MANILA, Philippines [UPDATED] – The Aboitiz family matriarch has passed away.
Ma. Lourdes Mendieta Aboitiz died of cancer on late Wednesday, May 23, according to nephew Jon Ramon Aboitiz at the sidelines of their listed holding firm’s stockholders meeting on May 24.
She was over 80. Jon Ramon described her as an “excellent mother and strong woman.”
She was married to Enrique Aboitiz, the patriarch of the family that has interests in banking, food, logistics and power generation.
She was a mother of 7 — Endika, Erramon, Txabi, Andoni, Sabin, Iker, and Eukene.
Erramon, the president of listed holding firm Aboitiz Equitiy Ventures, was absent at the annual meeting with stockholders and the press briefing after due to her death.
She had lived her entire married life in Cebu, where the businesses of the close-knit family are headquartered.
Unlike other big business groups in the Philippines focused on markets in mainland Luzon, the Aboitizes do business mostly in Visayas and Mindanao regions.
About 6 generations of the Aboitizes have been in business since their ancestry, which could be traced back to the Basque Country in northern Spain, immigrated to Southeast Asia. The Aboitizes stand alongside the Zobel de Ayalas, who run Ayala Corp., the country’s biggest conglomerate, who also have Spanish lineage in Philippine business.
Enrique, chair of privately held holding firm Aboitiz & Co., and nephew Jon Ramon, the chair of the listed Aboitiz Equity Ventures, have perennially been on Forbes magazine’s list of the 40 richest Filipinos.
Family members hold key positions in various business entities, but the women don’t.
Three family members said she was never involved in the business, but she was noted for her role in several charities, including St. Joseph Foundation, Inc. in Cebu.
The family has plans for a small private funeral tomorrow in Cebu. – Rappler.com, with reports from Katherine Visconti