Antonio C. Delgado

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Antonio Concepcion Delgado (December 21, 1917 - December 7, 1992) was a prominent industrialist and civic leader who was appointed Philippine Ambassador to the Vatican.

Early life[edit]

Antonio Delgado was born in San Pablo, Laguna, the fourth of eight children of Jose Maria Delgado (the first Philippine Ambassador to the Vatican) and Felisa Concepcion.

Antonio graduated valedictorian in high school at San Beda College in 1933, and took his Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering, magna cum laude, at the University of Santo Tomas in 1937. He saw action with the Philippine Army and as a guerrilla during World War II. He married Nellie Chuidian in 1944 and they had four children, namely Jose Roberto, Lolita, Jose Antonio, and Jose Eduardo.

On July 28, 1963, Jose Antonio died with the entire Philippine contingent to the 11th World Scout Jamboree in Marathon, Greece - 19 other Boy Scouts, 3 Scoutmasters and Chaplain - when their plane crashed in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Bombay, India. His parents set up the Jose Antonio Delgado Memorial Foundation, Inc. (a.k.a. the Ala-Ala Foundation) with the insurance money.


In 1946, Delgado founded ACD, Inc., and in 1949 he established Delgado Brothers, Inc. and transformed it into the largest fully integrated transportation company in the Philippines. He founded eight other companies:

  • Caltex Floating Station (CFS)
  • Delgado Stevedoring (DelSteve)
  • Delgado Overland Corporation (DelLand)
  • Delgado Brokerage Corporation (DelBroCO)
  • Delgado Air Cargo (DelAir)
  • Delgado Shipyard Corporation (DelYard)
  • United Services Corporation (DelTrade)
  • Wood-Mosaic (Phil), Inc.
  • Delgado Brothers Hotel Corporation, (DBHC) which owned the Manila Hilton (the first 5-star hotel in the Philippines and the tallest building in the country during the late 1960s into the 1970s)

In the 1950s and 1960s, Delgado became director of:

  • Private Development Corporation of the Philippines (PDCP), (Because of the incorporation of PDCP, ACD had to delay his trip to Marathon Greece on July 28, 1963, thereby avoiding the ill-fated trip that took the life of his son Toton and 23 other Filipino Boy Scouts)
  • Manila Electric Company (Meralco)
  • First United Bank
  • Philippine Radio Educational and Information Center (Radio Veritas)

In the 1960s, Delgado was elected to:

  • Philippine Chamber of Industries - President
  • Industrial Finance Committee - Chairman
  • Chamber of Commerce - Member
  • Management Association of the Philippines - President
  • Philippine Council of Management - Board Governor
  • American Management Association - Member


Delgado received many awards from various organizations: In 1954 ACD was named Employer of the Year and in 1959 he was named Business Executive of the Year of the Business Writers Association of the Philippines.


At fifteen, Delgado was a member of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines contingent to the 4th World Scout Jamboree in Gödöllő, Hungary in 1933; 35 years later, he became President of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines. At the 1971 World Scout Conference in Tokyo, Japan, he became the first Asian to be elected Chairman of the World Scout Committee. He was responsible for instituting the World Scout Badge during his term;[citation needed] it is now worn by Scouts in the World Organization of the Scout Movement. His son, industrialist Jose Eduardo Delgado, has been a member of the National Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines, and is a recipient of the Silver Tamaraw Award of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.


Delgado served as Philippine Ambassador to the Holy See from 1975-1982, just as his physician father, Jose Maria Delgado from 1957 to 1961. Delgado searched for a possible first Filipino Saint, he found a candidate martyred in Japan in the 1600s and then worked for the beatification of Lorenzo Ruiz and his companions by Pope John Paul II in Manila on 18 February 1981. It was the first time in centuries for these rites to be held outside Rome. In 1982 Delgado retired and subsequently served as Ambassador of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta to the Philippines from 1982 to 1988. He authored The Making of the First Filipino Saint in 1982, which was published in 1987. Delgado commissioned the Vatican Mosaic Studio to create an image of Saint Lorenzo Ruiz, which is now installed at the Altar of the Martyrdom of St. Peter at St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican.


Delgado died December 7, 1992 of natural causes at home in Makati City, Metro Manila, fourteen days before his 75th birthday.

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