Many were saddened to hear the news of the death of Manila taipan Emilio Yap. His name may not ring a familiar bell as that of other taipans or businessmen, but he is influential nevertheless being the chair of historic Manila-based institutions such as the Manila Bulletin, (which also includes the historic Liwayway group of publications) Manila Hotel, and Centro Escolar University. Forbes Magazine as the 13th richest in the Philippines.
Like many Filipino-Chinese taipans, Emilio Yap was born in Fujian Province, China. Born on September 24, 1925, young Emilio first came to Manila actually to study, living with his grandfather who was already based in the city as a a trader. Though he had to go back to Fujian when his grandfather’s shop closed down, he returned some time later to become a trader himself. Even though it was wartime, he was doing quite well in the trading business, from starting off with selling white t-shirts, then to threads, then on to ballpens and watches.