List of Bios:
Macario Diosdado Gonzalez, also known as Bro. Andrew Gonzalez, FSC was born on February 29, 1940 to Augusto Diosdado Gonzalez y Sioco, one of the rich and famous Filipinos during his lifetime and Rosario Arnedo, a daughter of the first elected governor of Pampanga, Honorable Governor Macario Arnedo. His father was a wealthy landowner, a successful industrialist, a prominent businessman, a corporate executive, a co-founder and treasurer of the Pampanga Sugar Development Company (PASUDECO) in San Fernando City , Pampanga , Philippines .
Macario Diosdado Gonzalez was the youngest among seven children of the Gonzalez-Arnedo marriage. He was born posthumously because his father together with Jose de Leon, founder and president of PASUDECO and a constabulary officer named Captain Julian Olivas were gunned down at the PASUDECO administrative offices in Fernando, Pampanga on July 12, 1939 by Gregorio Timbol, president of the PASUDECO Planters Association and his brother, Carmelino Timbol arising from a conflict between the sugar central management and the sugar planter association on the sharing percentage of sugar milled at PASUDECO. The sensational court trial led to the conviction of the Timbol brothers who were given life sentences and their nephew, Dalmacio Timbol with a 12-year imprisonment for complicity with the tragic incident. Mrs. Rosario Gonzalez was pregnant with Macario Diosdado when her husband died of gun shot wounds. His six full siblings were Marina, Augusto Beda, Ermelo Efren, Macario Domingo, Heraclio and Hector Argeo Gonzalez. His dad had also nine children with his first wife, Marina Escaler Gonzalez namely, Rogerio Arsenio, Edgardo Patricio, Octavio Roman, Wilfrido, Natividad, Elsa Antonia, Amelia, Jose and Cristeto Gonzalez.
Macario Diosdado Gonzalez was indeed destined to become a highly successful educator and corporate executive as well as a generous philanthropist because of his heritage. His paternal grandfather, Dr. Joaquin Gonzalez was a delegate to the Mololos Constitutional Convention and the first president of the state university of the Philippines to be appointed by President Emilio Aguinaldo. His uncle, Dr. Bienvenido Ma. Gonzalez served for many years as president of the University of the Philippines . His three other uncles were medical doctors (Fernando, Jesus and Virgilio Gonzalez) and another uncle, Assemblyman Fausto Gonzalez earned his doctor of laws degree at University of Madrid in Spain . The Gonzalez, Sioco, Escaler, Espiritu and Arnedo families who accumulated their wealth in agriculture and business are known for their philanthropic activities and public service. Dinner receptions and grand balls at the palatial homes of the Arnedos in Sulipan, Apalit, Pampanga were attended by members of the Philippine high society, government officials and by some members of the royalty of Russia and Japan . Even Jose Rizal who became a national hero, General Arthur MacArthur who administered the Philippines as Military Governor in 1900 to 1901 and Philippine Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon were particularly impressed and grateful to the hospitality of the Arnedo family.
Macario Diosdado Gonzalez attended grammar school at De La Salle College and completed his high school education at the same Christian Brothers institution in Manila . He was a consistent honor student and graduated as salutatorian.
His love for the teaching profession influenced his decision to become a Brother of the Christian Schools . He finished his postulancy and novitiate in Baguio City and received The Christian Brothers' habit on November 20, 1955. He made his initial vows on November 21, 1956 and joined the scholasticate of the Christian Brothers in Winona , Minnesota on December 10, 1956.
He matriculated at Saint Mary's College in Winona , Minnesota and at the age of 19, he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree, at the top of his class, summa cum laude. At age 20, he obtained his Master of Arts in English Literature from Catholic University of America in Washington , D.C.
To make use of his teaching profession, he returned to his home country in 1960 and began teaching English Language and Literature at the high school department of La Salle College in Bacolod City , Negros Occidental. From 1964 to 1967, he served in several administrative positions at De La Salle College in Manila . He made his final vows as a De La Salle Brother on May 30, 1965. While in Manila , he took up graduate courses in linguistics at the Philippine Normal College and at Ateneo de Manila University. He was admitted to the doctoral program in linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley as a Regents' Fellow in Linguistics and as a Stanley Tasheira Scholar in 1967 and completed his doctoral degree in 1970. Taking advantage of his free time, he attended a summer seminar on University Management and Organization at the University of Wisconsin at Madison .
Returning to the Philippines in 1971, he was chosen to chair the Humanities Department of De La Salle College in Manila and was promoted later to Academic Vice President of De La Salle University from 1971 to 1978. In 1978, he took the first Philippine Board Examinations for Teachers and garnered the first place with a score of 86.12%.
In recognition of his exceptional management ability, he was elected President of De La Salle University in 1979 and served with distinction in that capacity until 1991. After completing his fourth term as president of De La Salle University in Manila in 1991, he was designated as President of Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation and in 1994, the Board of Regents of De La Salle University elected him again as president of the prestigious institution from 1994 to 1998. He was later appointed as Secretary of Education, Culture and Sports of the Philippines in July 1998 and he served with distinction in that capacity until January 2001.
After serving as Education Secretary, he rejoined De La Salle University as Vice President for Academics and Research from 2001 to 2003 and as Presidential Adviser for Academics and Research from 2003 to 2005. The Manila Bulletin Publishing Corporation appointed him as president again in October 2001 and elevated him to president emeritus prior to his departure from this world on January 29, 2006.
As president of De La Salle University, he founded the College of St. Benilde as a center for innovative teaching and took over a college of medicine which became De La Salle University-Dasmarinas. He put priorities to graduate education by creating new masteral and doctoral degree programs. He was instrumental in making De La Salle University as a teaching and research institution. He recruited top notch faculty members and doubled the student population. He improved the development and raising of funds for De La Salle University. He wrote many books in linguistics and education.
As Education Secretary, he initiated the revision of the Basic Education Curriculum and put in place a corruption-free procurement system which significantly reduced the costs of textbooks and supplies purchased by the Department of Education, Culture and Sports. Thousands of classrooms were built to meet the increasing student population. He commenced the changing of the language of instruction to the regional language for the first three grades.
Brother Andrew Gonzalez was recognized for his many achievements. He was a recipient of the Achievement Award from the National Research Council of the Philippines in the field of social sciences and humanities in 1981. In 1986, the government of France conferred on him "Officer de l'Ordre des Palmes Academiques and in 1988, he received the Outstanding Kapampangan Award for Education from the Provincial Government of Pampanga and the 40 th Anniversary Fulbright Award in Education from the Philippine Fulbright Scholars Association plus other awards from the City of Manila, National Press Club, Adamson University and from San Beda College. He received honorary doctorate degrees from Waseda University and Soka University in Japan , St. Paul University in Canada and from St. Mary's College of California .
In recognition of his contribution to the growth and increasing prestige of De La Salle University, he was granted the title of President Emeritus on September 28, 2005.
The people of Apalit, Pampanga are very proud and very thankful for Brother Andrew's contribution for the construction and operation of their community hospital which provides medical care for the poor people of the surrounding towns of Pampanga and Bulacan.
World War II hero and graduate school dean, Col. Ricardo Galang, Dr. Vicente Catacutan and Brother Andrew Gonzalez, FSW were the primary donors that made it possible for the establishment of the Apalit Small Christianity Community (ASCOM) Hospital in Apalit, Pampanga which became also a training hospital for medical students of the College of Medicine of De La Salle University. (Based on information provided by Ms. Elsie Gonzalez Franco Diaz and on an article written by Dr. Ma. Lourdes Bautista - 02/06/2006).