Silliman’s best for 2019
FROM THE STANDS - Domini M. Torrevillas (The Philippine Star) - August 27, 2019 - 12:00am

The long search for recipients of the 2019 Outstanding Sillimanian Awards (OSA) has yielded six alumni who best exemplify Silliman’s principles of Via, Veritas, Vita (The Way, The Truth, and The Life). They were chosen from nominations submitted by Silliman alumni chapters in the Philippines and abroad for their excellent and distinguished performance in their field of specialization or career, social responsibility or strong commitment to what is good, right, and just. 

The awardees are Ben Malayang III in environment and academic leadership; Moses Alcala, in applied environmental geology; Dr. Jonathan Amante in medical services development, Atty. Myrish Cadapan-Antonio, in global leadership development, Rev. Dr. Al Fuertes in conflict transformation and peace-building, and Dr. Leonilo Oliva in educational service.

The six OSA awardees will be honored at conferral rites to be held tomorrow, Aug. 28, at the Claire Isabel McGuill Luce Auditorium.

The accomplishments of the awardees are many. Silliman’s information director, Bing Aguilar, has summarized these, so I am putting out her department’s report.

Dr. Ben Malayang III served as the 12th president of Silliman University. During his term from 2006 to 2018, he strengthened the university within the framework of the 5Cs: Church, Classroom, Culture, Court, and Community. An environmental scientist and educator, he has led several research and action projects and authored publications on environmental policy and governance, security, philosophy and ethics, as well as on biodiversity and institutional and environmental transformations of Southeast Asia. Prior to heading SU, Dr. Malayang was dean of the School of Environmental Science and Management of the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB). He also served as undersecretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Moses Alcala is a US-based environmental geologist. He is president of Environmental and Geotechnical Services in Fairfield, New Jersey. A certified professional geologist in two other states, he is a Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) – the highest level of an environmental professional and consultant in the state of New Jersey. He obtained his BS Geology degree from UP Diliman and MA Geology degree from the City University of New York. As petroleum geologist in the 1980s, he led teams in the study and exploration of petroleum basins in the Philippines. As environmental geologist in the US, he has handled the environmental investigation and cleanup of over 400 sites in the states of New Jersey and New York. He has been involved in environmental organizations and advocacy in the US and the Philippines. He continues to be involved in sharing his expertise in environmental geology and conservation to Dumagueteños, including presenting Balik-talent lectures on a regular basis.

Dr. Jonathan C. Amante, founding dean of SU Medical School, made a difference in the delivery of health care services in Negros Oriental and neighboring provinces in the last 30 years. He led several initiatives in that area, having successfully established the following: an Accredited Residency Training Program in Internal Medicine for a Silliman University Medical Center-Holy Child Hospital consortium; the SU Medical School that aims to produce competent physicians guided by Christian principles; the Dumaguete Medical Laboratory with three branches and the first dialysis unit at SUMC and Holy Child Hospital; a private hospital, Allied Clinical Experts (ACE) to help solve the lack of hospital beds in present hospitals in Dumaguete.

Atty. Myrish Cadapan-Antonio is director of fellowship and leadership of Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) Center for Public Leadership in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A former deputy legal counsel and director of the Dr. Jovito Salonga Center for Law and Development of SU, Atty. Cadapan-Antonio had trained further in international humanitarian law, international human rights law, and education reform. Among her many awards are the Most Outstanding Silliman Law Alumnus award, HKS Lucius N. Littauer award for academic excellence, HKS Raymond and Josephine Vernon award for academic distinction, and Philippines 21 Young Leaders award.

Rev. Dr. Al Fuentes is associate professor of peacemaking and conflict resolution at George Mason University in Fairfax and covenant minister of the United Church of Christ in Wellspring, Virginia. Yet as attested by fellow Sillimanians in the US, he is internationally recognized for his practical expertise and not because he teaches the subject at George Mason University. He has worked in conflict areas in the Balkans, East and Central Africa, all over Asia, Canada, and the US. He was first hired by the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in 2005 to facilitate conflict prevention workshops among displaced populations of Cotabato and Bukidnon, and went on to other conflict resolution missions, among the latest being another CRS job to facilitate post-conflict healing and transformation in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2017.

Dr. Leonilo Oliva is director of scholarship of University of Cebu and is concurrently consultant on education of the office of the mayor of Lapu-lapu City. He earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial education as a working student at SU, continuing to pursue the MA in education degree and starting a long and successful career in education administration initially with some colleges, universities, and foundations in Cebu and Cotabato and then with the Philippine Department of Education – Regions 7 and 8.

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ON ANOTHER TOPIC, when Ralph Kevin Cabatingan, 27, and his brother, Renz Mark, 22, decided to leave their day jobs in favor of putting up their own business venture, they typified the emerging millennial entrepreneurs, they’re prepared for the risks, focused on their goals, and will leave nothing to chance to be successful.

Honoring their parents, their father, Rosendo, a successful corporate executive who grew up in an island off Masbate where fishing was the livelihood, and their mother, Lourdes, whose Pampanga roots exposed her to good cuisine, the brothers are set to open RKR Seafood Mart on Sept. 7, that provides fresh and high quality seafood and related products to a discriminating consumer base who want their seafood fresh and of top quality.

Our fish and other marine produce are sourced from local communities in Luzon and the Visayas. This is part of our sustainability objective to provide fishermen a return distribution line direct to consumer, while value added conditions are assured to preserve seafood quality, said Ralph who recently earned his MBA from San Beda College, Alabang.

Their store aims to give consumers quality seafood in a clean, hygienic place. Renz Mark, who has a culinary degree from Enderun Colleges said that sanitation and hygiene are critical aspects to ensure freshness and quality which RKR Seafood Mart guarantees.

The store will offer convenience to its customers who can order via email ( or by calling in their purchases via mobile at +63917-1873328. It will also have delivery services soon.

RKR Seafood Mart is located at Phase 1-E San Lorenzo South Subdivision, Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

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