Jose “Pepe” Ong, founder and chairman of meat processing company CDO-Foodsphere Inc., passed away on Thursday morning. He was 78 years old.

CDO Foodsphere President Jerome D. Ong in a statement confirmed the passing of his father.

“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,” he said.

The wake will be held at Heritage Park Chapel in Taguig from November 15 to 18.

Mr. Ong co-founded the meat processing company with his wife Corazon D. Ong in 1975.

CDO-Foodsphere, the statement said, has grown into “one of the largest and most diverse brand portfolios in the Philippine food industry.” Its products include canned tuna, sausages, hams, bacons, hamburger patties, loaves, and sweet preserves.

Prior to establishing CDO Foodsphere with his wife, Mr. Ong taught Biology at the Ateneo de Manila University.

“He was our coach, our rock — always inspiring us with his pioneering ideas, his passion and resilience. He was always there to remind us that nothing is impossible. He will forever be remembered with love and fondness,” CDO Foodsphere said in a statement.

The Philippine Association of Meat Processors, INc. (PAMPI) mourned the businessman’s death, saying in a statement that “working together with co-founders, [Mr. Ong] 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!” — Jenina P. Ibañez