January 30, 2024
CHED Central Office
Diliman, Quezon City

Just a few hours before we find out who’s going to be our 6th ASCOT President, I got to sit down and chat with the three gentlemen in the running: Dr. Renato G. Reyes, President, Bioresources Innovations Agriproducts OPC, Dr. Roel P. Anicas, the Education Supervisor II at CHED-III, and our very own Dr. RB J. Gallego, the VPAA and Associate Prof V at Aurora State College of Technology (ASCOT)

Imagine, after waiting for what felt like forever since they applied, three out of seven hopefuls got the nod from the selection committee. Then, on January 9, they all stepped up to the plate during the public forum, laying out their grand plans for the college.

Now, we’ve all been rallying behind our favorites, but the real decision-makers are the ASCOT Board of Trustees. These honorables include commissioners and representatives from every corner – private, student, faculty, non-teaching personnel and alumni. The next president needs to win over this diverse background with a vote.

I managed to score some random one-on-one time with these potential presidents. It felt like I was witnessing history, seeing these three high-achievers getting the chance to pour their dedication into our college. And, I’m not alone – my fellow ASCOTians share the same sentiments as we brace ourselves to work under their direct supervision.

Picture this – casual chats, spontaneous questions, and here are a few tidbits that stood out to me: (Please see the caption of each social media cards)

Diana Rose P. de Mesa-Amazona
Information Officer III

Audio Transcribed by the following:
Doc. RB J. Gallego- Patrick Sotero
Doc. Roel P. Anicas- Mel Aboy
Doc. Renato G. Reyes- Arnold Monteverde

Q: So, for example, if the announcement is made, how soon do you plan to visit the college?

Doc Reyes: As soon as possible. If, for instance, there’s an oath-taking, I need to report right away. It’s like entering a house, getting to know everyone, and assigning tasks – who will clean the kitchen, who will tidy up the living room, who will take care of the yard. We’ll discuss what we’ll cook later, what needs fixing. It’s like managing a household.

Dr. Reyes, in terms of self-awareness, how much time do you need to get to know the people?

Doc Reyes: Ako kasi [yung ano ko dyan is,] I always consider an organization as an animal world. So, dapat kilala mo kung anong uri ng animal ang nandoon sa isang biodiverse system and alamin kung ano ‘yung kanilang mga strengths. Alamin din ‘yung mga weaknesses nila. Then from then on gagawa ka ng mga strategies. So, depende syempre sa tao kasi para bang, ‘di ba professor? Meron kang mga estudyanteng fast learners. Definitely, meron ding mga tao, mga staff na fast workers. So, depende din sa kanilang mga kakayahan meron din mga slow workers mga ganun pero intindihin mo din kasi part parin sila ng system. It’s crucial not to simply dictate what needs to be done. You must understand their weaknesses. Compliance with timelines is essential, but it should be facilitated, not just ordering someone to beat a deadline. The problem may be that you don’t understand their weaknesses, and maybe they have other issues. That’s why communication and conversation are important.

Q:Why ASCOT po?

A: Ever since, kasi during the time of Doc Eusebio Angara, lagi kong binabanggit ‘yan and even when I was invited to serve as a critic ng mga research papers ninyo in the past. Sabi ko, ang ganda ganda ng Aurora meron syang dating na para mo syang ayaw iwanan. Una yung mga tao mababait, maganda yung lugar tapos ang andaming potential for development. Nandun ako sa stage ng buhay kong I have lived 6/8 of my life. Ang natitira nalang ay 2/8. Kung ako’y mabubuhay ng 80 years old 2/8 nalang. 6/8 na ibuhay ko na sya ng makabuluhan at kumbaga, my life is like a book, a book with just one chapter is not a book but a book with so many chapters is an interesting book. I have written 6 chapters already. Ang naiiwan nalang ay 2 chapters and the last of it, leave a purpose driven life. Merong purpose, ako kasi naniniwala parin akong merong purpose kung ako man ang maging presidente, I should be thankful at kung hindi rin naman ako naging president I should also be thankful because imposibleng hinde nakaguhit. Pero kapag dumating naman ‘yung puntong ganun na nakaguhit ‘yun, so gagawin mo ng husto yung dapat mong gawin para sa tao hindi lamang para sa sarili mo. It’s not basically for myself nandun na ako sa estado ng buhay kong hindi lamang para sa sarili ko. Ang service kasi, ang public service kasi is selfless service kapag alam mo ng kaya mong ng iwan ang sarili mo, na actualize ka na. Kaya mo ng mag absorb ng ibang mga sarili so ibig sabihin kapag ibang mga opportunities hindi lang sakin because meron na ako noon tapos na ako doon so ano mo na sa mga bata… sa mga matatandang bago man lamang sila mag- retire. Sabi ko nga titignan mo ang mukha ng mga tao kung masaya sila o hinde. Sabi ng kaibigan kong pastor, “How can you give if you have less?” Ibig sabihin punuin mo muna ang sarili mo habang bata ka. How can you extend if you are still wanting? Diba yung iba nag bibigay ng mga relief e sila nga mismo walang pan sandinas. Dapat matikman muna nila ang sardinas bago nila ikwento sa iba na kumain sila ng sardinas dahil masarap. So ibig sabihin as a leader you need to reach that level of self-actualization, self-actualize ka. Para kapag nag salita ka sa harap ng kausap mo e compelling yung estorya mo, worth believing yung sinasabi mo. Because you’ve possessed yung mga attributes na sinasabi mo and that is selfless service.

Doc RB J. Gallego
Q: Tell us how you prayed for this?

Doc Gallego: My prayer is for God’s will to be fulfilled, not for personal benefits, but of course, for the benefit of ASCOT and the people of ASCOT, including stakeholders. The goal is for His plan to be realized, whatever it may be. If it’s meant for me, then it’s for me. If not, I’ll see that it’s His will. I did not pray to win in this selection; instead, I prayed for His will to manifest.

Q: Tell us how you prayed for this?

Q: What can you say about the potentials and challenges [ASCOT], and what do you think your vision has provided?

Doc RB: We have numerous potentials – a promising faculty, supportive non-teaching staff, and well-performing students. We’ve developed systems aligned with standards like ISO and PQA, indicating progress in ASCOT. Challenges include limited resources for instructional delivery, such as classrooms and faculty. Crafting the mission and vision is challenging as limiting student enrollment might compromise inclusivity. My vision includes innovations, improving digital infrastructure for online classes, strengthening night shift programs, considering student and faculty security given our campus situation. My mission and vision consider ASCOT’s current state and its potential under my leadership.

Q. Ano po ang inyong mga plans sa kung ano man po ang maging desisyon ng board?

Doc RB: I have so many projects, actually who ever will win makikiusap ako for him to be present on February 6 kasi may MOA signing ng “Tangol Kalikasan” dapat yung new president nandun that is a yearlong project. Doon maiinvolve ako/tayo sa capacity building of the LGUs in the implementation of sustainable resources management and also the implementation of the forest and fishery laws, including implementation of sustainable livelihood programs for our farmers and also fisherfolks.
Another thing is that during the time that I intend to run, I asked my students, what is their say if I will run as the pres of ASCOT and they said wag na sir turuan nyo na lang po kami. Maybe if I’m not destined to one of the pres of ASCOT nakikita ng mga estudiante ko na magaling akong magturo sa field ng aking specialization.

Dor Roel Anicas

Q: Okay, so first of all, how did you prepare for this final day?
Doc Anicas: Well, to be honest, it was business as usual for me. I continued my ordinary work, still managing the office right after the public forum. Then, sincerely, I put my presidential bid for the sixth president of our beloved ASCOT on the back burner. I focused solely on my work and responsibilities at the commission. The presidential bid was on standby. That’s how I approached it. Additionally, in preparation for this important day, I engaged in fervent prayers, seeking guidance from our dear Lord. I prayed for His will to be done. If ASCOT is meant for me, great – thank you, Lord. If it’s not in the cards for me, still, thank you, Lord. I believe there’s another path meant for me. So, whatever the result, I’m very much ready.

Q: Doc Roel, just to confirm, there’s a perception that you are well-loved by the constituents, and it seems like you were encouraged or urged to run for president. Could you share more about this?

Doc Anicas: Actually, no. My decision to run for president stemmed from my direct involvement in overseeing various programs. For instance, I supervise programs like marine biology, BS fisheries, environmental science, and the graduate school. The first program under my purview was the Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. As an education supervisor at the commission, my attention was drawn to the needs of ASCOT. My intimate knowledge of the workings of the commission and my commitment to ASCOT’s journey toward universityhood motivated me. As a parent, and considering the extensive experience working for the universityhood of ASCOT, I felt compelled to contribute. Before that, my interest was piqued, leading me to think, “Why not try?” I possess the qualifications, and I believe I can offer not just something but more for our institution.
For your information, Ma’am Diane, today marks the first-year anniversary of the approval for reading of House Bill 5892, which focuses on the conversion of ASCOT. This aligns with my priority, once assuming office, to lead our institution, build on what has been initiated, and strive towards achieving the aspiration to elevate ASCOT into a university in Region 3. It’s been 30 years, and while we haven’t neglected ASCOT, now is the opportune time for ASCOT to ascend.