The Dream Chaser

The Sixth President of Aurora State College of Technology
The Sixth President of Aurora State College of Technology

Journey to ASCOT’s Presidency

Dr. Renato Gutierrez Reyes emerges as a luminary in academia’s dynamic tapestry, weaving dreams into reality with each stride. From the corridors of Tokyo University of Agriculture to the helm of ASCOT’s presidency, his journey epitomizes resilience, determination, and an unyielding passion for knowledge.

A Trailblazing Career
Before ascending to the presidency of Aurora State College of Technology (ASCOT), Dr. Reyes adorned the mantle of leadership as Vice-President for Academic Affairs of Central Luzon State University (CLSU) and President of Bioresources Innovations Agriproducts OPC, marking the zenith of a distinguished career. Yet, his odyssey stretches far beyond accolades and titles, marked by a relentless pursuit of excellence and an insatiable thirst for discovery.

Forging International Bonds
Dr. Reyes’ quest for knowledge traversed continents, fueled by a thirst for global perspectives. Embarking on post-doctoral research fellowships in prestigious institutions such as Tokyo University of Agriculture and Michigan State University, he immersed himself in diverse cultures, enriching his understanding of the world and forging lasting international bonds.

A Scholar’s Arsenal
Armed with a Ph.D. in Forest Science from Tokyo University of Agriculture and dual master’s degrees from De La Salle University and Central Luzon State University (CLSU), Dr. Reyes embodies the fusion of academic rigor and practical expertise. His journey from the Philippines to Japan, Malaysia, and Germany exemplifies a commitment to lifelong learning and a dedication to pushing the boundaries of knowledge.

Leadership Par Excellence
Dr. Reyes’ ascent to the presidency of ASCOT is not merely a culmination of academic achievements but a testament to his visionary leadership and administrative acumen. With over a decade of experience in key administrative roles at CLSU, including Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, he brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of transformative leadership.

A Trail of Scientific Brilliance
At the heart of Dr. Reyes’ legacy lies a trail of scientific brilliance, illuminated by an impressive array of publications, patents, and scholarly contributions. With an h-index of 22 on Google Scholar and over 155 publications in esteemed journals, his impact reverberates across academia, shaping the discourse on mushroom science, biotechnology, and beyond.

ASCOT’s Beacon of Hope
As Dr. Reyes assumes the presidency of ASCOT, he emerges as a beacon of hope, steering the institution towards new horizons of excellence and innovation. His vision for ASCOT transcends borders, aiming to transform it into a globally renowned center of academic brilliance deeply rooted in Aurora’s rich cultural heritage.

In the grand tapestry of ASCOT’s history, Dr. Renato G. Reyes emerges as a dream catcher, weaving the aspirations of generations into the fabric of reality. His journey from humble beginnings to the pinnacle of academic leadership inspires us to dream bigger, reach higher, and strive for excellence in all endeavors.

As ASCOT embarks on a new chapter under his stewardship, Dr. Reyes’ indomitable spirit and unwavering commitment to excellence serve as guiding stars, illuminating the path towards a brighter, more prosperous future for all.

Dr. Reyes’ presidency heralds a new dawn for ASCOT, where dreams take flight and possibilities know no bounds. In his hands, the institution’s legacy of excellence will continue to thrive, leaving an indelible mark on the landscape of higher education in the Philippines and beyond.


ASCOT President - Dr. Eutiquio L. Rotaquio, Jr.

ASCOT President – Dr. Eutiquio L. Rotaquio, Jr.

Dr. Eutiquio L. Rotaquio, Jr. was born at Sitio Tabing Ilog, Brgy. Reserva, Baler, Aurora in April 15, 1977. He came from the poorest family of Rutaquio of Gen. Nakar and Infanta Quezon and from the De Leon family of Baler, Aurora. He is the fourth from the eldest among seven siblings of Eutiquio Sanchez Rutaquio, Sr.,(deceased) and Rosalinda Parrocha De Leon.

The Rotaquio family moved to Sitio Camalatan I, Brgy. Nonong Sr., San Luis, Aurora in 1986. Dr. Rotaquio completed his elementary schooling as Third Honors. It was on his third year high school when his father died – leaving her mother to work harder by selling vegetables along the streets of Brgy. Ditumabo and Brgy. Nonong Sr., both in the Municipality of San Luis, Aurora, just to send him and his five sisters and a younger brother in school. He finished his secondary education at Ditumabo National High School in San Luis, Aurora in 1994 with an academic honors. After finishing his high school, his mother told him that he needs to stop schooling because their family income was not even enough for their daily needs.

At the early age of 14, Dr. Rotaquio experienced how hard to till the land using carabao and furrow just to plant vegetables for their family survival. There were several times that he does not even had a single peso in his pocket before going to school. Sometimes, he was hiding from his friends because he had only boiled “saba” and “sweet potato” as his snacks. He used banana leaves as his lunch box and fish netbag wrapped with transparent plastic as his bag to keep his books and notebooks from being wet, especially during rainy days. He used to walk around five kilometers from their home in Sitio Camalatan, Brgy. Nonong Sr. going to Ditumabo National High School just to complete his secondary schooling.

Dr. Rotaquio was dreaming to become a lawyer someday but due to poverty and financial constraint, her mother was not able to send him in school outside Aurora where Bachelor of Law is being offered. Due to this, he decided to look for affordable college in Baler as an alternative. It was fortunate for him when ASCOT opened its first year of operations in June 1994 and he passed the entrance examination. He was one among the first 301 PIONEER students of ASCOT which temporarily held their classes at Baler Central School.

Inspired by his goal to earn a degree, Dr. Rotaquio applied for scholarship in ASCOT. His application was so timing because during that time, the eight municipal mayors in Aurora committed LGU scholarship grants to ASCOT through the leadership of the 1st ASCOT President, Dr. Benny A. Palma. Fortunately, he was chosen as one of the recipients of the scholarship. The words of her mother were clear to his memory – without any other financial support, he could not be able to study in college.

During his college years, Dr. Rotaquio tried to explore his potentials and became active student leader and a writer. He was elected as the President of the Supreme College Student Council (SCSC) for two consecutive terms (SY 1996-1997 & SY 1997-1998). As such, he made a history in ASCOT as the only student leader who held two terms as the SCSC President. This paved the way for him to become member of the ASCOT Board of Trustees as Student Trustee. One of the notable accomplishments he made was the transfer of utilization and management of SCSC fund from ASCOT Administration to the Supreme College Student Council. He also became Editor-in-Chief of the Voice of the Sierra (SY 1997-1998), the student/community publication of the Aurora State College of Techology. He received an Award of Excellence during Regional News Writing in February 1998 at Calapan Polytechnic College, Calapan Oriental Mindoro. In June 1998, he finished his Bachelor of Science in Forestry and received a LEADERSHIP AWARD.

Dr. Rotaquio was one of the first four registered FORESTERS of ASCOT who passed the 3-day Foresters Licensure Examination in 1999. He started working in research as an enumerator of the ASCOT Coconut Research and Development Project in August to September 1998; Science Research Specialist 1 from October 1998 to September 2000 of the ASCOT’s Aurora Biodiversity Conservation and Management Research and Development Program; Science Research Assistant 1 from September 16, 2000 to June 10, 2001 of ASCOT’s Wetland and Marine Biodiversity Program; Instructor I of the Department of Forestry and Environmental Sciences from June 11, 2001 to September 15, 2002 and as an affiliate Instructor of ASCOT Graduate School-Casiguran Campus from June 2003 to September 2005.

Dr. Rotaquio obtained his Master in Management Major in Educational Management at the Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology-ASCOT Graduate Collaboration in April 2005. He has been a Forest Ranger (with permanent status) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-CENRO Casiguran, Aurora from September 16, 2002 to June 15, 2003, wherein he was designated as Chief of the Watershed Management Unit and as the Protected Area Superintendent of the Talaytay Watershed. After almost a year from the DENR, he decided to return to ASCOT as an Instructor 1 from June 16, 2003 to December 2010. He was promoted to Assistant Professor II from January 03, 2011 to March 31, 2011, and as Assistant Professor III from April 2011 up to January 31, 2015. He landed to Associate Professor III based on the result of the NBC-461 5th Cycle from February 01, 2015 to December 31, 2016. He was then promoted to Associate Professor V in January 01, 2017 up to the present. Based on the latest NBC 7th Cycle, Faculty Evaluation covering the period of July 01, 2013 to June 30, 2016, which is expected to be implemented by July 2019, he landed to Professor VI and he already subjected himself to Full-Fledged Professorial Accreditation last April 12, 2019 at Bulacan State University, NBC Region III Zonal Center. He successfully passed the said Professorial Accreditation as Full-Fledged Professor VI and confirmed by the Philippine Association of State Universities and Colleges (PASUC) on June 25, 2019 and probably one of the youngest full-fledged Professor VI in the field of Forestry in the Philippines.

In May 2000, he was also elected as the President of the ASCOT Alumni Association and at the same time, served as an Alumni Trustee for another two consecutive terms, which he held until October 2004.

His strong research background, particularly in the field of forestry (ecology and biogeography of mangroves), served as his passport to get a competitive Japanese Government Scholarship-MONBUKAGAKUSHO wherein he completed his Doctor of Philosophy in Development Science at the Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation (IDEC), HIROSHIMA UNIVERSITY, Higashi-Hiroshima, Hiroshima City in Japan in 2008.

During his stay in Japan as full time scholar, he was chosen by the Hiroshima University to represent all foreign students around the world to represent his school and personally talked with the Crown Prince of Japan, Crown Prince Naruhito in October 22, 2006. They discussed about the Proper Forest Management Activities in Hiroshima City. Not all Japanese have the opportunity to personally meet their Crown Prince because of tight security. He was also chosen by the Hiroshima University as the official representative in Ecology Summit 2007 held in Beijing, China where he presented his study about the Ecology and Biogeography of mangroves- Kandelia candel (L.) Druce in South-East Asia.

After completing his doctorate degree, he immediately returned to ASCOT and was designated as the Director for Research since January 05, 2009, the designation that made him famous among government funding institutions in bringing money for research and development for ASCOT.

He also attended Executive Development Program sponsored by the CHED and DAP from November 2013 to January 2014. This is a flagship course for the potential leaders among SUCs in the Philippines.

Being the Director of Research, he was very instrumental in implementing Extraction of Beach and Mangrove Plants for medicinal purposes as he secured complete set of facilities. This was made through his strong research collaboration with UP-Marine Science Institute particularly in implementing the Aurora Marine Research and Development Institute (AMRDI). He also initiated the establishment of Charcoal Briquetting Research Center located at the Engineering Compound. The center aims to abate and lessen the illegal cutting of wood as the traditional raw material for charcoal making as the project utilizes the abandoned biomass such as rice hull, coconut husk, dried leaves and other materials except wood. The center also serves as the training and laboratory ground for BS Forestry students and other interested NGOs in the province.

He also secured additional funding for the improvement of Banana Tissue Culture Research Center in the procurement of ELISA Reader, an instrument used to detect virus from banana. Currently, the center is now producing virus-free banana plantlets for farmers and now an income-generating project of the college.

He also made the ASCOT Research Journal to be peer-reviewed through international referees. He also revived the Annual Agency In-House Review of On-Going and Completed Research Projects since his first year (2009) as the Research Director. He initiated to include the involvement of students in presenting their research because he believes that it is a good training ground for the students to excel in research even in the international level.

He is also intrumental in recognizing and giving monetary incentive for faculty, staff and students who are performing well in conducting research.

After almost seven years of serving as Director for Research, he conducted and supervised 22 research projects bringing millions of pesos to the College and significantly improved the research capability of faculty, staff and students.

Through his commitment, dedication to work and good performance, he was awarded as an Outstanding Citizen of San Luis, Aurora in 2009 and as an Outstanding ASCOT Alumni in 2014. Aside from being Registered Forester, he is also a certified SCUBA Diver which enables him to expand his research horizon to explore marine biodiversity.

In his journey for ASCOT Presidency, he is aiming that all programs be accredited to Level III and to establish three research centers as Center of Excellence and Development: 1) Forest Biodiversity Research Center; 2) Agricultural Research Center specializing on Coconut Research; and 3) Marine Research Center. He believes that the vision and mission of ASCOT President should be anchored on what natural resources we have in Aurora.Therefore, his ambitious dream is to “Transform ASCOT into a globally-recognized forest, agricultural and marine research University in Eastern Luzon for the people of Aurora and the neighbouring provinces”.

He is happilly married to former Bb. Ditawini, Dinalungan, Aurora 2011, Emelyn Bandago Tagin, a member of the Igorot Tribe and blessed with three children Tyron James, James Kyle and Elliana Kelly.

Considering his background, accomplishments, vision and mission, we can truly say that Dr. Eutiquio L. Rotaquio, Jr. is a promising star of Aurora State College of Technology and a living proof that poverty is never a hindrance to success.


Up-close and Personal with the ASCOT’s First Lady President


In its twenty two years of existence, the Aurora State College of Technology (ASCOT) has been managed and administered by male presidents. On May 15, 2015, Dr. Doracie Zoleta-Nantes won the presidential post and garnered the majority vote that was casted by the members of the ASCOT’s Board of Trustees (BOT) during its last search for presidency. Before Hon. Patricia B. Licuanan, Chairperson of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) of the Philippines and members of the ASCOT BOT, Dr. Doracie Zoleta-Nantes took her Oath as the first female president of ASCOT.

Dr. Nantes is happily married to Engineer Cristofin “Boy” Nantes and they have a wonderful daughter named Maria Josefa whom she fondly calls “Doc Joey”, a licensed medical doctor who is a graduate of the UP College of Medicine. She has a small and loving family. Her family is where she gets her strong sense of motivation and inspiration to serve with all that she has and what she can possibly offer, which according to her basically reflects the very essence of her existence.

She served as a research fellow at the Crawford School of Public Policy where she taught and supervised the research projects of graduate students in the College of Asia and the Pacific of the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia from 2009 to 2014. She also taught at the University of the Philippines as Professor of Geography from 1986-2009. Her areas of specialization include Environmental Geography, Hazards and Disaster Studies, Gender and Development, Agrarian Studies, Geographic Education, Urban Geography and Political Ecology. She obtained her Doctoral Degree in Environmental Hazards and Disaster Management at the prestigious higher institution of Rutgers University- the State University of New Jersey in the USA. She finished her MA in Geography at the University of Hawaii in Manoa and her Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology at the University of the Philippines in Los Baños, where she graduated cum laude. Dr. Nantes finished her bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees as a recipient of the following scholarship programs: Ministry of Natural Resources Scholarship, The East West Center Scholarship and the Fulbright Scholarship Grant. Her academic achievement has shown that a daughter of a farming family, with perseverance, commitment and hard work, can get the best education that one needs in order to help one’s country amidst financial difficulties.

Her passion for rendering good public service was intensified when Typhoon Yolanda struck the Philippines several years ago. It made her decide to come back to the Philippines and leave her academic post in Australia so she can help the people become more aware and resilient to the hazards and damages that may be brought and caused by certain disasters and calamities. With her academic credentials, administrative experiences and research expertise, she applied for the ASCOT presidency. At that point, she asked for guidance from our Almighty God so she can be an instrument of change to the institutional development of the College in a way that is best suited, helpful and beneficial to the community that ASCOT serves. She has let the amazing grace and Divine Providence of the Lord to work upon her as she starts to perform her duties of leading ASCOT to the utmost possibilities that an exemplar academic institution can be.

According to her, being an ASCOT President is both a personal choice and a result of convergences of many life events. Several opportunities have come across her way early this year but she has decided to stand by her commitment to offer herself and serve her fellow Filipinos here in our country. She is determined to apply all the knowledge that she has gained throughout her professional life here in the Philippines and in other educational institutions in many developed and developing countries. She believes that God has led her to become an active participant in developing the Province of Aurora, which possesses both vast natural resources and a natural beauty which earns her the title of the Paradise of the Pacific. President Nantes wants to fulfill this immediate goal – to be a channel of goodwill for delivering a better and brighter for the young students of the Aurora State College of Technology. She possesses a strong will to perform her duties in a very professional, humanitarian and lawful manner and will not encourage any form of malpractice of profession within her area of responsibility.

Looking at her management style, she loves to improve the way things are being done in ASCOT. She has introduced several innovative approaches that will lead to an efficient system of performing and completing ‘the institution’s academic mandate. She has instituted the adoption of legally mandated procedures that will be very useful in the smooth facilitation and administration of her proposed academic programs and courses of action that will lead to the transformation of ASCOT as a Center of Technology, Quality Instruction, and Scientific and Applied Knowledge generation and innovation. On her first forty-five days she has done a number of very useful institutional management changes already and focused on improving the financial transactions and resource management practices of the College. She has been strengthening the organizational management of the College, so it can be more effective in performing its mandate of providing high quality outputs particularly in the following areas: Instruction, Extension, Research and Production. She has been doing this by verifying the legalities and strengthening the financial status of the College, further capacitating its human resources, evaluating the condition of its on-going projects and improving the manner by which they are undertaken, assessing the relevance and implementation of its research initiatives, and reviewing and enhancing its curricular offerings, extension and research initiatives.

Dr. Nantes will lead and serve the College for four years, from 2015 to 2019. Within this period, she is very keen on making innovative changes which will lead to the transformation of ASCOT into a top-ranking state university that will serve as an exemplar of academic excellence and center of technology and innovation in the Province of Aurora and other surrounding places so that ASCOT will continue to become an active partner in the development of the many different stakeholders that comprise the ASCOT community. Being a woman of action with a deep sense of commitment and with a high degree of integrity, perseverance, dedication and courage, President Doracie Zoleta Nantes is ready to face the challenges and work hard for the betterment of ASCOT. Surely, her life will be an inspiration not only to her immediate family in ASCOT but to its other constituents in neighboring communities as well.


ASCOT President - Dr. Eusebio V. Angara
ASCOT President – Dr. Eusebio V. Angara

Third President of Aurora State College of Technology

Equipped with academic background, track-record, commitment to academic excellence and sincere enthusiasm that are crucial in accentuating ASCOT’s success, paved the way for Dr. Eusebio V. Angara, amidst difficult times, to accept the challenge to nobly serve and to take the cudgels for the Aurora State College of Technology as its 3rd President. It was on January 2, 2007 when he was sworn into office and renewed his commitment to continue serving the college with its main mandate to deliver quality education and quality service to the people of Aurora. Dr. Angara, aside from being a true-born Auroran, has served and has grown with ASCOT since he occupied the position of Board Secretary a year after the establishment of the College in 1994.

With utmost tact and dexterity, he took advantage of the government’s national programs with international support. Relevant programs and courses like Hotel and Restaurant Management, Tourism and Fisheries are now offered in the college that has caused the trending increase of enrolment . He urges to institute policy reforms in optimizing the utilization of the existing resources. In his conviction to produce globally competitive students, he continuously encouraged academic officials to review and fine tune existing curricula and make them more responsive and relevant to a global changing work environment.

With his strong partnership and good relationship with local, regional, national and international agencies, funding and technical support were provided in the college. Knowledge and wisdom emanates within the campus and has reached out to the larger communities through the various extension activities. He conscientiously looks for opportunities to institute programs that further build the research capabilities of the faculty and staff by allowing them to participate in national and international conferences and in short-term training courses locally and internationally in partnership with some international organizations like the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

Equally recognizing the roles of the faculty and staff in strengthening the programs of the college, he institutes appropriate measures motivating them to perform at their best. Some of these are sending qualified faculty members on study leave for professional advancement in national and international universities and motivating faculty through the provision of incentives, promotion and recognition. He truly believes that personnel with high morale, creativity, and good spirit will inevitably translate into a high-spirited and good performing organization. He also believes that the faculty, students, staff, alumni, elected officials, benefactors and friends of ASCOT are crucial to the success of the College as an academic institution. With this, he leads with a conviction based on consensus-building, transparency and respect.

Through the succession of leadership from Dr. Benny A. Palma and Dr. Romeo S. Cabanilla, Dr. Angara strives to enhance the infrastructure development of the college. He sought after the benevolent support of Hon. Sen. Edgardo J. Angara, Congressman Juan Edgardo M. Angara and Governor Bellaflor J. Angara -Castillo for the construction of the Hotel and Restaurant Management Building, the Gymnasium, and the Information and Technology Building. Likewise, classrooms were constructed for the ASCOT Casiguran Campus and opened its door for the first batch of fisheries students in SY 2008-2009. Other campus development and facilities improvement were instituted during his time because he believes that these are basic requisites in the achievement of the college’s mission and vision.

From its humble beginnings in 1994, ASCOT is now included among the top 200 Higher Education Institutions in the country. The firm resolve of the College President for continuous improvement, paved the way for recognition of its programs in Engineering and Education in the region.

As the college continues to pursue its commitment to the scholarship of teaching and learning, the scholarship of discovery and the scholarship of engagement, the College President continues to foster a positive institutional climate. Demonstrating his commitment through a colegial leadership style has consistently produced fruitful consensus. With his skills and accomplishments as a leader and a change agent, the ASCOT community has high hopes that under his leadership transformation will continue to spark while minimizing anxiety and resistance.


Climbing the Mountains of his Destiny

The Second President of Aurora State College of Technology
The Second President of Aurora State College of Technology

Dr. Romeo Sadural Cabanilla, the second president of the Aurora State College of Technology (ASCOT) has come to accept the fact that being a State College or University (SUC) president is his destiny. This, however, did not play a part in his personally enriching course as a successful administrator at the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) for most of his educational and administrative career until, destiny comes calling in a time he least expected. His professional life spanning 31 long years at CLSU has been highlighted by various accomplish- ments and success stories from the simple to the most profound. Given his satisfaction with his stewardship of the University Agribusiness Program (UAP) and the University Business Affairs Program (UBAP) as Program Director and Vice President for Business Affairs at CLSU, Dr. Cabanilla thought that he would be finishing a very meaningful work span at the same institution that nurtured and made him what he is today. But, as a welcome twist, Dr. Cabanilla was to be the newest among the growing number of SUC presidents produced by CLSU. With the guidance of CLSU’s current president and one-time Officer-in-Charge of ASCOT, Dr. Rodolfo C. Undan and the Kingmaker himself, Dr. Fortunato A. Battad, President Emeritus of CLSU, the accomplished educator and leader who was born in Talabutab Norte, Gen. Natividad, Nueva Ecija assumed the presidency of the Aurora State College of Technology on March 4, 2002.

Dr. Cabanilla accepted the job as the second president of the College following the groundbreaking accomplishments of the first president of ASCOT, Dr. Benny A. Palma. Dr. Palma, after almost 8 years as president of ASCOT, is now back to his home province of Aklan as the president of Aklan State University (ASU) in Banga, Aklan. Dr. Palma has said that Dr. Cabanilla is his personal choice to be the new leader and administrator of ASCOT. A man who will continue to pursue their shared vision for the College and for the Province of Aurora.

Born on November 29, 1943 to the late Ricardo E. Cabanilla, originally of Narvacan, Ilocos Sur and the late Maria B. Sadural of Nueva Ecija, Dr. Cabanilla did not grow up with a silver spoon in his mouth. As the third child among seven children of a farming family, his early years were spent helping his parents and siblings in the farm doing a range of farming jobs typical of the locals of Nueva Ecija. Poverty had been a challenge for him and his family and, as the time-tested Dr. Cabanilla would attest, it was not an easy road to the top. Yet, Dr. Cabanilla lived the goal-oriented principle that “poverty is not a hindrance to success and to pursue higher education.” He remembers with pride the four difficult years after his elementary education when he had to stop school and engaged in a variety of odd jobs from being a Saging vendor in Rizal, Nueva Ecija to working in a vulcanizing shop in Bongabon. Fortunately, an uncle was able to help him raise tuition fees necessary to get him to the former Central Luzon Agricultural College (CLAC) High School Vocational Curriculum. He was sent back to the right track of pursuing his ambition to be set free from the cudgels of poverty and define a career that would be vested in its eradication. Dr. Cabanilla hopes to influence the youth of the nation, particularly of the Province of Aurora, and be a living example of what hard work and dedication can do to fight the limitations set by poverty.

Dr. Romeo S. Cabanilla or Romy to most of his peers and friends is not a stranger to Aurora province. Various agricultural and developmental projects under the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and the Consultancy on Agricultural Productivity Enhancement Program (CAPE) and Technology Assistance and Promotions Institute (TAPI) in the towns of Baler, San Luis, and Dipaculao have been initiated and successfully facilitated through his initiative in the last 2 years. His earliest memory of the unforgiving Baler-Bongabon road goes back to the early 1950s when he, together with his late father and relatives walked back to Nueva Ecija after buying a carabao in San Luis. The journey took days, as the road, much less developed than what it is now, became a tough hurdle for them especially to the young Romy. But it seems that having to hurdle that same road is destined to be a usual routine for Dr. Cabanilla. Being the new ASCOT president means having to perpetually pass the Sierra Madre Mountain. This also meant changing his theme song in life which now has become “Climb Every Mountain” – really fit for a man with a mission to bring development to this side of the country. If it takes hurdling the zigzags to spell the difference for the youth of Aurora, then Dr. Cabanilla has committed himself to do it.

Dr. Cabanilla’s educational profile started from being the Valedictorian at Talabutab Norte Elementary School in 1955; Valedictorian in high school at the Central Luzon Agricultural College in 1963; and top-notch College graduate of CLAC finishing Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Education major in Agronomy in 1967. He graduated with the third highest average of 1.83 among his peers and eventually landed a job as a teacher at Urdaneta Community High School at the Division of Pangasinan in 1968. He went back to CLAC already CLSU in 1970 as an Assistant Instructor. One of the highlights of his educational achievements is his Master of Science in Seed Technology degree at Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi, U.S.A. in 1982 under a USAID Scholarship (Technology Package). Being a consistent honor student did not escape Dr. Cabanilla even in a well-respected University in the U.S. as he graduated with a notable –A average. He continued to earn a Doctoral Degree at the University of the Philippines in Los Baños (UPLB) on a Food and Agriculture Organization and United Nations Development Program (FAO/UNDP) scholarship in 1991. His field of specialization is in Agronomy Crop Production Management and Forage and Pasture (minor field: Soil).

During his College years at CLAC, Dr. Cabanilla was a very active student leader and was a part of countless student organizations. He became the president of the main Student Body Organization of CLAC in 1967 and was also a Student Assistant for most of his four years in College. One thing that got him to College was his ability to play musical instruments, particularly the tenor saxophone. CLAC awarded him a scholarship for being selected as a member of the College musical group. This well-traveled second president of ASCOT has visited different States in the U.S.A. including California, Indiana, North Carolina, Georgia, and Texas on various trainings and educational exchanges; Japan as a visiting Professor at Kyushu Tokai University in Kumamoto in 1997; Israel for an International Course on Planning, Management and Extension of Agricultural Project and Enterprises in 1995; Chiang Mai, Thailand in 1994 for a Conference-Workshop on Asian Seed Technology; The Netherlands in 1972 for a training in Poultry and Swine Husbandry. His experience traveling the world has given him multifarious ideas about the development of the sectors of the country particularly developing agricultural provinces like Aurora. These, he hopes will transfer into useful programs and projects that will shape the course of his administration at ASCOT.

Blessed with a successful, albeit humble career, one of Dr. Cabanilla’s priceless gems in life is his wonderful wife, Prof. Teresita Arenas- Cabanilla, Assistant Principal of the University Science High School, CLSU. They met while working as Instructors at the same institution in 1970. Their beautiful and loving relationship of more than 30 years and counting is complemented by personal growth as a couple and as individuals pursuing their inherent calling in life. They have three children: Romeo Jr. (married to Maria Cecilia), a registered nurse currently working in Kingston, London, England; Robert (married to May), also a registered nurse, is employed at Carson City, California, U.S.A.; while Rose Marie, the youngest, is finishing her medical internship at the Veterans Memorial Hospital in Quezon City. The Cabanillas are so fond of their two grandkids from Romeo and Robert, the new addition to their growing family: Raymond and RJ. Dr. Cabanilla greatly values his precious time with his family and before formally taking the invitation to apply as the next president of ASCOT, there were initial backing down thoughts from his children concerned about his moving to the mountains. Yet, the challenge posed by the demands of being the ASCOT president and the prestige and responsibility it entails were able to win them over. Knowing how dedicated and hardworking Dr. Cabanilla is, his family has accepted this new obligation as another undertaking that will be best accomplished by no other than their pride and joy, loving husband and father, Dr. Romeo S. Cabanilla himself.




The effectiveness of the Aurora State College of Technology (ASCOT) as an institution of higher learning is measured by its contribution to the development of the rural people it serves.


The Aurora State College of Technology as a reputable institution of higher learning in polytechnical and other related fields committed to high quality education, scientific breakthroughs, excellence in entrepreneurship endeavors, and exemplary community service.


The Aurora State College of Technology shall develop quality human resources and centers of excellence responsive to the needs of the people in the province of Aurora in particular and the country in general, in terms of food security and poverty alleviation under the spirit of people empowerment, sustainable development and global competitiveness.


Dr. Cabanilla has included in his policy statements that “the presidency is a position of trust and not for personal aggrandizements.” He has mentioned in meetings with public officials of the Province and the ASCOT community that he will not enrich himself in his position and that service to the various clienteles of ASCOT will be a primordial concern of his administration. There are major targets that he wishes to accomplish during the first 100 days of his administration. Among them, improving the communication and technology capabilities of the College; bringing the World Wide Web to ASCOT; and establishing a center for computer literacy training not only for ASCOT students but more importantly for the community. Of course he will not forget the various departments of ASCOT especially the Department of Agriculture and Aquatic Science which is close to his heart. As an administrator known throughout the country as one of the authorities in establishing Income Generating Projects, he has started programs and projects that would make ASCOT financially stable and self-sustaining in the coming years. ASCOT is abuzz with the introduction of new approaches, new programs and targets that will spell the difference in its continued growth and development. With Dr. Romeo S. Cabanilla at the helm, ASCOT is ready to take the challenges of this new millennium, ready to grow and make its mark this side of the country. Give way for the man who has climbed his destiny, the second president of the Aurora State College of Technology, Dr. Romeo S. Cabanilla.


The First President of ASCOT (1994 – 2001)


DR. BENNY A. PALMA was born on May 23, 1949 in Lemery, Iloilo. He is married to Prof. MEDELINA LIBERO-PALMA, also of Iloilo. They have four children, Carol Joy, Benny Jr., Hine Marae, and Lovella Chris. Prior to his appointment as the president of ASCOT, Dr. Palma worked as the Director of Research and Development Center at the Aklan State College of Agriculture (ASCA) in Banga, Aklan from January 3, 1993 to February 7, 1994. He conceptualized and established the Research and development Center of ASCA as well as the Farming System Development Research Station.

Re-appointment of Dr. Benny A. Palma as president of ASCOT from August 9, 2000 to August 8, 2004 held at the Cafe Med Restaurant, Mandaluyong City, August 10, 2000. In picture are Rep. Angara-Castillo, Hon. Hadja Roqaiya VR. Maglangit, Hon. Allan Jose J. Villarante, Dir. Mary Ann P. Sayoc, Dir. Oskar D. Balbastro, and Carol Joy L. Palma.
Re-appointment of Dr. Benny A. Palma as president of ASCOT from August 9, 2000 to August 8, 2004 held at the Cafe Med Restaurant, Mandaluyong City, August 10, 2000. In picture are Rep. Angara-Castillo, Hon. Hadja Roqaiya VR. Maglangit, Hon. Allan Jose J. Villarante, Dir. Mary Ann P. Sayoc, Dir. Oskar D. Balbastro, and Carol Joy L. Palma.

The very first president of the College is a true believer in faculty and staff empowerment. Important and relevant duties pertinent to the administration of ASCOT always involve the participation of personnel, faculty, and student representatives. Dr. Palma is also strongly advocating transparency in various businesses of the College for a smooth transaction vis a vis the delivery of service he and the College offer.

Aside from his focus on Research, Extension, and Production, as clearly illustrated by the growing projects of the College directed to community improvement and provincial thrusts in food security and agricultural productivity, Dr. Palma values trainings and scholarships for qualified personnel and faculty of ASCOT. It is part of his leadership principles to put specific impetus on the improvement in the delivery of instruction and services of the College – best attained if all the concerned individuals comprising this educational institution will be equipped with knowledge and skills addressing the needs of its target clientele.

EDJA__Pres_GEB_Inauguration_June99Dr. Palma is a committed workhorse for ASCOT. In the first six years of this College, he has transformed the kind of education known to this side of the country into one that does not only dwell on instruction inside the four corners of the classroom, but also as a system involved with the genuine development of the countryside through active involvement and participatory work in communities of the province of Aurora. His dedication to his job, the College, and benefactors like Sec. Edgardo J. Angara is a testament to his being the best man for the position, the best person to start up the engines of this machine that is ASCOT, as it continually move on uplifting the living standards of the people of the province of Aurora.


Dr. Palma holds a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Lincoln College, University of Canterbury, New Zealand. He likewise completed his MS in Horticulture also at Lincoln College, with Second Class Honors, under a Colombo Scholarship grant. He finished his B.S. in Agriculture, Major in Crop Science under a Roseberry Fellowship at the Central Philippine University (CPU) in 1973.


Post-Graduate Diploma in Horticulture, Lincoln College, University of Canterbury, New Zealand.

Thirty (30) units leading to Master of Arts in Education, Major in Science, University of Iloilo, Iloilo City.



Award of Recognition in Support to the Innovations, Adherance and Implementation of Civil Service Law and Rules awarded by Civil Service Commission, September 27, 1999

Certificate of appreciation for his Active Participation during the Consultative Meeting among SCU Presidents and for his Valuable Contribution in the Formulation of Strategies for the SCUs to Effectively Implement the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Plan and fullt harness R&D for Global Competitiveness, PCARRD, April 30, 1998

Award of Recognition in Grateful Recognition of his Deep Advocacy for a Strong Civil Service and Adherance to the Tenets of Good Governance to the Attainment of a Highly Ethical, Competent and Empowered Bureaucracy, awarded by Civil Service Commission, September 30, 1997.

Outstanding Educator of the Year 1997, awarded by Pre-Media Inc., May 25, 1997

Outstanding Performance and Exemplary Leadership in the pursuit of Academic Excellence and Effective Implementation of the Program Thrust in Education during the school year 1985-1986, awarded by DECS Region VI-Western Visayas, Iloilo City, April 4, 1986.

Merit Excellence for active involvement in the accomplishment of objectives of the 1988 Western Visayas Regional youth Science Camp (RYSC) sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology, Iloilo City, April 17, 1988.

Outstanding Performance and Exemplary Leadership in the Implementation of Agricultural Technology Education (ATEP) from 1990 to a992, awarded by the AKlan State College of Agriculture, March 30, 1996.

Outstanding Performance and Exemplary Leadership in the Pursuit of Academic Excellence and Effective Implementation of the Pilot Piña Fiber and Cloth Production Project from 1998 to 1990, awarded by the Aklan State College of Agriculture, December 31, 1990.

Outstanding Performance and Exemplary Leadership in the Pursuit of Academic Excellence and Effective Implementation of the Regional Seed Production Center (RSPC) Project (1985-1992), awarded by the Aklan State College of Agriculture, April 4, 1992.

Outstanding Performance and Exemplary Service as Organizer and Implementor of the Wateshed Rehabilitation and Reforestation Project at Barangay Sibalew, Banga, Aklan from 1989 to 1990, December 31, 1990.

Outstanding Performance and Exemplary Service as Organizer and Implemetor of the Piña Fiber Production Projects at Barangay Feliciano, Minicipality of Balete, Province of Aklan from 1989 to 1990, December 31, 1990


Congressional Oversight Committee on Education, February 1998
Agricultural Commission, January 1997 to June 1998
Agricultural Technology Education Project (ATEP-EDPITAF), April 6, 1991 to December 31, 1992
Conceptualized the Five-Year Farm Development Plans and installed laboratory farms of ISU-Garita Campus, Cabagan, Isabela, ISAC Ilocos Norte, WLAC San Marcelino, Zambales, RCAT, Tanay, Rizal and PNAC, Aborlan, Palawan.

Conceptualized and established the Barangay Development Laboratories of the following universities and colleges; Isabela State University, Ilocos Sur Agricultural College, Western Luzon Agricultural College, Rizal College, Panay State Polytechnic College, Southern samar Agricultural College, Bohol Agricultural College and Katipunan National Agricultural School of Katipunan, Northern Mindanao Institute of Science and Technology, University of Southern Philippines and Upi Agricultural School of Maguindanao.

Pamplona Plantation Corporation, Pamplona, Negros Oriental, September 5, 1993 to December 31, 1993

Conceptualized and designed the Ten-Year Farm Development Plan of the 1,000 hectare Pamplona Plantation Corporation in Negros Oriental.

GMA Farm, Nasugbu, Batangas, March 1990 to the present.

Designed and established Gravity Water System and Integrated Farming system Model.

Piña Fiber and Cloth Project, April 5 to June 5, 1990. Department of Trade and Industry, Kalibo, Aklan.

Conceptualized and established Model Piña Fiber Farm Production of Barangay Feliciano, Balete, Aklan.

Trained farmers, rural women on Piña Fiber Production, Extraction, Processing and Marketing of piña cloth.

Initiated the establishment of cooperatives for piña fiber producers and weavers in Barangay Feliciano, Balete and Barangay Mambog, Banga, Aklan.


Panay Expo Caravan ’88, May 5 – June 6, 1998, Pototan, Iloilo, Roxas City, Capiz, Kalibo, Aklan and San Jose, Antique.

Leadership Training for the Officers of Aklan Agricultural College (AAC) Science Club, July 11, 1988.

1988 Western Visayas Regional Youth Science Camp, AAC, Banga, Aklan, March 16-22, 1987.

District Seminar-Workshop for Agricultural Technology and Productivity, Province of Aklan, September 7 to October 15, 1985.

Basic Management and Skills Training for the Municipal Agricultural Officer (MAO) of the DA, AAC, Banga, Aklan, November 7-28, 1987.

Sloping Agricultural Land Technology for the Agricultural Production Technician, AAC, Banga, Aklan, June 21 to July 26, 1988.

Organization, Response to the Battle Cry of DECS “Bayan Muna, Bago ang Sarili”, FFP/FAHP/VLP Convention, ANCF, New Washington, Aklan, September 1990.

National Training Workshop on Skills Analysis and Assessment on DAT-BAT Courses, CLSU Nueva Ecija, MAy 25-29, 1992.

Agricultural Education Managemet, SEAMEO Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture, Khon Kaen, Thailand, MAy 18-20, 1992.

Agro-Based Technology Skills Training of the Faculty of ISCAF and MCC, ACC, November 18-23, 1990.

Skills Training on Farming System Technology for Agricultural Technologist of Region VI, Western Visayas, Agricultural Technology Institute (ATI), AAC College, November 18-23, 1990.

National Orientation and skills Training for VIDA Volunteers, AAC, June 4, 1990.

Resource System Management Seminar for DTI-CARP, Aklan Staff and CLient Organizations, AAC, May 22-24, 1990.

Skills Training on Farming System Technology for Agricultural Technologist of Region VI, Western Visayas, Agricultural Technology Institute (ATI), AAC College, May 7-12, 1990.

Regional Piña Fiber Production and Processing Planning Seminar, AAC, June 19-23, 1990.

Training Course on Farming as an Enterprise Support to CARP for Agricultural Technologists for VI – Western Visayas, ATI, AAC, December 7 – 17, 1989.

Supervisory Management Training for Municipal Agricultural Officers and Agricultural Technologists of Region VI – Western Visayas, ATI, AAC, July 17-22, 1989.

Short Term Training on Non-Formal and Livelihood Education, ACC, October 6-9, 1989.

DA-CARP Agri-Business Development Training, AAC, September 15-17, 1988.

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Seminar on Study Planning and Curriculum Development, Aharon Ofu, International Training Center, Mitzpe Rachel, Jerusalem, October 22 – November 25, 1996.

New Zealand Society of Agricultural Science Seminar, Parmerston North, New Zealand, August 7-8, 1981.

New Zealand Society of Horticultural Science Seminar, Lincoln College, Canterbury, New Zealand, September 4 -5, 1982.

Seminar on Viticulture, Lincoln College, Canterbury, New Zealand, October 8-9, 1984.

Seminar on the Physiology of Inflorescence Initiation on Grapes, Lincoln College, Canterbury, New Zealand, April 4, 1995.


Pambansang Lupon ng mga Guro

Philippine Association of Vocational Education, Inc.

Philippine Society of Animal Science, Inc., Visayas Division.

Conservation Farming Movement, Inc.

Crop Science, Inc.



(1988), Inflorescence Initiation in Grapes I – Response of Young Plants Growing Regulators. Vtis West Germany.

(1981). Effect of Temperature in the Initiation in Grapes. Botanical Gazette 142 (4), Chicago, USA.


(1973). The Lime Requirement of the Different Soil Types in Panay Island, BSA Thesis, CPU, Iloilo City.

(1985). The Effects of Hormones and Temperature on the Initiation of Inflorescence and Tendrils and the Morphology of shoots and Roots in grapes. Doctoral Dissertation, Lincoln College, University of Canterbury, New Zealand.