Monday, November 21, 2011

MAXIMO V. SOLIVEN: The Man and the Journalist

Sara Soliven de Guzman did an excellent job in putting together an audio visual documentary on her  father Max Soliven from the view point of close friends and family members who knew him well.  In a ceremony loaded with history and nostalgia, the documentary was the highlight of the book launch at the Peninsula Hotel's  ballroom.  With Precious Soliven and Sara heading the group, the audio visual presentation had siblings Ethel Soliven TimbolWillie Soliven, biographer Nelson Navarro, friends and colleagues Onofre Pagsanjan, National Artist F. Sionil JoseOscar Orbos, Manila Mayor Alfredo LimDr. Ricky Soler, People Asia publisher Babe Romualdez, travel companion and good friend Arthur Lopez, and Star president Miguel Belmonte share memorable insights of Max.

When he was still alive, Max assigned Nelson Navarro to be his biographer with specific instructions:  write everything, spare nothing, and please exaggerate.  "But there is nothing to exaggerate"says Nelson "because Max is bigger than life".

Sara worked closely with Nelson on the book. She expressed gratitude to all the guests present especially to the close friends and colleagues, who made the production possible. Precious said it was a reunion of friends.  Indeed it was. I enjoyed seeing friends of years past-Letty and Arthur Lopez, Zenda CabangunCesar Santos, brother of Max's girl Friday TessRita Dy of Singapore Airlines, author Nelson Navarro who I last saw in New York with Max a decade ago, among others.

The event was hosted by Phil Star columnist, Oh Yes, it's Johnny Litton!

Elusive bachelor Dennis Mendiola and Renaissance Communications Director Monique Toda

Benjie Defensor, Presidential candidate Gilbert Teodoro, Speaker Sonny Belmonte, PhilStar President and CEO Miguel Belmonte and lovely wife Millete Belmonte

Mabuhay Magazine publisher Jun Ventura and hotelier Arthur Lopez

National Artist F. Sionel Jose and his wife Tess

Daddy's little girl, Sara Soliven de Guzman, (in collaboration with mother Precious Soliven), was the master mind of the whole project

Phil Star columnist, Mons Romulo

People Asia Editor in Chief JoAnne Rae Ramirez, People Asia Publisher Babe Romualdez, and Phil Star executive editor Amy Pamintuan

A replica of Max's Soliven's office complete with his typewriter, collection of knives and tons of books

Debbie Reynolds and the rest of the Montessori staff were all present

Retired VP GMA 7 Rod Cornejo and Consul Fortune Ledesma

Rita Dy of Singapore Airlines and banker Philip So

Cesar Santos, represented his sister Tess Santos Coffil, (Max's girl Friday for two decades, who could not fly in from California), banker Philip So, Bobit Avila, Phil Star writer from Cebu, and myself

What's so funny Guys? Private joke among Zenda Cabangun, Art Lopez and Babe Romualdez

Precious Soliven with Baby Arenas and a lady friend

Nelson Navarro with Consul Fortune Ledesma, Mayenne Carmona and Monique Toda watching him autograph his book

Maritess Pineda, Rita Dy, Fortune Ledesma, JoAnne Rae Ramirez and Bum Tenorio 

Babe Romualdez, Zenda Cabangun, Sara Soliven de Guzman, Rey Altarejos, Bobit Avila and Sara's first born pretty Maxime Soliven de Guzman who is my god daughter.


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