John Gokongwei Jr. Passes Away at 93

He founded Universal Robina Corporation (URC), introduced Blend 45, and Jack N' Jill products.

IMAGE Esquire Philippines

Entrepreneur and industrialist, businessman and philanthropist John L. Gokongwei Jr. has passed away. He was 93 years old.

In a text message sent to Yummy.ph, his son Lance Gokongwei said, "Our beloved husband, father and grandfather John Gokongwei, Jr. passed away peacefully 11:41 pm, November 9th, at the Manila Doctor's Hospital surrounded by his loved ones. Please pray for the repose of his soul. Details of his wake to follow. Rest In Peace, Mr. John."

Gokongwei Jr. devoted much of his career to making the lives of Filipinos better, introducing food items you now snack on and buy for your cooking needs. 

Gokongwei Jr. founded JG Summit Holdings Inc., one of the country's biggest and most highly diversified business conglomerates in the country today.

At the age of 13, Gokongwei Jr. started selling garlic-cooked peanuts to his schoolmates. From that starting point, the self-made industrialist went on to build a diversified, multi-billion-peso business empire consisting of companies that are major players in their respective industries. He built JG Summit and Robinsons Retail Holdings to become one of the biggest companies with businesses in air transportation, telecommunications, banking, food, power, property and hospitality, retail, media, and petrochemicals.

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In 1956, he founded Universal Robina Corporation (URC), which first started as a corn starch manufacturer. Later, he introduced the coffee brand Blend 45, the first locally manufactured instant coffee blend. He introduced poultry and later hog products and animal feeds from his own Robina Farms, even as URC dominated the savory snack market with its pioneering Jack N' Jill brand products which have been loved by generations of Filipinos.

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