Frederick Kenneth D. Ong, Jr., a leading businessman and philanthropist who was popularly known as Lama, has died.
His death on June 3, 2020 was confirmed by the student publication of Cebu Eastern College, where he served as member of the board of directors, in a Facebook post on June 4, 2020.
Lama was the man behind the general merchandise store Ong Kin King & Co., Inc. in Carbon market.
Even in his advanced age, he was always seen seated behind his desk inside the store running his diversified businesses.
Ong inherited the business from his father, Frederick D. Ong, Sr., who also inherited it from his own father Ong Kin King, a Chinese immigrant who arrived in Cebu City in the early 1900s.
Based on Ong's profile in the book "Creating, Managing and Distributing Wealth" by the University of San Carlos (USC) School of Business and Economics, Ong Kin King first put up a soap and candle factory in Carbon in 1907. This closed down during World War II.
After the war, Ong Kin King opened a store selling agricultural products, general merchandise and bakery supplies. His son Frederick Sr. took over the business upon Ong Kin King's death and later passed this on to Frederick Jr.
"Lama started to help in the trading business when he was 12. He was a working student until he finished college, rising early to serve as a delivery boy and staying up late to study," the book states.
Ong was known to be humble and frugal. Despite the vast landbank that he accumulated over the years, he had continued to live in their old house on top of the store and maintained an affordable car.
Ong, who completed a BS Commerce degree with major in accounting in USC, was among the outstanding alumni featured in the USC-SBE book to mark the school's 80th anniversary.
He was one of The Outstanding Carolinian Alumni (TOCA) awardees in 2002.
He was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year 2006 during the Grand Chamber Awards by the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Ong diversified his business so that the family is now engaged in manufacturing of packaging products, real estate, shipping/tramping and various joint ventures.
Aside from sitting as chairman of Ong Kin King & Co., Ong was also the president of ASPAC Rural Bank, Inc., H&E Industries, Inc., Golden Lines Shipping, and Danao Paper Mill.
He co-owned the Cebu Coliseum Complex together with University of Cebu president Augusto W. Go and served as a director of St. Vincent General Hospital. (Ventures Cebu)