ALFONSO T. YUCHENGCO
Founder and Chairman of the Yuchengco Group of Companies (YGC), Alfonso T. Yuchengco, fondly called “AY” in business circles, is acknowledged as one of the Philippines’ most successful taipans. On top of his numerous achievements in business, he also has had a distinguished career in government service. He has served as ambassador to China and to Japan and as the Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations. He has also been a trusted adviser to several Filipino presidents, and currently serves as Presidential Adviser for Foreign Affairs with a cabinet rank under the Arroyo administration. Through his philanthropic organization, the AY Foundation, Yuchengco complements his business success with humanitarian service through meaningful, long-term civic projects. As he states in his homespun philosophy, “A million, a hundred million, even a billion can be lost in a day. But a good name is forever. And so, for me, a good name is much more important." Family history
AY traces his family roots to the Yuchengcos of Fookien, a thriving merchant family. The family’s original surname was Yu, and the first of the clan to come to Manila in the late 19th century was named Yu Tiaoqui. He was always introduced as Yu Tiaoqui, until everyone assumed that Tiaoqui was his surname. He married a Filipina who became Mrs. Tiaoqui – beginning the name of the clan still prevalent in banking and business. Yu Tiaoqui left behind a family in Fookien. Upon his death, his Chinese son came to Manila using the name Yu Chengco. This son, still in his 20s, adopted the name Enrique - Enrique Tiaoqui Yuchengco. Enrique married Maria Hao Tay, also from Fujian. His son Alfonso was the only surviving male child. His godfather was Chief Justice Antonio Villareal of the Supreme Court, which indicated Don Enrique’s standing as a growing taipan. In 1930, Don Enrique established the China Insurance and Surety Company, precursor of the Malayan Insurance Company. With his...
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