Cris Albert: Business leader, philanthropist, dearest sister—my greatest love

I was a witness to her business acumen, compassion, and willingness to help others

Cris Albert

My jolly Ats

A beacon of light for many women entrepreneurs, Cris Abad Santos Albert was at the helm of Fila Philippines, a leading sportswear brand, as its chief executive officer for over 30 years. She was the company’s vice president for advertising, and I was a witness to her business acumen, compassion, and willingness to help others. More than being my boss, Cris was my older sister, my Ate.

Having shared my entire life with her,  Ats’ untimely passing left a hole in my heart—a pain difficult to understand, with me wishing everything could have been only a nightmare, after which things would be perfect again.

Now, Ats is returning without the joy she usually brings to the room.

We were always together, we talked all the time and chatted every minute. When we were away from each other too long, I would get anxious, and my day wasn’t complete without seeing and being with her. We were in Aman recently, when she treated me on my birthday. Ats loved being with a big group, but in Aman, she took the time to be with me, just the two of us.

She was beloved by many, and her demise is a huge loss for the family and the community of women in business. But she will be remembered for the love she shared with us, for the lives she touched.

Awarded for her many successful and impactful business and civic endeavors, Ats continued to push herself to be a helping hand to many. In a manner of speaking, she did not only lead Fila, but by sharing her knowledge with other women, she also worked to better their lot, so they could take their rightful place in a boardroom formerly dominated by men.

Making business a force for good, Ats and her husband Butch Albert shared their multiple advocacies in the Filipino business circle,  allowing them to help vulnerable segments of society.

Beyond business, Ats valued her family. A doting mother of two, she believed in the delicate balance between work and life, successfully managing her business and her home.

As my sister, she is my greatest love of all. I would love to relive moments with her over and over again.

 I’ll miss you forever, Ats.

About author


She is a leading actress who co-founded Red Turnip and is among the movers in Philippine theater. She is also a surfer.

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