the demise of his father, young Fred assumed the role of
the head of the family trying daily to make both ends meet
by doing odd jobs while his mother Soledad Macam Yao supported
him and his five younger siblings by selling goods on the
Being the eldest in the brood of six, Fred
had no choice but to live with his father's best friend,
whom he used to call as “uncle”. It was during
his high school days that Fred experienced hardship to sleep
because his uncle was hosting mahjong sessions in his house
late at night and he could only go to bed when everybody
was gone. But the good thing was, he would received balato
(tips) everytime players would send him on errands.
After finishing his high school, Fred decided
to take a chemical engineering degree at the Mapua Institute
of Technology. But with poverty still on his back, he was
eventually forced to dropped out from college when he was
on his sophomore.
He then accepted menial jobs and even worked
in a bodega. Confronted by this situation, his mother decided
to apply for a loan at the country’s premiere development
bank. Fred used the loan proceeds to purchase a printing
machine for cellophane wrappers for candies and biscuits.
He was only 17 years old that time and had to grew a mustache
in order to look old enough to run a business.
From there, the rest was history. As if
spreading magic in all his business endeavors, all firms
that composed the Zest-O group of companies are reportedly
doing well. For the record, Fred owns, among others, a chain
of printing and packaging businesses, juice and softdrink
manufacturing, airline, food products, personal care products,
middle class housing and banking.
Setting aside his passion for the corporate
world, Fred realized then the need to helping bright and
financially strapped students particularly at the Northern
Rizal Yorklin School (where he finished his secondary education).
The philanthropist in him eventually extended to those who
personally approached him for financial assistance particularly
those in the pursuit of acquiring a college degree.
Together with some close friends and members
of his immediate family who share the same vision , Fred
initiated the birth of the AMY (an acronym which stands
for “Alfredo Macam Yao”) Foundation. Its main
objective was geared towards the upliftment, development
and advancement of street children, leading to the granting
of academic scholarships to deserving and underprivileged
children of the Philippine society. Likewise, it aims to
provide financial, technical and manpower expertise towards
the various projects lined up by the Foundation in the future.
With regard to its operation, the Foundation
was granted SEC license in October 2003 as a non-profit
and non-stock organization while it strengthened its partnership
with the Department of Social Welfare and Development in
November 2003. At present, AMY Foundation is also an active
member of Philippine Council for NGO Certification (PCNC),
League of Corporate Foundations (LCF) and ABSNET-CAMANAVA
Improve the quality of life of deprived
but deserving youth by producing more college graduates
and professionals hence lessening the numbers of out-of-school
- Send to college deserving children of
the underprivileged sector by providing tuition fees and/or
school stipends, with the hope that they will have an improved
living condition and be self reliant in the near future.
- Undertake projects and activities to
equip the youth with knowledge and skills needed to uplift
themselves and their families from poverty.
To have a community filled with college
graduates and professionals.