MANILA, Philippines—Former newsman and Press Secretary Raul S. Gonzalez died on May 15 after a long battle with cancer. He was 78.
A product of San Beda College where he studied from elementary to college, Gonzalez distinguished himself in government service and the academe.
He served as press secretary to the late President Diosdado Macapagal at a very young age, and later became vice president for university relations at the University of the East (UE).
In 1986, after the Edsa Revolt, he joined the Government Service Insurance System as vice president for public affairs, later as senior vice president for corporate planning. The late President Corazon Aquino and the current President Aquino both appointed him as member of the board of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
But before all that, Gonzalez was a newsman working the beats at the old Manila Chronicle where he earned a Fullbright grant.
For many years, he wrote opinion pieces for The Philippine Star, Evening Star, The Evening Paper and The Daily Tribune.
It was at UE where he served as adviser to several batches of aspiring journalists of the student newspaper called The Dawn. Today, many of them have become recognizable names in their respective fields as well, but they continue to regard him as a significant influence in their careers and accord him the respect due a master of their craft.
His opinion pieces were compiled in a book, “My Malacañang,” conceived in homage to a man whose life’s work enlightened and entertained a broad spectrum of readers, and predisposed a generation of writers who call him their mentor.
Gonzalez is survived by wife Jean, children Richie and Giselle and Noel and Pierre, grandchildren Rando, Rigz, Annika and Ryan, brothers and sisters Hernando, Baby and Jun Pena, and Vicky Acab.
His remains lie at the Sanctuarium on Araneta Avenue in Quezon City, and will be cremated at 5 p.m. on Sunday after a Mass.