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What makes a gentleman?

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In ancient history, the title of being a gentleman was an outright birthright. A man born to wealthy respected parents with good social standing would be considered a gentleman. It was not based on the man’s personal character.

Over time, the concept of what it stood for began to change. It evolved into several facets and aspects. It is a status that one must consciously grow into and laboriously nurture. In the end, he has to have deservingly earned it.

I eventually found myself wondering what truly makes a gentleman —- a gentleman today.

A gentleman is well groomed and well-dressed. Personal hygiene is essential and he presents himself with proper decorum and a distinct sense of style.

A gentleman is well-spoken and has exceptional etiquette. He is positive and open-minded. He exudes a cheerful attitude. He is confident and chivalrous. He has the self-assurance to do even seemingly mundane jobs with grace —- nothing is too menial for him.

He opens doors, offers to carry bags or ultimately acts as the protector and many more.

A gentleman is generous and charitable. A gentleman takes the lead. He initiates actions. He is hardworking and he exerts his best efforts in tasks, but will not step on other people’s toes. He will deliver what he promises. He is a firm believer of palabra de honor.

A gentleman is discreet. Privacy is king for him. He is a safe-keeper of shared trusted secrets.

It is a concession that he is more than just these qualities. He is likewise polite and courteous, patient and humble, punctual and considerate, grateful and loyal, inspiring and passionate —- all these,

At the end of my musings, I wondered no more, for I had the opportunity to chat with the Gentlemen of Cebu, and this is what they had to say.

ACE DURANO
Among one’s moral values, honesty ranks high together with kindness. Honesty makes us confident, even fearless. And peace of mind comes with it. It keeps us motivated to be a better person while it grants us fulfillment and satisfaction. However, we must realize during times we have to be brutally frank that honesty should be tempered with kindness.

CARLO SAINZ
A gentleman knows and lives his morals without exception. His interactions are based on these beliefs which never let him down. A true gentleman is never inappropriate in his manners. He is in control of his body, his mind and his soul at all times.

ATO ALVAREZ
A gentleman respects men, women and children —- even animals and the environment. And he treats them all with genuine kindness. What good is it to be full of confidence and yet hurt other human beings and your immediate surroundings? One gains nothing from such a behavior.

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ANTONIO LOZADA
A gentleman is aware of how he presents himself and shows respect to others around him. Whether donning a t-shirt with shorts or a dapper suit, he manifests concern and care, and perhaps love to all. His admirable virtues will always shine through.

RAMON FERNANDEZ
A gentleman understands that his life is to serve others, not himself. An unselfish protector and provider, he is always willing to go the extra mile to assist others. Being a gentleman means to be polite and well-mannered all the time, no matter what the circumstances.

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