Reuben Canoy (Reuben Rabe Canoy) is a journalist,
Reuben Canoy (Reuben Rabe Canoy) is a journalist, editor, newscaster, producer, disc jockey, poet, scriptwriter, short story writer, film producer, publisher, lawyer, and politician. He was born in Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental on 6 June 1929. Canoy is the son of public school teachers Mariano Canoy and Laureana Rabe. His brother Henry Canoy was the founder of Radio Mindanao Network, the largest radio network in the Philippines. He is married to Solona Calo Torralba, a business executive and educator, with whom he has four children. He attended Cagayan Central School and Misamis Oriental High School. He studied law for one year at the University of the Philippines (UP) and later transferred to Silliman University (SU) where he obtained his bachelor of laws degree in 1953. He passed the Philippine bar examination in the same year, and then was appointed community development officer by Pres Ramon Magsaysay.
Canoy’s interest in media was first developed as a student journalist in the UP student paper Philippine Collegian, the SU student paper Sillimanian, and the SU literary journal Sands and Coral, where he served as literary editor in 1947 and managing editor in 1948-49. While in his teens in Manila before he moved to Dumaguete to study at SU, he tagged along with Francisco “Koko” Trinidad, who was program director of KZFM, the radio station organized by the United States Office of War Information as General MacArthur retook Manila from the Japanese in early 1945, ending World War II. He helped produce the programs Radio Documentary and Radio Newsreel. He learned to deliver the news, spin records, do remote broadcasts, and conduct interviews. (KZFM was turned over in 1946 to the Philippine government, making it the first of a network of government-owned radio stations.) In the meantime, while he was at SU, his older brother Henry experimented with surplus transmitting equipment he bought from the US Armed Forces. In 1950, the brothers applied for a congressional franchise in Manila. On 23 Jun 1952, they were granted a permit to maintain and operate the radio broadcasting station. With a modest investment, the Canoy brothers used their resources and talents to build what is now the Radio Mindanao Network (RMN).
Canoy went into marketing and advertising, serving as media director of the Philippine Advertising Counsellors, and learned about the different facets of media, which he used to help his brother expand RMN. They first concentrated their radio stations in Mindanao. In Manila, they established DZHP in partnership with Andres Soriano of the giant San Miguel Corporation. With varied interests, he also dabbled in writing for Hollywood productions, working with several actors including Jack Nicholson. While filming in the countryside, he was exposed to the deterioration of government services in many provincial municipalities, one of them his own hometown, Cagayan de Oro. He then ran for public office, was elected mayor of Cagayan de Oro City in 1971, and was subsequently appointed by Pres Ferdinand Marcos to three national positions in the martial law government in 1972 as undersecretary of public information, presidential action officer for Northern Mindanao, and chairman of the Southern Philippines Development Authority. He held all three positions while serving as city mayor until he resigned his positions in 1976 in protest against the Marcos dictatorship. In 1978, he won a seat in the Interim Batasang Pambansa (National Assembly) as the lone opposition member from Mindanao.
Aside from being a Fulbright-Smith-Mundt scholar, Canoy received several other grants in 1966 from the Federal Republic of Germany and the United States to observe public administration, with emphasis on urban planning and management, as well as mass communication in these two countries. In the same year, he was also invited to observe radio and television operations and programming at the British Broadcasting Corporation in England and Radio-Television Francaise in France.