The Loving Family Man
Dok Jimmy is the third of seven sons of Dr Jesus Javier Tan and Aurelia Galvez. From his father, he learned the value of sharing, humility and service. While of Chinese lineage, his parents brought them up more Filipino than Chinese thus at a young age, the seed of being Filipino was planted in the spirit and identity of the growing Dok Jimmy.
Dok Jimmy later met and married Ma. Rebecca V. Maraña, a student then at theUP College of Nursing. They have two ch ildren: Ginoo Karlo now a resident physic ian at the UP Philippine General Hospital and Riva Maria, a social entrepreneur.
Being the man for others that Dr. Jimmy is, the family had to learn early to share him with the rest of the Filipino humanity, if not the world. This means contending with a very hectic schedule and scores of people asking for a piece of Dr. Jimmy’s attention and time. In spite of this, they have remained strong and supportive, working with the padre de familia to further the cause of empowering Filipinos and improving health all over the country.
From their own words, he has imparted the following to his children by example:
“He doesn’t obsess himself with the usual toys or hobbies for the big boys—cars, gadgets, watches, among others. He would rather spend his time and money on acts of service that would be for the good of his countrymen. He would not buy something for the sake of keeping up with the trend. As long as it works for him, he would still use it. Moreover, he’s definitely not the type to purchase one watch after the other just to complete a collection that friends would eventually drool over. In fact, he’s been using the same watch since God knows when. The only time anyone would see him sporting a branded something, is because it has been given to him. For him, making a positive difference on people’s lives trumps owning all the material things the world can offer.”
“He would always encourage us to be bold and daring, even if it entails a lot of consequences. We are always inspired by his fighting spirit when it comes to advocating out-of-the-box and ahead-of-its-time ideas. He was never afraid of being criticized for what he believes in because he knew it was for the betterment of our nation. He was confident that at the end of the day, he was pushing for something not to bolster his own image but because it’s a movement definitely worth starting. Despite several crises that hit our country, not one second of his life did he lose hope for our nation’s progress. While many have packed their bags for greener pastures, he continues to envision how it’s possible for the Philippines to be at par or even better than its South East Asian rivals.
“The trailblazer that he is, we recall an instance when he told us that he was pushing for the benefits of using malunggay some thirty years ago. Many were skeptical about how a plant that’s found everywhere can have such wonderful medicinal properties. It was only in the last five years when that thought finally entered the consciousness of the public. Fast forward to present time. It’s now becoming a phenomenon.”
“Our father has always been generous, many times to a fault. No one would ever feel short changed because he really gives his all, without asking for anything in return. He would always be “on-call” for everyone, not just to his patients. He would willingly go out of his way to travel several hundred kilometres just to heed the call of a person who asked for his help. He’s a certified workaholic not because he wants to enrich himself, but because he wants to give more. If he could teleport from one place to another with a snap of a finger just to be able to reach out to more people, he would. If he won the lotto, I’m sure he would allocate most of the proceeds to people in dire need of his help. For him, the most fulfilling moment would be to see a smile on the faces of the people he extends his help to. A simple word of gratitude is more than enough to fill his heart with so much joy.”
“Whether he’s physically present or not, we’ve always felt how much he loves us. He has always been very supportive of our endeavors. No matter how hectic his schedule is, he would always send us daily affirmations for us to stay positive all the time. When there’s a special occasion, he’d make an effort to buy us a gift which makes it even more special knowing that he doesn’t go shopping. When I need to ask a favor, as long as it’s reasonable and realistic, he would never turn us down. When he wants to teach me a lesson, he calmly talks to me to bring up his concern. He would always lend an ear and give his two cents’ worth.”