CEBU CITY -- The late press secretary Cerge Remonde joined the Arroyo administration with a bang in 2001, hugging the headlines on the first day of his job in Malacañang following the discovery of several listening devices and “bugs” in his new office.
Exactly nine years later on January 22, 2010, Remonde left Malacañang and the Arroyo administration, also with a bang, after his untimely death likewise hugged the headlines, his wife Marit Remonde said.
Remonde was press undersecretary in 2001. He became director-general of the Presidential Management Staff in 2004. And last February 1, 2009, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo appointed him as press secretary. He was among the senior members of Arroyo’s Cabinet.
Mrs. Remonde made this recollection as she thanked everyone who supported her and her late husband, including those who sent their condolences and prayers, the well wishers who attended the wake at the Heritage Memorial Park in Taguig, at Malacanang in Manila, and at Malacanang sa Sugbu in Cebu.
She also thanked those who have been a part of Remonde's life, during the necorological services for Remonde at the Malacanang sa Sugbu Friday night.
Remonde's body was transported to his hometown in Argao, also in Cebu, Saturday morning. He will be laid to rest Sunday afternoon.
Mrs. Remonde said she recalled her husband's first day on the job just as his body was leaving Malacanang Friday morning.
She said her fondest memories and best years were in Cebu but her husband had both fond and best memories from Cebu as well as Malacanang in Manila where he had spent most of his time in the last nine years.
She noted her husband's penchant for dancing and recently taking pictures and uploading them over at Facebook.
“He was going to go back to journalism and work for one of the dailies, but even as press secretary he was already venturing to a new kind of journalism, many of you are his friends at Facebook,” she said, citing that he even got a special camera several weeks back to be able to take pictures.
“I thank the Malacanang Press Corps and the Office of the Press Secretary staff that gave him all those happy moments,” she added, citing that everyone should remember the good times they had with Remonde and how full their lives had become since knowing him.
Former President Joseph Estrada, who paid his respects before midnight of January 22, also had good words for Remonde.
Estrada said he personally did not know Remonde but he made him feel welcomed whenever they meet, citing his recent visit to Malacanang for the National Security Council meeting where Remonde made sure he was comfortable and all right.
Estrada said Remonde treated him just as he would treat anyone he meets, whether they are his friends or not, regardless if they are from the administration or opposition.
He described Remonde's death as a big loss to the administration and media industry.
Former President Fidel Ramos likewise paid his respects to Remonde during the wake at the Malacanang sa Sugbu, along with Cebu Representative Raul del Mar, Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, and Cebu vice gubernatorial candidate Glen Soco. (JMR/Sunnex)