Region 1, oh Region 1, there’s no better place I see. Region 1, oh Region 1, dearest home by far to me

          This melody sounds so pleasing to the ears of Region 1 employees, as it reminds every townsfolk of Ilocandia the embodiment of being a native of the Region. But for DepEd Regional Director Tolentino G. Aquino, fondly called RD Tony, a resident of San Jose del Monte Bulacan, Region 1 is a place to celebrate humble beginnings, beautiful circumstances, and laudable successes.

            Region 1 has etched remarkable and wonderful accomplishments for RD Tony. Starting his journey as Officer-in-Charge (OIC), Office of the Regional Director (ORD) on September 15, 2019, he has been fine-tuned as a self-made director after being in two other DepEd Regional Offices as OIC- Office of the Assistant Regional Director.

            RD Tony has obtained the full-fledged Director III position on September 17, 2019, two days after his installation as OIC-ORD. Shortly after a year and four months, January 7, 2021 to be exact, he obtained his full-fledged Director IV position. Further, his academic feat keeps marching as another feather on his cap is added for being able to finish his degree in Doctor of Philosophy on September 15, 2020. What a mark of achievement all obtained during his stay in Region 1!

            Well-known for his created mantra for DepEd Region 1, “Built on character; empowered by competence,” RD Tony is also the one who coined the acronym PILU which stands for P-Pangasinan, I- Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur, and LU – La Union, the four provinces that comprise the Region. As the brainchild of the official icon PILU, he meaningfully defines the emblem to the resilience, dedication, and hard work of the people in the Ilocos Region. 

           This is a milestone of his career, as the whole Region 1 celebrates with him for his successes, all significantly carved in Ilocandia. While he soars high from deep waters, RD Tony remains humble and stays grounded.

          Regional Directors may come and go, but he is not just another number added to the list of picture frames posted on the wall of the regional office. His legacy shall thrive in the hearts of every DepEd personnel as he echoes the voice of a man silenced by the spirit of humility.

By: Leah L. Olua, Policy, Planning and Research Division

File Photos by Joan Diaz-Sabado, Public Affairs Unit