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The Elizalde Family

The Elizalde Family

The Elizalde empire in the Philippines started with Joaquin Marcelino Elizalde e Irrisarri of Elizondo, Navarre in Spain. In 1846, at the age of 13, emigrated to the Philippines at the request of his uncle. After three decades, he became one of Manila’s businessmen. His son, Jose Joaquin, took over his businesses and later married Carmen Diaz Monreau, with whom he had six children, including Joaquin Miguel and Manolo Elizalde.

By 1933, the Elizaldes already owned, among others, sugar mills, a shipping firm, an insurance firm and a mining company. After World War II, Manuel “Manolo” Elizalde saw the potential for expanding the family business to media. He and his brother, Joaquin Miguel Elizalde, then Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Philippines to the United States, helped financed the operations of the radio station KZRH—later renamed to DZRH—which was taken over by the Japanese forces during the war. They named the company Manila Broadcasting Company (MBC). The Elizaldes also acquired Philippine Broadcasting Corporation from the Soriano family.

After the war, Manolo became the president of Elizalde and Company. By then, he already owned steel, hemp, paint and wine factories, along with a media empire of radio and television, and a hacienda and sugar central in Negros Occidental. 

In 1962, his son, Fred J. Elizalde, then a fresh graduate from Harvard, joined the company and expanded its media businesses to include print. He acquired publications such as the Evening News; the Daily News International, a newspaper for expatriates; the Philippine Sun, a bilingual newspaper in English and Tagalog; Bulaklak, a Tagalog magazine; and a tourist magazine called Manila Guide Fortnightly.

When martial law was declared in 1972 and 292 radio stations all over the country were closed, DZRH managed to survive but under strict government censorship. All Elizalde publications also closed down and Fred focused on managing the family’s sugar mills.  

In 1985, Fred Elizalde was appointed director/chairman of MBC. MBC currently has one AM station and three FM stations in Metro Manila, and 10 Aksyon Radyo, 25 Love Radio, 10 Yes FM, seven Easy Rock, 18 DZRH relay stations, and 151 Radyo Natin stations in the provinces.

Apart from MBC, Elizalde is the chairman/president of Philippine International Corporation (Philcite), Star Parks Corporation (Star City), Elizalde Holdings Corporation (EHC) and Northern Capiz Agro-Industrial Development Corporation (Norcaic). EHC has 20 subsidiaries, collectively referred to as the FJE Group of Companies.

Elizalde also owns D’Mall in Boracay island. In 2005, he was appointed as member of the Boracay Eminent Persons Group.

He was past chairman/president of Asean Section, Asean-U.S. Business Council, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and Confederation of Asian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

Elizalde’s wife is the Philippines’ first prima ballerina, Lisa Macuja-Elizalde. Lisa is the artistic director of Ballet Manila and the directress of The Ballet Manila School. She is the main stockholder of Ballet Manila, Inc., with 51 percent ownership while her husband owns 10 percent of it. 

Lisa’s father, Cesar Macuja, worked for Elizalde as president of Star Parks Corporation (SPC), a subsidiary of EHC and owner of Star City, an amusement park in the premises of the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Lisa’s brother, Julio Manuel, joined MBC in 1999 and is currently the treasurer of both MBC and EHC, and a member of the Board of SPC.

Juan Manuel, Fred’s son from his marriage to the late Joan Gatlin, has been with MBC since 1994, and is MBC’s vice president for operations.

Juan Manuel's sister Thalassa is also one of the directors of MBC. 

Media Companies / Groups
Media Outlets


Philippine International Corporation


Sunshine Inns, Incorporated


Elizalde Land, Incorporated


Ride's R' Us, Incorporated

Family & Friends

Affiliated Interests Family Members Friends

TGE Holdings Corporation

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