniting the family without anymore recalling hard grudges and ill feelings against one another, I’m willing to take another chance of reconciliation with only one request and that is that each/any family member namely you, Mamang, Nelson, Bobong, Jay Jay and me would be given the respectful right of terminating any of the company’s employees especially those who have offended him or her.

    I don’t have any problem with whosoever will be in control of the business within us. I’ll support and help to my utmost capabilities as being true to my belief of taking care of our family business operations.

    This is my only one request and if agreed upon I would like that it be carried on and approved in your next board meeting.

    All that is needed is that we love each other more than anyone to keep a united family.

    But if for any reason my only one request cannot be granted, then let me choose to exit the family business carrying forever a heavy heart for I’m sure that I have done my very best and have said all that there is need to say to keep our family together.

    God Bless whatever decisions the family especially you, shall have for us.

Your son,

Alex







2006

    When I got back to Manila from a Christmas family vacation abroad last January I came to learned that my father again had Ely Castro re-instated back. She was still the head of the company Personnel Department. I came to know this when I saw the resignation letter of Ms Chara and my driver Oliver addressed to her!

    He faxed me a letter dated January %???, 2006. In it he says wonderful thing about him and my Mom hoping that I re-consider my decision to resign from the company. I never believe any single word he say in it but went along to write to him a response stating among others the incidents at the pier 16 when his OIC Col. Guerzon contemplated to arrest me and how I “saved” my self from his treacherous intention.

    Another I mentioned about why I had asked Ely to take a two weeks vacation and her bravado to respond to me that she will resign instead of which of course I had her resigned. And lastly but very important I said in my letter that I am willing to still be in the company (contrary to his pretentious offer, I can just imagine how sad, frustrated, and angry he could be that I said that!), even letting him and my Mom “run the show” of the company operations (sic).

    I only had one request and that is to I be respected as an officer of the company in such a way that people under me, especially those whom I had many evidences has faulted me be terminated. In addition for fairness, I even further said that this special privilege and conditions applies not only to me but to the entire family.

    But, alas, he responded with the help of my wolf brother in waiting that this will bring chaos to the family business! Purely, evidently, not knowing that his response, or probably more appropriate would be, their response, proves their insincerity of their pretentious offer to have me be with the family business.

    But still I wrote another letter stating that we should ask the Chinese temple if my one and only suggestion would bring chaos or it might be good for the company operations. And again he, or again they (sic) proved behind reasonable doubts that they really don’t want me in the family corporation. If one would take a glance at the Harvest Season Chapter, one can just imagine what sort of family I am attached and have been born into!



Chapter 4 Going to Red Cross for blood cleansing



    I know I am very different from my family because never would I do what they did or continue to do. What to do if you are born into it?

I guess symbolically I can drain my blood to clean myself of them and so I thought of the Red Cross! Another thing is to change my family name although I know this would be very difficult but still I shall act on it by applying a petition and hoping that before I die I will not be a Tan or Alvarez anymore. I would like to die as Alexander Zeraval Nat.






November 28, 2005

Dear Mamang,

    If you will recall and analyze the people whom I have unfortunately fought with, it’s all because of Papang’s style of putting “spirit horn” to the head of those persons thereby temporarily making their head swollen with ambitions. Of course I very much regret loosing them not only because I consider them assets to our operations but some were my own first cousins. From Mae, Lindamore, Jane, Maricor, Abeth, to Ely Castro the root cause and pattern is very clear. If Papang didn’t instigate them to go against me they would still be with us working harmoniously for the good of the company.

    For the past two years I have suffered the ugly jealousy of a father. It is not easy to understand why fathers are like that especially to their eldest son. There is no need to cite the many examples because I know people knows, people are aware of it, you and even Papang knows this but I have come to accept people’s rebuttals to admit and talk about it because maybe of it’s ugliness. In my suffering and confusion, I even claimed that Papang to be “malpagador” because I believed that the reason why I’m having trouble with him or the reason why he hates me is because of my many success in my work.

    I work my life and can proudly claim to be very successful in the responsibilities given to me as the eldest son. The other shipping companies in our city namely Sampaguita, SKT, Basilan Lines, Magnolia, Ever Transport, and Trans Asia and Cokaliong of Cebu, who were once bigger than our company, were not able to expand like we did. I have made our shipping company bigger than any of them, biggest in our city and with a very promising future. For a person to solely claim responsible by himself is not commendable. Papang in his usual character once wrote me with the help of a blood writer that it is not my right to crow of my achievements I did for the company much more claim ownership citing just like a manager has no right to collect for himself the wealth even if he himself created for the company. In the eye of my Papang, I am just his manager. He can’t even say “good job son”!

    However, I find it also not acceptable for a father’s jealousy to malign a son’s success by claiming his need to come out of semi-retirement in his first Board Meetings, September 18, 2004 empowering himself to the “driver-seat” again and firing orders re-assigning company officers here and there.

    Out of the blue, without even consulting or even informing me, he designated an outsider, newly recruited, as OIC-Overall and to be in-charge of departmentalization of our company’s man power! (October 9, 2004 Board Meeting). In the same meeting he ordered to abolish the shifting time schedule scheme I have designed for the office staffs to cope up with our heavy back log. He further designated Lindamore, who is just about 5 months with the company as the overall in charge of our computerization, transfer of Jane Miranda and Maricor Gaynillo, transferring Abeth and empowering her to be in charge of the receivables. In his other board meetings he further empowered Clyde to be the overall in charge of our heavy equipments. Many more designations were followed, none of which make sense.

    All these appointments and designations were clear indications of Papang’s disrespect of my position in the company. It was a pattern where in he seems to enjoy putting people in firing line with me. As a father he should never do that. Not only did he but continues to do so until now. It still rings painfully in my ear his writing to me with the help of a blood writer that the situation I am in is my own doing. You remain dead silent on these, which makes it more hurtful for a son to digest. Saddam Hussein is being accused of crime to humanities. The prosecutors need not have to prove that he himself killed people. All they need to show is that he was aware of the crimes and did not do anything, and he shall be charge guilty. I know you have the power of persuasion to convince Papang to retire, the reason I am writing this letter to you instead to him.

    This was September 2004 when he declares to the world that he has to come out of his retirement.

    When I took charged of the company back in 1980s we had only MV Estrella del Mar, MV Aleson 0, MV Aleson 3, and MV Alexander. After them I can claim I not only made the decision to buy all our other vessels but alone prepared their importation document requirements as well as their successful deployment to their respective routes namely MV Aleson II, MV Nico Bryan, MV Aleson 1, MV Feliciano Jr., MV Nelson, MV Kristel Jane, MV Kristel Jane 2, MV Kristel Jane 3, MV Danica Joy 1, MV Danica Joy 2, MV Lady Mary Joy 1, MV Lady Mary Joy 2, all our Con Carrier vessels from 1 to 8, and its support heavy equipment forklifts, truck cranes, prime movers, trailers, fuel and water truck tankers, etc as well as building all our existing 1,500 plus 10 footer containers. I have inventories of these.

    I alone decided to open up the side door opening of MV Lady Mary Joy 2 even with people saying it might break the vessel into half. I worked together with carpenters, giving them designs for the wooden bed for it’s third class accommodations, I went from store to stores in Sandakan to canvass the best price for beds for the cabin rooms.

    Even printing of the names for the cabin rooms I myself printed from my computer and personally pasted on each cabin room covering each with plastics. It became our flag ship which was our pride and joy. But what has happened to it now?

    I don’t know how many number of times I drove the 3 &1/2 hours drive to Subic and other locations to bid and buy our 35-tonner truck cranes, heavy forklifts during that time we have to augment these support equipments for the success of our container operations.

    I alone searched, compared, and decided contractors to built all our existing containers from container number 1 up to number 1500 plus. I alone searched, cited, decided and negotiated with PPA for our Pier 6 container office and van spaces.

    I remember very well bringing you to take a look to take pride of it, however, only to find myself wanting to cry after both of us saw how small our 10 footer office was, which was almost covered by the 20 & 40 footer containers of the other giant shipping lines and prompting you to comment “cosa ya kayot se si ambitioso Alexander”.

    I remember as well the faces of Marina people faces turned funny in disbelief when they saw our container ship is just 199 gross tons! There never was a container ship as small as ours. Undoubted, I pursue to negotiate our basic cargoes of lime stones from Dipolog to Manila.

    I again alone went to Dipolog to look for and lease our existing container yard and deployed there in advance our first batch of MT 10-footer containers and 2 units 15-tonner Forklifts and one 35-tonner truck crane in time for the maiden voyage of our first Con Carrier 1 vessel which assured freight to support the fuel coast for its first voyage to Manila.

    There were many trucking companies who came to know of our container entry in Manila and once I was invited in a restaurant meeting in Ongpin presided by veteran elder Chinese trucking company owners who persuaded unsuccessfully to convince me to give them percentage fee for them to have their truck load cargoes to bring to us.

    I like to think that I made the right decision by not accepting any of their offers because eventually I was not only able to cut middlemen people but saved the problems of forever paying them even if consignees in Zamboanga, Bacolod, or Dipolog ordered their respective shippers to load on our vessels. I too alone searched, cited and leased all our other container yards in Cebu and Bacolod.

    Even the transfer to Pier 16, I alone decided and even went to measure the area with measuring tape meters and even the fences I drew the design and bought the materials and hired contractors to build each fences at our E. Rodriguez residence and hired trucks to deliver and install them. In short, everything that existed in our pier 16 office and container yard is my sweat, blood and creation!

    I have hired many best employees, many cum laude graduates and even a magna cum laude graduate who loved working with me even being assigned to pier. They were the best that a small company like ours could ever hope to have. But none of them is with our company now.

    But of course all these will collapse if we didn’t have our container tariff book, which I again myself designed from the 1st to our present 5th Edition and designing computerized system for our freight for all ports. Even the spacing of lines in our bill of ladings, the letters typed, their distance from each other I know because I designed them.

    All these denominators were very important contributors to the success of our container entry operation here in Manila, subsequently sustaining our other entries in Bacolod and Dipolog.

    Definitely I don’t need an ordinary seaman CAAY, who lords over my Manila Office or a Clyde (who claimed to have resigned from William Lines because he knew in advance that the WG&A coalition won’t survive!) whom Papang has designated as Manila Office OIC?!

    We can’t blame people aspiring to be somebody they cannot be especially when they are given the “mandate”. We can only wait, see and compute the thickness of their face by the number of days they will try to stay.

    I have tolerated enough of Papang’s gullibility of hiring him to be his assistant to go around our Zamboanga operations for a year, dismissing him as an anak-bulan, a pest running around our business premises. But sending the rat to my territory to be the OIC and preside a meeting over my own people saying among others that “hinde na to maayos, paalis na talaga si alex”.

    Papang knows very well my temper that I won’t tolerate such situation and that I will physically remove him from my office but yet he has no concern. When I wanted to franchised Dunkin Donut in Zamboanga, one of main reason he didn’t allow me was because of the danger of going out at night if some trouble will occur in the store.

    He is different now. Maybe he has a good reason to do it because I anger him. Many times I too showed same no concern on him when I’m angry. This father’s jealousy on his eldest son in a family business is some kind of a disease and infectious that when together a father can’t help himself control his jealous character. Like an infectious disease, avoiding it is prevention. I believe if Papang is not in the company it will help cure this.

    When I was new in the company, Papang always like to introduce me to his business associates that I am the President of the company and that he is retired. This was the time when I know nothing of the company and so people whom he said that obviously know that he is the one running the show. He even one time made and gave me a calling card with the position of President of the company.

    However, after I became very effective to the point that people were commending my ability to run the company, he stopped and never mentioned that anymore. Once, during one of the visit of his friend, Col. Guerson to our Q.C. residence, the Col. asked me for my calling card and when he saw the designation in my card as VP-Operations, he jokingly said to me why I didn’t have the title of a company President, then turning more seriously to his comment.

    He reasons out that “siempre” it would have a good effect especially when I present my card to the Japanese business people whom I buy our ships. I can still visualize my father’s face in sour pain as he maintained silence during the Col.’s continuous explanation to his reasoning.

    I am not saying these to ridicule Papang. I am saying these to support my theory about a father’s hatred to his eldest son in a family corporation and the timely presence of Col. Guerson at our pier 16 office.

    I am a good friend of the Col. and times I heard him joked my father to retire and enjoy life. I will appeal to him this time to seriously ask his Kumpadre to retire.

If I am to value our company assets of 1980s, I would say it was around 150M pesos or an equivalent to 250M of year 2004 purchasing peso power.

    I think I can say that the estimated value of our company assets was around 1.2B pesos, September 2004 during the time Papang decided to force himself out of his semi-retirement with his personal claim to save our company and started designating unqualified office personnel to head sensitive departments.

    With these figures, I would like to dream and claim that I am responsible to have increased my parents company to almost about a billion-peso. Further, I would like to add that maybe Basilan Lines would be bigger shipping company in Zamboanga if I was born an Alano, Sampaguita if I was born a Que, and SKT if I was born the son of Sy. The reasons why I dream of saying these are supported by the following facts:

    1. Basilan Lines acquired a fastcraft from Australia with Wartsila M/E that I would never have installed and it was because of these engines that their vessels stopped operations eventually giving them financial problems because of their huge loan on it with the bank. This same Wartsila brand of marine engines was also the same as the engines of the fastcraft of Ever Lines, which earlier had the same fate.

    2. Sampaguita was forced to buy two old ships from William Lines, after I deployed the ever first air-conditioned, direct daily service of our MV Danica Joy 1 from Zamboanga to Jolo, first ever direct 3 times weekly air-conditioned service of our MV Mary Joy 1 from Zamboanga to Bongao and vice versa and my deployment of a pioneer shipping service from Zamboanga to Sandakan with the vessels MV Danica Joy 1, MV Lady Mary Joy 1, and the MV Lady Mary Joy 2.

    3. SKT of course simply folded because of my deployment of MV Nikel Princely to Zamboanga and Pagadian and vice versa.

    Even after Papang’s October 20, 2004 Memo suspending me of my position and designating John Lu as my replacement, I was able to sell all our mismanaged tramping vessels, sold all our laid-up vessels namely MV Kristel Jane 2, MV Lady Mary Joy 1, and yacht ML Stephanie Marie. But entries to our Saturday’s board meetings were all about informing to the board that the said vessels were now sold.

    Never mentioning about me selling the vessels which made me to conclude that even those all present in the meetings are aware of Papang’s dislikes to mention good things I do for the company. No “good job”.

    The last time I was in Zamboanga I exploded in our family meeting especially when Papang accused me responsible for the 400,000 plus peso shortage of our Manila Petty Cash Fund.

    How can I be responsible where in fact its liquidations, checking and subsequently its replenishment is being done by Zamboanga Main Office under Mae or Precy and approved by Bobong or you. Even my work on the opening of the on-line banking accounts for the company, which very few companies are able to do was tainted with suspicions.

    How do you think a son will feel when after his own parents show distrust with him? After completing and compiling the many bank’s requirements and meeting with bank managers and their IT staffs in Manila, I find myself at lost on how to say to them that I cannot submit my final documents because my parents are reluctant to sign? Have I ever steal from the company? If your own parents show distrust to their own son how hurtful would it be for him to reason out with and face people?

    I presented in that meeting our new final design form for our bill of ladings where in among the added features were the additional 6 fields so that we will be able to separate charges like trucking, arrastre, ppa and not as in our old existing bill of ladings where we have to total all the charges in one field.

    The change to have a simple but clearer bill numbers, and my pride of being able to come up and incorporate a bar-coded form which I can claim that we will be the first to ever have this feature which I’m sure other shipping lines will mostly follow in the future.

    But I never received any “good job” but instead all eyes were scrutinizing to pinpoint that this and that is wrong. Showing how I worked so hard to come out with the final draft (I brought my files with me showing the volumes of drafts and initial forms) I still didn’t get a “good job” but instead my father almost sarcastically said that a person should not show how hard he worked and he always noted that it is my character “daw” to want to inform and show to the world how hard I work!

    Not contented he added that “cosa klase daw” my freight charges, where in charges for the loose cargoes is the same as charges for one full container load!

    It was a good thing that I had a copy with me of our 5th edition and showing to him, I explained that there are options for our freight managers to give discounts ranging from 10 to 25 percent so that in loose cargo, we can charge normal freight and in full container load, our freight manager has the discretion to give discounts as he/she sees fits.

    But shooting back he said that he needs only one sheet of paper because he cannot or doesn’t have the time or understand that I should have to give him a manual book to look for the freight?!

    And when it was clearly explained to him that we have many port of calls, the reason why its impossible to put all our freight charges in one sheet of paper, that’s where he shot back about the PCF shortage that my Manila Office had. And so I exploded.

    2 - 3 three weeks after, you came to Manila. I thought you came for your check-up but instead your main purpose was to inform me that you felt that after the last incidents, you sees no possible way for me to stay in the company and that the family have came up with the decision to give me 2 shares as against each of you all having 1 share each, however, you says further that you have trouble looking for the records of the prices of the vessels when they were purchased.

    Before you left Manila, I was able to come up with the valuation of each vessel, equipments and other company assets. In my first draft, I showed you corrected me that there was no Sea Jet 2 yet and that there is no Con-Carrier 9 and so I subtracted them from the list.

    When I showed Nelson the list in the hope of inviting him to join his share with me, he too corrected about the wrong value of his GreenHills house and of which then I corrected.

    Two days ago, cousin John Tan paid me a visit. Among the story we had, he mentioned that he heard about the list I gave and typically of Papang’s always trying to look for bad things to say against me, he sarcastically complained to him that in the list I even included “daw” the properties of Lolo given to him!

    I think its been 2 to 3 weeks now that I have given the valuation list to you. 4 - 5 days ago I followed up with Bobong if the family have decided on what vessels will be allocated to me, citing the need for me to know so I can look for offices and personnel to where I will deploy the vessels and that it takes time to apply and install telephone lines. However, he said he has no idea yet.

    In the incorporation of a shipping company there is the need for the CPC or PA of the vessels so I texted Ely Castro to email to me copies, only to find out after 3 days that she asked “daw” Papang for permission and that my Papang said that I have to get permission from him?! That’s when I got mad and scolded Ely over the phone why the hell she needed to ask permission from my father when in fact CPC or PA are public documents where I can instruct her to get from Marina Office.

    And one thing leads to another until I told her to take a vacation leave for a month, which she answered back that she would resign. As you see, my father is always the cause. It is his always going against me that results with all these quarrels.

    I would like to tell you the sad story of Viva Shipping Lines of Batangas. The founder just past away a week ago slowly dying after an illness. I can only imagine the pain he suffered knowing during his illness that his once great company of 30 or more RORO passenger ships (the sizes of Danica 1, 2 and some even bigger) is no more. He died broke without even owning a single vessel.

    His eldest son whom he had great quarrel with has to even charter a vessel to form another shipping lines to try his luck in the Lucena - Masbate route. Not contented, the father deployed one of his RORO vessels to compete with his own son in that route and many hearings at Marina you will find the father and son fighting and contesting each other with their lawyers for their routes. In one instance, the son almost shot the father at the Lucena Pier. Many fathers are like that. It’s hard to explain why.

    John Gokonwei, Asean’s legendary rags-to-riches dollar billionaire taipan, who is the founder of Robina, Robinsons Mall, and Cebu Pacific among many others retired years ago at the retiring age of 65 or 70 and designated his son Lance to succeed him.

    In an article dated October 24, 2005 which I showed to you, the writer asked to confirm if it was true that he gave his successor Lance 51% of his company to which he confirmed saying that he just followed the idea from the Coyuito family of Pioneer and Insular Life Insurance firm whose Patriarch called a family meeting council before he passed away and revealed he was bequeathing 51% of his stockholdings to his eldest son to prevent future misunderstanding or intramurals.

    In his observation, he said almost all the leading clans and tycoons who were at the top in business 50 years ago are now gone. His Grandfather was one of the richest family in Cebu but lost his fortune the next generations and that he started from nothing. That’s why he would not want to make the same mistakes.

    Said example is the right way for a founder to assure continuity to the next generation. I am not saying this for the money but the importance for the company president to have adequate power and resources to effectively execute his plans and not be at the mercy of board member’s infightings.

    This is my story, this is my claim and with it I am once again strongly appealing both your retirement from the company. Our company like a ship, and as such cannot continue to be headed by two Captains. I think I am the better Captain. Papang has tasted the sweetnest of the victory over his difficult beginnings. Let me have mine.

    My decision to stop company operations is my expressive desire to demand for both your retirements. I believe both of you will be doing the right thing. There is no other way. It is painful but necessary. There is nothing wrong for parents to sacrifice especially for their children. Unqualified, non-sense people are beginning to take advantage and put themselves into the position to run the company 80% of whom I have created. Its very painful for me to let that happen..

    In all my undertakings, it is not my ability alone but clearly I am blessed above for me to have succeeded in most of my projects. All the vessels I have acquired from Japan, all the equipments I bought, my being able to open the Sandakan route, all showed the blessing from above.

    Even my being able to acquire the residence of the honorable Late Secretary Blas Ople at an unbelievable price and at an unusual turn of events to show both of you to personally witness my ability to negotiate even at a situation I was in, had the same pattern in many of my projects. I have a clear conscience for I am sincere, honest and innocent to all your many suspicions. Time and time again events have shown them this.

    I am not belittling my parents’ achievements. Both of you have worked sweat and blood from nothing and surmounted great obstacle to achieved life’s success and its tasted its sweetness. Both of you have that prestige and honor of being the founders.

    That alone is the highest honor any person could have in a company. Even if God permits me to make our company the biggest in the country or in the world, I still won’t have the honor and prestige of a founder like both of you. What honor would a founder like Mr. Reyes of Viva Shipping Lines, Mr. Sy of SKT has if their company is gone. I see the same with Mr. Tong of Varadero de Recodo and many others. I have all the reasons to believe that our Aleson will end in a similar fate if you continue acting like them. I pray for God’s Blessing.

Your son,

ALEX







March 30, 2006

Dear Papang,

    Sorry for not able to answer much earlier your March 22 letter.

    Mamang remitted to me 1.5M pesos second week of December 2005 when I asked for the said amount for the registration of our shipping company (named Good Voyage Shipping Lines, Inc.). Please don’t argue with Mamang over this because she understood that we needed to first establish a shipping company before we can accept any of the vessels that Aleson will give to us. I cannot just accept any vessel if I don’t have a company in the first place. It took us about more than three months to comply with all the requirements of different Government offices to establish this company. We started applying last September when Mamang came here to inform me that the family has finally decided to allow me to go on my own with the 2-shares-for-us (1 share for each of the rest of the family) formula which resulted my making the first list of aleson assets which was send to you through her for your approval. I believed it was with this list that you came up with the list you gave me on your 70th birthday in the presence of John Tan.

    Before our family departure to the USA, our corporation paper was already finalized (Dec. 22, 2005). This was two weeks earlier than your letter dated Jan 5 stating among others that I am still welcome to join your company.

    Enclosed is our Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) corporation paper which indicates among others the date of incorporation ((Dec. 22, 2005), names of our directors (Me, Jessie, Stephanie-Corporate Secretary, cousin Atty. Jaja, daughter of John Tan - Legal, and office staff Tracy – whom I have to assigned CEO to comply both SEC & Marina minimum requirements), name of our stockholders (the five plus another office personnel, Sherly to be our auditor to complete for SEC minimum position requirements), and shares division of ownership.

    Both my two office personnel helped me with the incorporation of our company and the many other necessary requirements to comply before we can legally operate. Under Marina Circular Rule, a shipping company is required to have at least a minimum of two of it’s company officers, namely the president and chief operating officer, to have shipping experiences. Five is the minimum requirement of incorporators.

    Even with Good Voyage Incorporation finalized, but because of your Jan 5 letter, I wrote you a letter dated Jan 14 which indicates that I was willing not to push thru with Good Voyage. However, after two more futile letters, we found ourselves in the same different thoughts of opinions and so I thought it best to continued then on with the negotiations on the December List you gave me.

    All the letters or lists I sent to you thru Mamang concerning your December List were titled as Proposal 1 and Proposal 2.

    Even my last text to John Lu just a week ago, dated March 13, I used the word proposal and I think anyone can conclude by my text below that it had no sign whatsoever of anger, but rather but I was even compassionately negotiating, clearly not demanding for anything.

    “. . . Anyway, I will send again another proposal this week and try to come up with something that would be workable for all parties.”

    I have not even started operating yet and we are still in the process of determining what vessels can best represent my family shares.

    I cannot operate yet because we have not finalized exactly what kind of vessels can be well allotted to me that best represent my family shares with minimal effects on the present operational activities of our family business Aleson.

    After your decision, I have to print tickets (if we will be given passenger vessels) or print bill of ladings (if given cargo vessels) and the printing periods for said items takes about a month excluding the time it will take to register the tickets, official receipts, etc.

    I also can’t just operate without an office. And I can’t look for an office because I don’t know what type of vessels I will have or where we will operate them.

    Once we finalize and agree on what vessels I can operate, I think my Board Seat in Aleson is automatically revoke to reciprocate with the transfer of ownership of the agreed vessels to my family shipping company. And for one thing, I am not participating anymore in Aleson’s board meetings.

    I never hold on to any employees of whom you, Mamang, or any of our family members have had differences and/or terminated. I even let go of my personal driver Oliver and his wife, whom I considers most qualified in office works, whom you both transferred to Zamboanga and eventually resigned. It is not easy for me as a person to let go of people who were most loyal to me, much more have them terminated because they supported me. I don’t even intend to hire them or anyone any of our family members have had differences before. I have chosen to place our family above for I believe and have experienced it first hand that it will create ill-feelings amongst our family.

    So it is not within my character that I intend to compete with my family’s business because by doing so, would definitely create ill feelings on me.

    I don’t intend to compete with our family business.

    The sea is so wide, I remember you said that to me long time ago. This coming Saturday or Sunday I intend to fly to General Santos to inspect one foreign container ship coming from East Timor with a capacity of 110 TEUs (our Aleson Con-Carriers has only 30 TEU capacity). On April 2, Asian Spirit will commence flights from Davao to Palau which is timely for our container venture project so it will be easier and less expensive for me and my would be business partners to survey the place. You once wanted to go to Palau so maybe it would be good idea for both of us to fly there together, having two different ideas but going to one destination.

    I still don’t have the financial capacity for such big container vessel but I have negotiated with other people to join me. It is then my hope that even if I am on my own, I would like to someday see a joint venture with Aleson.

    Going back to your December List, allow me to review/state our negotiating efforts:

    Your December List 190,064,000.00 I didn’t agree because:
- LMJ2 gross tonnage prohibits us to
legally operate this vessel,
- 1 Con-Carrier vessel is a loosing
business operation and I can’t sell
it for 25M because it does not
represent “actual market prices”.
Your March 13 List 173,780,000.00 I noted why our share value was
lowered.
Your March 18 List 174,570,000.00

    My family’s present total cash in our joint-bank account is less than 14M and we have 11M advance from Aleson due to our purchased of our Corinthian Residence House. That leaves us having less than 3M pesos and I continue to receive my salary from Aleson even under two suspensions.

    This is my present condition, after all my works with Aleson.

    With Aleson, I passionately dedicated all my time and efforts to work for our family. Now, I shall dedicate my work dedicated passionately for my family. With what happened to me in Aleson, I should know better how to have a better ending with my family in both corporate and family affairs.

    As a father like you whose main concern is our responsibility to our children’s need and future, I am therefore, negotiating my family shares mostly for my children’s sake, nothing more nothing less.

    With it I hope you, Mamang, and the rest of the family will set aside tampohan feelings, especially since our unhealthy indifferences of opinions has been going on for years and letting me out of our family business seems the best options, and instead decide with compassions, generosity, and even put concern for my family’s future income capacity/capability with proper decision on what proper vessels the family can allocate to us, avoiding among other things to state that undoubtedly Aleson’s well-being and stability will be affected and that all our family members have acceded to sacrifice for my sake.

    I have even offered to time charter Con-Carrier vessels, offering 525T pesos per vessel per month, with one month advance. This is 75,000 pesos more per month per vessel of what Aleson is presently chartering to Apo Cement Corporation. However, I was told by John Lu that you do not like the idea and never did I ask again and inquire the reason behind your decision.

    My goal for me to succeed in my family’s shipping business is to provide my children’s well being and not to seek competition or revenge as what others will maliciously wants to impute. Time chartering Aleson’s con-carriers would help me earn additional income for my family, add additional income for Aleson as well, and in no way is this a form of competition.

    Helping me succeed will produce a better result in both financials and relationships because it’s easier for a successful person to forgive and forget his past rather than for a person who fails.

    As hard as it may be for me to anticipate what vessels you will eventually agree to give us, based on your December List (M/V Stephanie Marie, M/V LMJ2, and one Con-Carrier, etc.), I have tried to work on it’s operational feasibility. Under said list, only M/V Stephanie Marie would be workable for us. We cannot operate M/V LMJ2 because our small start-up company cannot legally operate it because of the prohibition under Marina Memorandum Circular No. 79 (Accreditation of Domestic Shipping Enterprises/Entities) which limits our start-up corporations to own and operate only up to a total of 3,000 gross tons, since our paid-up capital is only 1.5 million pesos.

Vessel Gross Tonnage
M/V Stephanie Marie 770.73 tons
M/V LMJ2 3,330.42 tons
M/V Con Carrier 8 246.55 tons
----------------------
4,347.70 tons – this exceeds our company’s authorized
limitation of 3,000 gross tonnage.

    One Con-Carrier vessel, without complete support equipments, is a losing business.

    And it is not easy for my family to sell a Con-Carrier vessel at 25M pesos, a 35 tons truck crane for 2M pesos, a 15 tons forklift for 2M pesos, and the other small units at the valuation prices I had evaluated suited only for our purpose for us to be able to equally and fairly divide,

    We came up with the amount of 784,066,000.00 pesos for Aleson’s Total Operational Property Assets for the main purpose for us to be able to properly distribute our assets but it is not applicable for sale to others.

    The price and/or valuation value of the assets does not matter. As shown in the next page, even if the prices and/or valuation value were doubled, every member can only afford to get the same assets.

ORIGINAL ALEX NELSON BOBONG JAYJAY DAD & MOM A 100.00 A 100.00 B 180.00 B 180.00 C 120.00 C 120.00 D 50.00 D 50.00 E 90.00 E 90.00 F 185.00 F 185.00 G 25.00 G 25.00 H 270.00 H 270.00 I 90.00 I 90.00 J 30.00 J 30.00 K 150.00 K 150.00 L 130.00 L 130.00 M 250.00 M 250.00 N 230.00 N 230.00 O 200.00 O 200.00 2,100.00 600.00 300.00 300.00 300.00 600.00 DOUBLE ALEX NELSON BOBONG JAYJAY DAD & MOM A 200.00 A 200.00 B 360.00 B 360.00 C 240.00 C 240.00 D 100.00 D 100.00 E 180.00 E 180.00 F 370.00 F 370.00 G 50.00 G 50.00 H 540.00 H 540.00 I 180.00 I 180.00 J 60.00 J 60.00 K 300.00 K 300.00 L 260.00 L 260.00 M 500.00 M 500.00 N 460.00 N 460.00 O 400.00 O 400.00 4,200.00 1,200.00 600.00 600.00 600.00 1,200.00

    However, please do not let me to sell these assets. The prices we used are not exact “market prices”, meaning they do not represent “actual prices”.

    The price are just to prove that no matter what price is in-calculated for the assets, each family member will get the same exact vessel and or property.

    Just like in the example shown, if we double the value of all the items of properties in the Aleson Total Operational Property Assets from 78,406,600.00 pesos to 1,568,132,000.00 pesos, the value of my share will increase to 448,037,714.28 but I still will only be able “”to afford” only to get the same number of vessels and property items because all the values of the vessels and properties will also be doubled. M/V Lady Mary Joy 2 price will be 160,000,000 pesos, M/V Kristel Jane 3 price will be 100,000,000 pesos, a Con-Carrier vessel will be priced at 50,000,000 pesos, etc.

    And definitely we cannot sell M/V Lady Mary Joy 2 at a price of 160,000,000 pesos or any of the other property items at the prices we have priced for the purpose of our distributions commensurate to each family member’s shares. So it is not applicable for sale to others.

    With the hope that you and the rest of our family members will not let me venture with vessels my family will have little chance to succeed, I tried to work on with the scenario of accepting M/V Stephanie Marie and negotiated for an office in Zamboanga, print ticket forms, print official receipts, and other necessary shipping forms, but in the hope that you and the rest of our family can later allocate us vessels that will augment our family income.

    Under your original December List (M/V Stephanie Marie, M/V Lady Mary Joy 2, one Con-Carrier, etc.), maybe we can make some small revisions. Maybe you can allow us to operate M/V Stephanie Marie, M/V Kristel Jane 3. My operational survival of these two vessels does not require us to compete.

    Although the total values of both M/V Stephanie Marie and M/V Kristel Jane 3 is only 110M, the balance (115,580,000 pesos) can be set aside later for any other proposals and or suggestions by anyone to be agreed upon.

    I am requesting this to happen because I would like to already start my company as soon as possible to be able to support my family.

    I don’t really know if the operational incomes from these two vessels will be enough to cover my family’s high monthly expenditures so if possible, please also try to reconsider my previous offer to time charter Con-Carrier vessels. I am sure I can still earn for myself even at 525T per vessel per month.

    I will be in competition with Apo Cement Corporation, not Aleson.

    If assuming, you will agree to give us M/V Stephanie Marie, M/V Kristel Jane 3, and allow us to time charter 3 units Con-Carriers for three years, the total amount for the three years charter for the three Con-Carriers amounting to 56,700,000.00 pesos (525T x 3 units x 12months x 3 years) is a large amount which we can workout to deduct from the 115,580,000 balance.

    By doing so, my remaining balance will then be down to just 58,880,000 pesos which our family business can easily afford even to convert to cash or allocate other remaining property assets or a combination of both. These we will do without competitions and maximizing our present property assets.

    With regards to M/V Lady Mary Joy 2, I would like to ask permission to independently check for myself to see why until now it has not finished dry-docking. I think no valid reason whatsoever can the persons who were put in charge of it can give valid reason for it to be dry-docking for nine (9) months already and doing it during the 3 most crucial peak-season months of the year (October semester break, December Christmas, and whole of Summer).

    There was a buyer from abroad I brought to Zamboanga last September (or October) last year who inspected but wants to inspect again once she goes up the shipyard slipway to inspect her bottom hull. So I think they are serious buyer. There are other few who have make inquiries but providing basic requirements of photocopies of documents like CI, Ownership, Philippine Registry to would be buyers is difficult because said documents are not accessible to me anymore.

    But of course, if anyone of our family is against the selling of LMJ2, it’s also ok with me. Mine was just a suggestion. Just please do not allocate her to me and let me sell it by myself. We should sell it (assuming you want it to be sold) together because LMJ2 size is not easy for anyone to sell.

    My separation with our family business which was necessary (my opinion), can be made with less emotional and financial loss. The key point is for us to work together in trying to maximize the property assets our family business already have. Allocating one property asset for the other to force to sell at a loss value can be prevented if we can shrewdly decide the distribution of our property assets to where it can be better utilized.

    Quarreling forever with you, Mamang, or the rest of our family is something I don’t intend to do. Our present indifferences now may have cause me to depart from our family business company but I believe if we can part ways nicely for the time being, things will in the future fall to their proper places, and maybe in no time we can be one whole happy family again.

    Thank you.

Sincerely your son,


Alex