Big John: The Life Story of John Gokongwei Jr. : A Book Review

big-john1 I am glad that I have  found such a simple biography   which is supposed to be for children. Somehow I can read   little information on how  John  Gokongwei Jr. succeeded in life . I still can’t afford to buy his  officially  thick biography; its price can break both of my pockets.

John  Gokongwei Jr. is the owner of Robinsons Malls , one of the largest shopping malls and retail operators  in the Philippines.  He is called the Big John because he owns many kinds of  businesses. He is the owner of Cebu Pacific Airlines, Yes! Magazine, the popular Filipino snacks such as Chippy, Cloud 9, Curls, and even of  the beverages  like C2 Tea  and Great  Taste Coffee. In fact, he is always included  on the list of the richest men in the world by Forbes Magazine , ranking behind  Henry SyLucio Tan, Enrique Razon,  and Andrew Tan, another influential business tycoons in the Philippines .*

Despite that it is not a thick children book, it somehow  tells some important timelines for  how he began as a poor child and persevered in getting along in life. Originally, he was not born  as poor as a  church mouse . He grew up in a big house with a fountain and a personal nanny as described in the story .  It   just so happened that his father  had kicked the bucket and eventually lost  his business. To pay the big debt his father had owed,  his mother had to sell the house along with the fountain.  To help his mother, at young age, he was an entrepreneur for   different kinds of products  which he could sell from Cebu, where he grew up, to Manila. And most importantly, the book tells how Gokongwei Jr. showed determination and willingness to work and save money, an attitude which   his brothers and sister adapted. In the end, his siblings and he all worked together until they had reached the acme of their prosperity. Therefore, this book was written to teach children how to be  diligent in order to become rich. ^^

John Gokongwei Jr.  is now 89 years old. He has  now  42 Robinsons  Malls branches nationwide. He is now immortal, notably for the urban legend that one of  his malls is said to have a twin anthropomorphic serpent  brought up on the ground floor of a branch somewhere in Manila. The twin is said to be fed  with a beautiful woman. Until now this legend has still been a mystery. Pooh-bah!

John Gokongwei Jr.

Rating: 3/ 5 stars ( I liked it. )

*Retrieved from :


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