A group of businessmen known for their passion for sports were among those who made the list of Forbes magazine’s top 50 richest Filipinos.
For the seventh straight year, Henry Sy of the SM Group of Companies emerged as the richest Filipino with a net worth of $12.7 billion, enough to propel him anew among the top 100 billionaires in the world.
The family of Sy is of course the chief backer of National University in the UAAP, with the Bulldogs having a brief stint in the PBA D-League last year.
There are reports that Sy, whose sons are also sportsmen, is also eyeing to join the PBA following NU’s stint in the D-League carrying the Banco De Oro name.
Just behind Sy at no. 2 is Lucio Tan, father of Boracay Rum team owner Bong Tan, who has a net worth of $6.1 billion.
At no. 3 is Enrique Razon with a worth of $5.2 billion, and whose ICTSI is known as among the major backers of Philippine golf.
Former basketball ambassador Eduardo `Danding’ Cojuangco, who is also the chief supporter of the De La Salle team, lands at no. 19 with $870 worth.
Globalport team owner Mikee Romero, obviously the most intense among the sportsmen in the list, is worth $375 million to place at no. 33.
Also a known professional polo player, Romero said uplifting sports in the country has always been one of his mandates.
“I am always a fan of sports. And this is where I get my vigor to compete, same way I use in business,” said Romero, whose business includes port ownership, air transport, and construction.
“Sports is an important mandate of my company. Hindi siguro ganito ka-dynamic ang business mindset ko kung hindi ako natuto sa sports na maging competitive,” said Romero, likewise a third dan blackbelter and long-time arnis practitioner.
At no. 39 with net asset of $255 million is Alaska Milk president and CEO Wilfred Uytengsu, an active triathlete whose behind the Ironman 70.3 competition and hands-down owner of 14-time PBA champion Alaska Aces.
Other businessmen/sportsmen who made it to Forbes’ richest list are San Miguel Corporation president and CEO Ramon S. Ang (#32, $380 million) and pawnshop magnate P.J Lhuillier (#49, $180 million).
Mining baron Manny Zamora of NickelAsia, who recently launched basketball activities in Palawan, Samar, Dinagat Island, and Surigao del Norte is at number 27 with a value of $620-million.
Conspicuously out of the top 50 this year is Metro Pacific Investments big boss Manny V. Pangilinan, who ranked 50th last year with a net value of $105 million.