by Franklin P. Gumapon
Dipolog City (18 July) — Everyone was nostalgic about his past with the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) in Iligan City. The longing to see again that familiar landscape of the school that gives no-nonsense training to its learners has become so intense in the heart of each alumnus.
For each graduate, studying at IIT is both an honor and privilege, as one alumnus aptly said: not everyone who wants to study at IIT can enter the school, and not all studying at this school can finish his/her course here.
Just very recently, IIT alumni here and abroad have trooped to Iligan to join the 40th charter anniversary of MSU-IIT. Filled with excitement, the alumni went straight to their respective colleges to see their former classmates and professors. Some could not immediately recall the names of their classmates, yet pretending they still remember for fear they might be tagged as “guwang” (elderly).
Another alumnus could not help but recall how he survived his biology class. There were 21 of them in that section and only 10 made it. Still fresh in his mind that only one got a grade of “2,” two got “2.5,” another two with “2.75” and five received “3.”
Other graduates have shared the same experience not only in their science and mathematics classes but in other subjects as well. “But everything was worth it,” one quipped adding that what he had gone through made him “more prepared for the challenges that came his way after graduation.”
Through the years, MSU-IIT has evolved into a vanguard learning institution not only here in Mindanao but in the entire country as well. Its science and mathematics courses have been recognized by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) as center of excellence.
During the fellowship night, thousands of alumni converged at the university gymnasium. There were those who looked as mature as their former professors. But a good number have remained in their good and sexy shape despite the years that passed.
Highlighting the fellowship night was the distribution of the 2008 Ten Outstanding MSU-IIT Alumni (TOMA) awards to graduates who have excelled in their respective field of endeavors. The awardees were graduates from the College of Science and Mathematics (CSM), College of Business Administration and Accountancy (CBAA), School of Engineering Technology (SET), College of Education (CED) and College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS).
TOMA award in public service was given to Jose Lacio Zalsos, an accountancy graduate in 1977, who is now serving as city councilor of Iligan. He is the father of the long running KASADYA street dancing project, which is held annually during Iligan City fiesta.
Ryan B. Balili, a summa cum laude graduate of Bachelor of Science in Physics in 2001, was recognized in the field of condensed matter Physics. Balili was named the most outstanding DOST-SEI scholar in the whole Philippines in 2002. His most important achievement, which earned him his TOMA award was his Young Researcher Award from Physics Status Solids Group of the United States of America in 2006. He is now pursuing his Doctor of Philosophy in Physics at the University of Pittsburg, USA.
In the field of mathematics, TOMA award went to Joselito A. Uy, Ph.D., who has been recipient of three national scientific awards given by the National Academy of Science and Technology (NAST) and the Philippine Council for Advanced Science and Technology Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (PCASTRD-DOST). He has also developed a simple and efficient algorithm in constructing a telephone network with a minimal cost.
TOMA award for visual arts went to Norberto Monterona, a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Industrial Education, major in drafting. He is now based in Canada and has already held 16 solo arts exhibitions in the different parts of the globe. His art works are now displayed in the museums and galleries in Canada, USA, the Philippines, Australia, Hong Kong and South Korea.
Ms. Baicon c. Macaraya, a graduate of Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1997, has been recognized for his strong advocacy for women’s rights and peace in Mindanao. She is presently heading the United Nations World Food Programme based in Iligan City.
Rogelio C. Garcia, a graduate from the school of engineering technology in 1977 has been recognized for his outstanding achievement in the field of management. Out of his sheer industry, diligence and dedication, he rose from the ranks to become an assistant manager of an American company, Flour Mideast, managing and administering 6,000 people from 34 countries around the globe.
Another alumnus from the CSM with the degree of Bachelor of Science in Physics got the TOMA award for material science. Reynaldo M. Vequizo, who finished his Ph.D. in Physics at the Nigata University in Japan, has been awarded best research presentor in Japan and the first Filipino to be honored as Outstanding Young Researcher by the Japan Society of Applied Physics in 2006.
The three other awardees were Ralph S. Galan in the field of literature, Dr. Adelfa C. Silor for education, and Dr. Mylene Uy for chemistry.
Prof. Darwin Manubag, president of the Association of IIT Alumni Foundation, Inc. (AIITAFI) was overwhelmed by the response of the alumni in attending this year’s grand alumni homecoming. “I did not expect that we would have this number of participants,” he said.
Manubag also expressed optimism that this year’s attendance may be doubled, if not tripled in next year’s gathering which will be spearheaded by the College of Business Administration and Accountancy.
Prof. Manubag together with other graduates of MSU-IIT is raring to see one and all in the 3rd grand alumni homecoming on July 11, 2009. (PIA-ZN)