Pedro Lee Singson Gotiaoco

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Pedro Lee Singson Gotiaoco

Death: Died
Immediate Family:

Son of Yi-Xia Go
Husband of Disy Go
Father of Chiong Wei Go; Kong-Uy Go; Manuel Gotianuy; Modesta Singson-Gaisano and Sergio Osmeña, Sr.
Brother of Quiao-Co Go

Managed by: Roderick Alain Alvarez
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Pedro Lee Singson Gotiaoco

Don Pedro Lee Gotiaoco was a 19th century “rags-to-riches” Chinese immigrant tycoon, philanthropist and Cebu Chinese community leader. His Chinese name is “Go Bun Tiao” in the Hokkien and pronounced “Wu Wen Tiao” in Pudonghua or Mandarin. Go Bun Tiao came from a family of sustenance farmers. He travelled to the Philippines to escape prosecution when he accidentally shot a cousin.

The immigrant entrepreneur and philanthropist Pedro Gotiaoco not only exemplified the traditional Confucian values of hard work, frugality, discipline, integrity and xiao-sun or filial piety of total obedience to elders and reverence for ancestors.

During his lifetime, Gotiaoco took care of his relatives, donated to his ancestral hometown as well as to his adopted place of Cebu. He was a generous community leader, helping start Cebu’s Chinese hospital and other charities. Spanish colonial government records also show that he was once Cebu’s top taxpayer. During the anti-colonial revolution when a lot of Cebu businesses were burned and many fellow Chinese traders became homeless, Gotiaoco aided and sheltered them. After Dr. Sun Yat Sen’s 1911 revolution triumphed in China against the Manchus’ corrupt Qing Dynasty, Gotiaoco supported the new republican regime by investing in government bonds. He was a philanthropist also to the less fortunate of Cebu.

There are said to be about 1,000 descendants of Pedro Gotiaoco still alive in the Philippines and overseas. The life of Pedro Lee Gotiaoco is one of the most inspiring immigrant “rags-to-riches” sagas in the history of Southeast Asia.


  • Flores, Wilson Lee. "The secret father of President Sergio Osmena & forebear of John Gokongwei, Jr., Gaisanos, Gotianuns". Date published: 20 June 2010. Date accessed: 28 April 2013.
  • "Go Family (Cebu)". Date published: 19 December 2007. Date accessed: 28 April 2013.
  • Hedman, Eva-Lotta and John Sidel. "Philippine Politics and Society in the Twentieth Century: Colonial Legacies, Post-Colonial Trajectories". Volume 10. Routledge, 2013.
  • Miranda, Miguel. "The Taipans of Cebu". Date published: May 2011. Date accessed: 29 April 2013.
  • Sales, Todd Lucero. "Go". Southwall Magazine. Reprint accessed: 28 April 2013.
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Pedro Lee Singson Gotiaoco's Timeline

September 9, 1878
Cebu City, Central Visayas, Philippines
Cebu City, Cebu, Central Visayas, Philippines