Malacanañg on Nov. 17, 2019 remembered Elizabeth Yu Gokongwei, who passed away yesterday at the age of 85.
Philippine Star
Palace mourns Elizabeth Yu Gokongwei, 'heart and soul' of conglomerate family
Ratziel San Juan ( - November 17, 2019 - 4:00pm

METRO MANILA, Philippines — Malacanañg on Sunday remembered Elizabeth Yu Gokongwei, who passed away yesterday at the age of 85.

Elizabeth was married for 61 years to business tycoon John Gokongwei Jr. who died exactly a week ago and was buried on Friday.

Her wake will be private.

“The Palace is saddened by the passing of Mrs. Elizabeth Gokongwei yesterday, November 16, just one week after the death of her husband, John,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Sunday statement.

“We express our deep condolences to — and relay our commiseration with — the family, particularly her children, Robina (Gokongwei-Pe), Lance (Gokongwei), Lisa (Gokongwei-Cheng), Faith (Gokongwei-Lim), Hope (Gokongwei-Tang) and Marcia (Gokongwei-Sy), friends, colleagues, employees, and loved ones, Mrs. Elizabeth left behind.” 

According to "The Dragon Network: Inside Stories of the Most Successful Chinese Family Businesses," the late matriarch "has passed humility and moral values to her children."

"Lance described his mother as a kind-hearted, warm, and very true person," the book read. 

Elizabeth hails from the Yutivo hardware clan of pre-war Manila. She was known as a leader who didn’t operate through fear but was respected because people wanted “to make her happy and not disappoint her.”

Panelo said that John's advice can be recalled to "marry a good person for a spouse as she would be an ally in happiness and not a source of misery."

“She (Elizabeth) fully supported the conviction of the businessman who dared. She was founding member of the Robinsons Department Store and headed its Merchandising Department from 1980 to 1992,” Panelo said.

Aside from helping John realize his vision and dream, Elizabeth was also a philanthropist and a member of the Board of Trustees of the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation (GBF), according to Panelo.

The Gokongwei family owns JG Summit Holdings Incorporated, a leading conglomerate in the Philippines with stakes in different industries, including consumer foods, agro-industrial and commodity food products, telecommunications, petrochemical, air transportation, and financial services.

The conglomerate’s companies include Robinsons Land Corporation, which operates a chain of shopping malls and residential projects.

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