Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr., the chairman of San Miguel Corporation, the parent company of BMW Philippines and Petron Corporation, passed away last night at around 11 PM. He was 85.

Known by the initials ECJ in business circles, Cojuangco was born on June 10, 1935, and is credited for building San Miguel Corporation (SMC) into the huge conglomerate it is today. Currently, San Miguel is involved in various industries including food, beverage, infrastructure, energy, petroleum, and even automotive. 

During his tenure as the company’s chief executive, he expanded the company by purchasing the local Coca-Cola franchise along with other businesses. Later on, he expanded the company’s base by going into the energy sector. Cojuangco served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) while Ramon S. Ang served as President and Chief Operating Officer (COO).

San Miguel Tollways, a subsidiary of SMC, owns and operates the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX), Skyway, STAR Tollway, NAIA Expressway (NAIA-X), and the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX).

San Miguel also owns the majority of Petron Corporation, the country's largest fuel retailer. Aside from being chairman of San Miguel, Cojuangco also serves as the chairman of Petron Corporation and held positions in Ginebra San Miguel. He also owned three basketball teams in the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA). Cojuangco dabbled into politics by serving as the Governor of Tarlac from 1967 to 1969 and as Tarlac’s 1st District Representative from 1969 to 1972.

SMC boss and avid car enthusiast Eduardo

While most know Cojuangco for being a business magnate and for building San Miguel Corporation, he is also known for being a car enthusiast and a member of the Manila Sports Car Club (MSCC). He owns a vast collection of classic vehicles and sports cars, most of which were personally driven by Cojuangco himself. Like a true enthusiast, many of the cars in his collection are equipped with a manual gearbox, which considering his age, is not the easiest to drive.

Though it is uncertain how many cars he has in his stable, for sure you might have seen some of them on display at previous car shows. They include rarities such as the Ferrari 166 S.

Cojuangco's San Miguel Corporation also acquired the distributorship of BMW automobiles, motorcycles, and merchandise in the Philippines. Cojuangco lent his personal BMW M1, a model widely regarded as the first mid-engined BMW sports car ever mass-produced, for the BMW booth at the 2018 Manila International Auto Show.