Ten prominent businesspeople
Forbes Asia may have missed their names in its list but nevertheless, they are among the wealthiest and most successful Filipinos. These industrialists are responsible for the brands the Filipino consumers now enjoy.
Dubbed as the “juice-king” of the Philippines, Yao lost his father at an early age of 12 and had to help his mother raise his five other siblings. He struggled to finish elementary and high school, but eventually completed his engineering degree at the Mapua Institute of Technology. His Zest-O Corporation which he founded after he discovered the “doy-packs” is the leader in juice drinks, capturing 80% of the market. Aside from this, Yao also owns the Philippine Business Bank and Zest Air. Yao has been named as the Master Entrepreneur by Ernst and Young in 2005.
Carlos Chan is the elder brother of the clothing apparel Bench founder, Ben Chan. Carlos is the founder of the Liwayway Marketing Corporation, the manufacturer of the Oishi Brand. He is perhaps the most successful Filipino to do business in China. At present, Liwayway China Company has 15 factories all over China and provides employment to 6,000 Chinese. He was named “Honorary Citizen of Shanghai”. He has also been appointed as special envoy to China.
Angelo King is another self-made Chinese-Filipino billionaire, having made his fortune in the successful Anito Motel Chain. This business made him known as “Motel King”. But despite this he is also known as the Philanthropy King. No other businessman has rivalled his charity works. In an article by Wilson Flores he wrote that a complete single-spaced typewritten list of all the schools, hospitals, orphanages, buildings, scholarships and other charities donated by Angelo King totalled six bond papers. His children Wyden King now runs the Anito Motel and Archie King runs the high-end motel, Victoria’s Court.
Jacinto “Jack” Ng is the owner of the Rebisco Group of Companies and known as the Biscuit Magnate. Ng also holds significant shares in the publicly-listed company Belle Corporation. He is known as one of the close friends of former president of Joseph Estrada. He made his fortune in various businesses including food manufacturing through the Rebisco Group of Companies; banking through Asian United Bank; real estate through Earth and Style and Extraordinary. In 2009, Ng entered the hotel industry by launching the Oakwood Premier Joy~Nostalg Center Manila in Ortigas Center
Cecilio Kwok Pedro is the founder of the Lamoiyan Corporation, maker of the Happee Toothpaste. Pedro started out as a supplier of aluminium tube for Colgate-Palmolive and Philippine Refining Company but when the two decided to use plastic laminated tubes instead, Pedro was left with no other alternative but to create his own brand and thus, Happee Toothpaste was born.
Pedro has been cited as a Socially Responsible Entrepreneur by the Ernst and Young, having given opportunities for the hearing-impaired by giving them employment in his company. He is also the Chairman of the Deaf Evangelistic Alliance Foundation, Inc. (DEAF), he also grants scholarship to at least 200 hearing-impaired students through the said foundation.
Corazon Dayro Ong is the brains behind the meat-processing giant CDO Foodsphere, Inc. Ong started a small backyard meat processing business in 1975 and 30 years later it became one of the leading brands in its category. However, it was not a smooth sailing for Ong. In 1987, a fire broke out of the factory and ravaged the whole operations. It couldn’t come at a worse possible time. CDO was about to get accreditation from several fast food outlets. That was why two days later, Ong was back in the market with CDO meat products.
Ong has received accolades and recognitions. Among them are the Most Outstanding Nutritionist of the Year and Outstanding Medium-Scale Entrepreneur. In 2009, Ernst and Young named him “Woman Entrepreneur of the Year”.
Edward K. Lee is the brains behind the first online stock brokerage company, citiseconline. He is the Chairman of the Board of Citisecurities, Inc. and CWC Group of Companies. Lee previously served as a Governor of the PSE from 1994 to 1996. He went on to become a member of the board of directors of A. Soriano Corporation serving from 1996 to 1997. Lee took up Industrial Management Engineering at De La Salle University from 1970 to 1974; and completed the Basic Management Program at the Asian Institute of Management. At the end of September 30, 2010, Lee holds 85 million shares in Citiseconline equivalent to P1.07 billion.
Amable Aguiluz V founded the AMA Education System. His AMA Computer University was the first ICT University in Asia. The total AMA Computer Education System has a total student population of 200,000 in more than 200 campuses in the Philippines and other parts of the world including China, Hong Kong, and Middle East. As such Aguiluz is considered the “Father of Computer Education” in the Philippines and built the AMA Education system in to a P6-billion conglomerate. He is also the Chairman of AMA Bank and ReishiGo.
Aguiluz was former President Joseph Estrada’s political endorser in the 1998 Presidential elections. He was appointed as Presidential adviser on Information and Communication Technology and on 1999 as chairman of the Presidential Commission on Year 2000 Compliance. When former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo came into power, he was appointed Special Envoy to the Gulf Cooperation Council. He was once again reappointed by President Benigno Aquino III.
Ricardo Po is known as “Mr. Tuna”, having founded the Century Pacific Group of Companies, which is currently the largest canned food manufacturer in the country. Its line of brands including Century Tuna, Argentina Corned Beef, 555 Sardines, Blue Bay Tuna, Angel Filled Milk and Birch Tree.
Po is a Chinese immigrant who came over to the Philippines with his mother in 1947 when he was only 16. He worked as a translator, writer and journalist at a Chinese newspaper to support his studies. He eventually dropped out of school because he cannot afford the tuition fee and instead founded his own advertising agency. In 1984, he introduced the Century Tuna to the Filipino market. His Century Group has a total asset of P4.7 billion and annual revenues of P6.5 billion.
Reghis Romero is the man behind R-II Builders and Harbour Center. Romero’s R-II Builders was the first to tap the low-income market for housing development. He introduced the concept “Pabahay sa Senado” housing projects for Senate employees. It was through this scheme that it became the blueprint of Pag-IBIG for its housing programs.
His Harbour Centre was, as Romero claimed, purely incidentally. He was tasked to develop the 79-hectare site. Initially, no one wanted to invest in it and so Romero decided to develop it on his own. For the first five years, it incurred losses but today, it represents 60 percent of the bulk and break-bulk cargo market. He was cited as the Most Outstanding Kapangpangan and Most Outstanding Entrepreneur of the Philippines by the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 1997.
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