PRA honors 12 icons of PHL retailing

In Photo: Photo shows Araneta Group Management Consultant Rowell Recinto (from left) receiving the award for Jorge Araneta; Ayala Malls General Manager Mariana Zobel de Ayala-Aboitiz for Fernando Zobel de Ayala; Philippine Franchise Association Chairman emeritus and BLIMS Lifestyle Group Chairman Samie Lim; SM Investments Corp. Vice Chairman Tessie Sy-Coson; National Bookstore Inc. Founder Socorro Ramos; Wilcon Depot Inc. Founder and Chairman William Belo; SM Investments Corp. Chairman Jose Sio for Henry Sy; Robinsons Retail Holdings Inc. President, COO and Executive Director Robina Gokongwei-Pe for John Gokongwei Jr.; Mercury Drug President and General Manager Vivian Que-Azcona for Mariano Que; Puregold Founder and Chairman Lucio Co; Megaworld Vice President Christine San Joaquin for Andrew Tan; and Rustan’s Administraton Manager Paolo Tantoco for Amb. Bienvenido Tantoco Sr.

The Philippine Retailers Association (PRA), the recognized national association of top retailers and suppliers in the country, honored the “12 Icons of Philippine Retailing” at the launch of the coffee- table book titled Legends, Lives and Legacies on February 27 at Makati Shangri-La Hotel in Makati City.

The 12 Icons—who are all on the elite list of the prestigious PRA President’s Awards recipients—were recognized for their indelible mark and contribution to the growth of the Philippine retail industry.

The elite list of personalities, who were recognized as pillars of Philippine retailing, are Henry Sy of SM Investments Corp. (Father of Philippine Retailing), Fernando Zobel de Ayala of Ayala Group (Pillar of Philippine Retail Development), Jorge Araneta of Araneta Group (Pioneer of Philippine Retail Entertainment), Samie Lim of Blims Lifestyle Group, Philippine Franchise Association (Pioneering Pillar of Franchising), Socorro Ramos of National Bookstore (Matriarch of Philippine Retailing), John Gokongwei Jr. of Robinsons (Champion of Retail Entrepreneurship), Amb. Bienvenido Tantoco Sr. of Rustan’s and Shopwise (Father of Luxury Retailing), Mariano Que of Mercury Drug (Father of Health and Wellness Retailing), Teresita Sy-Coson of SM and BDO (Philippine Retailing’s Woman Visionary Leader), Dr. Andrew Tan of Megaworld (Pillar of Mixed-Use Developments), Lucio Co of Puregold (Patron of Micro-retail Entrepreneurship), and Engr. William Belo of Wilcon Depot (Patriarch of Home Building Retail).

“These icons’  invaluable contribution to the Philippine retail industry truly deserves PRA’s highest recognition,” PRA President Paul A. Santos, also the president of Picture City, emphasized.


The PRA coffee-table book launch is a project of PRA Vice Chairman and PRA President’s Award Proponent Mars C. Chua and Vice Chairman Jorge T. Mendiola of SM Retail.

“It is our honor and pleasure to present this commemorative book that is our tribute to the pillars of Philippine Retailing. This publication is the retail industry’s way to recognize your success stories and celebrate your relentless dedication and invaluable contributions to the retail industry,” Mendiola said at the launch.

“Through your businesses, you were able to change peoples’ lives for the better, as well as drive the nation’s economic growth. For every new store or branch built, you created new jobs and better opportunities for the people. There is a vast ripple effect to every success and milestone that each one of our retail pioneers achieved, and for that, we celebrate our gratitude to you through this memorable book,” Chua told the 12 pillars of Philippine retailing.

Chua stressed: “Your lives and your stories embodied in this book truly serve as an inspiration to many Filipinos that anything can be achieved through hard work, perseverance and dedication.”

“As the Philippine retail industry continues to grow and expand, the PRA salutes and praises  our 12 retail icons for building the path to success—not only for the industry,  but for the nation as a whole. And as the PRA marks its 41st year, it is with great pride that the association presents to you—Legends, Lives, and Legacies of Philippine Retailing.  We hope that this humble effort will be a worthy remembrance of the great men and women of Philippine retailing who forged the way; overcame challenges and now stand as beacons of inspiration for the future of retailing in the Philippines,” Mendiola added.


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