PGMA names Icban acting press secretary

January 21, 2010 11:00 pm 

MANILA, Jan. 21 — Crispulo Icban Jr., editor in chief of the Manila Bulletin, will replace the late Press Secretary Cerge M. Remonde in an acting capacity.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo made the announcement at the lunch she hosted for the Malacañang Press Corps at the Palace.

“Like Cerge, Jun is first and foremost a journalist,” the President said of the new Cabinet secretary.

Icban is the ninth press secretary under President Arroyo. His predecessors were the late Noel Cabrera (whom he inherited from President Estrada), Rigoberto Tiglao, Silvestre Afable, Ignacio Bunye (who served twice), Hernani Braganza, Milton Alingod, Jesus Dureza and Remonde.

Born in Tondo, Manila on Aug. 3, 1935, Icban graduated from the Tarlac Central Elementary School in 1946 and from the Pampanga High School in 1950. He was class valedictorian in both instances.

He graduated from the University of the Philippines (UP)-Diliman with a bachelor of arts in English, magna cum laude, in 1954. In his senior year at UP, he served as editor-in-chief of the Philippine Collegian, the university students paper.

Upon graduation, he joined the Manila Times as general assistant in the editorial department, later as reporter covering the Department of Foreign Affairs, and then as editorial writer. He was subsequently appointed news editor, a position he held until 1972, when the paper was closed down upon declaration of martial law.

In 1957-58, he took a leave of absence from the Manila Times, to work for his master’s degree in journalism, under Fulbright and Smith Mundt Grant, at Syracuse University in New York.

In 1966-67, he was one of 12 American and six international newsmen in the annual Nieman Fellowship program at Harvard University in Massachusetts.

Icban served as professorial lecturer in journalism and English at the Philippine Women’s University (PWU) from 1956 to 1957 and at the UP-Diliman from 1958 to 1973.

He authored, in collaboration with Dean Gloria Feliciano of the UP Institute of Mass Communication, Philippine Mass Media in Perspective, a book now used as school reference.

In 1974, Icban joined the Manila Bulletin, as consultant to the publisher and later as news editor. He became editor-in-chief on Nov. 25, 2003.

Icban has received numerous awards in over half a century of service as journalist. He was named Outstanding Kapampangan by the Pampanga Provincial Government in 1988; and Distinguished Tarlaqueños by the Tarlac Provincial Government in 2003.

He was conferred a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Management, honoris causa, by the Pampanga Agricultural College on April 12, 2006.

He is married to Zenaida Pamintuan Icban of Bacolor, Pampanga. They have six children and 16 grandchildren. (PNA)

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