ENRIQUE “Pocholo” Romualdez, executive editor of Malaya Business Insight, passed away yesterday at the Medical Center Manila. He was 92.
He is survived by children Dondi, Ramon, Eddie and Marisu; son-in-law Randy; daughters-in-law Ellen, Maricor and Lorna; grandchildren Bianca, Jay R, Regine, Via, Nikki, John, Christopher, Cecilia, Alexa, Randi, Kristy and Diane. Wake and interment details to follow.
“Sir Pocholo” had been with Malaya Business Insight for three decades. He was editor of several papers like the Daily Express, Taipan Magazine, and the Manila Times.
A horse racing aficionado, he was appointed commissioner of the Philippine Horse Racing Commission during the Estrada administration. He graduated from the University of the Philippines in 1950 with a Ph.B. (major in English).
His first job was with the Philippines Commonwealth, then the leading Catholic-oriented newspaper, followed by short-lived stints in the old Manila Post and the newly-resurrected Philippines Herald. He later joined the Manila Times as a sportswriter. He went to Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois in 1951 on a Fulbright/Smith-Mundt scholarship. He was also accepted by the University of California (Berkeley) and Columbia University in New York but chose Northwestern because it also offered a $500 scholarship from the Kansas City Star. He returned in 1952 with a masteral degree and worked with then Times publisher Chino Roces in a massive make-over of the Manila Times and worked with the paper until 1968 when, faced with the problems of a growing family, he reluctantly resigned to work in a government office. In 1972, he was asked by Johnny Perez to organize the Philippines Daily Express. He spent the next 15 years trying to give a gentler, kinder face to martial law. The Daily Express closed down in 1987. In 1988, jobless, he got another call from Johnny Perez, who asked him if he was interested to work in Caracas, Venezuela to set up a newspaper (in Spanish). He returned after four months, the Caracas job done, and worked with Lifestyle Asia, the first of the “glossies” that saw light after EDSA. In 1989, he was invited by then Malaya publisher Jake Macasaet to join the paper, and had stayed with Malaya since then, turning down various offers.