JRA memoriam header

Cover Story

Salamat kaayo, JRA!

Aboitiz Eyes Special Tribute | December 6, 2018

 

On behalf of the entire Aboitiz Group, we thank all those who have sent their messages of remembrance of our beloved chairman, Jon Ramon Aboitiz. This is a collection of some tributes and stories by those who look back fondly on special times with “Mr. Jon”. Reading through these words of love and gratitude, one understands why JRA will always be precious in people’s hearts. Perhaps, Mr. Bobby Orig put it best: JRA was a hardened Giver — generous in giving you his full attention, guidance, epic stories and jokes, encouragement, appreciation, a bear hug. As A-People, JRA was our dedicated chairman but, more so, someone who openly shared himself to all, inspiring generations of team members to be the best at what we do.

 

 


 

Juan, Sofia, and Dudes Aboitiz

 

Over the last few days, our family has received an overwhelming outpouring of love and support. In all of your messages, one thing is very clear – our dad was loved. He is loved by all of you and he is loved by many others who cannot be here today.

Dad was a hard man to dislike. We know its common at a funeral to only remember good things — to omit things that might embarrass someone. In our dad’s case, the most remarkable thing that can be said is that there is no bad. Well, except maybe for his temper…

Dad was a simple man. He was a kind man. He was a humble man. He was a good man.

He may have been quick to anger at times, but with equal ease, he would return to his good-humored self.

He loved to laugh. He loved to please. He was rarely, if ever, critical of people. He didn’t have an unkind bone in his body. We never heard him utter a lie, nor intentionally deceive.

Dad never let anyone down. He fulfilled every obligation he undertook. He often referred to abuelo Ramon’s principle of palabra de honor, explaining to us that your worth is not determined by fortune or fame, but by the stock that your word. His word was his bond, and everyone knew it.

Maya Angelou said: “People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

When I think about my dad, I always imagine him as larger than life, with his twinkly eyes, contagious and booming laugh, Kenny Rogers good looks. He was always so shiny, so bright – to be in his presence might feel overwhelming. But that was never the case with dad.

He had the beautiful ability to put anyone at ease. When you spoke to him, he listened. When he responded, he was honest and thoughtful. He always laughed with you, never at you.

Dad really loved animals. It is a true a lesson that regardless of your position on any totem pole or food chain, that you must look after those that can’t fend for themselves. He was a frustrated zoologist. And while he never had a zoo, he had an impressive menagerie of dogs, little ponies, turtles, fish, turkeys, goats, and one cow. Though he received unconditional love from the dogs, the rest never responded in kind, but he didn’t mind. I will tell you San Rem is probably the only farm where all the animals follow around a golf cart.

He lived by the principle do good and be good. It came naturally to him. It was never a suggestion, but instead an instinct. He encouraged us to glean the importance of the big picture. You are not a silo. The realities of life are harsh – helping others was a cornerstone to his person and will be ours.

He taught us never to forget where we came from. Papa’s love for Cebu and the simple upbringing he had here left an indelible mark on him and on us all. Charity begins at home, he said. This was deeply ingrained in him from a very early age. His service to Cebuanos and RAFI is a testament to that.

He worked alongside many of you over the last 49 years. Working with Aboitiz, its various partners, and RAFI was his life’s purpose.

While he slaved away day in and day out and half days on Saturday, incredibly, he never brought work home. At the office, he was known widely as JRA but in smaller circles, as the CWO – or chief worry officer.

Many have said Papa had profound impact on their lives. But know you impacted his as well. Working alongside you was one of the greatest privileges of his life. Many employees old and new have shared that they felt the company was like family. Make no mistake, this was by design.

Papa was always a reliable brother. He was forever a dutiful son. We can’t imagine the pain our Abu Paqui is feeling having lost not one son but two in the 2 years.

He loved his family more than anything in this world. Family always came first. This was the thesis of his life. There was nothing he did, no decision ever made that did not involve the family. He loved working with his cousins, his best friends. He loved learning from his nephews and Ana. He cherished our Liloan and Punta Sundays. He loved life and he loved his family. Because for dad, his family was his life.

 

Throughout his life, he was blessed with wonderful friends. From Cebu to Iloilo, to Santa Clara and beyond. He loved nothing more than to reminisce the good times…over and over and over again. We heard his stories so frequently, we can almost recount them word for word.

Every year he hosted the San Remigio Invitational, an event he looked forward to more than anything. It was a time for dad and “THE JAKES” to get together, say “shio” after every sentence, reminisce, and play golf, under the influence of lots of booze and too much pica-pica. They even awarded coconut trophies after each invitational – dad was always proud of his 3 hole-in-ones but, because they were only witnessed by people on his payroll, no one ever believed him.

Our parents’ love story wasn’t conventional. But steadfast they were. In the last few months of their time together, they were rarely apart. From the moment he rose in the morning till he fell asleep at night, he couldn’t bear to be away from our mom. He often woke from his naps, looking for her, but she was never far. Our mom was his constant, his rock – a safety net that has been by his side for 34 years and she never faltered.

As one might expect from the Santa Claus character we called dad, he loved children. And he loved us more than anything. I asked him once about the best day of his life, and pop said he remembered the birth of each of his children as the happiest moments he ever experienced.

Though he was busy with the company while we were growing up, we never felt his absence because he was the best dad. Every evening, he announced his arrival with a honk of the horn at 6 PM on the dot. Little did he know, we were already excitedly waiting by the door.

One of our fondest memories is when he would return from visits to Cotobato Light, he would come home with a huge box of freshwater crabs. Before we feasted, he threw them into our pool, called our cousins over and we spent the afternoon snorkeling with them. And mind you he didn’t even eat crab, he didn’t even like it, but he did it every time because he knew we loved it.

His love for Amalia and Catalina was boundless and pure. JRA may have been your boss at some point, but know that in our house, the two little girls were the boss of him. He loved to spoil them with cookies and candies and subsequent late nights. He delighted in their spunk and curiosity. He lived for their hugs and affection.

To his granddaughters, Amalia and Catalina, remember: be humble, be kind, be polite, and love unconditionally just like Abu. He is one of our biggest sources of inspiration, and we hope one day, he will be yours as well. In you, we are comforted knowing his legacy will live on.

Summing up our father’s life, I keep coming back to on thought. Never will you meet a man who more faithfully lived his values… that is… unless you know Tio Mikel, Tia Diana, or knew Tio Bobby.

It’s a great honor and privilege to speak about our father. He was a great man, charitable and kind. He truly was the teddy bear you knew and loved. His smile was genuine, his laugh was loud, his passion was fierce, his love profound.

I didn’t think he would be joining Tio Bobby this soon but I know we are at peace knowing he is in the finest company.

 


 

 

 

Endika Aboitiz
Vice Chairman, AEV

JON RAMON ABOITIZ MELENDES
In Celebration of the Life of JRA
December 2018

We knew very early on in life that Jon was going to lead our family and our company after the generation of our parents. He, as we all were, was influenced greatly by the principles and the examples of his grandfather Don Ramon and by Tito Eddie. It is hard to separate JRA from ACO (Aboitiz & Company) they are kind of one together with the rest of us.

We all shared the same responsibility to enhance our business, our reputation, our family, and our country, Jon more than most.  The Aboitiz family, Aboitiz & Company, and the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation were, and continue to be, a heavy responsibility. Our institutions have been here longer than the Philippine government. We will be 100 years old in 2020 officially as a corporation. Our Yrastorza roots, however, have been here for close to 200 years. Our Aboitiz & Moraza roots have been here for around 150 years. Jon cherished this as much as he worried about the entire situation, always balancing what needed to be balanced in a family of our size.

 

 

Aboitiz has always been a balance between doing well for its shareholders and enhancing the society around us. They have never been mutually exclusive to us, hence, balance.  As a corporation, as a family, and as individuals we have always felt a responsibility to share our good fortune with those less fortunate than us and those who needed it. Jon was a prime example of the balance between competition, entrepreneurship, and compassion.

Our businesses, overall, have been engines for change and growth of the Philippine economy as well as the challenge of ending poverty through modernization, education, and employment.

 

 

 

In the generation of our grandfathers, we participated in modernizing sugar milling, distributing electricity, and connecting islands for trade and transport. In the generation of our fathers, we modernized Philippine industry with industrial gases, coco chemical production, flour milling, and banking. In our generation, we triggered the modernization of transport on both the freight cum container side and the passengers side and, more importantly, participated deeply in the liberalization and modernization of the electricity industry to help make us, as an economy,  more competitive. This power industry modernization has been a total country success and Jon was very much at the head of these efforts for the past 30 or so years.

My dear cousin and elder brother, Jon, who was very much a leader, was also a worrier with the burden of responsibility. We are all in his debt. I guess he and Bobby, with the other Giones of our family and firm — Ramon and Vidal Aboitiz, Eddie, Enrique, Bill, and Ernesto Aboitiz — are having their board meetings and whiskeys somewhere watching how we do things. We would like to think they are pleased.

 

 

Txabi Aboitiz
Chief HR Officer, AEV

(From TA’s eulogy delivered during the special mass for JRA at the Taguig Corporate Center)

Jon was full of life and saw the potential in everyone and he always had an encouraging word and smile that gave you the feeling that you can do it. He loved and was very proud of you all.  

Jon was always asking about our A-People and concerned we were doing what we could to level up.

Mourn for Jon as you should. However, he was about making the most of life, he would want you to celebrate his life.

It is with profound gratitude that we say goodbye to a man that has done so much for us and he will continue to do so through his memory — we all have many, cherish them. 

 

 

 

 


 

Romy Ronquillo
Director, CitySavings

Although I knew who he was, the first time I actually got to chat and later have dinner with Jon must have been around 1967. I was, back then, the Southern Islands Distribution Manager of Esso. One day, after a golf game, I mentioned to his father Eddie that with my company plane I was going to Iloilo the following Monday. That night, I got a call from Jon’s mom, Paqui, requesting me to bring a package for Jon, who was a boarder at St. Clements. I brought it and delivered it to him. I asked him what it was and he said, “Jockeys, t-shirts, socks, and goodies”. That night, I, his ‘uncle’ asked permission to take him out to dinner with a premise to be back no later than 9 pm. There was a second time. We traveled to Japan maybe 3 or 4 times to take delivery of ships and to meet with suppliers, almost always with Joe Moraza.

 

 

Who was Jon?  Many of our team members in ACO tell me that he was the heart and soul of the company. Together with EIA, we migrated to a new culture without forgetting the important roots and values of the old — the world of Total Quality Management. He asked for my help upon my retirement to continue to keep our culture and values alive in the company.

In my 86 years, I have not met too many people like Jon — respected and loved by all who were blessed to know him.  I’ve been given a short time to write this spiel so from where I stand, to add to the many kind words describing him without sounding melodramatic, I will simply say: Jon was God’s gift to mankind. Imperfect as he was, like the rest of us, but he was the model for us to follow. I shall miss him, his stories, his laughter, his very presence. As I wrote in Facebook, legions were waiting to welcome him when the gates of heaven were opened, just as the legions he has left behind wish him Godspeed.

 

 

 

Manuel “Bobby” Orig
Director, Apo Agua

My claim to fame is having joined Aboitiz & Company in 1969 in the same year that JRA started working for the organization. And being invited on several occasions to have coffee with him and Luis Moro Jr. during his early years with the company. When I retired from Davao Light & Power Company in 2010, he came to Davao to attend the retirement ceremony held in my honor and delivered a heartfelt message that heaped praise and gratitude for my services.

I had the privilege to have worked closely with JRA in DLPC.

I will always remember JRA for his determination to see that DLPC deliver world-class customer service. To achieve this, he demanded that for all the “moments of truth” situations when we deliver service to customers, standards should be established that equal or approximate world-class levels. And that every month, our actual performance be measured against these standards. He delights in reviewing the monthly service reports with relevant team leaders and in promptly providing the support needed to produce the results expected. I would attribute DLPC’s performance is consistently hailed as the benchmark in the industry and the company’s high trust rating from the Davao city community to what JRA has instilled in the organization – deliver only the level of service that customers deserve.

 

 

I will always remember JRA for his determined efforts to anchor the leadership and management of the Aboitiz Group on professionalism and meritocracy. He knew fully well that the great differentiator to growing the business is not our product, services or technology but the quality of our people — that, in a family-led organization, you can only attract talented and competent people to join and stay if they are convinced that meritocracy and professionalism are the norms by which our organization are led and managed. Towards this end, after he retired he embarked on a personal crusade to talk to team members about the values and purposes of the organization and its abiding commitment to professionalism and meritocracy. And he talked about these themes with passion and intensity like they were religious teachings. Today, inspired by JRA’s leadership and advocacy, the values of professionalism and meritocracy have taken root and are flourishing in the Group.

 

 

I will always remember JRA for being confident yet humble, and for being highly trusted by team members. I believe this can be attributed to his character as manifested by the values that he lived by. To the comfort of team members in knowing that he always has their best interest at heart. And to his being a giving person. According to Adam Grant, author of Give and Take, a Giver is a person who gives more than he takes from society. JRA was a hardened Giver. This explains why he is so well-loved by team members.

JRA is gone but I take comfort in having enjoyed his friendship and will always be deeply grateful for the opportunity to have experienced and benefitted from his extraordinary brand of leadership.

 

 


 

 

Susan Valdez
Chief Corporate Services Officer, AEV

(Eulogy delivered during the special mass for JRA at the Taguig Corporate Center)

Like everyone, my heart is very heavy losing someone we all love. I met Jon in my third year of college. I was one of Jon’s scholars and he fondly called me “Susan Gamay”.

Jon was  “crush ng bayan” in the ’80s. I was very new then and I recall my officemates in Cebu would have a picture frame of JRA on top of their desks –   especially the pregnant women hoping that their baby would get a feature or two from his good looks.

Jon became CEO of Aboitiz Shipping at a very young age of 28, and later on became its Chairman until AEV divested in 2010.  I know in my heart he really loved the shipping business. It was a very difficult business and this is why he would always tell us then to manage the business closely.

I saw him as a disciplined leader, always coming prepared for anything. He was very proud of the fact that Aboitiz pioneered so many new innovations in the inter-island transport business such as containerization,  door to door service, fast ferry, and Superferry passage experience. Just two years ago, he sent me a memory stick containing all of the issues of ASC Foghorn (our Aboitiz Eyes today), with a note: “This brings back wonderful memories of working with all of you and how we, together with so many others, made a difference in the transport industry.

Jon truly cared and loved the employees.  When we were a smaller organization back then in Cebu, he would know everyone by first name. He is always genuinely interested in you as a person.

Jon loves to be with old friends.  We are happy to have spent some time with him during our transport reunion March of this year. He has opened up his home to some of us “old timers” to spend a few days of laughter, fun, and conversations  — these happy memories we will cherish forever.

 

Jon is quite media shy and prefers to be low key and out of the limelight.   He would always tell me not to brag about the good things we do. This was when I joined the Aboitiz Foundation.  Of course, these all changed when we moved our headquarters from Cebu to Manila 6 years ago. One of his last interviews was probably last June of this year.  He was supposed to be interviewed for only 30 minutes, but this became a 2-hour interview. Yes, that’s how accommodating Jon could be at times.

Passion, dedication, love, reputation, honor, trust, integrity, quality, fairness, and social responsibility – are values, beliefs, and behaviors that we would always experience from Jon because he truly lived it.   Jon – we will do our best to continue on your legacy.

We will always remember him as a man with a big heart. The memory of his smile warms everyone’s hearts and mine for as long as I live.

We love you – our beloved JRA.

 

 

 


 

 

Dmi Lozano
Chief Finance Officer, AEV

(Eulogy delivered during the special mass for JRA at the Taguig Corporate Center)

I first met Jon in December 2008 and one of the first events I attended was the despedida of JRA. And what I remembered the most was, you know we were a small contingent from Manila flying to Cebu, and he actually looked for me and said: “Hey Dmi, come here…” He set aside time to talk to me and this was in the middle of a party. And it was his party, it was his despedida, but he took a lot of time to sit down and get to know me and he even introduced me to his wife.

I’ve also had the pleasure of having him as my chairman for the last 10 years and in the last few years as my neighbor, sitting on the 19th floor. That means every time I passed by and he’s there, never fails, he’d always greet me “Hey, Dmi!” and always a kind word, just a chance to talk to him for a few minutes. He had a way of making you feel you’d want to be part of him.

One of the things I always talked to him about was his legacy.“Jon, how can we capture you, how can we put you on video or how do we bottle you and allow all of the new employees to learn from and see you? How do we replace this, sir, when you’ve retired?” And he told me, “Dmi, look around. These are the replacements. You are the replacement. My legacy is, hopefully, the people we’ve left behind, the people who will lead the company moving forward.”

That’s what he leaves behind with me – kind man, his laughter, he cared about us. That’s probably the most important thing. And this is for everyone to remember: he had confidence in us. He loved his people and he knew that they were there like in transport, in power, in food — AEV in general. He knew he was leaving behind the right people. People with the right values he taught for the last 40 to 50 years. If we want to honor his memory, let’s continue his legacy and pass that on to the future generations. 

 

 

 


 

 

A firsthand account of the famous photo from Aboitiz Group’s ‘Bangon Visayas’ relief operations

 

It was very fortunate that I put my digicam in my pocket before the relief goods distribution. I happened to be in the best angle to catch the scene – on the truck unloading relief goods and passing them to the line. I had to drop the relief bag I was carrying and took the shots.

In the midst of the distribution relief bags, an old woman suddenly embraced JRA and cried. JRA graciously responded and embraced the poor lady assuring her that everything will be alright.

– Egay Nicolas
CSR Manager, TVI

 

 

 


 

Joy Gerra
Curator, Don Ramon Aboitiz Ancestral House

Jon Ramon Aboitiz: A Great Boss, Mentor, and Colleague

I started closely working with JRA when we were preparing the DRA house as part of the Aboitiz family grand reunion. We were co-curators of this project. (Although he was not comfortable with this, I think. However, I insisted for without his inputs that narrative of the house would not have been as interesting.)

It was fun working with JRA. Each picture that hangs on the walls of the DRA house comes to life with stories. These were carefully vetted by JRA as representative of the family from the early 1900s. He wants the family from all over the globe to relate to the house and connect. He was very passionate about this house to showcase family values, humility, hard work, and grit.

I have learned the anecdotes of the pictures, the house, and the family because of him. One of these is why they have a heart for the poor. Being the eldest grandson to Ramon, his grandfather told him, “Never forget the poor, for we were once poor.” These words had great impact on the students listening to him during the tours of the house.

 

 

In the last year, we were working on two projects: a script for a video connecting the house to the rest of the community and archiving of pictures that the family can have access wherever part of the world they would be.

When my brother died in July this year, he was one of those to send his condolences. This is the JRA brand, he is a people person.

He is a great loss to culture and education, two of the advocacies close to his heart.

Working with him closely, I benefited from his brand of leadership and guidance. It is therefore painful to write this testimony because it is an acceptance that he is really gone and this is the final goodbye to a very passionate patriarch of the family whose vision was to keep them anchored into the DRA house and journey together.

Mr. Jon, watch over DRA house and the family. Thank you for your selflessness and putting your 101% in anything that you do.

God will be merciful to you for you have been with your work made this world a better place to live.

Requiescat in pace, Mr. Jon.

 

 

Carol Ballesteros
VP for Reputation Management, RAFI

In the 14 years that I have been given the privilege of knowing and working for Mr. Jon, I have had so many learnings and stories to tell. First of all, he was the one who hired me in 2005 when Aboitiz was looking for someone to lead the branding team. In the interview alone, I already admired him. He was very warm and laughed a lot, that the interview didn’t feel like one at all. He made me feel so at home, and I think it was because he reminded me so much of my father – they both have this sense of urgency about everything.

As a boss, JRA was the best. He was very hands-on, from videos to annual reports to his speeches, even the invitation list for our stockholders’ meetings. We kidded that he had the “eye” of Steven Spielberg when it came to the annual report – and very meticulous about details. He personally chose the photos to be used, and his favorite line was, “a picture speaks a thousand words!”

When he would go abroad, we made sure that our website was working well because that was when he would check it – and when he came back, he would give us a list to things to improve on about the website.

He was the kind of boss who was generous with praise – always giving recognition to the team for a job well done. And he defends you when he needs to. I remember during the early years of our branding journey, we had monthly meetings with groups heads, of which he presides. I would present to the group our branding initiatives, and when there were questions, he would always come to my rescue and answer for me.

 

 

He had this President’s Box during his time as President & CEO, where one could put in anything – be they reports about something in the office, complaints or whatever – a box that only he had access too. One thing I admire about him is that you can tell him anything in confidence, and know that it will truly be treated with confidence. He lived and breathed the phrase “palabra de honor” and the value of integrity.

One of my fondest memories of JRA was when I celebrated my birthday in 2009. I had a meeting in the boardroom, and as I passed by his office, he called out to me saying, “Hey, Carol! Happy birthday!” I replied back, “Thank you, sir, don’t I get a hug?” And he said “come here” and gave me a big bear hug! JRA gives the best bear hugs! He was a boss, and at the same time very fatherly and taught us about life!

He taught us the value of professionalism, not through lectures but by his own actions. He was always in the office early, even before the official time in, that I made sure I was there ahead of him just in case he would call me for a quick meeting, which he did many times. Sometimes he would even go to my office early in the morning to discuss urgent matters about branding.

He never missed an outreach program, he enjoyed it! When each team member would commit to being a big brother/sister to 2 kids, he would commit to 4! He loved being around kids, and laughed when they called him Santa Claus!

 

 

I often told my kids about him, about how I admired him, that they all knew who JRA was.

I miss him already! I shall miss his beaming smile, even his, “I needed this yesterday” deadlines – for because of this I learned how to manage my time and never leave for tomorrow what can be done today, as he has taught. He was and will always be the epitome of an authentic leader – the kind he talked about in his leadership modules: one who inspires others to excel and practices solid values, one who coaches, trains and listens, one who empowers others and encourages learning. He taught us to never stop dreaming – and dream big! How can one ever forget a leader like JRA?

JRA, thank you for the values you taught! Thank you for the time you shared! Thank you for the life you lived. And thank God for the blessing of having known you and worked for you!

 

 

Evelyn Nacario Castro
VP for Governance and Linkages, RAFI

I am honored and blessed to have known Sir Jon, however intermittent our interactions may have been.

I remember the time when I helped him prepare for a talk for the conference and graduation of the Young Minds Academy. He called me up and I was in the mountains of western Cebu where the phone signal was patchy. I had to press the phone very tightly to my ear to make sure I heard him well.

In this, and other conversations before and after, what impressed me was his meticulous attention to whatever he commits himself to; his desire to be prepared way ahead; and his drive for impact and excellence.

Beyond this drive for excellence, Sir Jon’s generous character and his being liberal with praise endeared him to many.

I recall receiving a compliment from him for the draft I prepared where I introduced the story of Don Ramon, his grandfather, as a “grandson of a shepherd”.

Now it can be told that we had a leader among us who was a “great, great grandson of a shepherd”.

Sir Jon, may your values of family, integrity, and excellence be lived out in each of us.

 

 

Riella Mae Guioguio
Chief Financial Officer & Comptroller, RAFI

JRA has always been bigger than life for me. He was the President of Aboitiz & Co. (ACO) when I joined the company back in 1998 and I have always been in awe of him ever since. The old office of ACO was just a 2-storey building and the accounting team was right outside the Executive Office so it was a privilege to see him go in and out of his office. He was the kind of leader who makes you want to go out of your way just to see him and his sincere smile. He would always notice and greet each employee he meets. We always felt his presence making us feel that we were one happy family in ACO.

Working in RAFI gave me the opportunity to see how he loved Cebu and his genuine desire to address the real issues concerning the community especially the youth. He would always generate ideas on how we can increase the employability of public school students and worry about the future of Cebu, if our programs are contributing to improved well-being of Cebuanos and preparing Cebu to be sustainable and liveable. He was truly our #1 Architect of Change. RAFI deeply feels his loss and we are struggling to be #1happyRAFI without him.

 

 


 

 

Mayor Tomas Osmeña
Cebu City

 

December 4, 2018

Today, we say goodbye to a Cebuano who has touched the lives of so many of his fellow Sugbuanons; businessman, philanthropist, and childhood friend Jon Aboitiz was laid to rest today.

I am sure the business community can spend hours enumerating Jon’s many achievements, and that the help the Aboitiz Foundation gives is known to many, but please allow me to tell you how I personally knew Jon and what he was like both as a citizen and as a man.

As I write this, there are now dozens of children with cancer who now have the hope to live because of Jon. You see, not too long ago, Jon and Margot [Vargas-Osmeña] were at a MOA signing between the Aboitiz Foundation and Kapwa Ko, Mahal Ko Foundation when he overheard her talking with her staff about the waiting list of cancer-stricken children who could not be accommodated because of the lack of funds. He asked how many children were in this list and how much was needed to treat them. There were 30 children and the sum required was considerable. On the spot, he said he would take care of everything. He said that a waiting list should not exist at all and right there and then committed the amount needed to get them into the program. He promised he would take care of it, and he delivered.

Not only did Jon deliver help through the foundation, but half of the amount was contributed through his own personal means. One of the last things he said to us was that “cancer does not wait.”

Jon was the kind of person who would laugh at all your jokes. Despite his status, Jon was low-key compared to many businessmen of his station. He almost never projected himself on anything, but as his deeds have proven time and again, he was always happy to help.

In many parts of this country, you will see families who become very successful in business yet give nothing back to their communities. Because of people like Jon, this is not who the Aboitizes are. Jon and his brother Bobby were gems to Cebu. They stayed with, worked with, and took care of their brother Cebuanos. They will be dearly missed.

Farewell, Jon. Thank you.

 

 

Consul Antonio Chiu
Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry

We condole with the family of the late Jon Aboitiz, son of a past CCCI president Ramon Aboitiz and brother of former trustee Bobby Aboitiz, on his untimely death. RAFI has lost another leader and Cebu, another son. We pray that his achievements will be remembered and his initiatives sustained by those he left behind.

 

 

 

 


 

We will surely miss you Sir Jon Ramon Aboitiz.

– Arnold Arsolon
AVP Customer Services Group
Davao Light

 

Remembering his wonderful and gentle soul will forever remain in our hearts. Boss JRA, your legacy will remain forever. Farewell!

Shakes Daganta
Paralegal
Aboitiz Construction

 

He who started it all with us — the TQM way! Sir Jon Ramon Aboitiz thank you for the memories you etched in our hearts (CLPC team). We love you, Sir.

Anna Lea Lee Natano
HR Head
Cotabato Light

 

Jon was kind, positive, humorous and inspirational. He was a great captain of the team. We will miss him.

Robert McGregor
Chief Investment Officer
Aboitiz Equity Ventures

 

JRA’s living legacy is very much alive to this day. May his life’s works continue to flourish in the years ahead. His untold story will inspire a generation more by investing in the future. Padayon. #SalamatKaayoJRA.

Adonis Manzan
Junior Typhoon Specialist
WeatherPhilippines Foundation

 

Gi-tour pa man mi nimo sa inyong balay last year, sir oy! 💔 Klaro pa kaayo sa akong huna-huna nga giingnan ko nimo nga, “Pastilan, Bisaya man sad diay ka!” when I introduced myself to you. Authentic gyud kaayo nga pagkatawo.

– Alvin Duazo (via Facebook)

 


 

 

 

 

 

Salamat kaayo, JRA.