Concepcion twins: ‘One must have a relationship with God’
In separate interviews, Inquirer Lifestyle finds out the formula for living of the 80-year-old twins. Joecon has eight children and 28 grandchildren; Raul has five children and 17 grandchildren.
How does it feel to be 80?
Joecon: (The age) does not create an impact (on me). I just feel that to have a meaningful life, one must have a relationship with God. He still wants me to carry out a mission, so I have a five-year and 10-year plan of what I want to do.
We want a Filipino community that looks not only at petty issues, but works for meaningful elections—to participate, record and make decisions on which our future will depend.
I want to organize people into economic councils like we did before, but now more on the barangay level—the households— so we can have a caring, sharing and loving community.
Raul: It’s nice. My mind is still sharp. I’m into advocacy work. And I want my children to also go into advocacy.
What’s your daily life formula?
Joecon: My doctors say I’m in excellent health. I wake up at 3 a.m. because I like to plan my activities—Monday is for activities relating to Namfrel, Tuesday for Asean, Wednesday for barangay, Thursday is for my health appointments, Friday is for the company, Saturday is family, Sunday is religion.
Raul: I still go to the office. It’s a sin to be idle. To be successful, you need hard work and commitment. Even if only once a week, the family must say the rosary together.
If there’s one thing you could redo, what would it be?
Joecon: Clearly the empowerment of the community, more of it.
Raul: I adopted a motto at home and in the office: Write it, don’t say it. Because of you think deliberately first, you avoid quarrel.
One more thing to do is to reach out to the poor. Just go to PGH and see how they are. Or at Makati City Jail. It takes so little to please them.
What of your achievements are special to you?
Joecon: Namfrel and Asean. The Asean is a direction toward (a system where) the developing countries are not only there to be exploited by developed countries; it’s a way toward jobs and exports.
Raul: My family, children without quarrels. In business, it’s hard work, attention to details, integrity and good credit standing. Integrity is a very important legacy.
What do you think of today’s children? How do you deal with your grandchildren?
Joecon: They’re the joy of my life.
For today’s children, school and family must create the environment, the discipline to get them on the right track.
Very important values are integrity, love of country, caring for your fellowmen. We miss our great leaders like Recto, Tañada. Today’s politicians just want to make money.
When you pass away, it’s very important—will you be upstairs or downstairs?
Raul: Even with the technology they enjoy, the children must still look for values. E-mail, text messaging are not enough. You can’t make it all material things. In the end think of the life beyond. At least be in purgatory, but not in hell.
How are you different from your twin?
Joecon: He’s more business-oriented. I’m more people-oriented.
Raul: He can get emotional.
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