Philippe Jones Lhuillier is a Filipino diplomat, businessman and philanthropist. He is the current Philippine ambassador to Spain. From 1999 to 2010, he was the ambassador to Italy and the chairman of the Philippine’s largest pawnshop chain, Cebuana Lhuillier Pawnshop.
Philippe graduated with a bachelor of science degree in management from De La Salle University, Manila and received a diploma in gemology from the Gemology Institute of Antwerp in 1970 and the Gemology Institute of America in 1971.
Before being assigned to Portugal, Lhuillier was the Philippine ambassador to Italy in 1999, Albania in 2000, and San Marino in 2003 where he held the distinction of being the first Philippine ambassador to that country. His terms of office in these countries ended in January 2010.
Lhuillier has received numerous awards for his work. He was awarded by the government of the Republic of Italy with the Ordine Della Stella Della Solidarieta Italiana Award for his significant achievement in fostering goodwill between Italy and the Philippines. The order is bestowed through a decree by Italy’s President through the recommendation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is the highest Italian award given to foreigners as well as Italians living abroad. Amb. Lhuillier was conferred the Order of Rajah Humabon by Cebu City on its 73rd Charter Anniversary on February 24, 2010 for promoting economic development and tourism.
In 2008, he was unanimously selected as one of the Twenty Outstanding Filipinos Abroad (TOFA) for his promoting the image of Filipinos while serving his post as Philippine ambassador to Italy, Albania and San Marino. De la Salle University awarded him the Distinguished La Sallian Award for his record as Ambassador to Italy and his assistance to the Filipino OFWs. The University of the Philippines also honored him by naming one of its lecture rooms as Ambassador Philippe J. Lhuillier Lecture Room. On April 16, 2010, Saint Louis University conferred on Ambassador Philippe J. Lhuillier the degree of Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa.
P.J. Lhuillier Inc. is the parent company of Cebuana Lhuillier, the country’s largest nonbank financial services provider, specializing in pawning, remittance and microinsurance. The group’s first branch, Agencia Cebuana, was established by French immigrant Henry Leon Lhuillier in 1953. Today the group has interests in Le Soleil de Boracay Hotel, Palm Rock Hotel, Just Jewels and Networld Capital Ventures. P.J.’s son Jean Henri is CEO .
Graduating from his management course at the De La Salle University in 1968, Philippe Jones Lhuillier started as a businessman looking after the empire that his father, Henry Lhuillier had founded. Agencia Cebuana, the pawnshop that was soon to be the Cebuana Lhuillier in the late ‘80s, was passed on to his care.
Today, after decades of successful business, Cebuana has grown to over 1,400 branches nationwide. The preferred cash solutions provider of Filipinos was again passed on to Philippe’s sons, Jean Henri and Andre, when Philippe was appointed as Philippine Ambassador to Italy in 1999.
In December 2000, he founded the Philippe J. Lhuillier Foundation, Inc., a non-stock, non-profit charitable organization, as the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of his company. “The focus of our foundation is really how to help give and return to people,” Ambassador Lhuillier said.
To date, the Foundation boasts
of 220 scholars who are mostly graduating with honors. Eighty scholars are expected to come in this year as part of the Foundation’s 10th anniversary celebration.