MANILA - (UPDATE) Former Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, who started the "It's More Fun in the Philippines" campaign passed away on Monday, his family said.
Jimenez, who served under former President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, expired in his home. His death was unrelated to COVID-19, his family said in a statement.
"Mon J was a beloved husband, father, brother, friend and public servant. He will be greatly missed," the family said. "We wish to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support for the family during this difficult time."
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said she and the DOT extended their condolences to Jimenez's family.
"Today, we mourn the loss of Mon Jimenez but we will be forever grateful to him for the growth of the tourism sector, and for promoting the Philippines as a place that is wonderful, joyous and fun," Puyat said.
Puyat retained the "It's More Fun" campaign, breaking from her other predecessors who marked the start of their terms with fresh slogans.
Prior to his government stint, Jimenez was a senior consultant and joint chief executive officer of WOO (Winning Over Obstacles) Consultants with his wife Annabelle "Abby" Lee-Jimenez.
He helped build JimenezBasic Advertising into the largest creative ad agency in the country during his stint as joint CEO from 1989 to 2008. His work at the agency was closely associated with the rise of Philippine brands such as Jollibee, Selecta Ice Cream, San Miguel, and Cebu Pacific, among others.
Before that, he was vice-president and executive creative director at Ace-Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising from 1988 to 1989.
He helped Aquino's election campaign and was a marketing consultant for the Ninoy and Cory Aquino Foundation.
Jimenez studied at the University of the Philippines from elementary school to college. He majored in visual communications at the UP College of Fine Arts.