Loida Nicolas-Lewis: Richest Filipina in the World

Born and raised in the Sorsogon City, Philippines, Lewis comes from a family of entrepreneurs. Her father started one of the country’s largest furniture manufacturing firms, Nicfur.

She attended her secondary education in St. Agnes Academy (formerly Academia de Sta. Ines), the oldest Catholic school in Albay, Philippines.

Lewis graduated cum laude from St. Theresa’s College, a private, Roman Catholic women’s college in Manila, Philippines (that location has since closed). Later, she earned a law degree from the University of the Philippines College of Law and was admitted to the Philippine Bar.

Lewis was the first Asian American to pass the American Bar without having been educated in the United States. She is eligible to practice law in the Philippines and New York.

A wide and frequent traveller, Lewis learned to speak English, French, Spanish, and Tagalog. She currently resides in New York City with her two daughters.

Loida Nicolas-Lewis is probably the richest Filipino living outside her home country. She is the chairman and CEO of TLC Beatrice International Holdings, Inc., a two-billion-dollar corporation of 64 companies based in 31 countries. TLC is a marketer of ice cream in Spain and the Canary Islands, the leading manufacturer of potato chips in Ireland, and a prime distributor of beverage in the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Thailand.

A lawyer by profession, Loida is also an author, a philanthropist, and an active leader of the Filipino community in the United States. She owns the distinction of having been the first Asian woman to pass the New York State bar exam without having studied law in the U.S. As a businesswoman, she was ranked number 1 among the “Top 50 Women Business Owners in America” by the Working Woman magazine in 1994.

In the United States, she is known as the remarkable woman behind the success of Reginald Lewis, the first Afro-American to hit the US$1B-in-assets mark. In January 1993, Reginald died of brain cancer. So revered was Loida’s love for her late husband and “tutor” that she later wrote a book, entitled “Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun? How Reginald F. Lewis Created a Billion Dollar Business Empire.” It sold several hundred thousand copies.

Reginald’s untimely death left Loida with the responsibility of raising their two daughters alone and taking care of the family business. She finished her AB course at the Saint Theresa’s College and her law degree at the University of the Philippines.


About filipinoachievers

A former tubagatherer turned OFW on my journey towards a successful online free-content provider. Co-founder of PhilNews.Ph, one of the Philippines Top 200 websites based on Alexa Ranking.
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10 Responses to Loida Nicolas-Lewis: Richest Filipina in the World

  1. Dear Loida: am also Theresian like you (STC Baguio) . I need your advice on getting funding for my start up company (set up last year feb 2009). I have put in my entire nest egg into it, doing it parttime until last March when I was laid off from work. It’s tough going for me right now but I am not going to give up. My company has a niche in the energy efficiency and conservation industry and I passionately feel that now is such a perfect time to be in this business.
    I need funding to get it off the ground. There is so much to say to you but I would like to meet you in person. I live in NJ and can cross over
    whenever you are available . My partner Peter Ricks, an AfroAmerican would also love to meet with you.

  2. Sorry the email ended abruptly …. I hope it went through …
    Thank you and looking forward to our meeting.

  3. my comments are above….please reply by email or call me on my cell 973 801 6931.

  4. Jose Llana Panganiban says:

    Good day,

    I am Jose Llana Panganiban, I have a total land property of 400 hectares more or less at Lobo, Batangas. I am willing to sell it for P200/square meter or invest my land at your company. If you are interested you can email me for more details.

    I have a video clippings of Lobo, Batangas at youtube titled metro lobo.

    Thank you.

    Jose Llana Panganiban
    Land Owner

  5. Nikka says:

    Hello, I read your entry about Ms. Loida Nicolas Lewis and saw that you got acquainted with her for an interview. I just want to know, will it be all right if you share with me her email address? I’m part of a new NGO (http://www.shedmfi.org) and we are hoping to invite her support for it. It would be greatly appreciated if you could send to my email whatever contact detail you have.

    Thank you very much,

  6. I haven’t read Loida Nicolas Lewis comments about the ongoing standoff in the Scarborough Shoal. She once started or participated in (as far as I know by reading in the news) the worldwide protests about the impending completion of China Oil rig and will be towed to drill oil in West Philippine Sea. Filipinos in the U.S.protested and heard all over the world. She has the following in the Filipino Community in the U.S. and she can do the same now that there’s a standoff in the Scarborough shoal. Wake up Loida. Voltaire Gasmin (defense Secretary) is asking the support of all Filipinos all over the world. You can do the same as before. You can use your connections with the community. Let’s protest in major cities of the U.S.

  7. josephine laureles says:

    Good evening, I am Josephine Laureles of Naga City. When my family and I were living in Japan, I read about Madam Loida Nicolas Lewis. I was very inspired about her investment in the Bicol Region that my family moved back to the Philippines and started a small meat retailing business. After 8 years of hardwork, the business was able to part of Robinsons Supermarket (Naga) and several LCC supermarkets in the Cam. Sur and Albay. I would really appreciate if I could be able to reach My IDOL and inspiration. She might give me more insights of what I’m doing. My email address is josephinelaureles@yahoo.com.

    Thank you!

  8. Tholitz says:

    I am very familiar in Metro Manila and it’s neighboring town, and experienced driving some VIP’s like Seanator Villar. If by chance you need a driver when visiting philippines pls try call 09424919040. It’s my pleasure serving the idol of Sorsoganon. Mabuhay po kayo..

  9. Dear Loida,

    I am Pilipino from Australia I have a suggestion that I think it will be very helpful. My suggestion is to gather all elementary student as many as we can get in front of China embassy with protest banner saying (That land is our & our future) I really wanted to help. In this way I think the whole world will be able to see how greedy China are. Thanks a lot for your support to our land. My name: Florita Esteron Rasnier
    Email Address: frasnier@hotmail.com
    I am a friend of Jess Diaz & I meet you here in Australia when you came here.

  10. Tony says:

    I am proud of you and all of your accomplishments. What is interesting here is that not person mentioned or was interested in the fact that your husband, an African-American from the US was an instrumental part of your success and you were the driving force behind his success.

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