The business world is stunned as reports confirm the passing of billionaire Roberto “Bobby” Ongpin on Sunday, February 5, 2023. The 86-year-old tycoon, known for his sharp mind and unwavering determination, died in his sleep in Balesin Island that happened last Feb 4.

Bobby’s legacy is a testament to his impressive achievements in the Philippine business scene. A Harvard-educated Certified Public Accountant, Bobby rose from his beginnings at Procter & Gamble to become a key player at Sycip Gorres Velayo & Company. He later served as Minister of Commerce and Industry, leaving his mark on the nation before dedicating himself to building empires.

Roberto Ongpin dies at 86
Photo of Roberto “Bobby” Ongpin. Credits to

As the chairman of high-end property developer Alphaland, Bobby was responsible for building the luxurious Balesin Island Club. He also served as chairman and CEO of mining firm Atok-Big Wedge Co. and was listed by Forbes as 23rd among the 50 richest in the Philippines, with a net worth of around $830 million in 2022.

Nephew Apa Ongpin described his uncle as a man who never retired, “remaining sharp and undiminished by age, all the way to his last day.” Bobby’s impact extended beyond business, as he funded thousands of scholarships to Ateneo de Manila University in honor of his late brother Jaime.

Despite coming under fire from then President Rodrigo Duterte as one of the “oligarchs” that needed to be destroyed, Bobby’s divestment from gaming technology provider PhilWeb Corp in 2016 saved countless jobs and demonstrated his selflessness.

Bobby’s loss will be deeply felt by those who knew him and by the Philippine business community at large. Rest in peace, Roberto “Bobby” Ongpin, a true visionary and empire builder.

Bobby’s impact on the business world will be remembered for generations to come. His foresight and tenacity in making deals, such as bringing the Shangri-La Group into the Philippines and the creation of Tagaytay Highlands, are just a few examples of his legendary status.

Bobby had also been expanding to the neighboring island of Patnanungan, which he had planned to formally open this year. Tragically, he passed away before he could see his vision come to life.

Those close to Bobby recall a man who was driven by his passion for commerce and a relentless pursuit of success. His unwavering commitment to excellence and generosity will not soon be forgotten.

The business world mourns the loss of Roberto “Bobby” Ongpin, a titan of Philippine commerce and industry. Rest in peace, Bobby, your legacy lives on.

Pay homage to Roberto “Bobby” Ongpin’s life and legacy. Remember this visionary and empire builder, get inspired by his unwavering commitment to excellence and passion for commerce. Share this article, spread the word about Bobby’s impact on the business world, and celebrate his life to keep his memory alive for future generations.