Renowned as a melting pot of diverse cultures and landscapes, the Philippines is also home to a dynamic and evolving economy. Against this backdrop, the top echelon of the country’s richest individuals, with diversified portfolios spanning sectors from real estate to food and beverage, plays a crucial role in shaping the economic narrative of the Philippines. A select few individuals, including the Sy siblings, Manuel Villar, Enrique Razon Jr., Ramon Ang, and Tony Tan Caktiong, have risen to the pinnacle of wealth, exerting a profound influence on the nation’s economic landscape.
Wealthiest People in the Philippines
The Sy siblings—Teresita, Elizabeth, Henry Jr., Hans, Herbert, and Harley—inherit their wealth from their late father, Henry Sy Sr. Their substantial net worth primarily stems from holdings in the publicly traded SM Investments and SM Prime. Originating from Henry Sr.’s humble start selling shoes in 1958, SM has evolved into one of Southeast Asia’s major conglomerates. With interests spanning department stores, supermarkets, banks, hotels, real estate, and mining, the siblings, though daily operations are delegated to professionals, actively contribute to SM’s strategic direction as they serve on the group’s boards.
Manuel Villar, at the helm of property developer Vista Land & Lifescapes, is led by his son Manuel Paolo. Notably, in June 2022, the company listed VistaREIT, featuring a portfolio of 10 shopping malls and two office towers. Villar’s primary asset is his stake in Golden MV Holdings, renowned for mass housing projects and memorial parks. His diverse business portfolio includes entities like Vistamalls, AllHome, AllDay Marts, and Premiere Island Power REIT. Expanding into non-real estate ventures, Villar explores free-to-air TV and envisions a casino and theme park in southern Metro Manila. Within Philippine politics, his wife Cynthia and son Mark serve as senators, while his daughter Camille is a congresswoman representing their hometown Las Pinas in southern Metro Manila.
Enrique Razon Jr. leads as the chairman of International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI), the foremost port operator in the Philippines. With subsidiaries spanning the Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Americas, Razon expanded the business globally, rooted in his family’s legacy since 1916. Bloomberry Resorts, his hospitality firm, boasts the crown jewel Solaire Resort and Casino in the Philippines. Razon is an advocate for corporate social responsibility through the ICTSI Foundation, Inc. Additionally, he supports Philippine golf via the Philippine Golf Tour and contributes to amateur golf development through the ICTSI-The Country Club program. In 2003, Razon donated P50 million for sports development at DLSU, focusing on facilities, scholarships, and a sports solidarity fund.
Ramon Ang holds the positions of president and vice chairman at San Miguel, a historic conglomerate in the Philippines. Originally renowned as a brewer, San Miguel has diversified, becoming a key player in food, beverages, power, and infrastructure. Notably, the company has proposed a $15 billion airport and city complex along Manila Bay. In 2021, San Miguel allocated $1 billion for constructing 31 battery energy storage systems, launching a 90-megawatt facility in Bataan in early 2023. Ramon Ang’s leadership trajectory at San Miguel includes roles as vice-chairman, president (CEO), and COO, consolidating control in 2012. His continued influence is evident as he retains these key positions following organizational changes in April 2021.
Tony Tan Caktiong, the creator and chairman of Jollibee Food, oversees the rapid expansion of one of the globe’s swiftest-growing Asian restaurant chains. Jollibee has a presence in the Philippines and internationally, spanning locations from Singapore to the U.K. and the U.S. Renowned for its quick-serve and cost-effective approach, Jollibee offers a diverse menu featuring Filipino, Chinese, American, and European dishes. Additionally, in collaboration with Edgar Sia II, Caktiong holds a share in DoubleDragon Corporation, a real estate developer.