An aging mother’s simple plea

PLEASE allow me to quote the words of Lisa Valentine about mothers which says, “Behind every famous and influential person, there is a driving force, and in many cases this driving force is the unfailing love and support of their mothers.”

This may well illustrate the appeal being made by Olivia V. Yanson, the 85-year-old matriarch of the Yanson Group of Bus Companies, while asking her children to honor and respect her as their mother and co-founder of the bus conglomerate as she has only a few years to live.

Olivia, together with her late husband Ricardo Vallacar Sr. established the Yanson Group in 1968, and oversaw its growth to become a bus conglomerate which now employs some 18,000 individuals who provide transport services to around 700,000 passengers across the country daily.

A nurse by profession, Olivia helped her husband to manage the business from the ground up.

“I remember before Ceres became a successful enterprise, we could even hardly buy food to feed all our children,” she recalled.

“Am I asking too much from each one of you? Many of you have not even visited me in my house since your father died. My pillow is full of tears every morning because of all the pain you are giving me. I think I don’t deserve this after I have sacrificed my life for each one of you. My only wish in the twilight of my life is to see all you as a family and not fighting one another,” Olivia said.

The family feud started last July 7 when four of the Yanson siblings in a special board meeting unseated Leo Rey Yanson as the president of Vallacar Transit, Inc. (VTI), the largest company under the Yanson Group.

Leo Rey was subsequently replaced by his eldest brother Roy Yanson but Leo Rey with the support of his mother Olivia and sister Ginnette Y. Dumancas, refused to step down.

On Aug. 19, the stockholders of VTI, including the Yanson matriarch, elected a new set of board of directors who subsequently re-elected Leo Rey Yanson as the president of the company.

“Your father and I made sure that each one of you would live more than comfortably, but instead of counting your blessings, you turned against each other. If you continue to fight each other, there would be nothing left for the next generation. Be reminded that you are only stewards of this business for the next generation and your actions would determine their future. What more do you want?” she said.

“I pray that Emily, Celina and Ricky will see the light and listen to the call of their elder brother Roy that there is no point in all these madness and at the end of the day, no one wins because we are fighting our brother and sister.”

Olivia wants to remind her children about the hardships they have encountered as a family before the success of their business divided them, instead of bringing them together. ([email protected]/PN)


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