HOURS before he irretrievably rested his pen, veteran journalist and former presidential press secretary and Varsitarian news editor Jesus “Jess” Sison rose from his bed and had dinner with his kids.

“We were very happy when we saw him because he had been lying in his bed ever since he was first hospitalized,” Sison’s eldest daughter Milen de Quiros, 50, said.

But at around 12:45 p.m. last June 21, Sison succumbed to cardiac arrest at his residence in Sanville Subdivision in Quezon City, 10 days after being discharged from the Mary Child’s Hospital. He was 76.

De Quiros said that her father was first hospitalized early this month due to back pains after falling from his wheelchair while trying to retrieve a roll of tissue paper that had been lying on the floor.

Sison was discharged four days later, but the pain lingered, forcing his family to re-confine him on July 8. But that time, he was already suffering from pneumonia, de Quiros said.

Sison’s remains were brought to Funeraria Nacional last July 22 and were cremated last July 28 at the Heritage Park Crematory in Fort Bonifacio.

De Quiros said that she will always remember her father as the person who taught her the value of humility and integrity and the principle that “a person’s reputation is more important than money”.

Sison took up Journalism in UST, where he also became the news editor of the Varsitarian in 1953. He also served as assistant of the late press icon Teodoro Valencia, another former Varsitarian editor and considered the Dean of Filipino Journalists, in the 1970s and ‘80s.

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He also worked as a columnist and editorial writer for various publications such as the Daily Express, The Independent, Balita, Malaya, and Abante before venturing to radio in 1992 as a commentator for dwIZ.

He began his public service career in 1949 as a press assistant at the Malacañang Press Office where he served for almost a decade.

Later on, he became press secretary of President Fidel V. Ramos from May 1993 to June 1995, before heading the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board as chairman from September 1995 to July 1998.

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