[Statement made at a get-together honoring Dr. Gonzalo Jurado held at the U.P. School of Economics on 29 July 2016.]


I learned about Gon’s passing while in the US. By impulse, I felt a big loss. I just had to pause and think about the Gon I knew.


He was first and foremost a mentor and a teacher. I was an entering graduate student at the School in 1972. Gon was my teacher in Microeconomics. His lectures were always so clear and precise that they lulled me at times into thinking economics was easy. It wasn’t so I learned later as I went along with my program.

In the second semester, I took a course under him in development economics. One of the things I distinctly recall was his lecture on a mathematical proof showing the eventual collapse of capitalism.


In 1975, I joined the School faculty. Gon became my colleague. The set-up was an overlapping-generations scheme. Young and senior faculty co-existed. The old held altruism for the young, nurturing the latter.

Gon invited me to be a research associate in a project he headed on the informal sector of the labor market. That partnership with Gon set me on the path of labor economics, exposing me to issues like compensating earnings differentials that could not be reduced without proper government policy intervention.


Gon left the School afterwards to join an international organization in Tokyo. After his stint there, he came home, joined PIDS as a senior fellow, and helped put up Kalayaan College.

I had been seconded then at NEDA. The distance didn’t matter and my camaraderie with Gon continued. Some Fridays, we would get together for some after-five drinks. If we still had some energy left after the conviviality, we would venture to some Phase-2 activities for some stress management.

In one of those drinkings I reminded Gon about his lecture on the collapse of capitalism. The USSR was no more a union then than the UK is united now. What went wrong, I asked? Gon replied: My model was correct; the real world fucked up.

Those drinkings were always fun. The group was generally policy-wonkish. Everyone here knows that economists may agree on how the world works but not on how it ought to work.

And so the discussion on policy matters would heat up sometimes. No deep resentments, however, emerged. In the end cool heads and warm hearts prevailed.

And so it went. Another Friday would roll around and I’ll get another text message: Guy, we’re at the hostel. Ruping is here already. Mahar and Nick are on their way. Come over.


I know those texts would not come anymore. I’ve lost a teacher and a friend. The loss is no doubt even deeper among the members of his family.

We will always remember Gon with affection.

God bless Gon. May he rest forever in peace.