As we celebrate the 121st anniversary of Philippine Independence, let’s take a look at some of the corporations and businesses which also marked more than a hundred years of existence. These enterprises reflect the Filipino resilience for they withstood the tests of time and survived countless challenges along the way.
Established in 1834, Ayala Corporation is the largest corporation in the country in terms of assets. Its business investments include retail, education, real estate, banking, telecommunications, water infrastructure, renewable energy, electronics, information technology, automotive, healthcare, and management and business process outsourcing. What started out as a distillery for Ginebra San Miguel made Makati the financial district of the Philippines after World War II. It also participated in the building of the Ayala Bridge, formerly known as Puente de Ayala, over the Pasig River.
Bank of the Philippine Islands
The first ever bank in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia, Bank of the Philippine Islands was founded in 1851. BPI, formerly known as El Banco Español Filipino de Isabel II, was credited and printed the first Philippine Peso Fuerte, the first paper currency in the Philippines. Currently, the bank has a network of over 900 branches, making it the fourth largest bank in terms of assets, the second largest bank in terms of market capitalization, and one of the most profitable banks in the Philippines.
Founded in 1903, Benguet Corporation is a diverse business enterprise. Mining is its core operation, but is also involved in other activities such as forestry, chemical testing and research, ecotourism, trucking and warehousing, heavy equipment leasing, trading and real estate.
Compañía General de Tabacos de Filipinas
It was founded by Antonio López y López in 1881. Although the company today specializes in tobacco trading, it also ran a shipping line and established factories to cultivate, trade, manufacture, and commercialize tobacco from the Philippines. It has also expanded in sugar and alcohol distribution, copra, abacá and maguey, as well as owning significant interests in electricity generation, transport and insurance.
Established in 1885, it is now known as one of the largest suppliers of art materials. Although Crayola is famous for its crayons, it also offers other products including chalk, crayons, colored pencils, markers, paints, and modeling clay. The ingredients of Crayola products are marketed as non-toxic and safe for children to use.
Founded in 1852, Destileria Limtuaco is known to be the oldest distillery in the Philippines. It produces whiskey, brandy, London dry gin, rum, vodka, cocktails, liqueur, and herbal wines. The company started only with a herbal wine by Chinese merchant Lim Tua Co. The first brewed product of the company was Vino de Chino, a bittersweet brew derived from a variety of Chinese herbs beside Pasig River.
General Electric Company
General Electric Company is an American multinational conglomerate incorporated in New York City and headquartered in Boston. It was founded in 1892 and has expanded its operation in aviation, healthcare, power, renewable energy, digital industry, additive manufacturing, venture capital and finance, lighting, and oil and gas.
HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation)
HSBC was founded by a Scotsman in the then-British colony of Hong Kong in 1875. HSBC is organized within four business groups: Commercial Banking, Global Banking and Markets (investment banking), Retail Banking and Wealth Management, and Global Private Banking.
Established in 1895, Nestlé is a company that produces food products. Nestlé’s products include baby food, medical food, bottled water, breakfast cereals, coffee and tea, confectionery, dairy products, ice cream, frozen food, pet foods, and snacks. However, Nestlé also invests in some companies and it is one of the largest shareholders of the L’Oreal, the world’s largest cosmetics’ company.
Nikon is a Japan-based multinational corporation specializing in optics and imaging products. Founded in 1917 as Nippon Kōgaku Kōgyō Kabushikigaisha, it was renamed as Nikon after its cameras. Nikon offers cameras, camera lenses, binoculars, microscopes, ophthalmic lenses, measurement instruments, rifle scopes, spotting scopes, and the steppers used in the photolithography steps of semiconductor fabrication. Nikon is a member of Mitsubishi Group of Companies.
San Miguel Corporation
Since 1890, San Miguel Corporation has been producing liquor and beverages. Originally founded as a single brewery in the Philippines, it has also expanded in fuel and oil, power generation, infrastructure, and poultry.
Standard Chartered Bank
Standard Chartered Bank was founded 147 years ago in London. Although it is based in the United Kingdom, 90 percent of its profit comes from Asia, Africa and Middle East. Its branch in the Philippines is located in Ayala, Makati.
Tanduay Distillers Inc.
Tanduay Distillers Inc. was founded in 1854 and owned by the LT Company. It is the first Philippine brand to have a major sponsorship deal with an NBA team, the Golden State Warriors.