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The Scene Bienvenido "Benny" Tantoco Passes Away At The Age Of 100

Bienvenido "Benny" Tantoco Passes Away At The Age Of 100

Bienvenido "Benny" Tantoco Passes Away At The Age Of 100
By Irene Martel Francisco
By Irene Martel Francisco
July 06, 2021
Early on July 6, 2021, the Philippines lost the respected and beloved Bienvenido Tantoco, Sr, former ambassador to the Vatican and co-founder of high-end retail brand Rustan’s.

At the age of 100, he left behind a rich legacy in business and a loving family comprising six children, 21 grandchildren, 40 great grandchildren and a great-great-grandchild.

Lolo Benny, as he was fondly called, and his wife Glecy Rustia Tantoco built a tiny store out of their home and turned it into the country’s largest luxury retail corporation. The couple went through political segregation and persecution, yet they thrived. “After years in political exile, Glecy and I were able to come home to the Philippines and reunite with our family and our beloved employees,” he said in a previous Tatler interview.

Through the years the Tantocos’ sense of family has remained constant, solid, strong with the obvious anchor being Lolo Benny. Gatherings and celebrations were held always with him in mind. Everyone loved to make him happy and see him smile in that infectious beam that was so endearing. Tight knit would be an understatement in describing this family’s ethos.

Read more: Zenaida "Nedy" Tantoco Talks About The Family's Retail Empire

He lived his life by example and through kindness. To him, family and country meant everything. “Family will always be there for you. Through our share of difficulties including political persecution, which extended to our various businesses, our family remained intact,” he underscored. Tantoco spoke of the importance of true friendship too. “If you experience this in your lifetime, consider yourself lucky,” he said. No wonder he was so cherished by those privileged enough with an encounter with him, briefly or otherwise. Tantoco took connections personally, and made sure these were meaningful, memorable.

The man’s bright and welcoming demeanour radiated and impacted those around him while his stand-up character and happiness were infectious. To Tantoco, laughter was the secret to a well-lived life—and we agree. “Look for the humour in any situation and you will find a solution to your problem easily,” he advised.

His generosity, however, went beyond friendship, extending deeply and extensively into his philanthropic causes for he strongly believed in living life with gratitude. “When one can already afford to, he should pay back and even pay more than he has received,” he reminded us all.

Read more: Anton Huang Talks About The Family Business

We have lost a giant of a man. He truly personified the word gentleman. Tito Benny had old school values but was extremely up to date with regards to business. He was wise, insightful, witty and candid. His laughter was infectious and his view of life from the vantage point his years gave him, was erudite and yet practical. Those who knew him well will miss these qualities keenly and feel the loss of this man who was the life force of the businesses he founded, the glue that held his family together and an icon of fortitude and grace for all.

We can best honour him today by taking his thoughts and example and trying to live a life he would be proud of having influenced.

Enjoy life with discipline and moderation. Smell the roses along the way. Pursue your passions, enjoy your hobbies, but do not forget your obligations 

Read more: Benny Tantoco At 100 Years


  • Words (Additional) Isabel Martel Francisco


The Scene rustans benny tantoco


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