by Rex Godinez Ortega, Office of the Chancellor
Fêted by the College of Engineering and Technology (COE&T) with lunch for his birthday/retirement party on September 13 at the college amphitheater, Prof. Geronides Pamisa Ancog stood rather shyly in front of everyone.
After addressing the huge crowd composed of Institute constituents who had come to wish him well on the day of his retirement, Ancog, the civil and structural engineer, turned around to face his birthday cake that sported several lit candles, and started blowing.
With the job done, the birthday celebrator turned to the crowd with a pleased look on his face. However, the 65-year-old Ancog was met with laughter.
Puzzled, he turned back to the cake, and found all the candles lit again.
The faculty member of the Civil Engineering Department came down hard on the candles this time, to ensure they stayed out. But two seconds later, they reignited – again.
With determination on his face, and a supportive crowd behind him, Ancog let out another jet of air for a third and, hopefully, final attempt. And the flames from the candles died down… momentarily, then raged back on again.
Perhaps fearing that someone might actually grab a fire extinguisher soon, and with the top of the iconic birthday symbol already caked with melted wax, Ancog delivered the final blow – and the battle was won to the cheers of those around.
The strenuous candle blowing exercise that day seemed like fate was having a bout of indecision. Definitely, to the people present, including Chancellor Sukarno D. Tanggol, Ancog’s 35 years of dedicated service to IIT seemed not enough.
To the Chancellor, Ancog’s retirement meant there would be some pretty big shoes left in the campus to fill.
In particular, and as an example, there would be the issue of several Technical Coordinating Panels (TWP’s) /Technical Working Groups (TWG’s) overseeing the construction of buildings within Institute property that would lose their chairperson.
Just until his retirement, the native of Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental headed the TWP’s/TWG’s for the left wing expansion of the COE&T building, the construction of the PRISM building, construction of the CASS building, and redesign of the Administration building.
Fondly referred to by Chancellor Tanggol as IIT’s Master Builder, Ancog distinguished himself through his professional integrity and assertion of sustainable development.
“I teach green design and sustainable technologies to graduate engineering students, and I thought to myself, why not apply these?” Ancog recounts when Chancellor Tanggol started asking him to take charge of in-campus construction projects.
The Chancellor’s confidence in Ancog resulted to buildings that boasted of sustainability features that help diminish the effects of global warming.
Up and coming construction projects like the CASS building, MICeL building, and the Hinaplanon Campus that will house IIT’s high school, a grandstand, track and field, and a convention center will also bear the mark of Ancog due to his heavy involvement in their conceptualization, planning, and design.
Many in the campus also do not know that he was part of the team that designed the College of Science and Mathematics building. This was prior to his joining MSU-IIT in 1981 when he was still working as a civil engineer and consultant in Cebu City.
Ancog is also credited for introducing the Design and Build concept for construction projects undertaken in the campus.
Design and Build is a project delivery system that places the responsibility of designing and constructing a building on only one constructor, which minimizes the risk for the project owner. It also reduces the possibility of delays in the completion of a project.
“We cannot undertake the design portion because our PPD lacks the sufficient technical manpower for it,” Ancog said to explain why he suggested IIT give the design-bid-build method a rest.
“I then come in with the Terms of Reference where I inject the sustainable development aspects of the building,” Ancog added.
Every new piece of IIT that is erected with the aid of his knowledge and expertise is a source of pride for the new retiree.
“It makes me feel that I’m part of IIT’s growth,” Ancog said.
And like the birthday candles that persisted, the Master Builder, in spite of mandatory retirement, and upon the invitation of IIT, will continue to teach at the COE&T as a lecturer. He will also act as a consultant for both the ongoing and yet-to-be-started construction projects around the campus.
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[Prof. Geronides P. Ancog is married to Rosita M. Ancog with whom he has four children – Bernadette, Jeremy, Adonis Abril, and Cindy Joice.]