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Officers Profile: Series 2


By: Tony and Joy San Juan

Prefatory Statements

Featured here are fifteen current and past officers or directors and other active members of the Association. Their profiles are based via phone interviews conducted recently. The profilers tried their best to collate and highlight the information as concise as possible under the circumstances, i.e. capsulizing individual vitae without compromising integrity.

It is to be noted that those profiled are, mostly and relatively new but promising Featineans. This is second in a series and others will be presented in the near future as events unfold. Should any reader need to contact anyone, please access our Website or e-mail directly. Fellow Featineans, here they are!!.


Frank Amurao Frank started his Aeronautical Engineering course at FEATI but completed instead , B.S.C.E at Araullo University-Cabanatuan City in 1973. After passing the board in 1982, he worked for 7 years at National Irrigation Administration. When Saudi beckons, he had a 2-yr. Stint as Construction Engineer in the Middle East; then with Airlink International Construction Corp. in Manila as Project Manager-Partner.

Immigrating to Canada in 1987, worked for sometime with a consulting firm as concrete test technician. Presently, connected with Hallmark Cards’ production plant & happily married to Auring Agustin, a CLSU-Agriculture grad who works at TD Bank’s credit administration, they have a daughter.

Rolly Balangue A graduate of B.Sc. Mechanical Engineering (1975-1982) and having worked through college, Rolly is a Marikeńo from Manila. After working as a machinist at Philippine Ship and Engineering Corp. for 2 years, he accepted contract assignments in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai and Abu-Dhabi) for 15 years, serving alternately as machinist, maintenance engineer and marine mechanic at Dubai Dry-docks, Dubai Abbatoir, MSG and NICO Int.,

From the Middle East, he and wife Elizabeth Go, a practicing nurse, and their 2 girls applied to Canada, coming in 1998. Rolly who has been a director – officer since joining the organization, is working at Magna International’s TESMA plant. He is set in reviewing and writing for the Industrial Millwright licensure tests. (Good Luck).

Tirso Balitian A Bicolano, Tirso is one of the founders of the Association and has been a “popular fixture” in the community’s ballroom circles. His Scarborough home was venue of the birth of the organization in the summer of 1989. After obtaining his Civil Engineering degree in 1965, he was Project Engineer, among other prestigious construction companies, for PhilStress and helped built the Philippine Central Bank edifice at Roxas Boulevard.

In Toronto, he has worked in several firms until his early retirement in 1999. Since “formation day one”, Tirso has served the Association in various positions as vice president, business manager or director with utmost commitment. Counting life’s blessings, he has a teacher-son and plays the piano-organ with (Pablo) virtuosity!

Evelyn Pardinas-Birondo Akin to her 4 siblings who are similarly FEATI graduates – Elisa, Ernie, Eddie and Ely Pardinas, “Velyn” finished in 1963 her B.S.B.A.-Banking & Finance with minor in Accounting degree. Her campus days include membership in FEATISCA and Prof. Galang’s Phi Lambda Alpha sorority. While working in Manila’s Pacific Glass Corp., she decided to immigrate to Canada in 1971. She served as a supervisor of trading at Bank of Nova Scotia and is now the in-house accountant at the Canadian Bankers Association.

Married to Ed Birondo, the Association’s second president, Evelyn has traveled extensively in Europe and Asia prior to settling down. She has been an active officer-member with Toronto Filipino Bowling Congress, Associacion Negrense, Circulo Ilonggo, Block Rosary and once served as a director of the Association in 1999, the year she received her certificate in Accounting and Finance from Ryerson Polytechnic University.

Anita Taay-Buiza Coming from Aklan, and one of the founders of the Association, Annie obtained her BSBA-Accounting degree from the University of Manila in 1960 before pursuing her AB-Economics and Certificate in Teaching course at FEATI in 1964. She was part-time economics instructor for a year and then “dated” Julio Buiza, Jr. At Quezon City’s National Children’s Hospital, she worked as its disbursing officer for a while.

In Ontario, she was employed in various capacities by different companies: CIMCO, Revenue Canada, Manulife, before retiring from Mt. Sinai Hospital in 2000. During her Nonoy’s ten-year presidency, Annie has been a staunch supporter and vigorous partner in running the Association. They have four adult children and a grandson Alexander Patrick.

Ron Carpio A real Batang Tondo, Ron finished secondary education at Torres High in 1963 and at FEATI completed his Radio Telephone Operator/Radio Technician courses in 1964. He also took Machine Shop Technology at PCAT and had worked for 8 years at GM’s Northern Motors Inc. Before immigrating, he was owner-operator of Rolly’s Auto Repair Shop in Gagalangin, Tondo.

Married to an Ilocana black belter, Ron was Florence Lorenzana’s judoka student. They came 26 years ago and from 4 grown-up children, the couple has 8 grandchildren now. Serving the community’s ballroom dancing and party crowds, the duo provides DJ services, which they started in 1994.

Ben Dioleta Awarded a scholarship grant, Ben, a Bicol-Ilocano breed took up a Machine Shop Technician course at FEATI in 1963 and completed the B.Sc. Mechanical Engineering program at Mapua Institute of Technology in 1969. A working student, he has 7 years machinist’s experiences in Manila’s top firms, namely: Refrigeration Industries, International Rice Research Institute, Atlantic Gulf and Pacific, and Reynolds Aluminum.

One of the early Pinoy immigrants in the 70’s, he was employed by Armor Elevator Co., Globe and Mail & Continental Can Co. Since 1984, he is connected with the City of Toronto’s Emergency Works and Services department as technical staff personnel. His avocation includes facility structure rebuilding, remodeling and installation services. Ben’s family counts two professional children – a teacher and an electronics technician, and a grandson.

Ana Valdez-Fabroa Known to her avid admirers as “Baby”, Ana worked as a flight attendant with Saudi Arabian Airlines for 1 years after her Bachelor of Science in Textile Engineering studies at FEATI in 1975-1979 and a member of Upsilon Beta Sigma Sorority. She met future, now husband Wilson in one of FEATI’s poorly lit labs (sabi niya). In preparation for her Canadian immigration in 1982, Baby enrolled in computer programming courses at Peralta Computer School and Manila Data Processing Center.

After her airborne job taking her to Europe and Asia, she quit and with Wilson, came to Ontario. A Ramon Magsaysay High School (Q.C.) graduate, she now works as Central Services Supervisor at Legislative Assembly, at Queen’s Park. She and co-worker hubby, Wilson are proud parents of twins – a boy and a girl and commute daily to their Pickering residence. The ever-bubbly Ana is the Association’s sixth secretary and admirably serves her post well.

Wilson Fabroa A genuine Ilocano from Bayombong, Nueva Viscaya, Wilson began his B.Sc. Mechanical Engineering program at Baguio’s St. Louis University and continued his studies at FEATI (1975-1979). Admitting that FEATI is dear to his mind and heart because, as many others before and after him, had met his life’s love, Ana “Baby” Valdez at Physics lab and were sewed ever since.

Wilson worked for sometime at Toronto’s Sheraton Hotel as a new immigrant in 1980. He completed a graphic arts certificate program at George Brown College. Presently, he is Printshop Supervisor at Legislative Assembly at Queen’s Park. His many credits include producing the Association’s two souvenir program issues (1998 and 2000) and other upcoming publications.

Ronald Marquez As a full-time student from Bani, Pangasinan, Ron obtained his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering degree in 1988. He quickly became a private electrical contractor for eight months. Then from 1989 to 1995 he served at Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Defence and Aviation (MODA) as well as with Electro Mechanical Contractor Company in-charge of its electrical engineering design projects in the desert kingdom.

From Saudi Arabia, he applied for Canada and arrived in 1995 with wife Ruth Rafanan, a Lyceum Northwestern (Dagupan, Pangasinan) nursing graduate, and daughter Kathleen Mae. He joined the Association last year and immediately became its Auditor. Ron is also a vice-president-1st district of the Pangasinan Association of Canada and currently works as manufacturing technologist at Celestica, a computer electronic manufacturer.

Jocelyn Gagni-Pallasigui Josie or the younger Joy, who hails from San Fabian, Pangasinan, is a graduate of B.Sc. Mathematics program in 1976 (w/ distinction) and an active member of a sorority during her college days. For 14 years, she taught Mathematics courses at FEATI, where she met, now her husband, Tony through his classmate – her brother. She embarked also on private tutoring in Mathematics while looking after her growing family. Working night shifts, Josie is happy with her assignment at APOTEX, a leading Canadian pharmaceutical company. She and Tony are blessed with three offsprings, two of which are doing undergraduate studies at the Universities of Toronto and York. The youngest, a boy, is completing his OACs (Grade 13) this year. Josie was a director in 1999, and the incumbent assistant secretary of the Association.

Tony Pallasigui A Tarlaquenos from Victoria, Tony graduated with Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering in 1975. He subsequently worked as an electrical engineering in-charge at Pilar Development Corporation. Then, from 1981 to 1996, he served at Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Defence and Aviation as a power distribution engineer. Tony and his family immigrated in 1996. He is currently working at Angus Consulting Management Ltd., as in-charge of operation and maintenance of building facilities. Has an inter-provincial license electricians (construction and maintenance). Since joining the Association in 1999, he has been a member of its board of directors and looks forward to more challenging positions.

Max Recaido A champion amateur bowler and European car enthusiast, Max is the Association’s 3rd president, having been its treasurer and director for sometime. Holder of a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree in 1976, he was a Naval ROTC company commander and a working student. In Manila, he worked at GM Automart, People’s Car and Winners Volkswagen. Max also taught Automotive courses at Samson Tech and EARN Training School.

In 1978, during his first immigrant year, as a certified auto technician, he practiced at York Volkswagen, Auto Cars North, and other firms. Employed by Toronto Transit Corporation’s Bus and Maintenance shops in 1990, Max is currently Parts Controller-Inspector of TTC’s bus rebuilding program. His other community activities include the Santa Lucian (Ilocos Sur) Association, Vaughan Youth Athletic Association, as adviser and TTC Filipino Employees Group. Married to Nenita Baptista, a U.E. BSBA-Accounting alumna, they have 3 college-aged sons.

Jocelyn Acuna-SanJuan Joy, a FEATI high school alumnae, finished her two-year associate in Business Administration in 1962 before being denied enrollment (“expelled” is the word) together with some Tanuans and other campus student activists in the 60’s. She then completed her Bachelor of Science in Accounting at Manuel L. Quezon University in 1964. Active in campus politics, she was her Tony’s executive secretary at FEATI Supreme Student Council and a member of Phi Lambda Alpha sorority, Student Catholic Action, Visayan Varsitarians, and Girl Scouting.

Before coming to Canada, she was a government Auditing Examiner at the Commission on Audit (COA) for 10 years and an Audit Executive Officer in Nigeria’s Kaduna State Audit Department (1979-1986). In Toronto, she worked for National Trust for ten years and after some bank mergers, now on contract transition with Bank of Nova Scotia’s Trust operations. While in Nigeria, she has traveled worldwide frequently with Tony and their five children. Joy’s apples of her eyes are her 8 grandchildren. Her election as a director (1998) and Secretary (1999) is Featineans’ first couple elected to the Board.

Viterbo, Tiburcio He obtained his Batchelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (BSEE) degree in 1981 at Feati University and passed the Board exam a year after. Jun was an expatriate of KSA. He worked as Supervisor in Al-Assmeh, a Swedish HVAC design and installation firm (1983-1985) and at JTS Co. where he supervised the project's water facilities and STP operations (1988-1991). In between, 1986-88, he became the PMD head of Grandspan Development Corp. In 1993, he had an epochal work-tour stint in Israel as Electrical Engineer for Modern Beverage Co. Back home in 1994, he served as Engineering Manger of Manila Plastic Products Co

Immigrating to Canada in 1997, he worked at AMP of Canada as QC Auditor, later engaged in various electrical contract works and currently at Cimco Co. Electrical Dept. Jun and wife Joyce Sison, a PUP Accounting graduate, presently working in a Law firm are part of Thorncliffe Christian Ministry. As a church deacon, he believes that being "in-Christ" is a personal choice that far excels all human gains.

Editor’s Post Notes The first series was made six years ago in 1995 titled “Movers and Shakers for 1995-96; That Was Then . . . This Is Now” which came out in the November 1995 souvenir program of the Association. Hopefully, this profiling strategy will be followed consistently, as that first issue is already in the Featinean Website, and this second series is next in electronic text downloading.

Tony & Joy San Juan. February 14, 2001