The semester after graduation, I was granted a UP Graduate Fellowship for MS on condition that I major in Agronomy and not in Soils, which was my undergraduate major field.
Before I could take graduate courses in Agronomy, I had to take prerequisite subjects. Two of my teachers were our batchmates: Bert Coronel and Emil Javier, who were the new instructors in Agronomy. My lab reports would often be marked “Late” by Emil.
I got married in 1963 to Roberto C. Bautista, a Math instructor of some of us. A month after we were married, he left for Malaysia to accept a teaching assignment at the institution now called Universiti Pertanian Malaysia. After I finished my MS the year after that, I took a leave of absence and joined him at Kuala Lumpur. Our eldest and youngest children were born there during two separate assignments of Bert.
Bert’s Malaysian stint was the first of his many off-and-on foreign jobs, assignments or scholarship so I would join him wherever he was, for a short vacation or for a year, whenever it was possible for me to take a leave of absence for a year.
In 1968, I got a UP-Cornell Scholarship which allowed me to take most of my courses here, get some subjects and do a part of my thesis in an American university but graduate from UPLB. I chose to go to University of California Davis. I got the notification of my scholarship grant while I was at Makati Medical Center having giving birth to our third child the day before. I got my PhD in 1975 after I have given birth to our fifth child.
I continued to work at UPLB until 2004. I decide to retire two years short of my compulsory retirement age because I have reached the ceiling for promotion and would receive the same retirement benefits as when I reach 65 years old.
We have five children: Laura Grace (BS Biology, magna cum laude, from UPLB, MS Microbiology from the University of Tennessee, and MBA from the University of Maryland), Roberto Jr. (AB Economics from Letran College, Diploma in Agribusiness Management from UPLB and Diploma in Computer Programming from a Chicago college), Marissa, (BS Food Science, magna cum laude, and Master of Agribusiness Management from UPLB), Belinda Lucille (BS Home Technology and MS Family Resources Management from UPLB) and Kerry Phil (BS Zoology from UPLB and MD from Our Lady of Fatima University). Marissa died of lupus in 1998.
We have three grandchildren: Keila Gwyneth born in 1997 to Genevieve Siazon and Kerry, Yohann Mikael and Danielle Maria born in 2002 and 2003 respectively, to Belinda and Mark Costales. Roberto Jr. is married to Winonah Ilagan.
Professionally, I started as assistant instructor and rose to Professor through the years. I became the Director of the Postharvest Horticultue Training and Research Center for five years. As editor of the Philippine Agriculturist for four years, I transformed it into an internationally accredited journal. I renamed it the Philippine Agricultural Scientist to reflect both basic and applied research. At that time, it was the first agricultural journal in Southeast Asia to be thus accredited.
After retirement in 2004, I continued to be involved in university activities as an adjunct professor. I published the second edition of my book on “Postharvest Technologies for Southeast Asian Perishable Crops” but this time as a senior author of most of the chapters and as a senior technical editor. I also co-wrote the book on “Container Gardening of Vegetables and Other Edibles”.
I conduct an interactive training program on “Technical Writing for Publication and Presentation” for 3-5 days at various research consortia and universities from Northern to Southern Philippines. Actually, that’s teaching researches how to write papers that can be published in scientific journals, prepare them for oral presentation or for scientific posters and deliver them orally at a symposium. I have conducted about 29 of such training programs with the assistance of my son Roberto Jr., who gives the lecture on preparing a paper for oral and poster presentation and giving the oral presentation.
I still attend symposia and conferences once in a while. I presented two papers on Postharvest in Bangkok this August.
I am also involved in church activities and in the cooperative movement, more so after retirement.
While I am seemingly involved in many activities, I work on my own terms and at my own leisure.
Bert and Offie’s Golden Wedding