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Monday, May 12, 2014

Fil-Am billionaire calls on Filipinos to be more generous

SAN FRANCISCO, California — Silicon Valley billionaire venture capitalist and engineer Diosdado Banatao, 67, from Cagayan

Valley, was honored as one of three outstanding Asian Americans during San Francisco’s tenth anniversary celebration of Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month.


Ethnic dancers at heritage celebration
PHOTO BY RONICA ARAULLO

Banatao, who was recognized for his achievements in the fields of technology and philanthropy called on Filipinos to be more generous. “(Filipinos could be) doing better in giving back, especially in giving back to where we come from,” said Banatao, whose many philanthropic efforts include providing university scholarships to Filipinos pursuing degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

Banatao also called on Filipinos to contribute more to American society by being more generous with their resources and time. “We cannot forget the fact that we derive a lot of our means from here,” he said.

“In our own way, there has to be some means of thanking. There are many ways of giving back,” he added. “There are many ways to volunteer. Just participating (in the community) is very important.”

Banatao’s rags-to-riches story is legendary in the Filipino American community. The child of a farmer and a housekeeper, he walked on dirt roads, without shoes, to attend school in the


Outstanding Asian American Diosdado Banatao
speaking at the 10th PHOTO BY RONICA ARAULLO

small town of Mallabac in Cagayan Valley. Today, his net worth is estimated at about $5 billion.

Banatao made his fortune in Silicon Valley. He is currently managing partner of Tallwood Venture Capital that invests in start-ups and enterprises in the field of computing, communications and consumer platforms. He is a Silicon Valley pioneer who created semiconductor technology that continues to be the foundation for personal computing.

For his contributions to the U.S., Banatao has also received the prestigious Ellis Island Medal of Honor, awarded to exemplary U.S. citizens. The Philippine government has also recognized Banatao, notably by naming him the country’s first Special Envoy of Science and Technology.

Other APA Heritage Month awardees include Jonathan Leong, who founded the Asian American Donors Program, a nonprofit that is dedicated to increasing the availability of bone marrow transplants for Asian Pacific Americans. Also an honoree was Grand Master Seiichi Tanaka, who has been recognized internationally for his contributions to the preservation of Japanese art and culture, specifically the art of Taiko drumming.


Read more: http://globalnation.inquirer.net/103905/fil-am-billionaire-calls-on-filipinos-to-be-more-generous

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