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Gone are the days when the only expectation of young Filipino-Chinese kids is to join the family business. These days, they’re carving their own path, blazing a trail on their own, leaving even their parents astonished and proud. Below, we speak to five of them.

1. Patty Ang, Designer

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Patty Ang did two things right:

1. Her parents advised her take a business degree in college, so she did;
2. She didn’t let go of her dream to become a fashion designer.

“I wanted to take up fashion for college, but my parents did not approve. They made me take a business degree,” Patty says. So the moment she got her business degree, she submitted her application for Fashion Design. “It was the best decision I made,” says the 24-year-old fashion designer.

“When you’re really passionate about something, you have a vision for it. And your vision will for sure overcome all the obstacles and bumps that you’ll go through.”

Equipped with a business degree and drive towards her passion, Patty has another weapon in her disposal: her parents’ wisdom in business. “[With my parents] having the business side, what’s good is that they’re just there if I’ll need any help on that aspect.”

Today, post-dream chasing, she is living the dream, Patty is of the youngest in-demand fashion designers in the country, where even the biggest stars have fallen in love with her classic, minimal aesthetic with “… clean, clean lines,” she emphasizes. “I don’t think that will ever change.”

2. Maxine Marcelino, Restaurateur/ Blogger

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It all started when Maxine, still in college, put up New York Minute, a panini stall in Mercato’s UP Technohub location. It did so well that she quickly expanded to Mercato at BGC and then later on to Makati.

When she finally graduated from Ateneo de Manila University in 2015, she decided to skip employment and instead, expand her parent’s catering business and make their dreams come true by putting up a restaurant.

She opened The Rabbit Hole, a restaurant where “the catering’s best sellers as well as new dishes that are not available in the current menu” could be found.

Not just a COO—that’s Child of Owner for you—Maxine became something of a “frontliner” for the restaurant. “I’m in the café every day, making sure that everything is running smoothly. My mom and dad [only] just a few times a week.”

While her parents handle menu development (mom) and staff and utilities (dad), 22-year-old Maxine, who is also a blogger, takes care the marketing and PR of the restaurant—aspects that a lot of Chinese family businesses often struggle with, and aspects that Maxine knows will bring the business to a whole new level.

“My dad sometimes doesn’t understand the need for consistent branding and investing in ways to promote the restaurant,” Maxine says.

“It’s easy for me to invite fellow bloggers and of course to encourage them to share on social media,” she continues. “Also, my first requirement to our designers was for the café to be ‘instagrammable.’”

But it’s not just about moving ahead. She often looks to her parents to learn about how to run a business. “The best business tip I’ve learned from my parents is that you have to be very hands-on when it comes to the business. You can’t just put up a cafe and expect it to grow by itself. It takes a lot of investment not only in terms of money, but also time and heart.”

3. Janeena Chan, Host/Model/Blogger

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Twenty-two year-old Janeena is currently one of the hosts of UPFRONT at the UAAP, a pre-game feature show on ABS-CBN Sports and Action that provides fans and university supporters insider features on their favorite teams and athletes. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg: If you ask Janeena for a full resume, expect a lot of pages coming your way as she started working when she was just 11 years old.

In pre-school she’d join on and off campus singing competitions. “I’d join [in] English, Filipino and Mandarin singing competitions, until it lead me to joining Disney’s search for the Next Disney Singing Princess as Ariel. From that, someone tapped me to try out modeling for Barbie. I was in grade one and that was my first modeling project. Little did I know that it would lead me to what I call my career today.”

A complete 180-degree turn from what are her parents do: Her father had a hog-raising farm while her mother was an executive in the corporate world. It’s also a complete 180-degree turn from what’s expected of most Chinoys.

“Although they always remind us that whatever we wish to pursue, we must consider its sustainability; we must work with full commitment, focus, and always value quality,” Janeena says.

An enterprising person, she added a blog to her online portfolio, where she now voices out her thoughts.

“With the access and content I am granted [because I am in media], it would be a waste not to share what I could through writing. I simply added a tab in my website for the blog one day, and I’ve been updating it ever since… writing not only about style inspirations, but also travel, food, finds, and even feelings.”

4. Ryan Yu, Business Analyst at McKinsey & Co.

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Ryan is a young man with a big vision. At only 24 years old, he is already set on the path towards the development of our nation. “Since I was young, my aspiration has always been to help make my country a better place,” Ryan tells MB Life. “From my experience in both the public and private sectors, I have realized that this can be achieved in many ways. Whichever field I end up with in the future, I know that I’ll be working towards that dream.”

Ryan holds a degree in BS Management Engineering in Ateneo de Manila University, which he describes as “the perfect mix of mathematics and business strategy,” the two fields he is very passionate about. “The course made me realize that business can and should be used as a driving force for positive change, and this mindset has helped shape how I see my profession.”

Straight off college, he worked in the Department of Finance where he witnessed how decisions made by civil servants bear a lot of weight on the future of the nation. “I felt a clear call to serve them in a tangible way. My course helped me realize that business concepts can be used to serve virtually any organization, including the government.”

Today, he works in McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm deeply committed to helping institutions in the private, public and social sectors achieve lasting success. “One significant piece of work that we did was with the government and the International Red Cross in the wake of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), where we contributed our management expertise to improve the impact of recovery measures and strengthen the country.”

5. Glenn Llamas, COO of Wilbros Live

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Glenn started young and in small ways. When he was in high school, he would volunteer to be a part of the organizing committee of his school’s variety shows. Today, we can thank Glenn for bringing into the Manila the likes of Mariah Carey, John Legend, Michael Bublé, Demi Lovato, to just name some.

Glenn’s family is in the pharmaceutical industry where the other Llamas brothers have assumed positions. But right after college, Glen decided to work with his elder brother, Winston, who set up Wilbros Live.

The shift from the pharmaceutical industry into entertainment was a huge risk that might just be the best decision ever made by this duo. “This industry is simple yet very complex. I actually thought it was easy at the beginning, but then I learned that you have to be ready to take huge risks, enjoy working long hours and be used to working in different time zones.”

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