Bellevue’s Johnny Chan – Low-key, loved and lucky (2)

Bellevue Hotels and Resorts draw strength from the father and sons team of (from left) The Bellevue Resorts managing director Dustin Chan, Bellevue Hotels & Resorts chairperson and patriarch Johnny Chan, Bellevue Manila managing director Patrick Chan, and Bellevue Hotels managing director Ryan Chan. | Photograph courtesy of Alvin Kasiban

Bellevue Hotels and Resorts chairperson Johnny Chan proved to be a successful hotelier for two reasons.

He practiced the right values that he had imbibed from his father, and when his sons had grown up and had finished college, they all joined their mother company. In that sense, Johnny is very lucky for each of his sons handled a branch of the family’s umbrella company, the Bellevue Hotels and Resorts.

The eldest, Ryan, for the longest time, served as the group’s marketing and public relations head. He is the managing director of the B Hotel, a four-star accommodation that caters to budget-conscious corporate, family and individual guests.

Patrick, the second son, holds the overall responsibility for managing the various properties of the company, including the five- and four-star hotels, the resort in Bohol, and the rest of the various properties of the company.

John Dustin T. Chan is the managing director of The Bellevue Resort, Bohol.

While each son has his responsibility, they share ideas and contribute to making decisions on the mother company’s Board of Directors to which they belong.

Johnny has been very resolute about imparting the right values to his sons. “From day one, I told them that it was important for them to be more responsible. I also taught them how to value money,” he related. “They have seen for themselves that I don’t easily spend my money. I emphasized to them when they were growing up that they should be thrifty. That if they don’t know how to handle their money well, they’d be in trouble.”

Patrick affirmed, “Yes, foremost from the many things I learned from my father is how to value money.”

Dustin, on his part, shared, “From my dad, I learned how to take each problem uniquely. One should not stick to just one solution all the time. One solution might work out now, but later it may not be effective anymore. We were taught to have a different perspective for each situation.”

Ryan values most their father’s admonition “never to give up. He always reminds us of the saying, ‘When the going gets tough, the tough gets going.’”

Patrick stressed “our father’s emphasis on the importance of the family. He encourages us to be united, although he also encourages us to voice out our respective opinions so we can have better decisions.”

Father and sons, along with Johnny’s three daughters, all adhere to a family constitution “which we have been working on for the last 6 or 7 years,” Patrick shared. “It’s pretty much like a plan on how we can move forward all the way to the future generations.”

Projects in the pipeline

Through all these years, the family has always looked to expanding and exploring new directions. The pandemic slowed them down and put some of their projects on hold, but individually, they plotted their strategies for what would come next as soon as the pandemic would be over. The hotel, at the same time, adjusted to the critical condition and made available their rooms for quarantine purposes.

Johnny is hopeful and optimistic about the family’s prospects in the future. He disclosed, “we have a pipeline to look forward to. We are expanding Bellevue Bohol. We have properties in Laguna in Nuvali and another one that is very near to the Hidden Valley. There are three sites in Baguio. The family is pioneering in tourism development in Atok where they have properties. The place is higher than Baguio. And it is not crowded,” Johnny shared.

Newly opened is a strip mall, the Silang Village Square in Cavite. In Bohol, a four-hectare commercial retail open-air shopping center is taking shape and will be inaugurated this year. “Its design takes inspiration from the heritage of Bohol, so its architecture will adhere to traditional Bohol culture,” Dustin shared.

Patrick pointed out that the family had taken a tack different from other developers who first developed their commercial center and then built their hotels. “In our case, we built our hotels and resorts first and now, we are developing the residential and commercial areas around our hotels and resorts.”

Bellevue family

While aggressive yet pragmatic in its approach to development, the family’s Bellevue Hotels and Resorts corporation puts a high premium on employee relations, “because they are our partners and we have been together through the years,” Ryan shared.

“We are like one big family here. That’s why we are called the Bellevue family. Everybody is treated as members of a family. Ours is a flat organization like anyone can walk towards any of the managing directors. You can talk to Patrick without the need for an appointment.”

Equally important for the family is its commitment to social responsibility. Ryan cited as an example its Bikes for the Philippines project in Bohol. He explained, “There are lots of kids in Bohol who have to walk six kilometers to school. How can you walk six kilometers to school? So, if it’s an eight o’clock class, they leave their homes as early as four o’clock in the morning. So we organized a triathlon called Defy 123, which refers to 123 kilometers. It was also our way of promoting sports tourism. Our goal was to give 123 bikes to the school children. We had been able to give half of that number of bikes and we were looking forward to the next triathlon so we could help more schoolchildren but the pandemic came so we put it on hold.”

On the other hand, the Bellevue Family Foundation, run by missionaries had been helping people during the flood and earthquake in Bohol. It has so far assisted 200 students with their educational needs. We sponsored bible classes from which 500 students have graduated.

He added, “My father and Mr. Cecilio Pedro of Lamoyan Corporation have partnered to assist deaf and mute students. My dad gives them scholarship grants. We also hire them in our workplace.”

Humble and low-key

The Chans have proven that unity is key to the success of family corporations. With a head and founder who has ensured that his children imbibe and practice the right values, the Bellevue Hotels and Resorts Corporation is sure to prosper in the coming years.

If Johnny Chan is lucky, it is because he has successfully raised sons who are now his partners and allies in managing and developing their various enterprises. In keeping with the values they have acquired from their father they love and admire, they too are hard-working, thrifty, and humble.

“We prefer to be low-key,” said Johnny. “I am happy that none of my sons is proud and boastful.”

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