Cornelia Lim Co

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Cornelia Lim Co viuda de Sy is considered one of the most prominent Chinese Filipino entreprenuers during the American era. She was born on April 27, 1914 in Bulacan. Her mother was Doña Maria Lim and her father was Go Soc. She grew up under the supervision and tutelange of her grandmother.


Go Soc and Sons was started in 1927 by her father. It was a business dedicated to the construction and hardware business. Its first office was on the Carriedo side of Avenida Rizal, then considered the prime retail location, rented from the Kalaw family.

Go Soc Hardware, as it was known colloquially, prospered with its steady and increasing number of clients, from American, Japanese and Filipino contractors. Its specialty was hardware of all kinds for residential building.

After the destruction of Manila in World War II, its business steadily grew and the company was able to commission the National Artist Pablo Antonio, Sr. to design its landmark building on 834 Avenida Rizal called the May Building. Its chief contractor was A.M. Oreta. Andres Soriano I was one of their favored clients and Go Soc supplied many of the houses to be built in what is now known as Forbes Park. Mr Soriano would regularly visit from his nearby office in Dasmariñas Street.

Cornelia Lim Co expanded in 1948 into lines of artists paint imported from Pelican and her most famous client was one of the greatest Filipino painters Fernando Amorsolo. A steady and hardworking entrepreneur she built the enterprise into the landmark hardware store well into the 1970s.


Cornelia Lim Co had eight children: Regina Coseteng, Lourdes Sy, Josefina Sy Gomez, Marie Bernadette Sy, Michael John Sy, Rochardo Sy, Renato Sy, and Victor Sy. Romana died as a young child.

She still reported to work one day before her death on February 10, 1982.



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