How Mighty became the Philippines’ oldest cigarette firm

Not many family-owned and managed businesses last beyond the lifetimes of their founders, often disintegrating either due to family squabbles or internal decline. A century ago and even up to the mid-20th century, the Philippines had many cigarette manufacturers but most of them have become extinct. Why?

Today, the Philippine cigarette industry rakes in P150 billion per year and is a top source of national government taxes for Philhealth, education and other social services. A “hidden champion” has quietly emerged in recent years, with the oldest Filipino-owned cigarette firm Mighty Corporation — owned by the Wongchuking family since its founding in 1945 — increasing its two-percent market share in 2000 to now approximately 20 percent.

Mighty Corp. has a philanthropic arm called the Wong Chu King Foundation, which honors the business founder, focusing mainly on educational, civic and religious charities. The foundation will celebrate is 36th anniversary on March 30 by inaugurating a church at Our Lady of Piat in Cagayan and also donating a new water tank to supply 240 households in Piat.

Check the exclusive interview of Alex “Kokoy” Dy Wongchuking on The Philippine STAR.

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