Marie and I are very grateful as we have our first sponsor for our trip!
Bert and I crossed paths due to him responding to one of my direct marketing letters offering personal fitness training. I became his personal trainer and him my “client” but now, I believe our relationship has become more than that.
I consider him one of my mentors and he’s also become a dear friend.
I truly admire Bert and look up to him. First off, we do have a couple things in common. We are both Dutch and he also married a Filipina and chose to start his business in South East Asia. But being fellow Dutchmen, marrying Filipinas, and settling in SEA is not what really connected us.
When we would meet for personal training we would find ourselves getting distracted and talking about our travel plans, past adventures and business aspirations instead of focusing on physical exercise. I realized then, that I could learn a lot from him, and I believe he enjoyed sharing his wealth of experience, information and encouragement.
Bert started as a physician devoting chunks of his time and medical services in the remote areas of the Philippines. He then expanded and started his successful pharmaceutical business (Euro Generics International Philippines Inc.) from the ground up with the mission to provide affordable medicine in the Philippines.
There’s a saying that we are the “average of the 5 people that we spend the most time with.”
If “hanging around” Bert helps me get half the amount of success, he has had, I’m all for it! –but here’s to hoping I can be of value to him too! 😀
On another note; what makes me respect Bert even more is that even though he is battling with a seriously debilitating form of cancer he still takes the time to train. Ok, we might not get a huge amount of exercise done, due to his condition, but I admire that he still finds the time.
That takes a certain type of serious discipline. Believe you me, a lot of folks quit exercising simply because they have a cold–he has cancer and he still finds the time–I can’t help but admire that!
Finally, Bert also has such a big heart and a “big picture” vision and continues to travel (sometimes weeks at a time) to work towards his goal of making his corner of the world a better place. You can read about his EGIP foundation focusing on protecting Gaia and rehabilitating forested areas within the tribal ancestral lands in Mindanao here.
Again, thank you so much for your support Bert, I hope to continue to learn from you. Both Marie and I hope to see you someday and somewhere, in better health, on the other side of the planet!
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