The local government of Bacolod has declared December 13 as “Leonito ‘Diotay’ Dacles Lopue Day” to recognize his “invaluable and selfless contributions” to the city.
Lopue passed away on December 5 in Metro Manila and is mourned by the City of Bacolod which had been his home and to which he had contributed immensely, Mayor Evelio Leonardia said in an executive order signed on Sunday, December 13.
Leonardia said Lopue, who was born on March 23, 1950, came from a humble family whose retail trade, the Lopue’s chain of department stores and supermarkets founded by his parents in August 1945, has become an icon of Bacolod.
He said through Lopue’s hard work, perseverance, and good business acumen, he went to carve a name for himself, not only for his gain but for the entire Filipino-Chinese and business communities.
The EO also said that Lopue has made significant contributions in business, academe, sports, arts, and culture that have impacted the Bacolodnons and the community in a meaningful way.
Lopue was also a founding member of the Metro Bacolod Chamber of Commerce and Industry and was actively involved in various civic, socio-cultural organizations.
He has also extended service and financial resource contributions to numerous charitable works and missions, wherein hundreds of poor and deserving students and families have benefitted from his scholarship programs and humanitarian works, the EO said.
He was also one of the founding directors of the Bacolaodiat Festival and the longest-serving chairman since 2009.
Lopue, who was known as the godfather of table tennis in the province, has always been passionate in giving table tennis palyers the opportunity to see action in high-level competitions, the EO said.
It added that Lopue was an avid sportsman by indulging in his passion for table tennis, badminton, shooting, hunting, caving, tennis, photography, chess, and bowling.
Also, he has been accorded numerous awards and citations including the “Ang Banwahanon Award,” the highest accolade the city government of Bacolod bestowed on its citizens in recognition of their works and achievements which made a great impact on the community, it said.
Lopue was laid to rest on Sunday, December 13.
His children, in a Facebook post, thanked everyone for the messages of sympathy and concern.
“Although we cannot at the moment respond to each of you, you know that they are greatly appreciated and have been a source of comfort and strength in this time of loss. It is also heartwarming to know that our Papa was a man greatly admired and loved by so many,” they said.
They added: “Knowing you are with us in prayer gives us the strength and courage we need as we face a future without his physical presence.”
They also said, “we are greatly saddened with his passing but he left us a legacy of service and generosity, love of family, and concern for those who have less in life. It is an honor to be his children and a gift to have loved and been loved by him.”*