Filipino executive Jose Eduardo C. Delgado’s deep passion is traveling. It is also his oxygen. He has lived to satisfy wanderlust, and the exhilaration is felt when he speaks of his various adventures.
“Traveling, for me helps develop an adventurous spirit and a strong belief in one’s abilities to survive all sorts of experiences,” says Delgado, also known as Jed to those close to him. “It makes a person a better conversationalist and more tolerant of myriad differences, such as race, creed and values.”
His father, the late Ambassador Antonio C. Delgado, an industrialist, civic leader and past World Scout Committee Chairman of the Scouting Movement from 1971 to 1973, instilled in Jed the love of travel. The senior Delgado was also appointed Philippine ambassador to the Vatican from 1975 to 1982.
Jed’s mother is Nellie Chuidian Delgado, who is very healthy at 96 years old. His surviving siblings are Jose Roberto and Lolita. In July 1963, Jose Antonio, Jed’s other sibling, died with the entire Philippine contingent to the 11th World Scout Jamboree in Marathon, Greece, when their plane crashed into the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Bombay, India.
The family often traveled the world because of Ambassador Delgado’s Vatican stint, as well as his frequent Boy Scouts events. This developed in Jed a degree of open-mindedness, curiosity and wonder.
“There is always something interesting around the corner,” Jed observes. “A big difference between a traveler and a tourist is that a traveler will know some history and engage in a lively discussion about what is being visited. He goes to a destination because it is interesting to him and will offer experiences that may be new and unique. A tourist will just accept a tour package as it is and will leave without truly understanding the people, culture, food and norms of the place visited.”
Jed’s worldwide exposure has enhanced the open spirit that is true of him today. After his grade school and second-year high school at San Beda College, which is run by Benedictine monks in Manila, Jed transferred and finished high school in 1973 at Portsmouth Abbey School, a Benedictine preparatory school in Rhode Island. He graduated with an economics degree from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
He later returned to the Philippines, where he started working for his family’s international corporation, Delgado Brothers (Delbros), which specializes in supply-chain management, express courier, chassis leasing and repair. Jed currently serves as Delbros’ president and CEO. He also became the executive vice-president for ACD Inc., which is engaged in real-estate development and investment-portfolio management of the Delgado Group of Companies, Inc.
Between being an executive and a traveler, Jed is also husband to Margarita Liboro Delgado and father to four children: Jose Paolo, Clarissa Isabelle, Camille Victoria and Jose Antonio. His hobbies and sports activities are vast, including hard enduro motorcycling, flying, technical scuba diving, archery, golf, etc. One wonders where the man finds the time for such an enriching lifestyle.
Jed’s travels have brought him to Egypt several times so much so that he considers himself an “Egyptologist.” He has visited Antarctica, hiked the mountains of Machu Picchu in Peru and climbed the Huayna Picchu for a different view. He enjoys Greece and finds a deep affinity to Italy. “I speak Italian and just love all the medieval towns. I also enjoy Spain and any Latin American country since I am fluent in Spanish,” he adds.
To call Jed adventurous is an understatement. He exhibits a very bold mentality with extreme activities, such as scuba diving without any cage during the bull and tiger shark feeding in Fiji, technical cave diving in Palawan (an island province in the Philippines), skydiving, bungee jumping and many more. And while he has journeyed to many far-flung locales for such unique experiences, the most memorable activities were those closer to home. “Riding a motorcycle around Batan, Sabtang and Itbayat, which are the islands in Batanes (the northernmost Philippine province) was spectacular!” Jed exclaims.
As an international traveler, it is very important for Jed to hold true to one’s own culture first. He explains, “I believe a Filipino should first know his country by going to as many local sites as possible. Being a mountaineer is a great start. Then, you can travel internationally and better appreciate the novelty of the experience and understand and celebrate similarities and differences of cultures.”
Jed fondly remembers a cross-country trip in the U.S. in 1963. He was eight years old, and along with his brother, Jose Antonio, who was 13 at that time, they toured all the sites in New York City on their own. “We did it all by ourselves – bus, subway and boat--definitely something not common even to this day,” he recollects. Other memorable trips include Egypt (1968, 2006, 2009 & 2011), Rome (1967++), Greece (1968, 2003 2010), Japan (1969++), Mexico (1971++), East Africa (1973 & 2000), Norway (1975 & 1995) and Venice (1975, 1980++).
Navigating the world takes a lot of planning and organization even for seasoned travelers like Jed. “I make a clear schedule of places I would like to visit, how long to stay, and check the season and weather conditions,” he says. “I search for flights and accommodation costs based on a budget and watch out for deals.”
Additionally, Jed believes one must pack wisely, especially with today’s strict luggage rules. “All my bags have wheels as I may need to hop onto trains and buses, and I generally prefer to travel only with a roller overnight bag.”
Jose Eduardo “Jed” C. Delgado’s intense love for history and culture, along with his zeal for moving beyond comfort zones are both admirable and inspiring. When he speaks about places to visit, and those he has yet to conquer, his joy and flush of satisfaction are contagious. The explorations still continue for a man who pursues and welcomes new experiences. He still wants to see places, like Mongolia and the former Soviet republics. Knowing how he functions, he will probably be there in no time.
As to the question about his ultimate dream or fantasy trip? He answers succinctly.
At the rate he’s going, we shouldn’t be surprised if he actually realizes that dream.
Video by Ivan Kevin R. Castro
Serina Aidasani divides her time between New York and Chicago. She enjoys deep conversations, mocha lattes and tries to appreciate little joys of the everyday.
More articles by Serina Aidasani