âWe lost a good manâ: Senators, colleagues pay tribute to ex-Tourism chief Mon Jimenez
This undated file photo shows former Secretary Ramon Jimenez.
The STAR/File photo

‘We lost a good man’: Senators, colleagues pay tribute to ex-Tourism chief Mon Jimenez

Rosette Adel (Philstar.com) - April 29, 2020 - 11:04am

MANILA, Philippines — A number of senators on Tuesday paid tribute to former Tourism Secretary Mon Jimenez, who recently passed away, for his contributions to the nation.

On his social media accounts, Sen. Sonny Angara extended his condolences to the family of Jimenez and also posted a photo of him with the former Tourism chief taken during one of his visits in Baler a few years ago.

“We lost a good man, a friend and former Tourism Secretary and top advertising executive Mon Jimenez,” Angara said on a social media post.

“Condolences to his family… though I imagine Mon will be happiest reuniting with his beloved wife Abby who passed away,” he added. 

Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, who formerly worked with Jimenez in the executive department during the Aquino administration, likewise gave a salute to the former Tourism secretary and underscored his patriotism.

"Many will remember Sec. Mon as the man behind the famous campaign that took the world by storm. 'It's more fun in the Philippines' resonated everywhere because he knew the heart of the Filipino. I will always remember Sec. Mon as the man who loved and served his country well, in or out of government. Rest in peace, Sec. Mon!",” Pangilinan said.

Senators Risa Hontiveros and Joel Villanueva, meanwhile, said they were saddened by the passing of Jimenez.

“Deepest condolences to the family & friends of former Sec Mon Jimenez, gone too soon. It became ‘more fun in the Philippines’ because of officials like you. We'll strive to revive that spirit. You are a public servant who will be missed. Rest in peace,” Hontiveros said on Twitter.

For his part, Villanueva, also thanked Jimenez for playing an “instrumental” role in figuring out his participation in the 2016 national elections. He also extended prayers to Jimenez’s family and loved ones.

Jimenez is known to be behind the “It’s more fun in the Philippines” official tourism campaign slogan launched in 2012.

He served as a Tourism secretary of former President Benigno “Nonoy” Aquino III from 2011 to 2016.

'Mon as tourism chief and his love for the Filipino nation'

Aquino also remembered Jimenez’s role in his administration.

He particularly recalled how he was “apprehensive” on approving Jimenez’s proposed slogan thinking it “was another variation of the rejected campaign of his predecessor.”

However, the former president said the meeting room lit up after Jimenez presented the winning campaign.

“Mon as our Tourism Secretary achieved so much without ever complaining about the lack of hotels, facilities, airports, and infrastructure. He instead made do with what we had, and the results speak for themselves,” Aquino said, while crediting Jimenez for the country’s tourism growth during his tenure.

Moreover, Aquino said he is grateful that he was part of his administration.

He said that while he was saddened by Jimenez’s passing, he said the latter’s life was truly well lived. He added that he cannot begrudge Jimenez  “for being in a better state now, back in the company of his beloved Abby.”

“I was indeed fortunate to have a Cabinet whose members for the most part had a singular agenda: The improvement of the lot of our Bosses. Serving with them was so enriching, that we felt achieving the impossible would just take a little longer,” Aquino said.

“In all this, Mon was not only our Tourism chief, but he was also someone instrumental in crafting the messages of my Administration. He helped unify the majority of our people towards achieving the successes that we could be proud of as a nation,” he added.

'More than an advertising expert'

Aside from Aquino, former Presidential Communications Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III also remembered Jimenez.

“Mon Jimenez made me realize real advertising persons aren’t snake-oil hucksters but rather storytellers who put us in touch, at their best, with the truth of our inner selves. Like Chickenjoy, the feels were about more us than products alone. He respected, loved, the Filipino,” Quezon said.

Jimenez worked in the field of advertising for over 30 years before he was appointed as Tourism chief.

Meanwhile, Vice President Leni Robredo similarly expressed gratitude for Jimenez’s friendship.

“Our heartfelt condolences to the family and loved ones of former Tourism secretary Mon Jimenez. Grateful for his friendship and the many ways he helped us see the beauty of our country,” the vice president said.

Independent children’s organization Save the Children also paid homage to its former board of trustees.

DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM IT'S MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES JOEL VILLANUEVA KIKO PANGILINAN LENI ROBREDO NOYNOY AQUINO RAMON JIMENEZ RISA HONTIVEROS SONNY ANGARA
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