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Weekly Centralian Link (November 24, 2017)

CPU, DA officially opens 7th Organic Agri-Fair Seminar and Exhibits

CPU President, Dr. Teodoro C. Robles, Keynote Speaker, Engr. Eddie P. Cañuto, Mr. Joel H. Somosierra, Chair, 7th Organic Agri-Fair Seminar and Exhibits and Regional Technical Director, Mr. Manny Olanday led the ribbon cutting.

With the theme “Agri-Tourism: Stewardship of God’s Resources,” Central Philippine University and the Department of Agriculture officially opened the 7th DA-CPU Organic Agri-Fair Seminar and Exhibits on November 21, 2017 at the Alumni Promenade Concert Park.

In his welcome remarks, CPU President, Dr. Teodoro C. Robles thanked the farmers for their valuable contribution to the community by providing rice, fruits, vegetables, and other produce for Filipino families in Western Visayas. He also hoped that this year’s Agri-Fair will provide farmers with additional knowledge and skills in their farming practices.

Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on, Director, Office of Communications, led the opening prayer.

Mr. Joel H. Somosierra, Chair of the 7th Organic Agri-Fair Seminar and Exhibits gave the rationale for this year’s Agri-Fair, “The week-long activities of 7th Regional Agri-Research Fair and Exhibits will be an avenue to learn on how to improve livelihood through research-based technology and development. Agri-tourism is multi-faceted. It tackles food production, food security, food sustainability, and educating visitors by giving them a window to the country’s economic backbone.”

Engr. Eddie P. Cañuto of Ephrathah Farms, as the keynote speaker, inspired guests and the farmers to see their profession with high regard. He also emphasized the importance of faith and stewardship in being fruitful, “We at Ephrathah Farms want to transform the people in the community, not only in the financial aspect but in the spiritual aspect as well.”

In his message, CPU President, Dr. Teodoro C. Robles highlighted the important role of farmers in the community.

Mr. Joel H. Somosierra, Chair of the 7th Organic Agri-Fair Seminar and Exhibits talked about the socio-economic impact of farming.

During the Agri-Fair, guest speaker, Engr. Eddie P. Cañuto of Ephrathah Farms encouraged the farmers to have passion in their profession.

Different agricultural products were featured in this year’s 7th Organic Agri-Fair Seminar and Exhibits.

The Municipality of Pavia featured the different agricultural products of their locality.

The Municipality of Leganes showcased their local vegetables.

Strategy – a participant in the Agri-Fair Cooking Contest takes time to consider what ingredients to use in her dish.

Masterchef – participants in the Agri-Fair Cooking Contest showed their cooking prowess.

Innovation and Art – tinola on a papaya, one of the entries in the Agri-Fair Cooking Contest.

He further shared that Ephrathah is a testimony of the goodness of God in his life, “After retiring, I pursued farming which is my passion. God has always destined us to be fruitful. His plans are for our good. Jeremiah 29:11 says that God knows that plans He has for us, plans to prosper us. It also holds true for your lives today as you toil the ground; God has destined you to be fruitful.”

The guest keynote speaker Engr. Eddie P. Cañuto was introduced by Engr. Dimpna C. Castigador, Director, CPU Office of Institutional Advancement.

Regional Technical Director, Mr. Manny Olanday then formally declared the opening of the 7th Organic Agri-Fair Seminar and Exhibits. It was then followed by the ribbon cutting led by CPU President, Dr. Teodoro C. Robles; Keynote Speaker, Engr. Engr. Eddie P. Cañuto; Mr. Joel H. Somosierra, Chair, 7th Organic Agri-Fair Seminar and Exhibits and Regional Technical Director, Mr. Manny Olanday.

The program was opened with prayer, led by Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on, Director of the CPU Office of Communications followed by the Philippine National Anthem and the CPU hymn conducted by Ms. Crista S. Huyong, Director, Cultural Affairs Office. Mr. Cyrus A. Natividad, Media Relations Officer, CPU Office of Communications acknowledged participants and guests. The 3’s Harmony, composed of Mr. Joel H. Somosierra, Mr. Jason Pagunsan and Pastor Rodel Dionala, gave an intermission number. The group sang “This is My Father’s World”.

Technical-agricultural seminars to benefit participants of the DA-CPU Agri-fair

RCECC Director Dr. Lenny Rose P. Mucho with the resource speakers and participants of the seminar.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) and Central Philippine University, through their valuable partnership established seven years ago, continue to uplift the Ilonggo’s need for sustainable food production through the annual Agri-fair program, designed to reach out to the farmers, educators, and businessmen.

Department of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol encourages technology for sufficient, nutritious and cheaper source of food for every Filipino family. Every year, professional resource speakers on technology and production are invited to bring new ideas, training, and technology to participants from different parts of Western Visayas, particularly in Iloilo. There are three seminar days from November 22 to 24. This year, valuable ideas on agriculture and business were discussed with experts and specialists.

On November 22, CPU College of Agriculture, Resources and Environmental Science (CARES) Dean Dr. Jaime Cabarles, Jr. talked about Strengthening Market Linkages for Commercial Production of Organic Chicken; a DA representative lectured on Mushroom Culture; Ms. Ma. Tessie S. Pagay of Holy Rosary Herbal and Ms. Genie O. Biana of G.I. Crafts discussed Building Entrepreneurial Skills for Success.

In the morning of November 23, Dr. Joyce Wendam, former DA Regional Technical Director, Region 6 spoke about Achieving Farmers Livelihood Sustainability through Agri Tourism; Prof. Hope G. Patricio, CPU CARES, and Mr. Eden Panizales shared ideas on Moringa Production and Mushroom Culture Production, respectively. The afternoon sessions included discussions on Record Keeping for Micro-Entrepreneurs by Prof. Patrocinio G. Pudadera, Jr. and Urban Gardening by Mr. Angel Supetran, Jr.

The seminars were held at the Henry Luce III Library Conference Room and at CPU Alumni Promenade and Concert Park.

P55-M program to boost native chicken production

By Tara Yap (

Dr. Jaime Cabarles, Dean of CPU-CARES has been passionate about native chicken production. 

Iloilo City – A P55 million program is expected to further boost commercial production of native chickens in the Visayas.

The Central Philippine University-College of Agriculture, Resources and Environmental Sciences (CPU-CARES) in Iloilo City and Department of Agriculture (DA) will soon implement the technology transfer program.

Dr. Jaime Cabarles, Dean of CPU-CARES, said this will address the increase in demand of native chickens among health-conscious consumers.

“Native chickens are free from synthetic chemicals, but supply in the Visayas is low,” Cabarles told the Manila Bulletin at the sidelines of the 7th DA-CPU Organic Agriculture Research Fair and Exhibit, which ends today.

The program, Cabarles said, will be replicated in selected areas in Cebu, Bohol, Aklan and Negros Occidental as part of DA’s Philippine Rural Development Project (PRRDP).

Cabarles was one of the 2013 Republica awardees of the Commission on Higher Education for  his initiatives on native chicken raising.

Meantime, Joel Somosierra, agri-fair chairperson, noted that the growing interests of organically-grown food are one of the anchors of agri-tourism.

Somosierra added they are urging more farmers to open up their farms to the public to increase their income.

DA School-on-the-Air Graduation held in CPU

Mr. James Earl E. Ogatis, OIC-RAFIS, gave the the overview of the School-On-The-Air Cassava Production.

Some 500 students of the Department of Agriculture School-on-the-Air program received their certificates in a graduation ceremony on Tuesday, November 21, during the 7th DA-CPU Agrifair held at the Alumni Promenade and Concert Park, CPU.

The School-on-the-Air is described on DA’s Agricultural Training Institute website as “a series of radio programs, presenting the subject matter systematically and in a progressive manner, aired for a period of not less than three months… A certificate is given to the enrollees after completion of the course.” The objective of the agricultural education “on air” is to sustain the farmers’ knowledge on farming technology for free. The graduation ceremony of the School On-the-Air is held every year at Central Philippine University during the Agri-fair.

This year’s course title is Cassava Production. The education “on air” is handled by James Ogatis, Public Relations Officer, Department of Agriculture, Region 6. The long-running 4 AM educational radio broadcast of the DA has benefited farmers and individuals who cannot afford to enroll in a formal course in agriculture. The program was hosted before by a Centralian alumna, Juvy Gaton, Regional Information Officer of the Department of Agriculture, Region 6.

The graduates of the School On-The-Air Cassava Production.

“It helps that a transistor radio hanging from a carabao’s tusk allows us to listen and take notes very early in the morning on our way to the farm,” according to one of the farmer graduates from a municipality in Iloilo.

The government-sponsored broadcast was started through the Green Revolution, a program introduced by the Marcos government during the martial law years. The format has been revised many times since then.

CPU holds Thanksgiving Services

According to Rev. Rodmar Lilia authentic thanksgiving is conversion of faith into action.

Taste and see that the Lord is good—Central Philippine University held Thanksgiving Services for the CPU faculty and staff, the University Junior High School, and the University Elementary School at the University Church and Rose Memorial Auditorium on November 22 and 23, 2017 respectively.

CPU President, Dr. Teodoro C. Robles, in his opening remarks during the University-wide Thanksgiving Service, talked about how God has blessed CPU along the years, “Today we celebrate Thanksgiving. It has been passed to us by the American Baptist Missionaries who have established CPU. To us, it is symbolic. We are thankful to God for our parents, family, friends, mentors, classmates—all the people who have touched our lives. We are thankful for this university. CPU started with only 17 school boys and now God has blessed CPU with a lot of students. We are also thankful for the Central Spirit.”

Cheerful givers – Centralian elementary pupils make their way to give their fruit offering.

Rev. Ruth G. Lunasco introduced guest speaker, Rev. Rodmar Lilia. In his message, Rev. Lilia talked about Thanksgiving as one of his favorite celebrations, “Growing up, I have two favorite celebrations. The first one is Christmas and the second is Thanksgiving. I grew up in the church, so every Thanksgiving, I would see the best decorations, the best food. As a recipient of all these blessings, I suspected that it was just part of tradition, but eventually I realized that it is having a pure heart and having faith in God that is the real essence of Thanksgiving.”

He stresses that we actualize our feelings for God in the form of gratitude and thankfulness, “We give our gratitude to God by offering him our best offering, our best worship and our best praise. An abstract feeling becomes concretized by actions that spring from the heart. Gratefulness—it is our expression of faith in God.”

Honoring God with your talent – the CPU Elementary school pupils rendered a song number.

According to him, thanksgiving has social effects and contributions. When we see people helping in the church, offering their time and talent, others are also encouraged to give what they could to make Thanksgiving a wonderful event of glorifying God and His faithfulness.

To honor God with their talent, the CPU-K Pipers rendered a song number, the University Church Kids Ministry performed a tambourine dance, and the students of the University Elementary School gave a song number.

On the next day, November 23, 2017, with the theme “One Heart, One Voice, CPUJHS Thanks the Lord,” the Junior High School Thanksgiving Service highlighted the importance of having a grateful heart.

Mr. Alim Kumar Sinha, Mr. CPUJHS, shared the Lord’s goodness in his life.

Rev. Cris Amorsolo V. Sian encourages the Centralian community to offer God a heart filled with thanksgiving.

The colors of praise – the University Church Kids Ministry gave a tambourine dance number.

The CPU-K Pipers showcased their talent in an intermission number.

Pastor Arliss Cloma shared the thanksgiving message. He talked about bringing the right spirit, submission, and sacrifice to the Lord. According to him, when approaching God, it is important to have a humble and grateful heart.

He went on to speak about the goodness of the Lord in the lives of those who are faithful to him, “In Psalm 23, God is the good shepherd… He is your constant help and provision. You will experience the goodness of the Lord all the days of your lives. God is always good despite the failures and challenges in life.”

During the service, Mrs. Erma Joy Garanganao and Mr. Alim Kumar Sinha shared their testimonies of praise and thanksgiving. They talked about the goodness and provision of the Lord in their lives.

The giving of offering was done by all the section presidents. A prayer of thanksgiving and dedication was then said by Mrs. Sandraliza D. Espinosa. Pastor Lloyd Basco then gave the closing prayer and benediction.

For the Elementary Thanksgiving Service, Psalm 107:1 (“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever”) became the heart of the celebration. The service opened with a prayer followed by the singing of “10,000 Reasons.” After which, selected Grade 2 pupils rendered a special number.

Ms. Susan Herga, CPUES Assistant Principal, introduced Rev. Cris Amorsolo Sian for the thanksgiving message. Rev. Sian emphasized the importance of thanking God for the blessings we receive. He encouraged the elementary pupil to never run out of reasons to thank God, just as what the opening song “10,000 Reasons” said.

After his message, the elementary pupils gave their birthday and Thanksgiving offering. Rev. Sian then led the closing prayer and benediction.

In its 112th Founding Anniversary, CPU celebrates Thanksgiving to highlight the faithfulness of the Lord to CPU. It aims to remind the Centralian community to have a heart of gratitude all year, especially in the approaching yuletide season. CPU observes Thanksgiving on the 4th week of the month because Thanksgiving is celebrated on the 4th Thursday of the month in the United States.

CPU congratulates New Civil Engineers

Central Philippine University proudly congratulates 29 new Centralian engineers who successfully passed the 2017 November Civil Engineering Licensure Examinations. CPU got an overall passing percentage of 87.88%.

According to the PRC, 6,075 out of 12,447 passed the Civil Engineer Licensure Examination given by the Board of Civil Engineering held in the cities of Manila, Baguio, Cagayan de Oro, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Legazpi, Lucena, Tacloban, Tuguegarao and Zamboanga. The national passing percentage is 48.81%.

The following are our new Centralian Civil Engineers:

CPU College of Theology and SMO hold seminar on “Overcoming Depression and Repairing Relationships”

Pastor David Meengs challenged the participants to have response in the challenges of life by letting God take control.

The Central Philippine University College of Theology in partnership with the Student Missionary Outreach held a seminar on “Overcoming Depression and Repairing Relationships” with Pastor David Meengs as guest speaker at the Educational Media Center on November 17, 2017.

Pastor Meengs talked about the Christian duty of valuing our relationships and helping others rebuild by sharing the Word of God, “We should have a burden for people who are hurting. The gospel can change people—when the heart changes, everything changes. But until we know how to take care of our own relationships, we can’t help others with theirs.”

He emphasized that since we are in Christ we leave behind our old selves and put on our new selves, created to be like God in His holiness, “Ephesians 4:22-24 says that we were taught, with regard to our former way of life, which was being corrupted by its deceitful desires, to be made new in the attitude of your minds and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

Participants eagerly listen to Pastor David Meengs.

According to Pastor Meengs, good relationships are about giving the right kind of response. He shared that it is important that we do not act on impulse, on anger, or on negativity, “No one can make you angry; however, people can get you to be angry or bitter. Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% what you do with what happens to you. We should let the grace of God enter our lives so that we react with the guidance of His grace—it’s grace in and grace out.”

Pastor Meengs also talked about the three levels of spiritual problems, namely: the problems in our hearts; the problems with our thoughts, words, and actions; and the problems with our feelings and emotions, “Matthew 15:18-19 says, ‘But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart and these defile them. For out of the heart comes evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.’ We need to move our concentration from what we feel to the important conditions of the hearts.”

During the seminar, the Student Missionay Outreach gave away free books authored by Pastor David Meengs.

Nenito S. Del Mundo, Director of the Student Missionary Outreach, introduced the guest speaker. Pastor David Meengs is the Director of the Biblical Counselling Worldwide based in Michigan, USA and has been a missionary to India for 20 years. Presently, he is involved in prison ministry and is teaching biblical counselling in different parts of the world. He has also authored several books on overcoming depression and repairing broken relationships.

The seminar began with the invocation, led by Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on. It was then followed by the opening remarks by Rev. Dr. Bernanabe C. Pagara, Dean College of Theology.

In his greeting, Rev. Dr. Pagara welcomed guests and highlighted the importance of relationships as sources of joy, “Most of our joy in life will come from happy relationships and most of our anguish in life will come from unhappy relationships. It is said that two Christians are better than one but two Christians are better when they are one. We must have a true companion to have strong relationships.”

For the statement of purpose, Dr. Florentino P. Alerta II talked about the importance of the topic in the workplace and at home.

After the lecture, Dr. Alerta II mediated the open forum which was then followed by the closing remarks, prayer and benediction.

The way to Ephrathah: Story of Ed Cañuto

Engr. Eddie P. Cañuto together with Mr. Joel H. Somosierra, Chair, 7th Organic Agri-Fair and Mr. Cyrus A. Natividad, Media Relations Officer, CPU Office of Communications.

It was a Friday afternoon when the CPU Agrifair 2017 team left Barangay Sariri in Badiangan, Iloilo. Earlier, the team walked through a beautiful landscape of Ephrathah Farms. It is a sprawling 7 hectare farm that surrounds an inland resort, rolling hills, and magnificent natural scenery.

Eddie Cañuto considers God as the owner of this land and himself as only the steward.

Cañuto is a Centralian Engineer who became very successful in farming. His farm includes a greenhouse for vegetables, an area for aquaculture, a mini-zoo, and a papaya plantation. He also has a plantation for sweet “pitahaya,” otherwise known as dragon fruit.

Earlier, Cañuto invited the team at the resort’s pavilion. He offered native coffee and shared interesting stories about Ephrathah Farms. Asked why he named the farm Ephrathah, Cañuto said that it is the old name of Bethlehem, and it means “fruitful.”

Ephrathah Farms was realized through patience and hard work. It took Cañuto 35 years to realize his “agri-tourism farm,” making it a popular tourist destination, not only in Western Visayas, but also in the country. Ephrathah is visited by thousands of tourists every year, not only for the luxurious resort within the farm, but for the abundant organic fruits and vegetable grown and managed by Engr. Cañuto.

Engr. Eddie P. Cañuto transformed his passion for farming into agritourism.

‘Ed’ was a work student assistant at the CPU library and engineering laboratories from 1966-1969, and in 1969-1970, respectively. He finished his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at Central Philippine University in 1971. He ranked 7th place in the Philippine Board Examination for Civil Engineers in 1972. He then took up Master in Construction Management at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines in Manila. He finished his Master’s degree in 1980.

After his retirement from professional work, Ed returned to their farm in Badiangan with his wife. Inspired by the biblical promise of God in Micah 5:2, he worked hard and developed Ephrathah Farms. He expanded the business by building an inland resort within the productive farm.

Not only was he rewarded by God for his dedication, he was doubly compensated for his selfless efforts to help the local farmers. Ed recalled that his friends in the barangay admitted that without him, they would not be able to earn much from their farms. With his success in farming, Ed shares his knowledge and management skills to the people needing technical and financial assistance for their own farms.

In his keynote speech during the opening program of CPU-DA Agrifair 2017 in CPU on November 21, 2017, Ed emphasized that “there is money in agriculture.” He encouraged everyone to invest in agriculture, saying that there is a big local consumer demand for organic fruits and vegetables, particularly in Iloilo where local producers supply only 15% of the demand for vegetables. Ephrathah Farms is one of these producers, supplying big volumes of fruits and vegetables to SM Supermarkets.

Ed has also served in various capacities, such as a consultant for some corporations and as president, vice president, and general manager for different businesses in Metro Manila. He was a member of Central Philippine University, Corporation from 2010-2012, and a member of the CPU Board of Trustees from 2016 up to the present. He is also a lecturer on many different topics in different symposia in the Philippines and abroad.

Behind this success, however, is his unfailing devotion to and enduring faith in God. He has a wide range of involvement in the Christian ministry as church administrator, national president, international trustee and member of Gideons International—an association of Christian business and professional men in 200 countries.

Engr. Eddie P. Cañuto is married to Rosalinda Velado Cañuto, also a Centralian, with three children who are now professionals: Ed Roderick, Ainah Rose, and Jonathan Ed. The three children have specific responsibilities in the farm and resort. Two of their three grandchildren are studying at the CPU Elementary School. The whole family now resides at the Ephrathah Farm.

Mayor Onal Golez and his sister Kagawad Jasmin: Centralian public servants of Dumangas

Mayor Onal Golez (center) with Sister, Hon. Kagawad Jasmin Golez-Ocampo and CPU Media Relations and Publishing Officer Cyrus A. Natividad.

The Centralian Mayor of Dumangas Ronaldo “Onal” Golez and his sister, Jasmin Golez-Ocampo, a former senator of Central Philippine University Student Republic in the early 80s, are well-loved and well-respected by Dumangasanons because of their compassion and generosity. This is seen in the development of their municipality and “down to the grassroots” programs for the people in Dumangas.

Mayor Onal proved his good public relations skills during his birthday when he went to the Municipal Gym and solemnized the marriage of forty-five couples in a celebration attended by municipal officials, sponsors, and guests. In his capacity as the father of the town, he reminded the couples that marriage is so important that it has to be legalized. He further advised them to look at their children’s future and see how not being legally married could affect these children. To make sure that the ceremony had some fun, the Mayor asked the couples to stand and kiss each other. To the couples who kissed the longest, Mayor Onal awarded each of the pair with one sack of rice and P1,000.00, causing the spectators to give a big round of applause. He observed that most of the couples who registered were poor with no sufficient sources of income. He assured them that programs for livelihood are being studied.

His Kagawad sister Jasmin, the number one municipal councilor, was there to support him. Jasmin also found an opportunity to serve the people of Dumangas. Although already residing in the US for 20 years, she went home and ran for Kagawad of the municipality. Both were already civic-oriented back in their college days at Central Philippine University.

Success, according to the Centralian Mayor, owes much to attitude and dedication, which must be learned through education. Mayor Onal and Kagawad Jasmin look forward to some programs to link up with CPU in the future.

A story of perseverance and faith: the life of Manuel Celiz Palada, Ph. D.

Mr. Ric C. Patricio

Dr. Manny Palada with wife Mrs. Elisa Palada. Photo Credit: Manny Palada.

This one is for the books. A story that epitomizes the perseverance, determination, and inspiring efforts of a person whose achievements and legacy will be indelibly etched in the annals of his chosen profession.  His is a story of a self-made and family-oriented man, dedicated to his career, faithful to his church and, most of all, trusting and serving the Lord Jesus Christ.

To his colleagues, friends, and students, he typifies the character of an outstanding mentor—patient, approachable, technically conversant, and sensitive to their needs—but one with a very humble and pleasing personality. In the undergraduate and graduate levels, he taught plant science, agronomy, horticulture, and soil science.

Simply addressed as Manny, Sir Manny, or Dr. Palada, he graduated class salutatorian from Negros Occidental High School in 1961 and obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Plant Science from Central Philippine University in 1966, his Master of Science degree in Agronomy from the University of the Philippines-Los Banos in 1970, and his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Horticultural Sciences-Vegetable Crops from the University of Florida in 1980.

With over 50 years of field research and teaching experience in alternative methods of agricultural production for both irrigated and rainfed farming systems, he has undoubtedly helped improve the livelihood and welfare of resource-poor farmers in the developing world.

His field research and production experience on agronomic crops included rice, maize, sorghum, wheat, rye, barley and oats; tropical and temperate legumes including mungbeans, cowpeas, pigeonpeas, peanuts, soybeans, clover, vetches and alfalfa; root and tuber crops such as cassava, sweet potato and yam, and a variety of tropical and temperate vegetable crops including herbs, spices, medicinal plants and indigenous vegetables.

He also introduced new cropping techniques to maximize production and maintain soil fertility and management. In the tropics and subtropics, he developed appropriate crop production systems with applications to small farms. He also developed, designed, and tested improved technologies for rapid transfer and adoption by resource-limited farmers. He performed extensive on-farm research work in Asia on rice-based cropping systems and sustainable vegetable production systems and in West Africa on mixed cropping under shifting cultivation, bush-fallow farming systems, agroforestry and alley cropping, rice-based cropping systems in inland valley swamps and low resource upland rice production systems.

He did 20 years of research and development experience on horticultural crop production (fruits and vegetables) and farming systems in small island nations in Eastern Caribbean Basin, including 3 years of work in the Pacific Island nations, Solomon Islands.

He has taught trainees on crop production, multiple cropping, cropping systems, on-farm research and extension, sustainable agriculture, and organic farming. One of his sterling accomplishments was as convener of the First International Symposium on Moringa in Manila, Philippines on November 15-18, 2015.

He has visited and observed agriculture and farming systems in more than 45 countries and worked either on short or long term assignments in some of these countries including Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Burkina Faso, Cambodia,  Cameroon, Canada, Chad, China, Dominican Republic, Fiji, Ghana, Grenada, Guinea, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Japan, Kenya, Korea, Lao PDR, Liberia, Malaysia, Mali, Martinique, Mexico, Niger, Nigeria, Philippines, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Somalia, Solomon Islands, St. Lucia, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Trinidad, Uganda, Vietnam and Zaire.

He has 30 years of work experience in the Philippines, 7 years in North Florida and Pennsylvania, 6 years in West Africa (Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Liberia), 3 months in East Africa (Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda), 13 years in the Virgin Islands, and 8 years in Taiwan.

From February 2010 to the present, he is adjunct and visiting professor at the CPU College of Agriculture, Resources, and Environmental Sciences. A current CPU corporate member, he is also a trustee whose term ends in 2022. Since 2010 until this day, he is the president, CEO, and international consultant for the Farm Systems International Organization.

His scholarship awards, past professional achievements, and other involvements aside from teaching were as senior research assistant, IRRI; graduate research fellow, Rockeller Foundation; postdoctoral research fellow, Organic Gardening and Farming Research Center, Pennsylvania; senior agronomist, The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Nigeria; agronomist and technical advisor, USAID/PVO/NGO Low Resource Agriculture Project, Center for Agriculture and Rural Development, Liberia; research assistant professor, research associate professor, research professor, and assistant director for Agricultural Experiment Station, University of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix, US Virgin Islands; visiting scientist (on sabbatical leave), Program 2: Year-Round Vegetable Production Systems, and Crop & Ecosystem Management Specialist and Head, Crop and Ecosystem Management Unit, AVRDC-The World Vegetable Center, Taiwan.

A flashback to his past shows short-term consultancy engagements with the  Tanzania Agricultural Research Organization/USAID;  The Experiment in International Living/USAID, Monrovia, Liberia;  The World Bank, Resident Mission in Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya;  Kenya Agricultural Research Institute/World Bank; Directorate of Research, Ministry of Agriculture/World Bank, Somalia; Appropriate Technology, International (ATI)/Appropriate Technology, Uganda (ATU)/ACDI/VOCA/USAID, Uganda; Development Alternatives, Inc. /Department of Agriculture/Asian Development Bank, Manila; US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Ghana;  AVRDC-The World Vegetable Center, Taiwan; and, Swisscontact, Bangladesh.

As consultant, his terms of references are wide-range, including, conducting trainings on composting, green manuring, manure handling and management, intercropping and alley cropping, crop rotation, intercropping, relay cropping and land preparation; evaluation of technical feasibility, economic viability,  and sustainability of organic fertilization and composting projects; formulation of technical program, priority setting, budgeting procedures, project proposal preparation, and strengthening research-extension linkages; project proposal review on large-scale composting using banana and sugarcane crop residues; project evaluation of farmer-participatory research and extension on oilseed production; evaluation of sunflower production, processing and utilization; assessment of existing levels of technologies and giving advice on the improvement of the grains sector; presentations on chili pepper production and post-harvest practices; provision of technical support and assistance on affordable micro-irrigation technologies; extension of technical expertise in writing a project proposal on crop diversification; and writing and editing the second edition of the book Moringa oleifera.

His experiences on project administration and management, research and development, teaching and capacity building/training, and national agricultural research and extension systems are solid and astounding. He has served as agronomist, project and team leader, program/project team member, leader, and coordinator, unit head, crop and ecosystem management specialist, courtesy associate professor, visiting and lead scientist, technical advisor, trainer and resource person, professor, and president and CEO.

He has been to various international scientific meetings, conferences, congresses, and symposia either as convener, presenter, or participant. His topics included Off-Season and Year-Round Vegetable Production in the Tropics, Micro-Irrigation for Vegetable Production, Organic Vegetable Production, Vegetable Agroforestry Systems, Rice-Based Cropping Systems, Urban and Peri-urban Vegetable Production, and Moringa Production, Processing, and Utilization.

His past and present membership in professional societies include the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), American Society for Horticultural Science-Emeritus (ASHS), Association of Farming Systems Research and Extension (AFSRE), Caribbean Food Crops Society (CFCS), Caribbean Association for Researchers and Herbal Practitioners (CARAPA), Crop Science Society of the Philippines (CSSP), Florida State Horticultural Society (FSHS), International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS), International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM), and West African Farming Systems Research Network (WAFSRN).

Over the span of his professional career, he has received more than US$2 million funding and support. A prolific researcher and scientific writer adhering to the dictum “publish or perish,” he has published 40 refereed journal articles, 115 proceedings, 70 research reports and technical bulletins/training manual, 78 abstracts, 8 edited books/proceedings, 19 book chapters, 3 theses, and 15 or so farmers’ production guides/brochures.

In recognition of his achievements worthy of pride and emulation, he has received recognition from various institutions such as the Distinguished Alumni Award from Negros Occidental High School, Distinguished Alumni Award from Central Philippine College of Agriculture, Distinguished Centralian and Outstanding Service Awards from CPU, Outstanding International Horticulturist Award from the American Society for Horticultural Science, and Moringa Champion Title from the International Society for Horticultural Science.

In this digital age, it is relatively easy to share through the social media the perfect tribute to a sincere, frank, and well-meaning man with boyish cheerfulness, who has accomplished so much in life. It befuddles the mind that even in his retirement years, his focus on sharing his own wealth of experiences with friends, fellow alumni, and his Alma Mater remains steadfast and uncompromising.

His age betrays his passion for work and more, only restrained by the gentle persuasion of his wife, Ellie, to slow down. To him, Iloilo is where the action is. This is the reason why they built another retirement house in Metropolis East, Jaro in addition to their home in Gainesville, Florida.

More importantly, he realizes that all the accolades accorded to him would not have been possible without God’s guidance and rich bestowments. For Dr. Manuel Celiz Palada, to Him alone be the glory, honor, and praise

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