Remembering George S.K. Ty: the legacy of a titan

Dr. George S.K. Ty is very much known to many for fearlessly reaching for his aspirations and for selflessly serving communities and the nation in general. While he successfully set out visions and realized them throughout his lifelong career in business, he consistently gave back and paid it forward through the foundations he established. No wonder the late taipan was recognized and honored by many institutions and award-giving bodies throughout his lifetime and even after his passing.

Dr. Ty was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Asian Banking Awards in 2000. A year later, he was given the Outstanding Manilan Award by the City of Manila, a recognition given to “those who have excelled in their fields of endeavor” on every anniversary of the nation’s capital.

In 2002, Dr. Ty was one of the awardees of Dr. Jose Rizal Awards for Excellence, an award handed out in observance of the birth anniversary of the national hero. The founder of Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company received the “Tsinoy Lifetime Achievement” award, along with other Filipino-Chinese taipans such as the late John Gokongwei and Lucio Tan.

Dr. Ty also began receiving international accolades in 2003 when he was conferred the Magnolia Gold Award by the Shanghai City government in China. The said award “recognizes foreigners who have made outstanding contributions to the city”. This was followed up by a recognition from the Nanjing Municipal Government to Dr. Ty in 2010 as Honorary Citizen of Nanjing.

One of his highly-esteemed accolades, the former Metrobank Group chairman was recognized as the Management Man of the Year by the Management Association of the Philippines in 2006. This annual award by MAP is considered as the most prestigious award for excellence in the practice of management.

In 2010, Dr. Ty, who also chaired the Metrobank Foundation, was conferred by then-President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo with the Order of Lakandula with the rank of Bayani. According to the Official Gazette, this particular presidential honor is conferred “upon an individual whose life is worthy of emulation by the Filipino people”.

The renowned business leader was accorded another recognition for serving as a steward “of business and economic development in the country” in 2011. The Employers Confederation of the Philippines granted the Gawad Lakan ng Kalakalan to Dr. Ty, and it was presented by former President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III.

That same year, Dr. Ty also received the Medal of Merit “for Outstanding Achievement in the Promotion of Philippines-Japan Relations” by the Philippines-Japan Society, being its 33rd awardee. In the award’s citation, Dr. Ty was recognized for “his immeasurable contributions to Philippine society, and his significant accomplishments in forging meaningful and dynamic relations between Filipinos and Japanese”.

In 2012, he was conferred the CEO (Communication Excellence in Organizations) Excel Lifetime Award by the International Association of Business Communicators. This particular award has been given to leaders who “epitomize management competence and excellence in communication at a strategic level.”

Not only has Dr. Ty received accolades from institutions and the government; he was also acknowledged right in the Metrobank Group, as shown in 2014 when he was conferred the Grand Exemplar Medallion by the Board of Advisers of the Metrobank Foundation for “his distinguished leadership, generous spirit, compassion, and outstanding achievements that [have] contributed to the growth of the nation.”

In 2017 Dr. Ty received two prestigious awards. First, he received the Ramon V. Del Rosario Award for Nation Building from the Junior Chamber International Manila and the Asian Institute of Management’s Center for Corporate Responsibility in July of that year. The late banker and philanthropist was chosen “for exhibiting entrepreneurial spirit, good corporate citizenship, social responsibility, and for his underlying passion for nation-building”.

The other award he received that year was the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star, conferred by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Matsukaze-no-Ma, Imperial Palace in Tokyo, Japan. This distinct honor was given to Dr. Ty “in recognition of his contribution to strengthening the economic relations between Japan and the Philippines.”

The following year, weeks before his passing, Dr. Ty was the first MVP Bossing Lifetime Achievement awardee in PLDT Enterprise’s MVP Bossing Awards. This award recognized the visionary as “an individual who had built his career with an unwavering honesty and commitment to his entrepreneurial vision.”

Nonetheless, even after his death at the age of 86, Dr. Ty is still recognized as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and Filipino to emulate.

Last Sept. 9, both chambers of the 18th Congress gave their respective honors to Dr. Ty. The Senate of the Philippines unanimously adopted Senate Resolution No. 10, titled “Resolution Posthumously Honoring Dr. George S.K. Ty for his Philanthropic Contributions”; while the House of Representatives adopted House Resolution No. 10, titled “Resolution Honoring the Achievements and Contributions of Dr. George Siao Kian Ty, an Outstanding Filipino, Philanthropist, and Business Leader.” — Adrian Paul B. Conoza