Mother Lily of the Legal Profession

(right) Lilia B Yang at 18 years old shot from Sycip panel during SSHG’s 65th Anniversary combined with a more recent pic. Collage by Jude Bautista

(right) Lilia B Yang at 18 years old shot from Sycip panel during SSHG’s 65th Anniversary combined with a more recent pic. Collage by Jude Bautista

Click on link for full screen pics:

http://judebgallery.wordpress.com/2013/05/14/mother-lily-of-the-legal-profession/

Written and photographed

By Jude Bautista

Lilia Bautista Yang, recently passed away at the age of 91. She passed away from Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, which also claimed music icon Francis Magalona last 2009. To my family she has always been more than an aunt, or the sister of my father Joe. She is the tie that binds as matriarch in not just one clan but several: Bautista, Yang, Tong and Cua. Officially she worked until a few weeks from her passing as Financial Consultant to the Sycip, Salazar, Hernandez and Gatmaitan. SSHG is the law firm that she helped build from her hiring as a young 22 year old in 1945 by founder Alexander Sycip.

(right) Maggie Yum’s birthday bash was one of the happiest I’ve seen my aunt Lily (left) at Summer Palace in EDSA Shangri La Hotel. Photo by Jude Bautista

(right) Maggie Yum’s birthday bash was one of the happiest I’ve seen my aunt Lily (left) at Summer Palace in EDSA Shangri La Hotel. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: SSHG Managing Partner Atty Raffy Morales, Atty Sonny Tan, Atty Pat Menzon, Atty Frank Chavez with wife Jean. Photo was taken during the wake at Sanctuario De San Jose Greenhills. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: SSHG Managing Partner Atty Raffy Morales, Atty Sonny Tan, Atty Pat Menzon, Atty Frank Chavez with wife Jean. Photo was taken during the wake at Sanctuario De San Jose Greenhills. Photo by Jude Bautista

Faith in the Youth

In the firm she was fondly called ‘Mother Lily’ because of her generosity and kindness to not just the legal staff but even more to the non-legal staff. While Mother Lily Monteverde is better known as film producer, Lilia Yang was considered a mother to the luminaries of the legal profession. Mother Lily recently spoke in support of one of her early discoveries in Gretchen Barreto, Sen. Bong Revilla, Ogie Alcasid and countless others.

Chilled Fresh Scallop with Mango and Watermelon at Summer Palace in EDSA Shangri La Hotel. Tita Lily was such a foodie, she was in high spirits in the birthday bash thrown by Maggie Yum last December 9, 2012 at EDSA Shang Hotel. Photo by Jude Bautista

Chilled Fresh Scallop with Mango and Watermelon at Summer Palace in EDSA Shangri La Hotel. Tita Lily was such a foodie, she was in high spirits in the birthday bash thrown by Maggie Yum last December 9, 2012 at EDSA Shang Hotel. Photo by Jude Bautista

Lilia B. Yang’s ‘discoveries’ on the other hand include former Solicitor General Frank Chavez, Sen. Franklin Drilon, current Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Ben Caguioa and even former TV5 Pres. Atty Ray Espinosa who is now Associate Director of First Pacific Company, DOTC USEC Jojo Lotilla and countless more. Lilia was a strong influence on their young careers and had life long friendships with all of them.

from left: Joe Bautista, Sen Franklin Drilon, Rosy Cua, Timothy Bautista and Mila Drilon during the wake at Sanctuario De San Jose Greenhills. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Joe Bautista, Sen Franklin Drilon, Rosy Cua, Timothy Bautista and Mila Drilon during the wake at Sanctuario De San Jose Greenhills. Photo by Jude Bautista

Senator Franklin Drilon was then a young lawyer in 1971 when he worked for Sycip. Even then he described her as “a very jolly and engaging person. We revolved around her.” He believed that she played an important role in the firm, “She was a stabilizing group in the law firm before.  In Sycip law as you know were composed of superstars and therefore extremely difficult to manage. But Lily provided the motherly influence for all of us. Every person hired by the firm would pass through her as a member of the legal staff or to hire you in the non-legal staff. So she’d know everyone. She’d make it a point to find out how each one is that’s how I remember Lily Yang.”

from left: Atty Frank Chavez, DOTC USEC Jojo Lotilla, Jean Chavez and George Bautista. Photo was taken during the wake at Sanctuario De San Jose Greenhills. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Atty Frank Chavez, DOTC USEC Jojo Lotilla, Jean Chavez and George Bautista. Photo was taken during the wake at Sanctuario De San Jose Greenhills. Photo by Jude Bautista

Atty. Frank Chavez said, “She was an inspiration to us young lawyers. She gave us guidelines on how to go about our work from day one to the time we were able to earn our spurs so to speak. She was there not only for the administrative aspect but also for the logistics. She was always there to lend a helping hand to all of us. She never turns people down. She always accommodates people as I said; the essence of Lily B Yang is kindness, sharing and solicitation for the welfare of other people. She was a woman for others.”

from left: Timothy Bautista, Lilia B Yang , Teresa,  Joy and at Summer Palace in EDSA Shangri La Hotel. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: Timothy Bautista, Lilia B Yang , Teresa, Joy and at Summer Palace in EDSA Shangri La Hotel. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left Atty Carlos Lopez with SSHG non legal staff during the wake at Sanctuario De San Jose Greenhills. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left Atty Carlos Lopez with SSHG non legal staff during the wake at Sanctuario De San Jose Greenhills. Photo by Jude Bautista

Carlos Lopez was a young lawyer in the 90s. After working for the firm for some time he had considered leaving but LBY convinced him to stay. Immediately the following year he became a partner. Lopez said, “When I first worked for Sycip I knew of no other firm. She was Banco De Yang as some of us knew her. Mrs. Yang took a special liking to the young lawyers because she saw in the youngest lawyers the promise of the firm.”

Lilia B. Yang felt fulfillment in making other people happy especially her family. Photo was taken last December 9, 2012 at the Bautista Reunion in her residence. Photo by Jude Bautista

Lilia B. Yang felt fulfillment in making other people happy especially her family. Photo was taken last December 9, 2012 at the Bautista Reunion in her residence. Photo by Jude Bautista

Honesty, Integrity and Humility

Lilia’s reputation of honesty and integrity was built upon decades of relationships with financial institutions. Her humility and amiable approach has also helped her get high profile clients. Her fluency in both Mandarin and Fookien earned the trust of clients from the Chinese community. Today SSHG has become the biggest law firm in the country boasting of 145 lawyers, far removed from those days in Alex Sycip’s garage.

from right: Lilia B Yang, Randy Salazar and Justice Feliciano at Summer Palace in EDSA Shangri La Hotel. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: Lilia B Yang, Randy Salazar and Justice Feliciano at Summer Palace in EDSA Shangri La Hotel. Photo by Jude Bautista

Former Justice Florentino Feliciano said, “Lily was present when the office was first started immediately after the Second World War. The office started by Alex Sycip first office was a garage in their house. Lily took care of everything that was not a matter of law. The office would not have been able to start without Lily. She is the concrete that held the firm together. And Lily remained there up to the time she died.”

The SSHG Choir sang for Tita Lily during the wake at Sanctuario De San Jose Greenhills. Photo by Jude Bautista

The SSHG Choir sang for Tita Lily during the wake at Sanctuario De San Jose Greenhills. Photo by Jude Bautista

Justice Feliciano’s own career in SSHG reminded him of LBY’s constancy, “I joined the office at the end of 1960 she was already there. It was she who played a very important role in keeping the office together as it grew. I did not feel uncomfortable when I left the office in 1986 to go to the Supreme Court because although Alex had passed away Lily was there. Lily was part of this very important event that held the firm together. She remained there ‘til the very end.”

Atty Llewellyn Llanillo spoke during the wake at Sanctuario De San Jose Greenhills. Photo by Jude Bautista

Atty Llewellyn Llanillo spoke during the wake at Sanctuario De San Jose Greenhills. Photo by Jude Bautista

Former managing partner Atty Llewelyn Llanillo said, “She is the symbol of stability in the firm. She is our connection to the past. The mere fact that she is there gave the impression that Sycip will forever be there because she was there from the very beginning. She is a truly significant icon in the office.” Llanillo is currently one of the senior legal consultants of the firm.

LBY with Leonie, Jackie Cua and family at Summer Palace in EDSA Shangri La Hotel. Photo by Jude Bautista

LBY with Leonie, Jackie Cua and family at Summer Palace in EDSA Shangri La Hotel. Photo by Jude Bautista

Lilia B. Yang was happiest when she was making other people happy especially her family. Photo was taken last December 9, 2012 at the Bautista Reunion in her residence. Photo by Jude Bautista

Lilia B. Yang was happiest when she was making other people happy especially her family. Photo was taken last December 9, 2012 at the Bautista Reunion in her residence. Photo by Jude Bautista

Legendary Generosity

For her devotion to the firm she married at a later age in spite of having a lot of suitors in her youth. Even though she and her loving husband Yldefonso Yang were not blessed with children, she became a second mother to many more people with whom she met. While not having biological children thousands of employees, inaanak claim her as their mother who was caring enough to consistently help. The list is long from tuition fees to hospital bills.

from right: Dr. Nick Cruz, CMSC Medical Dir. Dr Zenaida Javier Uy , Linda Bautista, Joe Bautista, Joy Bautista, Donald and Alfonso Bautista. Photo was taken during the wake at Sanctuario De San Jose Greenhills. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: Dr. Nick Cruz, CSMC Medical Dir. Dr Zenaida Javier Uy
, Linda Bautista, Joe Bautista, Joy Bautista, Donald and Alfonso Bautista. Photo was taken during the wake at Sanctuario De San Jose Greenhills. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: JY Bautista of Ernst an Young, Alfonso Bautista, Ricky Isla of PLDT Global and Vic Isla. Photo was taken during the wake at Sanctuario De San Jose Greenhills. Photo by Jude Bautista

from left: JY Bautista of Ernst an Young, Alfonso Bautista, Ricky Isla of PLDT Global and Vic Isla. Photo was taken during the wake at Sanctuario De San Jose Greenhills. Photo by Jude Bautista

Atty Llanillo recalled the time he first worked for the firm in the mid 70s, “I remember during my first years in the office I think those with me now began as associates.  There are no more founders at the office at this time. We used to line up every Friday outside her office to make vale. I was receiving 650 pesos a month. So every Friday money has run out already so we would go there and sign a small piece of paper and write payable next week or next payday. Until finally over the years our compensation increased I managed to not go and line up any more. She was always someone to rely on. When we were in trouble we’d run to her not only for money but advice.”

Non legal staff pay their respect to LBY during the wake at Sanctuario De San Jose Greenhills. Photo by Jude Bautista

Non legal staff pay their respect to LBY during the wake at Sanctuario De San Jose Greenhills. Photo by Jude Bautista

Abet Guillermo is one of hundreds who were personally interviewed and recruited by Lily. He remembered being able to start immediately the day after the interview in 1981 in the records department. She was unforgettable because she helped him get back on his feet after a fire had consumed his home and she took the lead in raising money from the office. He also credits her for helping put his three kids to school. According to him she would use her own personal funds when the bonus of the firm’s employees were delayed, “Pag nadedelay bonus namin inaadvance niya. Magkano yon diba?”

The SSHG Choir sang for Tita Lily during the wake at Sanctuario De San Jose Greenhills. Photo by Jude Bautista

The SSHG Choir sang for Tita Lily during the wake at Sanctuario De San Jose Greenhills. Photo by Jude Bautista

One of her greatest achievements according to Jonathan Pascual is her willingness to represent and speak in behalf of the non-legal staff, “She was able to create a harmonious relationship between legal and non-legal. And also she represents the non-legal staff in terms of advocacies in enlightenment, in terms of knowledge experience. I really witnessed her good leadership. She’s a leader of the highest order, one of a kind mother, one of a kind leader. It was a sudden loss but we pray that Mrs. Yang will find rest. She’s done a lot of things we will feel the difference now that she’s gone away from us.” Pascual worked in the HR department for 13 years directly under Lily’s supervision.

from right: Noel Bautista, Robin Tong, Zachy Torres, Roselle Torres, Jun jun Torres and their son Caleb. Photo was taken during the wake at Sanctuario De San Jose Greenhills. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: Noel Bautista, Robin Tong, Zachy Torres, Roselle Torres, Jun jun Torres and their son Caleb. Photo was taken during the wake at Sanctuario De San Jose Greenhills. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: LBY, Randy Salazar, Maggie Yun and Willie Tong. She was in high spirits in the birthday bash thrown by Maggie Yum last December 9, 2012 at EDSA Shang Hotel. Photo by Jude Bautista

from right: LBY, Randy Salazar, Maggie Yun and Willie Tong. She was in high spirits in the birthday bash thrown by Maggie Yum last December 9, 2012 at EDSA Shang Hotel. Photo by Jude Bautista

Real Love Teams

Mother Lily Monteverde was also known for her love teams such as William Martinez  and Maricel Soriano, Gabby Concepcion and Snooky Serna. Mother Lilia Yang also delved into match making although not for film or entertainment purposes but for true wedded bliss. Among them are Atty Butch Medalla, his wife Kriselle, Randy Salazar and Lulu Apostol. Lulu then in the late 1980s was a young and pretty accountant under LBY’s wing. Lulu had a lot of admirers. But the mentor and matchmaker saw the young but shy lawyer Randy Salazar as a perfect match thus gave her go signal.

from right: Randy Salazar, Benjie Araneta and Baby Araneta at Summer Palace in EDSA Shangri La Hotel. Photo by Jude Bautista

Randy Salazar, Benjie Araneta and Baby Araneta at Summer Palace in EDSA Shangri La Hotel. Photo by Jude Bautista

The couple is now one of the more prominent figures in the Filipino community in Hong Kong. Randy is a barrister while Lulu is Executive Director of Allied Bank. LBY’s example in helping others has rubbed off on Lulu. She spends her weekends volunteering for the Bayanihan foundation for domestic helpers and other OFWs. Initially they were assisting Filipina domestic helpers but have also expanded to domestic helpers of other nationalities, such as Indonesians, Indians and Bangladeshis.

Seated: Lulu and Randy Salazar with their children standing from left: Richard, Lorieanne and RJ.   Randy and Lulu were one of the original love teams matched by Tita Lily. The pic was taken during their Silver Wedding anniversary. Photo by Jude Bautista

Seated: Lulu and Randy Salazar with their children standing from left: Richard, Lorieanne and RJ. Randy and Lulu were one of the original love teams matched by Tita Lily. The pic was taken during their Silver Wedding anniversary. Photo by Jude Bautista

foreground from left: Jude Bautista, Hannah Bautista, Lilia B Yang , Kimberley Bautista, standing from left: Alfonso, JY, Joy, Tim, Hazel , Anne Marie Cenido and Donald Bautista. Photo was taken last December 26, 2012 in Hong Kong.

foreground from left: Jude Bautista, Hannah Bautista, Lilia B Yang , Kimberley Bautista, standing from left: Alfonso, JY, Joy, Tim, Hazel , Anne Marie Cenido and Donald Bautista. Photo was taken last December 26, 2012 in Hong Kong.

Devotion to God and Love for family

In all of the praise she received during her lifetime, she always credited her faith in God. She tried to instill in us her family, a deeper connection and relationship with the Lord. Every time she would bring our whole family abroad, be it to the U.S., New Zealand or Hong Kong, her requirement is to attend mass everyday. Because of her deep faith, she took on the responsibility of caring for her siblings and even their families when they grew up.

Tita Lily’s Kumpare George Apostol spoke during the wake at Sanctuario De San Jose Greenhills. Photo by Jude Bautista

Tita Lily’s Kumpare George Apostol spoke during the wake at Sanctuario De San Jose Greenhills. Photo by Jude Bautista

The world will not be the same without you, Tita Lily. I quote my uncle George Apostol who said, “There will be no farewells there will be no goodbyes between the two of us. I can always assure you will always be in my heart forever. And I will cherish all the good memories that we’ve had. Thank you Tita Lily.”

Tita Lily’s Kumpare George Apostol spoke during the wake at Sanctuario De San Jose Greenhills. Photo by Jude Bautista

Tita Lily (center) with Bautista brothers George, Donald Tim and Jude. Photo was taken last December 26, 2012 in Hong Kong.

2 thoughts on “Mother Lily of the Legal Profession

  1. I will forever treasure the moments spent with one of the most influential people in my life. She has helped me a lot in more ways than one.

    I miss you so much Ninang Lily and for one thing sure, forever you will always be in my heart.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s