Bilyonaryo Benny Tantoco remains as the rock of the extended family behind the Rustan Group of Companies.
After reaching 100 years on 7 April 2021, Tantoco has been through the best and worst of times that not even a global pandemic could change his cheery and positive outlook in life.
Tantoco flexed his steadying hand when one of his 21 grandchildren got the jitters over the global pandemic which has sucked the blood out of the retail economy and forced consumers to stay at home.
“Last year, when he found one of his grandchildren, SSI (Store Specialists Inc.) Group president Anton Huang, overwhelmed by pandemic fears, he gave the younger man a gentle slap on the back and said, ‘Hold your head up high, it’s not World War II!’ reminding him that there were no bombs falling from the sky or buildings crumbling to the ground,” according to a Manila Bulletin report. .
Tantoco married his late wife, Glecy Rustia, in April 1944 when Manila was still in grip of the Imperial Japanese army. The couple opened the first Rustan store in San Marcelino in 1952 to sell foreign luxury goods amid the ruins of Manila. Talk about determination and vision.