Visayas State University (VSU) is a home for many individuals to learn and unlock their full potential: a stage where life is slowly getting real and exciting and a training ground where our experiences brew at a slow pace allowing us to prepare ourselves for life’s next phase. Dr. Rowena P. Varela of Caraga State University is one of many people that demonstrates these attributes.

A #ProudViscan, Dr. Varela graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture majoring in Plant Protection in Entomology, and worked for 5 years as a research assistant at VSU. She became a university professor in the field of Entomology at Caraga State University just recently in 2022. Memories came flashing in front of Dr. Varela as she recalls some of her most unforgettable experiences and life-earned lessons during her time at VSU.

VSU is more than just a university, it's a paradise

Dr. Varela described her Viscan life as 'living in paradise'. She remembered when VSU was still a remote place. For Dr. Varela, every day is a memorable day, from spending the night working on laboratory reports despite the lack of electricity or light, to unwinding in front of the Camotes Sea after exams as they watch the beauty of the setting sun. It was indeed an experience to remember and a beauty to behold.

When asked about what particular advice she would give to the Viscans of today, she said that students need to have the grit and passion to learn. According to her, during their time, students have to work hard for their grades since professors back then were not fond of giving second chances.

“Wala’y pasayloay during our time. You have to work hard because your grades are always based on your performance” Dr. Varela said.

She added that in order to qualify to study in ViSCA back then, students had to be at least part of the top 5 in their high school years.

Furthermore, she believed that the university is indeed for development and that your performance shows who you are. Intellectual capacity, alongside grit and patience, is what makes a VSU student a true Viscan as she said.


One thing that Dr. Varela always looks forward to is attending the alumni homecoming. She takes time to be there to once again visit VSU and meet his batchmates. Just like her, she believes that every alumnus considered VSU as their home. It’s always good to visit the university as if it is like a garden where memories bloom like flowers.
All the memories and experiences that Dr. Varela earned during her stay at VSU play a part in the person she is today. In the words of Dr. Varela herself: “Continue to aspire, to reach greater heights, and have that grit and passion to learn.”


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