By Noreen Jazul and Madelaine Miraflor
CDO Foodsphere, Inc. chairman and co-founder Jose “Pepe” J. Ong passed away Thursday at the age of 78.
CDO-Foodsphere Inc. president Jerome D. Ong confirmed the passing of his father, who, together with his wife Corazon D. Ong, established the company in 1975. CDO-Foodsphere has grown over the years to become “one of the largest and most diverse brand portfolios in the Philippine food industry.”
“He is no longer in pain and he will be our angel watching over us. Thanks to all of you for all the love and prayers during this most difficult time,” said Jerome, the eldest son of the CDO-Foodpshere founders.
In a statement, CDO-Foodsphere remembered their “Boss Pepe.”
“Boss Pepe, as we fondly called him, was a loving father not just to his immediate family, but also to his CDO Foodsphere family,” they said.
Ong was described by his workers as a “coach” and a “rock” who always inspired them with his “pioneering ideas, passion, and resilience.”
“Salamat po, Boss Pepe, sa inyong paggabay sa amin; hindi namin makakalimutan ang lahat ng inyong itinuro. Ika’y mananatili sa puso naming lahat,” they said.
Before establishing CDO-Foodsphere, Ong taught biology at the Ateneo de Manila University.
He was also one of the founders of the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (PAMPI).
“It is with grief and deep sorrow that we bid adieu to our colleague and friend, Jose ‘Pepe’ Ong, who was one of the founders of the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. 31 years ago,” PAMPI said in a statement.
“Working together with co-founders, he moved and guided PAMPI to make it one of the leading trade and industry organizations in the country today. PAMPI will forever be thankful for his immense contribution to the organization, most especially during its early years of formation. Thank you very much dear colleague and friend. Farewell!” PAMPI said.
Ong’s wake will be at Heritage Park Chapel on November 15 to 18. Viewing will be from noon to 10 p.m., with daily masses at 7 p.m.