The UP Board of Regents at its 1309th meeting on 22 July 2015 approved the appointments of five University of the Philippines Diliman faculty members as professors emeriti.
They are Dr. Raul V. Fabella from the School of Economics, Dr. Grace J. Alfonso from the College of Mass Communication, Dr. Emerlinda R. Roman from Cesar E.A. Virata School of Business, Prof. Nestor O. Vinluan from College of Fine Arts, and Dr. Rosario Torres-Yu from the College of Arts and Letters.
Professor Emeritus, a title for life, is conferred upon retired faculty members in recognition of their exceptional achievement and exemplary service to the University.
Fabella whose fields of interest are in economic theory, agricultural economics and international economics, served as School of Economics dean from 1998 to 2007. For his pioneering works in “novel analytic constructs which turn out to be useful for problems in economics,” he was conferred the Order of National Scientist in 2011. The Order of National Scientist is the highest honor given by the President of the Republic of the Philippines to an individual who has made significant contributions in the field of science and technology in the country.
Fabella, who hailed originally from Bacolod City, now lives in Quezon City. He finished his secondary education in 1966 at the Colegio de Santo Tomas-Recoletos in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental. He lived for four years at the high school seminary, having been recruited by Father Jesus L. Solabre, erstwhile Recollect missioner from Shangqiu, Henan, China.
Among Fabella’s high school classmates were Fr. Regino Z. Bangcaya and the late Fr. Cornelio E. Moral. They went on to obtain their AB Classical degree from Seminario Mayor-Recoletos [now known as Casiciaco Recoletos Seminary] in Baguio City. Fr. Euben Clemente Capacillo joined their class and all finished college in 1970.
In 2011, Fabella’s Recollect contemporaries and acquaintances like Fr. Hubert Decena, Fr. Lauro Larlar, Fr. Federico Gregorio, Fr. Ceferino Añez and of course his classmate Fr. Regino Bangcaya feted him at his home in Capitol Homes, Quezon City. Other batchmates like Tony Obtinario, Tony Yap, Gil Alonsagay, Luigi Romanillos, Felix Sumortin, Jose Escartin were around for the festive gathering. They happily recalled their high school and college memories in the bossom of the Augustinian Recollection.
Fabella’s better-half and daughter were there for the warm welcome and to sing Christmas carols with the group a cappella. Each one then delivered a short laudatory speech in honor of the new National Scientist, a true-blue product of Augustinian Recollect education of eight years. The honoree then said in response and rebutted one who had said he wanted to be a Jesuit: “I lived eight happy years of my life in the Order. I am always thankful to it for the secondary and college education the Recollect professors had bequeathed to me. I have always wanted to be an Augustinian Recollect. But Our Lord had other plans for me.”
It was past midnight when the “ageing and aged” men faded into the darkness to the comfort of their homes and communities.