Century Pacific's Ricardo Po Sr. dies at 90:
UST Rector says Mass for Ricardo Po Sr. and family

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Ricardo Po Sr., founder of Century Pacific Food Inc., the company known for its Century Tuna product line, passed away on Oct. 11 due to complications arising from surgery, according to his family. 

Born in China, Po and his mother moved to Manila in 1947 when he was 15.

Po took up chemistry at UST from 1952 to 1954 under the old College of Liberal Arts before dropping out to work as a journalist for a Chinese newspaper in Binondo.

As a newsman, he covered the Malacañang and police beats.

After his journalism stint, Po started the Cathay Promotions Advertising Company, which designed the logo of the SM group. 

After losing money due to the 1973 stock market crash, Po started his canning factory in 1978. The factory later became the leading exporter of private-label tuna products in the country.

His company, Century Pacific, produces canned products under brands like Century Tuna, 555, Argentina, Birch Tree, Swift Premium and Fresca Tuna.

UST awarded Po a masters in business administration in 2006 and gave him The Outstanding Thomasian Alumni (Total) Award in 2007.

Po’s wake was restricted to his immediate family as the rest of his family was in China.

A funeral Mass for Po was led by UST Rector Fr. Richard Ang, O.P. and College of Education and Education High School Regent Fr. Maximo Gatela, O.P. on Oct. 13 at the Heritage Park in Taguig. 

During the Mass, the UST officials hailed Po for his work during the University’s quadricentennial celebrations in 2011.

A business journalist-alumnus of UST who covered Po in the early 2010s said that the businessman had always seemed to be a proud Thomasian.

“He asked me kung anong school ako galing, sabi ko UST. Then he said same kami, UST din daw siya. Seemed a proud Thomasian,” he said.

In 2021, Forbes magazine listed Po as the 16th wealthiest man in the country, with an estimated net worth of $1.4 billion (around ₱70 billion) as of Oct. 12. He was recognized by the same magazine in 2014 for being a “notable” philanthropist in the Asia-Pacific.

Po is survived by his wife, Angelita, and children Ricardo Jr., Teodoro Alexander, Christopher and Leonardo Arthur. 

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