(Photo courtesy of Tisha Timbang)

The Leonides S. Virata Memorial School (LSVMS) Grand Alumni Homecoming held an Alumni Night and Masquerade Ball on Saturday, highlighted by the recognition of its five outstanding graduates and former students.

Staged at the RTN Gymnasium, the memorial school’s event on January 18 awarded its outstanding alumni in the fields of academe and education, engineering and technology, business and corporate, medical, and public service and governance.

Awarded were:

* KAREN VILLANUEVA-RENDEZA (Class of 1994) for Academe & Education – A teacher and counselor for 20 years, Karen is engaged in mental health development. She is the founder of the 17-year-old Philippine Guidance Counselling Association-Palawan Chapter. As an active volunteer at Bright Start, she has given psycho-education to over 4,000 less privileged children with special needs.

* ENGR. MARVIN DE GUZMAN (Class of 2002) for Engineering & Technology – He is a professional mechanical engineer and environmental planner. His most notable contribution to nation-building to date are the projects he initiated in line with the use of renewable energy, particularly the use of waste-to-energy by harnessing power from the Payatas sanitary landfill. This conscientious project has benefited the once-deplorable state of the Payatas community.

* YVOH RUFIL JAYAG (Class of 2007) for Business & Corporate – Living up to his BATARI (Batang Rio Tuba) roots and upbringing, Yvoh’s companies provide scholarships to the children of his employees as part of his corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts. Since it started in 2012, his companies already adopted about 18 scholars.

* LT. COL. DANILO AMBE (Class of 1990) for Public Service & Governance – Having been exposed to the conflict-stricken areas in Mindanao after graduating from the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), this former tennis player couldn’t help but feel the stark contrast with the sense of security and forward development that he enjoyed while growing up within the walls of the RTN Townsite. In his phone-in speech, Dan said that he did everything that was in his power as Batallion Commander “to support and assist government agencies to make sure that basic services and development projects could reach these communities by ensuring that peace and security were present”. His heart is filled with joy as he saw the gradual transformation of these communities into a conflict-resilient one.

“If one day, those communities will be like Rio Tuba, then I lived up to the expectation of my Alma Mater and the organization I belong (to),” he said.

* DR. ANNA MARIE TANGALIN (Class of 1991) for Medical – She started out as a visiting consultant at the Ospital ng Palawan and the Adventist Hospital. She specialized in anesthesiology to address a pressing need at the time – the need for anesthesiologists in the province of Palawan.

Dr. Tangalin has provided care to more than 10,000 patients since her practice in Palawan. She did not leave for greener pastures because she said “yes” to serving the Palaweño. She describes it as “a yes to a calling…call ng hospital…call ng need ng community…call ng kalikasan…call to come back here…call to be an anesthesiologist…call to serve” She encouraged all the alumni to “love your job, you are doing it for His glory. Everybody is a blessing kahit gulay, isda, manok ‘yong PF (professional fee) mo. Pinagkatiwalaan ka nila para gumaling sila at it’s a privilege na maging instrumento ka ni Lord sa pagpapagaling sa kanila.” This BATARI’s heart to serve is in the right place.

“Makapatulog lang ng isang BATARI at nagising at nag-thank you, sapat na,” she said.

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