ANDREW L. GOTIANUN, SR.: A Tribute to a Life Well LivedDate: March 30, 2016
March 10, 2016 was a sad day for Filinvest. Everyone mourned the passing of the company’s beloved founder and chairman emeritus, Andrew L. Gotianun, Sr. at the age of 88.
Born in Amoy, China on November 24, 1927, Andrew was a child of Chinese immigrants who established a thriving trading business in Cebu. Their family business suffered huge losses from World War II so Andrew started working at the tender age of 18, showing business acumen and resourcefulness even then. Two years later, he had to drop out of college to support his family, following his father’s untimely demise.
While in Manila, he met Mercedes, who was to become his wife and formidable partner in life and business.
Together, they planted the seeds of Filinvest in 1955 by opening a second-hand car financing business. Working out of the ground floor of their home in Quiapo, the budding entrepreneurs made simple dreams of Filipinos come true.
From such humble beginnings emerged the Filinvest Development Corporation that people recognize today as one of the country’s largest conglomerates with interests in real estate, banking, utilities, hospitality and sugar.
Andrew was the original dream builder. He has fulfilled countless Filipino dreams through the companies he established.
When asked about the secret of his success, he often summed it up as a combination of hard work, integrity and focus. He said that the strongest business lessons he learned while growing up in Cebu were the importance of working with people, working hard, and being honest. Throughout his life, Andrew remained the same humble Cebuano at heart, looking back at all the trials and challenges as character builders, saying that each one was an essential part of what he became later on in life.
He imparted valuable lessons to his children and grandchildren who are actively involved in running the business. A true visionary, his dream was to see the company continue to grow in the able hands of future generations of the Gotianun family and the thousand-strong employees of the Filinvest companies.
In his 88 years of existence, Andrew left an indelible mark as a devoted husband, loving father, doting grandfather and great-grandfather, visionary entrepreneur, generous benefactor and much more to all the people whose lives he has touched. Truly, a powerful testament to a life well lived.
Rest in peace, Mr. Gotianun. Thank you for your legacy of excellence and integrity. We will remember you with fondness and your inspiration will live on in each member of the Filinvest family.