P.L. Lim, founder of Manila Peninsula, dies at 99


Posted at Mar 10 2015 05:01 PM | Updated as of Mar 11 2015 01:01 AM

MANILA – The founder of The Peninsula Manila Hotel, Patricio Luis "P.L." Lim, has passed away.

According to the PLLIM Group of Companies, Lim died on March 2, 2015, and was laid to rest on March 6, 2015. He was 99 years old.

He is survived by his wife, Madeleine, and children Margaret; David and Penny; Evelyn and John Forbes; and Philip and Evelyn.

Lim served as chairman and chief executive officer of The Peninsula Manila, and the Philippine Fire and Marine Insurance Corporation.

He was also president, chief executive, and vice chairman of the Board of Philippine Carpet Mfg. Corp. He also held top positions several firms including Capital Garment Corporation, Lipave Management Corporation, PLLim Investments Inc., and South Gold Garments Inc.

In a November 2013 article published by Asian Dragon magazine, Lim's children, David and Evelyn shared some insights about their hard-working father.

P.L. Lim was originally from Amoy China, but his family moved to Masbate.

Evelyn related how her father only finished 6th grade because he had to work. His grandmother brought him to Manila to study at a Chinese school when he was around 9 or 10, since there was no Chinese school in Masbate.

She said her father lived in Binondo, and worked while studying. "He told me he would sleep on a bench right behind the front door, so if anyone tried to break in, it would wake him up," she told Asian Dragon magazine.

In 1966, Lim started his partnership in manufacturing Tai Ping carpets with the Khadoorie brothers, an Armenian Jewish family who was based in Hong Kong. It was the Khadoorie family's first venture outside of Hong Kong.

It was his friendship with the Khadoories, who also owned the Peninsula chain, that paved the way for Lim to bring The Peninsula Manila to life. It was the first Peninsula hotel to open outside of Hong Kong.

The five-star Peninsula Manila along Ayala Avenue opened in 1976.

"My father and the Khadoories wanted something classic that would not age," Evelyn said, referring to the iconic Manila Pen lobby.

At present, the Lim family is no longer involved in the Manila Pen's management, except as director.

Asked by Asian Dragon about the best lessons their father gave them, David said, "Two things I remember, he was always drumming into me: never do anything illegal, and the second is honesty."

For her part, Evelyn said, "it was always about the name, never about the money. Money you can make, usually through sweat equity, but once you destroy your name, you can't get it back anymore. It's a different ethic nowadays."

"One of the things my father taught us is that the business always translates itself into people; it doesn't stop at the balance sheet. In the end, it's all about what happens to all of those people -- that's your concern, ultimately," Evelyn said.