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Borromeo: Part of Cebu, the Philippines and Beyond

This article has received more than 1 million “hits” since November 2007.  Included in “The Borromeo Family of Cebu” by Marc E. Nonnenkamp (ISBN 978-1460908082 now available on through CreateSpace for $17.99 paperback and $9.99 as an Amazon Kindle e-book).  This book is on the Amazon “Bestsellers” list in the USA (top 3 percent of retail products), and is also available through Barnes & Noble in paperback and NOOKbook editions.  Press release on News (October 10, 2012):  This press release has received 72 response – wonderful considering that 15 is a high rate of response for any press release.  Thank you very much for your interest!

Borromeo Bros. Estate, Inc. (BBEI – Holding Company incorporated on February 8, 1933): incorporated from the Estate of Don José Maria Borromeo y Galan (1847-1930) and Doña Margarita Sy Reynes de Borromeo (1853-1931). My maternal great grandfather Don José Maria (“Tatay Pepe”) manufactured horse-drawn “Tartanilla” carts from 1879 onward.  Here is a nice Cebu-based website page on the history of the “Tartanilla” (from Cebu and the Visayas region) and on the “Calesa” (from Manila and the Luzon region):  The similar “Karatela” and “Calesa” horse-drawn carts were manufactured primarily on Luzon, which is home to the bulk of the Philippine population.  They differ from the “Tartanilla” carts at the point of passenger entrance.  The “Karatela” and “Calesa” carts were manufactured by the Barredo family near Manila, a Spanish family which married into the Borromeo clan in 1937.

Origin of the Word “Tartanilla”

“Tartanilla” is merely the Spanish translation of the Italian “Tartanella,” which refers to a small type of sailing fishing vessel used on the Western (Italian-speaking) coast of the Adriatic Sea.  These boats range anywhere from a low of 10 tons up to a high of 100 tons full load displacement, and are propelled by a combination of both sails and oars.  The average-sized vessels are called “Tartana,” and are from 40 to 70 tons.  The larger ones are called “Tartanone,” and go from 70 up to 100 tons.  The smallest ones are called “Tartanella,” and are from 10 to 40 tons in size, with one mast and 16 oars.  The “Tartana” have 2 masts and 18 oars, while the larger “Tartanone” are built with 3 masts and 20 oars.  On the Dalmatian (Croatian) coast, these vessels are called “Brazzera.”  The first Italian not under the Spanish flag settled in the Philippines in the 17th century – his name was Gemelli Careri.  When Ferdinand Magellan landed on MactanIsland in Cebu in 1521, there were Spaniards, Portuguese, Italians, Germans and one Malay among his crew members.

The Family Farm in San Isidro, Leyte

He and my great grandmother Doña Margarita (“Nanay Titay”) also had a salt-trading business located at the CebuCityWharf, the profits from which purchased the large farm in San   Isidro, Leyte (now known as “Margarita Agro-Industrial Corporation”). The group has been a “conglomerate” (more than one corporate entity in separate fields of business) since 1971. The largest single shareholding entity in the group is the Salud Borromeo Memorial Foundation, Inc. (operations in San   Isidro, LeyteIsland and HQ in CebuCity). The parents of Tatay Pepe (Don Maximo Borromeo y Feliz and Doña Hermenegilda Galan de Borromeo) had an estate located in Banawa, Cebu. This estate came into the family in 1844 and was only sold in 1990. My mother was named after Doña Hermenegilda (“Nanay Binda”).

Hier kann man über die Geschichte der Geschäftsgruppe Borromeo in den Philippinen lesen. Seit Karl Kapitän Aro (“Carlos Capitan Aro”) Borromeo im Jahre 1744 in Cavite auf Luzon ankam, gibt es mehr als 800 Famlienmitglieder. Er war Regierungsbeamter. Die Hauptfirma der Geschäftsgruppe Borromeo wurde am 8. Februar 1933 in Cebu gegründet, aber das Geschäft ist wesentlich älter. Heute besteht die Firma aus mehreren Geschäften, wie zum Beispiel Immobilien (Entwicklung, Verkauf und Vermietung für Geschäfte und auch Privatleute), Landwirtschaft (auf Cebu, Leyte und Mindanao), PKW und Motorradhändler (für Ford, BMW, Isuzu, Honda, Kawasaki und Chunlan) sowie Finanzwesen. Vielen Dank für Ihren Besuch!

A Family of Old Parian, Cebu City

The parents of Don Maximo and Doña Hermenegilda were Don Carlos Borromeo y Felis and Doña Maria Angela Tupas de Borromeo, who are the ancestors of the two large lines of the modern Cebuano Borromeo family (“mga tambok” and “mga daut” or “mga niwang”). Don Carlos and Doña Maria lived in Parian, along with so many other of Cebu’s City’s leading families. They owned property in various parts of Cebu including Parian, Barili, Naga, Guadalupe and Banawa.

The Borromeo Group of Companies Today

The modern Borromeo business group (the Borromeo Bros. Estate, Inc.) of the Philippines is based in CebuCity, although certain family members have businesses independent thereof. Retail brands represented by the extended family include Honda Motorcycles, Kawasaki, Yamaha, Suzuki, Ford Motor, Mazda, SsangYong (vehicles from Korea), Caltex (ChevronTexaco) and Shell Oil.  Real estate interests include commercial property in Cebu (Centro Maximo I and II, the Borromeo Arcade, Plaza Borromeo in Downtown Cebu and Plaza Margarita), the Salud Borromeo Memorial Charity Clinic on Leyte, residential housing developments in Cebu (the North Gate Subdivision with both townhomes and 4 single family home floorplans), landscape architecture in the Southern Visayas (SBA Landscape Archtecture and BARVIN rentals), offices in Cebu (a planned 18 story office tower in Cebu Business Park), resort hotels in Cebu and Mactan (the Cebu Grand Hotel, the Montebello Hotel and the seaside Costabella Hotel), parking garages and agribusiness.  Other lines of business include employment services (DCC Staffing Services in southern California), home healthcare (Ancestral Home Healthcare in southern California), construction (commercial and residential), transportation and even a dance studio (in both Manila and Singapore).  Most activity is in Cebu, but some business extends throughout the Philippines and even abroad.  The “active” companies in the list below (not including those since liquidated) employ more than 50,191 individuals.

The “Borromean Rings”

The modern Borromeo Group of the Philippines uses the 3 “Borromean Rings” in its official corporate logo.  This famous logo goes back to the Borromeo family of Milan, Italy – a surname in use since 1416.  The Borromeo family of Milan, Italy traces its origin to the Vitaliani family of Padua, Italy – a surname in use since A.D. 66.

Important Notice of Disclaimer:

The following past historical and present business entities are entirely professional entities which have no financial relationship to any extended family members not specifically mentioned herein. Those mentioned apart from the BBEI are thus not controlled by the BBEI. Most BBEI shareholders do not partake in the day-to-day management or operations of the BBEI, and the BBEI is likewise not responsible for their private financial activities. The “official” Internet website of the “Borromeo Group of Companies” may be accessed at:

Subsidiaries and Retail Outlets:

1.) Honda Motor World, Inc. (33 retail branches located thoughout the Republic of the Philippines).

2.) Motor Ace Philippines, Inc. (49 retail branches selling Kawasaki and Yamaha Motorcycles from Japan).

3.) Honda Motorworld Lending Investment, Inc. (33 financing offices located throughout the Philippines).

4.) Visayas Auto Ventures, Inc. (owns Auto Zoomzoom, Inc. – a Mazda dealership in CebuCity).

5.) Margarita Agro-Industrial Corporation (currently inactive): San   Isidro, Leyte.

6.) McBros Devleopment Corporation.  Borromeo Bros. Estate, Inc. real estate development now has a page on

7.) Tolar Development Corporation

8.) Dearborn Motors Company, Inc. (among the largest Ford Motor Company franchises in the Philippines).

9.) Ford Alabang; website: (founded in December 2003)

10.) Ford Cavite; website: (founded July 2004)

11.) Ford Laguna (in San PabloCity); website: (founded in July 2004)

12.) Ford Batangas; website: (founded in December 2006)

13.) Dearborn Motors Company (Cebu), Inc.

14.) Ford Cebu; website:

15.) Ford Bacolod (Island of Negros); website:

16.) Ford Iloilo (Island of Panay); website: (founded in June 2002)

17.) Ford Cagayan de Oro (Island of Mindanao); website:

18.) Performance Auto Motor Group, Inc. (sold to new owner in 2012).

19.) Performance Auto BMW (CebuCity); website: (sold to new owner in 2012).

20.) Makati Finance Corporation:

21.) Centro Maximo Borromeo Office Complex (Cebu): headquarters of the Borromeo Bros. Estate, Inc (named after Dr. Maximo Borromeo y Reynes, who lived from 1887-1948).  Built upon the site of the former residence of José Maria Borromeo y Galan (1847-1930) and Margarita Sy Reynes de Borromeo (1853-1931).

22.) JudgeAndrésBorromeoCommercialCenter (Andrés   Borromeo Street, CebuCity): home to the second Philippine monument in honor of the late “Fighting Judge” of Surigao, who lived from 1880-1923.

23.) Borromeo Arcade Shopping Mall (CebuCity)

24.) Cebu Talisay Rest House (former property of Dr. Maximo Borromeo y Reynes)

25.) Cebu Borromeo Elementary   School (in Talisay, CebuProvince).  The school now has a page on

26.) Salud Borromeo Foundation and Memorial Charity Clinic, Inc. (San   Isidro, LeyteIsland).  One Board seat held by the Vito Borromeo Estate, Inc.

27.) Isuzu Visayas Corporation (since sold to a new owner).

Other Firms owned by extended Borromeo family members (not part of the Borromeo Bros. Estate, Inc. “Group of Companies”):

28.) Astron-Gestus / Cebu Maxi Management Corporation

29.) Astron-Gestus, Inc. (CebuCity).

30.) Astron-Gestus (Caltex) Service Station in CebuCity.

31.) Sumitomo-Sime Darby / Yokohama Tire Warehouse (former ownership): CebuCity.

32.) SBA Landscape Architecture, Inc. (CebuCity).

33.) Borromeo-Atega Realty Ventures, Inc. (CebuCity).

34.) Arborville Apartments – Judge Andrés Borromeo Compound (CebuCity).

35.) Colonia Polanco Office & Apartment Tower (México City, México).

36.) DCC Staffing Services, Inc. (medical staffing – Los Angeles and Palm Springs, California, USA – 7 employees); website:

37.) Ancestral Home Healthcare, Inc. (home healthcare; Los Angeles and Palm Springs, California, USA – 140 employees);

38.) Borromeo Technology Holdings, Inc. (computer software for office buildings and parking garages – Manila, Philippines)

39.) Smartpark Systems Solutions, Inc. (Makati, Metro Manila, Philippines); website:

40.) Crown Fruit Corporation (pineapple plantation and steel plant near DavaoCity, Mindanao, Philippines)

41.) AMS Farming Corporation (banana plantation near DavaoCity, Mindanao, Philippines); website:  This entity is larger than either of the combined “Borromeo Group of Companies.”

42.) AMSIA Management Corporation (Shell Oil – four services stations in San   Carlos, California, USA)

43.) AMJR Holdings, Inc. (banana plantation near DavaoCity, Mindanao, Philippines): holding company with 8,000 hectares (20,000 acres) of agricultural plantations.

44.) Soriano Fruits Corporation (banana exports)

45.) DTI-Overland Transport Corporation (trucking company near DavaoCity, Mindanao, Philippines)

46.) Cabadbaran Fruits Corporation (production & export of Señorita Bananas, Papayas & Cavendish Bananas in Agusan del Norte, Mindanao, Philippines)

47.) JOS Trading Corporation (global sales of bananas and papayas; DavaoCity, Mindanao, Philippines)

48.) Redwood Logistics Corporation (global sales of bananas and papayas; DavaoCity, Mindanao, Philippines)

49.) Vito Borromeo Estate, Inc. (real estate holdings in Cebu)

50.) Julie Borromeo Dance Studio and School (Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines)

51.) Rose Borromeo Spanish Dance Company (Singapore); Website:

52.) GNC Franchise (Mandaluyong, Metro Manila, Philippines – 41 Stores throughout the Philippines) and OSIM Philippines (franchises for luxury massage chairs).  OSIM International is based in Singapore.  GNC and OSIM Philippines also use the name “Borromeo Group of Companies.”  This franchise was sold in 2009.

53.) Cebu Citylights Gardens Condominiums (Cebu   City, Philippines; joint venture with firm from Singapore)

54.) Cebu Mabolo Condominiums (Cebu   City, Philippines)

55.) Cebu Grand Hotel; website:

56.) Cebu Montebello Villa Hotel; website:

57.) Cebu Costabella Tropical Beach Hotel (MactanIsland in Cebu, Philippines); website:

58.) Maxi Agricultural Corporation (sugarcane plantation in Bacolod, NegrosIsalnd, Philippines).

59.) Cebu Parkland, Inc. (parking garage in Cebu   City, Philippines).

60.) Cebu Holdings, Inc. (real estate holdings in Cebu, Philippines and New South Wales, Australia).

61.) Sugar Technology International (specializes in design technology for the global sugar industry – based in CebuCity).  Website:

62.) Philippine Transmarine Carriers (personnel placement for the global shipping industry – 45,000 maritime industry professionals serving aboard 1,200 commercial ships).  January 2, 2013 article interviewing Gerardo A. “Dito” Borromeo, CEO of Philippine Transmarine Carriers:  PTC has 10 percent of the annual US $4 billion maritime staffing industry in the Philippines.  33 percent of all global maritime personnel today come from the Philippines.  The largest shipping nations in terms of the total displaced tonnage owned by shipping companies in those countries are (in order) Germany, Japan and Greece.  The largest German shipping company is HAPAG-Lloyd, founded in Hamburg in 1847.

Companies formerly owned by members of the extended Borromeo Family

63.) Fabar, Inc. (Austin-Rover, Studebaker-Packard and Toyota of the Philippines): 1945-1984 (first auto assembler in the Philippines; no longer in business).  This was founded by the late Fausto Barredo.

64.) Rockgas Inter-Island Gas Service, Inc. (first Philippine Natural Gas Company): 1946-1980 (100% purchased by Philippine national government).

65.) McBros Foods Corporation (McDonald’s of CebuCity): 1992-1998

66.) Honda Cars Cebu, Inc. (Cebu, Bacolod, Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro): 1992-1998

67.) Atisa Atkins, S.A. de C.V. (engineering firm in Mexico   City, Mexico and steel plant in Venezuela from 1964-2001)

68.) Alltech Contractors (power plant construction throughout the Philippines and the Middle East, in alliance with the Mitsubishi Group of Japan).  Founded in 1939 and sold in 2004.  Alltech had as many as 3,400 employees prior to sale.

Wealthiest Individuals and/or Families in the Philippines (per “Forbes Magazine” as of October 1, 2014): net worth listed in Millions of US Dollars:

Richest People in the Philippines (October 2014) Net Worth Businesses Owned
1 Henry Sy & family: $12,700.0 Shoemart
2 Lucio Tan & family: $6,100.0 Asia Brewery, Philip   Morris, PAL
3 Enrique Razon, Jr.: $5,200.0 International Container   Terminal Services
4 Andrew Tan: $5,100.0 Alliance Global
5 John Gokongwei, Jr: $4,900.0 JG Summit-Robinson’s
6 David Consunji: $3,900.0 DMCI Holdings
7 George Ty & family: $3,700.0 Metropolitan Bank and   Trust Company
8 Family Jon Ramon Aboitiz: $3,600.0 Aboitiz Equity Ventures
9 Jaime Zobel de Ayala & family: $3,400.0 Ayala Corporation
10 Tony Tan Caktiong & family: $2,000.0 Jollibee Food Corporation
11 Robert Coyiuto & family: $1,700.0 Oriental Petroleum and   Minerals Corporation
12 Lucio & Susan Co: $1,900.0 Puregold Price Club
13 Emilio Yap: $1,500.0 Manila Bulletin, Manila   Hotel, Philtrust Bank
14 Manuel Villar: $1,500.0 Vista Land and   Lifescapes, Inc.
15 Inigo & Mercedes Zobel: $1,200.0 Ayala Corporation
16 Alfredo Yao: $1,000.0 Zest-O Corporation
17 Andrew Gotianun: $955.0 Filinvest Development   Corporation
18 Vivian Que Azcona & family: $935.0 Mercury Drug Corporation
19 Eduardo Cojuangco: $870.0 San Miguel Corporation
20 Beatrice Campos & family: $825.0 Unilab, Del Monte Pacfic
21 Ricardo Po & family: $770.0 Century Canned Food   founded in 1978
22 Oscar Lopez & family: $700.0 Lopez Holdings   Corporation
23 Alfonso Yuchengco & family: $685.0 Yuchengco Group of   Companies
24 Roberto Ongpin: $680.0 Alphaland Corporation
25 Betty Ang: $670.0 Monde Nissin Corporation
26 Dean Lao: $625.0 D&L Chemical   Industries founded in 1963
27 Manuel Zamora: $620.0 Kubota Agro-Industrial   Machinery Philippines, Inc.
28 Carlos Chan: $550.0 Liwayway Marketing   Corporation
29 Jorge Araneta: $510.0 Araneta Group
30 Mariano Tan, Jr.: $445.0 Greenfield Development
31 Edgar Sia: $390.0 Mang Inasal Food Chain
32 Ramon Ang: $380.0 Petron Corporation
33 Michael Romero: $375.0 Globalport 900, Inc.
34 Concepcion family: $320.0 Concepcion Industrial   Foodmakers
35 Philip Ang: $315.0 Nickel Asia Mining
36 Frederick Dy: $310.0 Security Bank Corporation
37 Luis Virata: $300.0 Nickel Asia Mining
38 Alfredo Ramos & family: $260.0 Atlas Consolidated Mining   and Development
39 Wilfred Steven Uytengsu &   family: $255.0 Alaska Milk Corporation
40 Tomas Alcantara & family: $250.0 Alsons Consolidated   Resources, Inc.
41 Jose Antonio: $240.0 Century Properties
42 Bienvenido Tantoco, Sr. &   family: $235.0 Rustan’s Group of   Companies
43 Jacinto Ng: $230.0 Republic Biscuit   Corporation
44 Gilberto Duavit & family: $200.0 GMA Network-Radio & TV
45 Menardo Jimenez: $195.0 Albay Agro-Industrial   Development Corporation
46 Eric Recto: $190.0 ISM Communications   Corporation
47 Walter Brown: $183.0 Apex Mining Corporation
48 Felipe Gozon & family: $182.0 GMA Network-Radio &   TV
49 P.J. Lhuillier & family: $180.0 Pawn & Jewelry Stores   based in Cebu
50 Juliette Romualdez: $170.0 Banco de Oro
51 Michael Cosiquien: $169.0 Megawide Construction   Corporation
52 Edgar Saavedra: $168.0 Megawide Construction   Corporation
53 Lourdes Montinola & family: $155.0 Far Eastern University

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