Discover the captivating journey of Jonathan Reynolds, a man whose life extends far beyond the confines of his managerial role.
Sometimes, people tend to define others solely by their professions, like the way we know Jonathan Reynolds primarily as the General Manager of EDSA Shangri-La, Manila.
But there’s more to him beyond the glamorous hospitality world.
Recently, Lifestyle Asia had a laid-back chat with Reynolds, digging into his life outside the hotel.
“I do quite a lot,” he chuckled, “generally involves travel, and when travel’s involved, there are generally some activities that happen as well. So, I’m not so good at just sitting still. I like to be active and I like to do things. That’s how I relax – I travel very, very often.”
Hailing from Britain, Reynolds found himself unable to contain his excitement as he raved about the breathtaking destinations he’s had the privilege to explore in the Philippines.
He’s rambled through Bohol, Anilao, El Nido, and the lively beaches of Boracay, each experience etching an indelible memory.
El Nido, in particular, stole his heart.
“That was very special because there was no pollution. It was super quiet. There was amazing wildlife, the water as you would imagine, crystal clear. So it was very nice.”
Despite his demanding role, he’s managed to keep his adventurous spirit alive.
His Philippine travel wishlist is a lengthy scroll featuring Dumaguete, Siargao, and enchanting Siquijor.
Now, let’s talk about his philanthropic side.
Working with Shangri-La, Reynolds has had the chance to make a real impact through various charity projects.
He shared, “I’m incredibly fortunate in the sense that the company I work with, Shangri-La, sees this as a top priority in their endeavors. In each place I’ve been stationed, there’s been an open door to connect with charitable causes or community projects. The memory that shines the brightest is from my time in Malaysia. During those couple of years, we had a remarkable outreach program partnered with a local school.”
Reynolds saw how special the project was because it included everything. Right from the beginning, the company planned for a long time, not just a little while. It didn’t last for only six months; it went on for years.
He started by helping with the basics. They fixed classrooms and sports fields. Then they gave scholarships and books. They also worked with students.
Parents who were unsure became excited. Even the government noticed and said it was excellent. This change was a big one, and he felt really good about the part he played.
Now, he’s been at EDSA Shangri-La for only a year. He’s happy about joining the Kythe Foundation. They help families and kids having a tough time.
This initiative involves the hotel’s adoption of seven newly diagnosed cancer patients and another seven children in the maintenance phase of their treatment.
The hotel will offer monthly financial assistance that comprehensively covers their medical journey.
This support encompasses various aspects such as laboratory fees, transportation to medical appointments, medications, medical procedures, and all associated expenses necessary for attending to the medical needs of these young warriors against cancer.
Through this program, Edsa Shangri-La, Manila not only showcases its commitment to philanthropy but also exemplifies its dedication to making a meaningful impact on the lives of these young patients.
Last year, they did some great things together. And they’re planning to do even more.
Looking back at all this, he’s amazed by what a group can do together.
The hard work of everyone and what the company thought of made big differences. This journey made him feel smaller but in a good way.
He wants to keep doing good, helping those who need it, and leaving behind something important.
Now, he’s really excited about what he and Shangri-La will do next with the Kythe Foundation.
Beyond the hotel realm, Reynolds has a culinary streak.
“Cooking is my hidden talent,” he admitted with a grin.
He loves inviting friends over, treating them to his creations while cherishing the camaraderie.
And here’s a surprise: Reynolds has been mastering French for two years now. A man of many talents, indeed!
Signing off on a reflective note, Reynolds shared about his purpose, “I enjoy reading obituaries, finding it to be a truly grounding experience. It’s humbling because it shows how people can create big changes, not just in their lives but in the lives of others, leaving behind a legacy.”
He also added, “As I mentioned before, I feel lucky to do what I love and live the life I have, which is always changing based on where I am. This gives me a broader view of life.”
He mentioned that this outlook keeps him motivated, “There’s another purpose in my mind too. I want to do well in what I do, be a good person. Trying to be good and helping others along the way is important. Being respectful of their culture and values matters too.”
“So, there’s a purpose in this. The point I made earlier stands – without those chances, I might not be where I am now. So, while I have the opportunity, I’ll make the most of it and hopefully, as time goes on, I can leave things in good shape.”
In the end, Jonathan Reynolds shines as a testament to the power of embracing life’s diverse dimensions.
Beyond the titles and roles, he reminds us that true richness lies in the connections we forge, the impact we leave, and the legacy we build.
His story is a heartwarming reminder that life’s beauty is found not only in what we do, but in the depth of kindness, purpose, and empathy we infuse into every step of our journey.
Banner photo by Kieran Punay of KLIQ, Inc.