By Rabindranath S. Polito

Faith Quibuyen Baldonado
Summa Cum Laude with a CGPA of 1.1920
BS in Industrial Automation and Mechatronics

The Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT) had its 39th Commencement Exercises on Wednesday (April 1, 2009) at the MSU-IIT Gymnasium with 1,673 students who received degrees or diploma.

Faith Q. Baldonado (Summa Cum Laude with a CGPA of 1.1920), a major in BS Industrial Automation and Mechatronics, delivered the valedictory address. She is a grantee of The Robert Schappert U.S.A. Scholarship. Reina Karen M. Celestino (Magna Cum Laude with a GPA of 1.2003), a major in BSE Physics and the class salutatorian, led the Pledge of Loyalty to the Alma Mater.

Degrees were conferred on 1,583 undergraduates and 90 masters and doctorate students in the MSU-IIT. Academic distinction in degree courses was given to 1 Summa Cum Laude, 29 Magna Cum Laude, and 158 Cum Laude graduates. Academic distinction in diploma courses was given to 2 With High Honors and 33 With Honors, while academic distinction in two-year diploma course was given to 6 With Honors.

In addition, the Institute honored the following students with Co-Curricular Leadership Awards: Cathy S. Bariga (Institute Leadership Award from CBAA), Marvin S. Galeos (College Leadership Award from CBAA), Mc Crae John P. Suico (College Leadership Award from CED), Louie S. Fiel (School Leadership Award from SET), Lowilton T. Mirasol (College Leadership Award from CSM), Archie G. Abuhon (Activity Award in Dance Cultural from CED), Rei Lena Yasmin G. Maranda (Activity Award in Debate from CASS), Fatimah P. Imam (Activity Award in Journalism from CASS), Joey Rey B. Cartajenas (Activity Award in Music Instrumental from CSM), Astrid F. Ebillo (Activity Award in Music Vocal from CED), Lyn Corazon B. Ilustico (Activity Award in Performing Arts from CED), and Primitivo C. Ragandang III (Activity Award in Sikap).

Dr. Diosdado P. Banatao
Doctor of Technology (Honoris Causa)

Dr. Diosdado P. Banatao, the Bill Gates of the Philippines, a Silicon Valley serial entrepreneur and computer guru, and the Presidential consultant for the country’s Engineering Research and Development for Technology (ERDT), was the commencement speaker. He received an honoris causa in Doctor of Technology in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the computer industry. Dr. Macapado A. Muslim, the President of Mindanao State University System, conferred the degree.

Curriculum Vitae of
Doctor of Technology
Honoris Causa

Date of Birth: May 23, 1946
Place of Birth: Inuit, Cagayan Province
Civil Status: Married
Spouse: Maria Cariaga


Dado holds a B.S.E.E., cum laude, from the Mapua Institute of Technology in the Philippines and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.   

Tallwood Venture Capital Involvement

Dado Banatao is the managing partner of Tallwood Venture Capital, a venture capital firm in Silicon Valley with $500M under management. With his past experiences as an entrepreneur, Dado provides Tallwood with a unique perspective in technology investments. Tallwood invests in unique and hard-to-do semiconductor technology solutions for computing, communication, and consumer platforms.

Professional Career   

Prior to forming Tallwood, Dado was a venture partner at the Mayfield Fund. He co-founded three technology startups:S3 (SBLU), Chips & Technologies (INTC) and Mostron. He also held positions in engineering and general management at National Semiconductor, Seeq Technologies, Intersil and Commodore International. Dado pioneered the PC chip set and graphics acceleration architecture that continue to be two of the foundation technologies in every PC today. As an engineer, he is credited with developing several key semiconductor technologies and is regarded as a Silicon Valley visionary.

Honors and Awards

He was honored with the prestigious Master Entrepreneur of the Year Award sponsored by Ernst & Young, Inc. magazine and Merrill Lynch Business Financial Services. He has been on Forbes Midas List for at least four years running. Dado received the highly respected Ellis Island Medal of Honor, which is awarded to U.S. citizens who contribute significantly to an ethnic group or country. The Asian Business League of San Francisco bestowed its Distinguished Asian Leadership Award upon him for his leadership skills in the public, private and non-profit sectors of the community. For his tireless efforts in spreading the importance of preserving and promoting the Philippines, President Fidel V. Ramos presented Dado with the Pamana Ng Filipino Award. He was featured by ABC KGO Television in “Profiles of Excellence” honoring outstanding Bay Area Asian Pacific Americans. Also in recognition of his technological innovations and contributions, the University of the Philippines conferred upon him, Doctor of Science, honoris causa.

Memberships in Boards

Dado serves as Chairman of SiRF Technology (SIRF), InPhi Corporation, Peleton and Sequoia Communications and is on the boards of directors of Alphion Corporation, Redfern Integrated Optics, and T-RAM Semiconductor. He also served as Chairman, as well as led investments in Marvell Technology Group (MRVL); Acclaim Communications, acquired by Level One (INTC); Newport Communications, acquired by Broadcom (BRCM); Cyras Systems, acquired by Ciena (CIEN); and Stream Machine, acquired by Cirrus Logic (CRUS).  


Dado’s wife, Maria Banatao, earned a bachelor’s degree from St. Paul University in the Philippines and a master’s degree in Education from the University of Washington majoring in educational psychology. She previously designed and managed employment and training programs for the Foothill De Anza Community College District’s Occupational Training Institute before she turned her full attention to a favorite area for her and Dado, giving back to the community. She is currently a member of the University of California at Berkeley Foundation Board of Trustees, Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital Foundation Board and The Ayala Foundation USA.

Dado and Maria have three children.  Rey received a B.S. in Biochemistry from UC Berkeley and completed his Ph.D. in bioinformatics at UC San Francisco. He and wife Gabby, a UC Irvine alumna, live with their children in Los Angeles where Rey completed his post-doctoral work at UCLA.  Desi received a B.S. in Materials Science Engineering and an M.S. in Engineering from UC Berkeley.  He and his wife, Jinah, a UC Davis alumna, live in San Francisco. Jinah is a VP and Senior Human Resources Specialist at Think Equity Partners, an investment banking firm in San Francisco. Rey and Desi are currently working on their first start-up company, Entropy Research LABS.  Tala graduated from UC Berkeley with degrees in mass communications and political science.  She graduated from San Francisco’s Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) in fashion merchandising and at Los Angeles FIDM in international manufacturing and product development. She played college volleyball as a member of the UC Berkeley varsity volleyball team.


Dado and Maria Banatao are deeply committed to education and express their dedication in many ways. Dado serves as Chairman of the College of Engineering Advisory Board and is a member of the UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Executive Advisory Council. Maria is a Trustee for the University of California, Berkeley Foundation. Dado and Maria are generous supporters of UC Berkeley, especially the College of Engineering through their cornerstone gift to help launch the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS). Both natives of the Philippines, Maria and Dado are passionate about giving back to the country. They funded a fellowship grant for computer science and engineering faculty from the University of the Philippines to collaborate on research programs with counterpart professors at UC Berkeley on the Berkeley Campus. Through the Asian Pacific Fund, they have provided scholarships to assist California high school students of Filipino heritage in pursuing a college education in science and engineering, a field which Filipinos are currently under-represented. Recently, the Dado and Maria Banatao Institute for High Impact Research which they funded was unveiled at the University of the Philippines College of Engineering campus in Diliman. Believing that advance research in engineering and technology is a means to economic and industrial development, Dado is involved in the country’s Engineering Research and Development as an important member of its Advisory Council. ERDT is a consortium of eight top engineering schools in the Philippines which include UP, Ateneo, DLSU, Mapua Institute of Technology, UP Los Banos, Central Luzon State University, San Carlos University, and MSU-IIT, the only member from Mindanao.  

Through their personal vision and strong encouragement as well as their thoughtful guidance and generous philanthropy, Dado and wife Maria are enabling young people with talent to transform their lives and, quite literally, to make the world a better place.

Topics : Graduation