UA&P alum Leechiu’s roller coaster life

UA&P alum Leechiu’s roller coaster life

by UA&P News Desk on March 19, 2012 - 10:45 am

“David Leechiu’s roller coaster life” by Theresa Samaniego, from the Philippine Daily Inquirer


David Leechiu’s life may probably have more twists and turns than your regular roller coaster.

His childhood, by his own account, was a happy and harsh one—marked by misfortunes, little successes, lucky encounters, second chances and a turning point.

A young David Leechiu

But it was precisely these series of events—fortunate and otherwise—that allowed the 39-year-old Leechiu to soar at great heights, now being the country head (Philippines) of Jones Lang LaSalle Leechiu, the largest real estate advisory and consulting firm in the country.

In a recent interview with SundayBiz, Leechiu admits that early on his life, he already saw how reality bites—how at one minute, you may have all the best things in life, but then lose even much more with a blink of eye.

He recalls how his family had to struggle when their appliance store at Farmers Plaza in Cubao burned down and they had to find a way to pay for all the goods they were selling under consignment.

“During that time, I don’t think there was insurance for things like that. So significantly, we were very much in debt because we had goods under consignment that were burned down and we ended up having to pay for it,” he explains.

“We went from having three cars and TVs and all that to having zero. We literally have two days worth of savings. This taught me how to start from scratch,” Leechiu adds.

He then saw how his parents work as long as 18 hours every single day to go from having one or two days worth of savings to three to four months.

But even during that time, Leechiu admits that he was the least academic among siblings—he even  had to transfer schools to finish his fourth year high school.

It was only during his college years at the University of Asia and the Pacific that he had his “turning point,” which he believed had forever changed the course of his life.

“Because we didn’t have radio and TV when the business fell, we were forced to spend so much time reading. So even though I was very distracted academically, I spent a lot of time reading and that prepared me for college, during which I realized that I have to fix my life in this next four years,” Leechiu relates.

He realized then that as it is, he was already lucky enough to be able to go to a “very good school” and that he shouldn’t waste this opportunity. He realized that he “can’t keep messing up because I saw how hard my my mom and dad work for it.”

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