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A Chemical Engineer Founded The Largest Fast Food Chain in The Philippines

It’s known for its chicken and spaghetti. If you’re Filipino, you know what we’re talking about!

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Chemical Engineer


If you’ve ever been to the Philippines, you will find yourself surrounded with fast food chains around you.

With a fast-paced life with little time to wait for food to be served around the metro, wherever you look, you can always find companies waiting for you to be their next customer.

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However, only one company managed to capture the heart of every Filipino in the country and surprisingly, it is starting to enter the hearts of foreigners as well.

Even the late Anthony Bourdain, a famous American chef and TV personality, featured it on his show (No Reservations and Parts Unknown) when he visited the Philippines.

Source: Jollibee Philippines via YouTube

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Yes, we’re talking about Jollibee! The famous fast food chain company has branches all over the country with a very jolly-looking bee wearing a red costume, giving its costumers a warm welcome.

If you’re really lucky, you’ll see the mascot dancing around to entertain people in very long lines. Famous for its Chickenjoy and Jolly Spaghetti, Jollibee managed to make itself part of the Filipino culture over the years.

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And who do the Filipinos owe these incredibly affordable but juicy Chickenjoy meals to? To a chemical engineer, of course.

Tony Tan Caktiong, a Chemical Engineer came from a working-class family who migrated from China to the Philippines after the second world war. He graduated with a chemical engineering degree at the oldest university of the country, the University of Sto. Tomas.

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Before he came up with the idea of putting up Jollibee, he first bought an ice cream parlor franchise that catered to shoppers in the metro. After they sold floats, milkshakes and sundaes to their costumers, they later sold fries, sandwiches and fried chicken.

Ever since then, people were lining up for the food they offered and the capacity of the store was more than they can handle. They decided to open six more ice cream parlors around the Metro Manila. He later turned his ice cream parlors into fast food outlets.

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So where did the Chemical Engineer coined the term “Jollibee”?

His family wanted to come up with a unique name so he took inspiration with the concept of a happy busy bee, reflecting his personality. So, with a red and yellow bee happily working with a smile on its face, they called it Jollibee.

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Now, Jollibee Food Corporation is the biggest fast food franchise in the Philippines.

It has opened branches in different parts of the world. It also owns its former competitors and managed to bring Filipino pride to the Philippines!

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Engr. Amy Aguirre
Civil Engineer, fashion model & GineersNow TV host. Speaks Spanish, English and Portuguese fluently. Based in Melbourne and Manila. Follow me on Linkedin


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