November 11, 2019
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Days after collapsing during a basketball game, Bong Tan passes away at 53

The namesake of business tycoon Lucio Tan suffered a brain herniation, leading to his death on November 11, 2019. Two days prior, he was at an inter-department basketball game when he suddenly collapsed. He was rushed to Cardinal Santos Medical Center. Yet what his family thought was a stable condition eventually led to his untimely death.

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Photo from ESPN.

Lover of the game

Tan has always been a basketball game enthusiast. After his family acquired the company Tanduay from the Elizaldes, he formed a team joining the Philippine Basketball League. Under his leadership, Tanduay Gold Rhum won seven titles while his mentorship of Pilseners won their first grand slam.

Last September, he was appointed as the new head coach of the men’s basketball game of the University of the East. His enthusiasm for sports was rooted in his treatment of it as exercise. “I like the sweat and intensity. I enjoy the camaraderie with the team which I lead. You can look at it from any angle—fun, a test of skills or a mind game like chess,” he said.

His successes continued until he became the official PAL Holdings CEO and president last October. He replaced Gilbert Santa Maria who remains the owner of Philippine Airlines Incorporated. Tan was prepared to take on this huge responsibility. Among his plans were reversing PAL’s losses through tapping into online booking and cutting costs. Tan had claimed it was perfect the time to rehabilitate to improve the company’s status.

Photo from chasingcuriousalice.

With Tan’s massive success, his family expresses their grief over the loss of an important man. “His untimely passing leaves a big void in our hearts and our group’s management team which would be very hard to fill,” they said in a statement. Tan’s sister Vivienne, remembers how Bong had been a great elder brother and a role model for them. It only makes sense as he carried the legacy of their patriarch Lucio Tan Sr. who ranked 6th in Forbes list of wealthiest Filipinos. Tan will always be remembered for his strong leadership and accomplishments, especially in the sports arena.

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