.RAMON R. VALMONTE

 
Ramon R. Valmonte comes from Gapan City, Nueva Ecija.

He is the only child of Apolonio R. Valmonte  and the former Cipriana Ramos, both deceased. His parents were first cousins -- his grandmother on his father's side was the younger sibling of his grandfather on his mother's side.

He belongs to a family whose members have played important roles in the history of Gapan for over two centuries.

He is the seventh generation descendant of Bartolome dela Cruz Valmonte, the first gobernadorcillo or mayor of Gapan in 1747. His great-great-grandaunt Juana Valmonte owned the original image of the Divina Pastora, patron saint of Gapan City, the province of Nueva Ecija and the Diocese of Cabanatuan.  His great-granduncle Pantaleon Valmonte, who served as Gapan's capitan municipal or mayor,  was a general in the Philippine Revolution against Spain, and together with Gen. Mariano Llanera led the "The First Cry of Nueva Ecija" on September 2, 1896 -- an event that earned for the province a ray in the sun adorning the Philippine flag.

He finished Communication Arts at Ateneo de Manila University -- among the first batch of 13 Ateneo communication graduates in 1971.

Devoting more than half of his life to communication, he has had training and work experiences in the fields of research, advertising, film and radio/TV broadcasting.

He started his radio career in DZXO-AM in Cabanatuan City in 1973, then went on to spend ten years managing two government radio stations -- the defunct National Irrigation Administration station DWNI-AM and the Nueva Ecija provincial radio station DWNE-AM. He likes to recall that when the Aquino revolutionary government took over from the Marcos dictatorship in 1986, he was among the first two persons in the Nueva Ecija Provincial Capitol to be fired -- the first being the late Governor Eduardo L. Joson.

He returned to Vanguard Radio Network's sister stations DZXO-AM and DWWG-FM, serving as administrative assistant, news director and news-and-public affairs broadcaster from 1987 to 2003.

He distinguished himself by being the first broadcaster in the province to have a Communication degree, and the first and only one up to now to be granted a broadcaster's license as a commentator/news analyst -- the highest category among Philippine broadcasters.

Extremely competent in both English and Filipino, he is known for delivering Filipino newscasts while reading from English news scripts, and once simultaneously translated into Filipino President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's English inaugural speech which was then being aired live by the radio station where he was working.

In December 2003, he decided to take a much longed-for break from radio and resigned from DZXO and DWWG, ending a stint in broadcasting that spanned three decades.  Vanguard Radio Network presented him with a certificate of recognition that summed up his career as a broadcaster: "For his invaluable service to this network... during which time he had shown unquestioned loyalty, untouchable integrity, passionate service to the community... setting a very high standard of professionalism for himself  worthy of emulation by his peers..."

Eager to try out other career possibilities, he had a taste of  how it was to work in front of the TV camera when he once hosted an interview program for the Gapan cable TV station.

On the side, he voices video documentaries and has done such projects for institutions like the National Irrigation Administration (NIA), Central Luzon State University (CLSU) and Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMec).  One documentary project he did for the latter was distributed and shown in Southeast Asian countries.

Coming from a family of educators -- there must be something like 20 teachers in his family, including his late mother and an assortment of uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews, nieces and in-laws from the paternal and maternal sides -- he eventually joined the teaching profession first as a part-timer and later as an associate professor at Wesleyan University-Philippines in Cabanatuan City, handling Mass Communication subjects since the university opened the course in 1988. He designed the university's million-peso Mass Communication Laboratory and put online the Mass Communication E-Classroom, the university's first Internet-based learning resource site. He served as consultant for public information and public relations to five Wesleyan presidents. He was mainly responsible for giving the university an Internet presence by creating and publishing its first web site in 1999. In February 2005, he rejoined the field of broadcasting when he was tapped as the first station manager of DWUP-FM,  Wesleyan's  campus radio station. In May 2007, he was appointed editor of the university's official publication, Wesleyan Updates.  In January 2008, he was designated as head of the WU-P Printing and Photography Office, and in March of the same year, was assigned as editor of the university website. During the celebration of the 62nd founding anniversary of Wesleyan in July 2008, he was awarded as "Outstanding Administrator of the Year".

On November 1, 2009, he resigned from the positions of station manager of DWUP-FM and editor of Wesleyan Updates to concentrate on teaching.

Aside from mass media and teaching, he loves computers and the Internet. He never had any formal computer training but managed to teach himself how to use one, and eventually bought himself a PC at a time when such an equipment was a rarity in most homes. He is on record as one of the first ten Novo Ecijanos to get connected to the Internet when an Internet service provider opened in Cabanatuan City in 1996. He was the first to delve into web site design and publishing in Nueva Ecija. Now, he maintains half a dozen personal and institutional web sites.

Just as his great-granduncle Gen. Pantaleon Valmonte launched the "First Cry of Nueva Ecija" over a hundred years before, he claims credit for launching the "First Cry of Nueva Ecija in Cyberspace" with his online newspaper, the Nueva Ecija Journal. It is Nueva Ecija's pioneer web newspaper that has been continuously online since 2000. What makes the Journal unique is that it is produced by only one person -- Valmonte -- who serves as its publisher, editor, writer, reporter, photographer, artist, marketing manager and web master. 

For his work on the Journal, he was presented with an award of recognition by the Toronto, Canada-based Binibining Pilipinas of the World group on May 4, 2002 during its annual award ceremonies for outstanding Filipino-Canadians -- the first non-Filipino-Canadian to be honored by the organization. The award reads: "In recognition of your effort and work in touching the lives of hundreds of Novo Ecijanos throughout the world by providing local news and information through the Internet."

On May 19, 2003, he set yet another record by receiving from the Commission on Higher Education (CHED)-Region III a Certificate of Proficiency, the first person in Central Luzon to be granted such a document by the government agency that oversees higher education. The certificate recognizes Valmonte as a duly qualified faculty to teach in any college or university on a full-time basis Mass Communication subjects in lieu of the masteral degree requirement prescribed by CHED -- a recognition of the rich professional experience he has gained from over three decades of work in the mass media.

On September 2, 2005, during the commemorative program for the 109th Anniversary of Unang Sigaw ng Nueva Ecija, he received the "Tanging Alay sa Tanging Anak ng Nueva Ecija" (Outstanding Novo Ecijano) award for journalism from President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Nueva Ecija Gov.Tomas N. Joson III.

He officially retired from Wesleyan University-Philippines on May 31, 2011. ### 

This page was first published in February 1997, the first website ever produced in Nueva Ecija.