AS A POLITICIAN, Rommel T. Labasan is currently busy attending commencement ceremonies in a number of schools. He is usually a guest of honor and speaker. On April 3, however, it will be his turn to wear a toga and march, this time as a graduate.
Labasan, the number one Sangguniang Bayan member of Pinili town, is one of nine candidates for graduation for the degree Bachelor of Arts in Sociology.
On March 13, the three-term councilor successfully defended his thesis entitled, Perceived Effectiveness of Gender and Development (GAD) programs in Pinili, Ilocos Norte. He was under the advisorship of Herdy Yumul who describes Labasan as “very humble and receptive”.
In his thesis’ acknowledgment page, an emotional Labasan wrote, “The author’s journey through college had been epically long and uphill, but dedicated mentors were always on his side, and to them he expresses appreciation, to whatever extent words can embody how grateful he feels”.
The 42-year-old student entered the university in 2004 as a college freshman. Believing in the value of education, he juggled time between his studies and his job as a legislator. Asked why he chose the BA Sociology program, he said, “It is the course that could best equip me with knowledge and skills to understand the plight of my constituency, and to work on programs that will serve their best interests.”
He is the son of Engr. Avelino C. Labasan and the late Dr. Cleofe P. Tamayo. Married to the former Janette Tabunda, he is father to Jerome, Crystal, Stephanie, Joshua, Angel, and Zuanna. Jerome, his eldest, is also graduating with a nursing degree from a Laoag college.
The other candidates for graduation for the BA Sociology program are Ma. Kathleen P. Agbunag, Hazel B. Belandres, Rosechelle Q. Dela Cruz, Jo Anne B. Gantala, Bernadette C. Magcaleng, Kristal C. Mendoza, Rowena M. Oamerga, and Maybel N. Vicente.