WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Raul “Bobby” Ch. Rabe, former Philippine Ambassador to the United States

Dec 28, 2011

by Gwendloyn Ramos Garcia

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Not too many people are aware that two gentlemen with close ties to our city have held the prestigious post of Philippine Ambassador to the United States of America.

The first was former Vice President of the Philippines, Emmanuel Pelaez of Medina, Misamis Oriental and the other is this week’s featured personality, homegrown, native son of Cagayan de Oro, Raul Chaves Rabe. Coincidentally, both are connected to the Agripino Neri, Sr. Clan of this city.

Dr. Delfin Rabe and Mrs. Piedad Neri Chaves-Rabe

Raul, known to his relatives and close friends as Bobby, is the only son of Dr. Delfin Rabe of Opol, Misamis Oriental, and Piedad Neri Chaves-Rabe of Cagayan de Oro.

 Tita Ping Chaves Rabe holding the chuckling infant Raul Roberto Chaves Rabe, future Philippine Ambassador to Washington DC (photo courtesy of Dr. Nono Montalvan)

Bobby grew up here and finished his elementary and high school studies at the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Cagayan, now Xavier University. He has a younger sister, Marietta Chaves-Pruessner of Maryland, U.S.A.

Raul is happily married to beauteous Buena Rodriguez of Dumaguete and Cebu, a St. Theresa College alumna and Miss Red Feather title holder. They have an only child, Roberto, married and based in Washington, D.C. with his young family.

After finishing Bachelor of Arts at Santo Tomas University, Bobby took up Law at Ateneo de Manila then took and passed the Foreign Affairs exam. He was appointed Foreign Affairs Officer from July 1968 up to March 1972. His first foreign assignment was as Third, then Second Secretary at the Philippine Embassy in London from March 1972 to April 1975.

 Bobby and Buena with former US Pres. Bill and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

This was followed by a transfer to the Philippine Embassy in Bucharest in April,1975 up to September,1979 after which he returned to Manila to become Deputy Chief of Protocol at the Department of Foreign Affairs in November,1979 to March, 1981. His next assignment brought him to Jeddah as Minister Counselor in March, 1981 to April, 1982 after which he got assigned to the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. from April, 1982 to July, 1984 as Minister.

Promoted as Consul-General of the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu from July, 1984 to April,1986 he became Deputy Chief of Mission back in Washington, D.C. from April, 1986 to November, 1989, then back again to Manila as Assistant Secretary in the Office of American Affairs, DFA from November, 1989 up to April, 1992. He was Ambassador of the Philippines to Seoul from April, 1992 to July, 1993 and Ambassador of the Philippines to Washington, D.C. which post he held for six years, from July, 1993 up to August, 1999.

He resigned from government service in September 1999.

The President assigned him Special Envoy of the President for the Americas and OIC Countries from February to April 2001. He is currently connected with several private companies. He enjoys his work but rues the fact that now he doesn’t have enough time to indulge in his favorite pastime, golf.

From my late brother who was one of his closest friends, I learned that Bobby had one of the highest IQs at Ateneo de Cagayan during their high school days. Bobby has remained low-key and unaffected. When he attended the recent Agripino Neri, Sr. Descendants’ Reunion February last year, he was in town for only two days yet he and his wife, Buena,

took time to visit my mother. That to me spoke volumes about the kind of person he is and what endears him to his relatives.

Here is a native son that the City of Cagayan de Oro can truly be proud of.

Bobby with wife Buena, sister and first cousins (Elo Nolasco Fernan,Inday Suniel Canoy, Gangging Suniel Dingcong and Chona Nolasco Luzano) during our Agripino Neri Descendants Reunion last year.

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