Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

7 Jan, 2017

Jose Aspiras, Secretary/Minister of Tourism, the Philippines

ASEAN Travel & Tourism Hall of Fame – Initiated by Travel Impact Newswire Executive Editor Imtiaz Muqbil to recognise the many veterans who helped grow and shape ASEAN tourism over the last 50 years.


Date of Birth: 1924. Place of Birth NA.

Marital status – Married with six children

Education: NA


Journalist, News Reporter and Columnist for the Star Reporter and the Evening News; United Nations War Correspondent in Korea;

Jailed for refusing to divulge his sources of informations but subsequently acquitted by a unanimous decision of the Supreme Court; an event which eventually resulted in the enactment of the Freedom Act by Congress in 1957;

President – National Press Club (1957-1958)

Member – Council of State, National Security Council, and National Development Council (1965 – 1969)

Acting General Manager- Government Insurance System

Secretary of Information (Press Secretary) (1965 -1969)

Secretary/Minister of Tourism (1973-1986)

Political career

Six-term Congressman of the second District of La Union

Re-elected to the 8th Congress (1987-1992) and the 9th Congress (1992 -1995)

Re-elected Member of the Batasang Pambansa for the whole Province of La Union (1984 -1986)

Elected Member of the Interim Batasang Pambansa (1978 -1984)

Elected to the 7th Congress (1969-1972)

President – Northern Luzon Alliance (NLA), the organization of Ilocano Senators, Congress, Governors, City mayors and other incumbent members of the Senate and the House of representatives of Ilocano descent (1992 -1998)

Senior Member of the powerful Commission on Appointments (CA) that confirms the appointments of

Cabinet Members, Ambassadors, Generals and full Colonels of the AFP and senior government officials.

Spearheaded a Comprehensive Development Program for his District and the Province of La Union.

Sponsored Legislation forthe construction/establishment/creation of: National, Municipal and Barangay Roads; Schools, Universities and Hospitals; Bridges; Museums, parks, and Playgrounds;

Electrification; Countryside Infrastructure; and Waterworks and Irrigation Systems.

Spearheaded efforts to restore La Union after it was devastated by the Earthquake of July 1990

Other activities

Chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board, and the Philippine Tourism Authority;

First Chairman – Asian Institute of Tourism and the Philippine Convention Bureau;

President – Pacific Asia Travel Association; World Tourism Organization; and World Tourism Conference which promulgated the Manila Declaration of World Tourism which was ratified and adopted unanimously by the United Nations General Assembly;

Under his stewardship in 1980 of One Million Tourist Arrivals, the tourism industry became the third largest dollar earner of the Philippines;

Established the Asian Institute of Tourism of the University of the Philippines (1975);

Created the Philippine Convention Bureau;

Father of the BAUKBAYAN Program and the REUNION FOR PEACE; and

Responsible for hosting the first Miss Universe Beauty Pageant held in Manila in 1974.

Participated in numerous International Conferences:

First International Labor Organization and Freedom of Information Conference – Geneva;

International Security Conference – Moscow;

International Businessmen’s Conferences – Pakistan;

Sabah Claim Negotiations -Bangkok;

General Assembly of United Nations -New York

Awards and Decorations

Gintong Ama Awardee, the Philippines

Knight Commander, Order of Saint Gregory the Great from His Holiness, Pope John Paul II;

International Man of the Year in Tourism Award (1975);

Commander, Order on Merit Republic of Italy;

Tanda Rehormayan, Pintang Mahaputra Tingkat II, Pedjaba, Indonesia;

National Order of Vietnam, with rank of Commander;

Knight Grand Cross of the Most Exalted Order of the White Elephant of the Kingdom of Thailand

Order of Panglima Magu-Malaysia, and

President’s Service Medal and Presidential Award for gallantry, the Philippines.

Date of Passing: November 14, 1999

Source: Cristina Aspiras, daughter.