Since its establishment in December 1993, the Aurora State College of Technology has produced quality graduates in the following fields: Agriculture, Arts and Sciences, Education, Engineering, Industrial Technology, Information Technology, and Forestry. ASCOT has equipped them to brave the world and succeed in life. 

For our first feature, we have our very own ASCOT President, Dr. Eutiquio (Tikz) L. Rotaquio Jr. Pres Tikz was born on April 15, 1977, at Sitio Tabing Ilog, Brgy. Reserva, Baler, Aurora. He is the fourth of the eldest among seven siblings of the Eutiquio Sanchez Rutaquio, Sr. (deceased), and Rosalinda Parrocha de Leon. In 1986, their family moved to Sitio Camalatan I, Brgy. Nonong Sr., San Luis, Aurora. Their family was not wealthy. There were times when they struggled to make ends meet.  

The Rotaquio family have lived at the center of a coconut farm where they also work. It was a struggle for Tikz to play with friends because they live in their neighbors are far. Thankfully their house was near a creek where they would swim during their free time. He also had to walk at least 3 kilometers to attend school. He had to go to school with a fish net as a bag, worn-out slippers, and sometimes shirts with holes in them. He did not have lunch money most of the time. He only had boiled saba and sweet potato as snacks. Despite all that, he persevered. He did not grumble. He did what he could at that time. He took school seriously because he knows how valuable having an education is. It is his ticket to success.

Asked about his dream, he told us that he dreamt of becoming a lawyer. His father inspired him to be one because their family experienced firsthand how to be powerless and defenseless. They had to relocate when the owner of the coconut farm sold it without notifying them, the tenants. This event fueled his drive to chase after his Juris Doctor dream.

He has not been able to take up law because their family lacked the financial ability to send him to school outside the province. His mother had to support them when his father died when he was in his third year of high school. He recalled that her mother was doubling her efforts to sell vegetables along the streets of Brgy. Ditumabo and Brgy. Nonong. Worries about not affording to study loom in because of their financial situation. Fortunately, luck smiled on him when Aurora State College of Technology (ASCOT) opened.

He did not take up law because no school in the province offered it. Despite that, he was still determined to finish his studies. He tried his luck on the entrance exam at ASCOT. He told us that at that time, ASCOT was only accepting 300 students for its first year, but he landed at the 301st spot. Though he did not make the cut, he still tried his luck and enrolled. He became one of the pioneering students of ASCOT. He took up a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and became one of the first four registered foresters of ASCOT.

For President Tikz, learning never stops. After obtaining his undergraduate degree, he pursued his Master in Management Major in Educational Management at the Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology-ASCOT Graduate Collaboration in April 2005. He took up his Doctor of Philosophy in Development Science at the Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation (IDEC), Hiroshima University, Japan, in 2008. He got through schooling through scholarships. As of this writing, he said that he still wants to pursue law—he will enroll when the College of Law in ASCOT starts accepting enrollees. 

As for his work experience—there are plenty. As a teen, he experienced working in the field—tilling the land using carabao and furrow to plant vegetables. During his college days, he became an active student. He held the Supreme College Student Council (SCSC) president post for two consecutive terms (S.Y. 1996-1997 and S.Y. 1997-1998). It became essential when he became a member of the ASCOT Board of Trustees as Student Trustee. He was able to transfer the use and management of SCSC funds from the ASCOT Administration to the SCSC. Besides that, he became the Editor-in-Chief of the Voice of the Sierra (S.Y. 1997-1998), ASCOT publication. During his graduation, he received the Leadership Award upon graduating.

After graduating and passing the boards, he worked in research. He worked his way up from an enumerator in 1998 to being the College President of ASCOT today. He got the Outstanding Citizen of San Luis, Aurora award in 2009 and Outstanding ASCOT Alumni in 2004. 

Asked about his definition of success, he said that true success is when you help others succeed in life. Success for him is more than just material wealth; it is about giving back to his family and community. He is an innovator and a developer. He believes that hard work pays off. Anything that you set your mind and heart into, you can achieve. You can even turn seemingly useless things into useful ones. 

His tip for the youth is to enrich their heart and minds. Knowledge is power, but you must not forget values. He is encouraging the young ones to keep reading. He shared that during his youth, he was not a picky reader. He read academic books, fiction, and the Bible. There was always something new to learn. 

President Rotaquio is truly an inspiration to all. He could have given up because of all the difficulties he has experienced in life, but he did not. He strived to better himself. He is a testament that when you pursue excellence, success will follow you. Never be disheartened about your current situation because it is not your destination. Keep moving forward with your goals in mind. One day the sun will shine upon you, and you will also become successful in life.

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