[NOTE:  MAX'S  PHOTOS  COURTESY OF http://lubetkinsotherblog.blogspot.com/2006/12/lobp26-remembering-max-soliven.html ]

MANILA, OCTOBER 11, 2007 (STAR) By Evelyn Macairan - Plans are underway for the creation of a sculpture in honor of Philippine STAR founding publisher Maximo Soliven, who is described by Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim as one of the best journalists in the country.

Lim yesterday said the Manila City Hall (MCH) would take on the project and Soliven’s statue would likely become one of the attractions along the Baywalk area on Roxas Boulevard.

“We are already talking about putting up a statue of Max Soliven along the Baywalk. He is one of the best journalists and a known fighter for freedom and rights of the citizenry,” said Lim.

But he said he would have to consult first with Soliven’s wife Preciosa regarding the location of the sculpture and the nature of the pose.

“Initially, Preciosa said that if a sculpture would be made in Max’s honor, she requests that it be placed within the vicinity of the Aristocrat restaurant because it was where they used to go when Max was still courting her,” he said.

Lim said they might hire the services of Ed Castrillo to make Soliven’s statue, which is hoped to be unveiled before the year ends.

Soliven started The Philippine STAR along with founding chairperson Betty Go-Belmonte and Art Borjal on July 28, 1986. His column titled “By The Way” was one of the most widely read newspaper columns.

He was born in Manila on Sept. 4, 1929. At age 20, he was appointed as associate editor of the Catholic newspaper The Sentinel and later transferred to the Manila Chronicle where he covered police and political beats.

For three years, he was the business editor of The Manila Times. When he was 27 years old, he became publisher and editor of The Evening News.

For more than 12 years, he worked as a foreign correspondent and covered several historical events, among them the Vietnam War, the 1968 Tet Offensive, the Gestapu Coup in Indonesia and the detonation of the first atomic bomb in the People’s Republic of China.

Soliven was recognized locally and internationally. He was named Journalist of the Year by the National Press Club, a Chevalier (knight) of the National Order of Merit of the French Republic, and was given by King Juan Carlos the rank of Encomendero de la Orden Isabel la Catolica.

During the declaration of Martial Law, former President Ferdinand Marcos ordered Soliven’s arrest but he was later released on probation for three months. He was also barred from leaving the country and writing for seven years.

On Nov. 24, 2006, Soliven suffered a fatal cardiac arrest at the Narita Airport in Tokyo, Japan. He died at the age of 77.

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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