“Dad became successful in almost everything he did. He had a Midas touch.”
Today, I devote my column space to the eulogy delivered by Mark Cojuangco, the eldest child and eldest son of Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr. who died at 10 p.m. on June 16, 2020 from an apparent heart attack.
ECJ was due to be discharged Wednesday, June 17, from St. Luke’s Taguig after a three-day checkup. He had been cured of lung cancer. Barely a week before he died, on June 16, he had turned 85. He left wealth valued at least $1 billion as of last reckoning.
Danding started doing business at age 18. In 1983, at age 48, he bought control of the Philippines’ largest company, San Miguel Corp..
But it was not until his longtime friend and partner Ramon S. Ang, a mechanical engineer with a genius for visioning and execution, became president in 2002 did SMC start to climb the scale it has today—the largest, most diversified and most profitable private industrial conglomerate with more than P1 trillion a year in revenues and unrivaled leadership in eight industry sectors. Today, 60 percent of SMC’s revenues is the handiwork of RSA’s frenetic diversification and expansion program.
Here’s Mark Cojuangco’s eulogy on the day of ECJ’s inurnment June 27 at Mount Carmel Shrine in leafy suburban Quezon City:
I miss Dad. There will be a huge hole in my life that I don’t know how to fill.
My memories as a young child are filled with love. It was only Mom, Dad and I in the beginning.
I remember—the dividers in the room in Lola’s house in Balete, of bedsheets. I remember us squatting in our room in Robert’s. I remember that they had to live in Baguio for a while because of some circumstances in the family. And what kept them going was their love for each other. Dad was the center of Mom’s life and she devoted her life to Dad.
Dad loved Mom unconditionally and tried to give her everything she wanted in this life. We went through thick and thin, always together. Always hoping and praying that things would turn out for the best.
Dad was a risk-taker. (He) sinangla niya ang halos lahat ng kanyang pag-aari—in things, in ventures, to put into ventures that he believed in. Every step of the way. Not just Northern Cebu, Philippine Bank of Commerce when he bought it from Lolo Itoy which he had to give up because of pressure from the powers-that-be.
When he bought FUB from the Dad of Cory—Lolo Pedro, nagsangla na naman siya. And if things didn’t go right, he’d have lost everything in all of those steps that he took in his business life.
But masipag ang Daddy and pinag-aaralan niyang mabuti ang kanyang ginagawa. And he became successful in almost everything he did. He had a Midas touch.
Dad had a way of making anyone he dealt with feel like family. Feel so close to him, feel so comfortable with him. And that’s what I will miss most about my father. I think in our family, Dad loves us, loved us, from the beginning up to the end. Even when things didn’t seem to go right.
Deep inside his heart he never forgot us, he always loved us. And he had to do things he had to do because of his sense of responsibility to others. And I understand him for that, although I don’t agree with everything he did. I want him to know, and I think he knows, because he knows—he’s up there now watching over us.
I want him to know that I did everything that I could to make him happy, to try to help him, to love him. I will miss him so much. As I know—a lot of—almost all of you feel the same way.
He’s irreplaceable, there’s nobody like him on this earth. Dad and Mom are the best gifts that God gave to our family—the both of them.