Doña Pilar Albiac, who served as deputy administrator of the newspapers Hoy, El Nacional and El Día, talks to the newspaper El Heraldo de Aragón, through journalist Pablo Ferrer, about her life in Zaragoza, after almost four decades in the Dominican Republic, where she worked for businessman José Luis Corripio.
Here is the interview:
Almost half a century in Santo Domingo. That’s soon.
I arrived in the early 70’s and I have been here for a very short time, back in Zaragoza. I landed on the island with a husband and a daughter who had been born 40 days earlier in Spain; we went to live in San Juan de la Maguana, in the west of the country, we only stopped in the capital for breakfast.
He had come to study medicine in Spain after the April revolution in the Dominican Republic in 1965, encouraged by his parents; he first went to Valencia and then ended up in Zaragoza. I am from Caspola, and I also have roots in Zaragoza and Morés.
You made your life in the Caribbean. What brought you back?
I came to take care of my mother, who unfortunately passed away last summer. I decided to stay here, I like the way Zaragoza is, the rhythm of life. There are small details: I love to sit in the Aragon square and watch people strolling by, for example. Santo Domingo is not a city for strolling, except for some parts of the colonial area. The car is used for everything.
You have spent most of your professional life working for Grupo Corripio.
Most of my time there, 37 years, was spent as administrator of the Corripio Foundation, founded by the Asturian businessman Manuel Corripio. It was the basis for everything that the family later developed in the business and social fields. He was an exceptional man, exemplary in terms of ingenuity and dedication, who also went out of his way for his employees.
Don Pepín, his son, inherited these talents; he is very demanding, and also a very intelligent person, with a great sense of justice. He has shaped one of the largest business groups in Latin America, covering multiple areas, including communications, and he continues to be a tireless worker at 87 years of age. He has four children, who have been incorporated into the dynamics of his companies; all of them have that mix of business acumen and work ethic.
You have had a front row seat to the great development of the Caribbean press.
It has been a pleasure to work with the Corripio family, because of the treatment and the challenges, since I started as an administrative assistant to my time as an executive, both in the purchasing department and in logistics dynamics, and in several newspapers: the evening newspaper ‘El Nacional’, the daily ‘Hoy’ and also ‘El Día’. I was with the Foundation until 2019 and I had magnificent advisors such as the writer José Alcántara Almánzar.
What special experiences marked your long career at the Foundation?
I fondly remember the visit of two great Spanish writers. Rosa Regás came when she was director of the Spanish National Library; very warm, exquisite conversation. Camilo José Cela turned out to be charming; it was a pleasure to receive him in Santo Domingo. The truth is that we were a little apprehensive about his arrival, he had a reputation as a difficult person to please, but he was very happy all the time, with a smile on his face.
Another Nobel Prize winner, José Saramago, also came, although his visit was more related to the promotion of a new book.
He has three daughters, and the eldest has followed in his footsteps in the group.
I am very proud of all three. The one who was born here, Isis, lives in Santo Domingo and works at Distribuidora Corripio; I have another one in Madrid, Tania, who currently works in digital marketing, trained in advertising and ephemeral architecture. The third, Patricia, is a flamenco dancer, has performed with Concha Buika, now lives in Fuerteventura after having expanded flamenco in the Dominican Republic, and works in tourism, in addition to working as an artist and teacher.
To make the round of visits … You have to travel a lot …
I have thought about living with one of my daughters, but here I am very well.