THE ILOILO State University of Fisheries Science and Technology (ISUFST) held its first-ever University Velada Thursday night, January 11, at the Tamasak Arena in Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo. The event was marked by the presence of hundreds of dignitaries, including administrators, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests, all in formal attire to celebrate this “66-year-in-the-making” milestone.
The Velada featured gala performances in songs and dances from all five ISUFST campuses, providing a festive atmosphere before the dinner. The highlight of the evening was the post-dinner awarding ceremony, where 40 distinguished alumni were honored for their exemplary achievements and significant impact in various fields.
Former Barotac Nuevo Mayor Hernan Biron Sr., in his inspirational speech, emphasized ISUFST as the premier choice for education, citing its quality, proximity, and potential. University President Dr. Nordy Siason, Jr. reflected on the university’s journey and its vision to become a leading research university in Southeast Asia by 2030.
Dr. Siason elaborated on ISUFST’s guiding principles: Integrity, Social Justice, Discipline, and Academic Excellence, emphasizing the importance of each in shaping the university’s ethos and direction. He noted the university’s mandate, focusing on advanced education and training in various fields relevant to national development. The vision statement projected ISUFST as a leading institution in science, fisheries, agriculture, and technology by 2030.
The Iloilo State University of Fisheries Science and Technology (ISUFST) honored a diverse and accomplished group of alumni at its first University Velada. These awardees, each notable in their respective fields, include:
• Reynaldo Paler, EdD: A revered Professor VI with degrees in Fisheries Education and a Doctorate in Education. A DOST scholar, he significantly contributed to the academic community.
• SB James Ian Adelantar: A distinguished public servant and civic leader, elected as Sangguniang Bayan Member for two terms, with a background in Fishery Technology and Law, and a recipient of multiple awards including Outstanding Public Servant and Model Public Servant 2021.
• Lorna Huelgas – Angor, DFTech: A seasoned aquaculture expert and educator with a Doctorate in Fisheries Technology, pivotal in establishing Marine Protected Areas in Antique and a pioneer in fisheries governance projects.
• Noel Armada, DFS: A retired Professor with Doctorate and Master’s degrees in Fisheries Science from Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, and an outstanding leader in education recognized by UNIFFIED, Washington, USA.
• Remia Aritalla – Aparri: Regional Director at the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, with a strong educational background in Fisheries Education and Aquaculture, and a leader in various national fisheries technical working groups.
• M/M Yancy Barsales: A Master Mariner with a distinguished maritime career, including roles with notable international shipping companies and significant contributions to maritime education and associations.
• Fely Ansino – Bayona: A retired Head Teacher with a focus on Home Economics, recognized for outstanding teaching and program implementation in the Division of Iloilo.
• Roderico Bolo: An environmental specialist and program head with a focus on Marine Protected Areas, contributing significantly to environmental management and biodiversity conservation.
• Antonia Bedia, MAEd: A retired Public Schools District Supervisor with significant contributions to education and community development, particularly in the field of sports and youth engagement.
• Romeo Caturao, PhD., D.Sc.: A retired professor with extensive experience in marine ecology and educational management, recognized globally for his contributions to scientific research and academia.
• Diana Gonzales – Biron, DRDev: Chairwoman and community leader focused on senior citizens’ welfare and women’s empowerment, with a Doctorate in Rural Development.
• Casiano Choresca, Jr., PhD: A Scientist 1 in the Department of Agriculture with a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine, specializing in Aquatic Medicine, and a recipient of the Outstanding Young Men Award for Agriculture and Fisheries.
• Suzzette Denuevo – Carmen: A financial professional in the insurance sector with a strong background in pharmacy and community service, including sponsorship of educational scholarships.
• Amando Grapa, Jr., MSPA: A retired Associate Professor and community leader with a strong background in Industrial Education and Practical Arts.
• Josephine Torio – Dela Vega: A Division and Concurrent Station Chief at BFAR, with a Master’s in Fisheries, and a significant contributor to various national fisheries development programs.
• Noel Perocho, LFT: A Supervising Aquaculturist and OIC at the Office of the City Agriculturist, with notable contributions to fisheries management and environmental conservation projects.
• Viden Valderrama – Elpos, Ph.D., DFTech.: A retired Professor and active member in various fisheries and vocational education associations, with a Doctorate in Fisheries Technology and in Educational Management.
• JSupt. Abner Zamora, DSC: A District Jail Warden implementing various community and rehabilitation projects, with a Doctorate in Development Management and a background in Criminology.
• Rona Diamante – Lazarte, PhD.: A Head Teacher with a focus on science education and school-based management, holding a Doctorate in Educational Management.
• Grace Paciente: A retired Principal recognized for her leadership in scouting and educational management, with a Master’s degree in Educational Management.
• Cynthia Dela Pena – Palabrica, MILE: An Elementary School Principal and leader in educational administration, with a Master’s degree in Instructional Leadership.
• Rosario Magno – Reyes: A Senior Fishery Biologist and former Municipal Agriculturist, with extensive experience in fisheries management and agriculture, and recipient of numerous awards in agricultural excellence.
• Marnie Bayogos – Sazon, PhD: An Associate Professor with a focus on Home Economics and Technology Management, recognized for her contributions to research and education.
• Nora Oren – Suerte, DFTech: Dean of the College of Fisheries and Allied Sciences, with significant contributions to fisheries education and nature conservation.
• Marjorie Alojado – Villanueva, DFTech: An Assistant Professor and Chairperson in fisheries, with a strong background in Fishery Science and Technology.
• Alejandro Guavez, Jr.: A School Head/Head Teacher with a strong background in Educational Management, recognized for excellence in school-based management and leadership.
• Jennifer Dignadice: A Master Teacher recognized for excellence in English teaching and educational leadership, with contributions to teacher training and development.
• Capt. Dondi Acuesta: A retired Master Mariner with a distinguished career in maritime services and active involvement in alumni associations.
• Marlene Sumido Gloria, EdD: An Associate Professor and former head of Research, Extension, and Training, with a strong background in community empowerment and educational research.
• Rey Aguilar: A Senior Program Specialist in education planning and research, with notable contributions to educational research and policy analysis.
• Amelita Catadman – Pitalgo, PhD: A retired Chief Education Supervisor with significant contributions to sports management and educational support services.
• Atty. Jonnie Dabuco: Regional Director at the Commission on Human Rights, with a background in law and legal education.
• Neda June Daguro – Salazar, PhD, RGC: President of Central Philippine Adventist College, with extensive experience in psychology education, counseling, and mental health advocacy.
• Welmar Deronio, DM: Quality Control and Inspection Section Chief at the Department of Agriculture, with a Doctorate in Management and contributions to animal feed control.
• Armida Tanaleon – Tabaosares, PhD: School Principal with a strong background in agricultural education and leadership in school administration.
• Julio Villanueva, EdD: A Public Schools District Supervisor with extensive experience in educational administration and agronomy.
• Quindialem Deaño-Villanueva, MD., FPMS: Vice Mayor of Dingle and a Doctor of Medicine, with a background in community health and volunteer work.
• Phillip Delarmino: An enlisted personnel in the Philippine Navy and a national athlete in Muay Thai.
• Joel Doctora: Owner of a review and training center, with a strong background in Mathematics education and has produced numerous board topnotchers.
• Peter Nery: A Palanca Hall of Famer and batch valedictorian with a strong educational background in Biology and Education.
These awardees, evaluated and selected by the ISUFST Federation Alumni headed by retired BFAR OIC Director Dr. Carlito Villanueva Delfin, represent a diverse range of professions and have made significant contributions to their fields, reflecting the high caliber of alumni from ISUFST. Dr. Delfin succeeded past president Leopoldo Agsaluna, Jr. and Ireneo Quino, Jr.
After the awarding, the night gala was capped with a band-led dance soiree among awardees, guests, and members of the ISUFST community. (Text by Herman Lagon and Photos by Ricky Ramos)