Palace condoles with Gokongwei family after death of Elizabeth
Malacanang on Sunday mourned the passing of Elizabeth Gokongwei, wife of the late philanthropist John Gokongwei Jr.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo described Mrs. Gokongwei as "the other half who helped in realizing the vision and dream of one of the greatest business leaders of our time."
The Gokongwei matriarch passed away on Saturday, a week after the death of her husband of 61 years. She was 85.
Her husband, John, passed away on November 9 and was laid to rest on November 15.
"A gentle, loving, kind, caring and selfless human being Mrs. Elizabeth was. She will be dearly missed," Panelo said.
"We remember a life advice of Mr. John: Marry a good person for a spouse as she would be an ally in happiness and not a source of misery. Elizabeth, her wife of 61 years, certainly fitted the bill. She fully supported the conviction of the businessman who dared," he added.
Mrs. Gokongwei was known for her philanthropy, serving as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Gokongwei Brothers Foundation, founding member of the Robinsons Department Store, and head of Robinsons' Merchandising Department from 1980 to 1992.
According to the Gokongwei's only son, Lance, the matriarch was "the heart and soul of the Gokongwei family."
"Describing her mother, the Gokongwei heir added, 'She was a wonderful wide, mother, grandmother, friend. She was an optimist. She always had a smile on her face, and looked at the brighter side of life. She was the best kind of mother and wife and will be dearly missed," Panelo shared.
"In his book, 'Lessons from Dad,' Lance wrote: 'Mom always tells us.' 'Be yourselves. Don't compare yourselves to others, because someone will always be smarter than you. Someone will always be looking or richer. So just go out there and be yourselves'," the presidential spokesperson added.
The Gokongwei couple was survived by their children, Robina, Lance, Lisa, Faith, Hope, and Marcia. The Palace expressed deep condolences to family and friends of the departed.
"May the perpetual light shine upon her, and may her soul, through the mercy of God, rest in eternal peace," said Panelo. Cristina Eloisa Baclig/DMS