Palace hails Henry Sy Sr. as ‘pillar of the Philippine economy’
Malacañan Palace extended on Saturday its condolences to the bereaved family and friends of Henry Sy Sr., who died earlier in the day at the age of 94, calling the billionaire as a “pillar of the Philippine economy.”
“Mr. Sy exemplified the hardworking Filipino. As a family man, he had moulded his children into his own image: humble, hardworking and a man of prophetic vision,” presidentail spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement. “We pray for the eternal rest of his soul, and may perpetual light shine upon him as his spirit traverses the path to everlasting life.”
“A grateful nation respects and admires the man for his lasting legacy which he attributed to hard work,” Panelo said, adding that the Sy would be remembered as the “father of modern retail.”
According to Panelo, Sy took the road less traveled by other Filipino businessmen as he believed in the potentials of the Philippines when it comes to economy.
“Mr. Sy was a visionary and a pillar of the Philippine economy who believed in the potentials and opportunities of the country, and pursued them with dedication, passion, and hard work till their fruition. Mr. Sy boldly took the business path which Filipino businessmen feared to tread,” he said.
Panelo also noted that Sy made “malling” a “delightful experience” for Filipinos.
Sy also left a number of inspiring quotes to the hearts of Filipino businessmen that could fuel their drive in the business industry, Panelo said.
“To quote the late Chairman of SM Investments Corporation, ‘People often ask me why, what is my driving force? It’s this: If I make good today, I want to make better tomorrow. If I have a big shopping mall, my next thing is to have a bigger one. By doing that, I have to work very hard’,” Panelo said.
“Inspiring words that should be carved not in stone but in the hearts and minds of entrepreneurs to propel them to the stratosphere of business,” he added.
Sy opened his own small shoe store in 1958.
By November 1972, the business had grown and Sy was able to open SM Quiapo, his first stand-alone department store.
Since then, he put up several SM stores all over Metro Manila and the rest of the country.
In 2018, Sy was hailed by Forbes magazine as the richest Filipino and 52nd richest man in the world.
He had an estimated net worth of $20 billion in 2018.
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