In #CelebrateCris, the late business leader and philanthropist was honored by those who loved her.
Commemorating Cris Abad Santos Albert’s legacy and life’s work, Fila Philippines and her family organized a tribute event, “#CelebrateCris,” of the untimely passing of the business leader and philanthropist.
Guests refrained from wearing black, and donned vibrant-colored clothes instead, particularly white and pink, two hues that Cris loved.
The program commenced with Carlo and Bela Albert, Cris’ children, carrying their mother’s urn and placed it on a podium surrounded by bouquets of flowers. Butterflies flew around, as if ferrying Cris to heaven.
A concert of heavenly songs serenaded Cris’ generous soul, led by her sister, the actress Ana Abad Santos with artists such as Menchu Lauchengco Yulo, Kiara Takahashi, Jay Gonzaga, Adrian Lindayag, and Gigi De Lana, among others.
In between performances, family and close friends also delivered messages of love to reminisce and celebrate her amazing life.
“Throughout her incredible life, my mother wore many hats,” Carlo says. “She is a well-known business magnate, humanitarian, and a patroness of the arts. But most important to us all, she was a loving mother, wife, and a friend who deeply believed and supported communities that surrounded her.”
“At the age of 24, she started as FILA’s marketing manager, and by the age of 32, took control of the company as owner and CEO. In her 20-year tenure as a great leader of our organization, she opened 340 store fronts, entered 280 department stores, with over a million shoe wear designs,” Carlo adds.
As Fila Philippines’ owner and chief executive officer for over 30 years, Cris Albert not only made it a go-to sportswear brand for many Filipinos, but also as a woman, she left her mark in leveling the playing field in business for women.
Beyond business, Cris Albert shared her love and warm heart to many Filipinos, extending a helping hand to those in need.
She went to Filipino business circles to bring to the fore her multiple advocacies.
“She made enormous contributions through Operation Compassion—an NGO founded by her with my father—a humanitarian initiative that focuses on rebuilding the homes of victims of natural disasters and facilitating the adoption of the abandoned and orphaned children in the Philippines,” Carlo shares.
“We are happy to announce that in the last five years, we have successfully built 5,000 transitional homes and 40 self-sustaining communities,” he added.
Cris may no longer be with us, but her legacy and the important impact of her work will continue.
Carlo carries on, planning for a bright future to bring the company and other organizations further, and to create more opportunities for the communities that need support the most.
“My mom is my favorite person ever. She has ways to make everybody feel so loved, heard, seen, and so special,” Bela, Cris’ daughter, says.
“Ever since I was a kid, my mom always reminded me that I was a gift from God, and that we were one and the same,” she recalls.
Having been newly appointed as head of one of her mother’s foundations, iFoster Foundation, Bela vows, “I make a promise to you Mom that I will find homes for orphans and abandoned children, and I will make sure that they feel loved as I always did.”
Carlo concluded his message with a promise to honor his mom’s legacy and finish the work she started, ensuring that the company she built from the ground up will continue going from strength to strength.
“We will bring in more brands, we will build more homes, and we will stay strong,” Carlo said.
Joyfully honoring Cris Albert for the love she plentifully gave, family and guests sang along to the upbeat tune of “Seasons of Love.”
A socials night and party followed the tribute event, ending it with the affirmation of life and imparting Cris Albert’s happiness and love.