only boy of four siblings, Romeo was the first
child of well-known parents, Abel L. David who was a past
vice mayor of San Fernando, Pampanga, Philippines and the
former Paterna Soliman, a dedicated public school teacher
and successful business entrepreneur who hailed from Candaba,
Romeo, who was
born in the historic hometown of his mother on June 25, 1934,
grew up and attended public schools in the capital town of San
Fernando. He graduated with distinction from Pampanga High School
in 1951 where he excelled not only in academics but also in
extra-curricular activities in sports, student government and
as editor of the Sports Section of the school organ, "The Pampangan".
high school graduation, Romeo enrolled in a famous engineering
school in Manila, Philippines. After completing a few units
in his engineering studies, Romeo secured a nomination from
his local congressman in the second district of Pampanga for
admission to the Philippine Military Academy. He took and passed
the competitive examination for admission to the famed military
academy. His test score was the highest in his congressional
district and entitled him to one of the two spots allotted for
the entire province of Pampanga.
At the Philippine
Military Academy, Romeo showed his academic and physical prowess.
He became a boxing champion at the academy and a popular coronation
escort for beauty queens in Baguio City and in Manila. In 1956,
he graduated with the top percentile of his class and was commissioned
as a second lieutenant of the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
He trained as a jet pilot and joined the Philippine Air Force.
As a bright and promising young jet pilot, he was sponsored
by the Philippine government to train in the United States,
among the best jet pilots in the world.
Late in his military career, he was again sent abroad
and this time for advanced study at the United States Air War
College in Air University, Alabama USA.
Romeo's military credentials, he earned a master's degree in
Business Management at the Asian Institute of Management of
Metro Manila in 1972. He also obtained a master's degree in Political Science at
Auburn University in Montgomery, Alabama USA in 1983, concurrent
with his study at the United States Air War College.
As an air force
officer Romeo rose to the ranks as he took up assignments and
increasing responsibilities. He served as military air base
commander and commanding general of the Armed Forces of the
Philippines Regional Unified Command III. After his retirement
from the military service as a brigadier general, President
Corazon C. Aquino appointed him as president and chief operating
officer of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation in 1987-1989.
At Philippines Airlines, he served with distinction as senior
vice president in 1989-1993 and as executive vice president
Ramos tapped Romeo's leadership and business management skill
and requested him to serve as president and chief executive
officer of Clark Development Corporation and Clark International
Airport in 1995-1998. His executive ability attracted billions
of dollars in investments from foreign and local investors,
which created thousands of jobs and small businesses for the
local residents around the sprawling former United States Air
many medals, military awards and commendations. His illustrious
military career and professional accomplishments have been recognized
by many organizations including the Province of Pampanga as
As a military
officer, Romeo was awarded Distinguished Graduate Awards from
the United States Air War College and from the Command and General
Staff Course, AFP; Golden Wings; Campaign Ribbons and Distinguished
Unit Badges; Military Commendation Medals; Military Merit Medals;
Distinguished Aviator Cross Medals and Distinguished Service
In addition to
the above awards, medals and commendations, Romeo was honored
with the Distinguished Graduate Award from Auburn University;
Outstanding Rotary Club President; Golden Aviator Award from
the Philippine Air Force Flying School Alumni Association and
the prestigious Cavalier Award from the Philippine Military
Academy Alumni Association. As an outstanding citizen and a
role model, the towns of Floridablanca, Mabalacat and Porac
of the province of Pampanga individually passed municipal resolutions
naming him as an "adopted son" of the three municipalities.
He is also an honorary citizen of Milpitas, California and Las
Vegas, Nevada USA.
a respected member of the print media who wrote to a popular
columnist of the Philippine Star,
"General David, who had given almost a lifetime in the
service of his country as a soldier and as a civilian is the
only military man I know who is more civilian than any of us
who never wore a military uniform". His unique personal management
philosophy and leadership style make him rise above the "rest
of the best" among his fellow giants in the corporate world.
The retired general who has more time now for his loving family
and playing golf with his friends is the current Chairman of
the Board of Rainbow Rising High Co., Inc., a natural gas producer
based in the island of Palawan.
married to the former Pilar Mascunana. Their blissful marriage
produced a son named Romeo, Jr. and three daughters named Annette,
Suzanne and Shella who are all very successful in their chosen
professions. (Andro S. Camiling - 03/28/01)