Javier is the second son of Bea Lopez and Eric PunoAfter his brother Rocco whom we featured last month, Javier also talks about how the Lopez Values are being taught to and lived by him and his siblings, from his point of view. He is a grandson of Lopez Group chairman emeritus Oscar M. Lopez or OML and one of the sons of Bea Lopez and lawyer Eric Puno. Javier continues to live and learn and is grateful for the closeness he has with the Lopez and Puno families.
Kindly state your full name and why Javier is your nickname. How many are you in the family?
My full name is Roman Oscar Javier L. Puno. Javier was the nickname given to me as it was the only one my parents had the creative freedom to select themselves. Roman and Oscar are tributes to my grandfathers on the Puno and Lopez sides, respectively.
In the family, we are two boys and two girls. My brother and I are two years apart in age and my sisters are two years apart in age as well. We siblings feel very fortunate with that outcome. Growing up and till this day, my brother has been my best friend.
What is your educational background? Why did you take up the course that you did? Any hobbies?
Similar to my brother, I majored in economics and minored in business studies in New York University.
I actually commenced my studies majoring in political science, but decided to shift in my first year. I shifted mostly because I felt that I had an inclination for numbers, and that this would be left unexplored in a political science course. Further, majoring in economics would prepare me for any career that I would end up pursuing. To me, majoring in economics gave me the tools and discipline that can be applied to any industry or field through its focus on critical thinking.
Though I have less time to enjoy it these days, basketball remains one of my most treasured hobbies. I’ve played basketball all my life, and to me it really is more than just a sport. I played varsity basketball all throughout my grade school and high school life, and those years really gave me such a good sense of what can be achieved through teamwork and dedication. I was never the most talented player, but through the skills I picked up through the years, I eventually was made captain during my senior year in high school. This was a true honor and a testament to the principle that in life, anything can be achieved with the right dedication.
In addition, I spend my free time going out of town to scuba dive. It’s something I recently picked up with the rest of my family, and something I intend to continue moving forward! It’s such a relaxing and beautiful world underwater and it has bolstered my desire to protect our environment.
Kindly describe your family upbringing and how the Lopez Values of integrity, pioneering entrepreneurial spirit, business excellence, etc. were taught to you.
My family upbringing is something that I always fondly look back on. Growing up in our household, my parents focused heavily on us being wellrounded individuals. This meant that we spent time finding out what it was that was important to us while keeping learning and studies at the forefront.
During the early years, I spent time on all kinds of extracurricular activities such as basketball, soccer, tennis, swimming and baseball. To me this was also an avenue to ensure that we would be comfortable in social situations. Meeting and spending time with so many people growing up helped us develop our social skills as well.
Given these, I truly believe that my parents ingrained in us the value of hard work and humility. It might sound clichéd, but to me this value flows through and is a necessity for all other Lopez Values.
How was it growing up in such a close-knit large family on both sides? Who influenced you the most and why?
I loved growing up in such a large family on both sides. This gave me a group of best friends growing up, and it taught me how to get along with others.
When we were young, we lived in a village with a bunch of my Lopez cousins. This was an amazing childhood experience for all of us. We’d spend our days playing patintero, hide and seek, just enjoying each other’s company. My parents have influenced me the most, and they still do to this day. They’ve taught me all that I know and the values they’ve taught us children are invaluable.
Have you ever worked in a Lopez company? What did you learn from your experiences there?
I haven’t worked in a Lopez company to date.
What is your present job and how did you get into it?
I currently work for Equis Energy, a private equity fund that invests in renewable energy. I got into it because I wanted to hone my skills in finance and also because of my interest in the energy industry. I’ve been working here for one year now and it’s been an unbelievable learning experience so far. The working hours have been difficult, but I know that the hard work is all necessary.
What is your advice to your younger relatives regarding the Lopez Values and the responsibilities that go with upholding them?
My advice to my younger relatives and siblings is to always look to grow as holistic individuals. All aspects of your life should be developed and fostered (Story/Photos by: Dulce Festin-Baybay)
Javier loved growing up in a large family