Information services chief, COM faculty named Outstanding Ilocanos for 2019

An information officer and an affiliated faculty member at MMSU were chosen as Outstanding Ilocanos for 2019 in the fields of agricultural journalism and medicine.


Those recognized are Mr. Reynaldo E. Andres, chief for Information Services at the university’s Office for Strategic Communication, and Dr. Modesty M. Alejandro-Leaño, the chairperson of the Department of Pathology at MMSU College of Medicine, and concurently the head of the Department of Pathology and Laboratories of the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center (MMMHMC).


The distinction was conferred by The Ilocos Times, a long running community paper in Ilocos Norte. Outstanding Ilocanos are individuals or groups “who exemplify the great Ilocano spirit through a certain work or advocacy”.


According to The Ilocos Times, Mr. Andres and Dr. Leaño are Outstanding Ilocanos “for effectively communicating technologies and innovations to farmers” and “for forwarding social welfare, accessible healthcare, and quality medical education,” respectively.


In more than three decades, Mr. Andres has written over a thousand science and technology (S&T) articles for various publications. Through his mastered skill of employing simple and understandable writing that is-to-the-point yet very engaging, he has shared new ideas to his readers, mostly farmers.


Prior to this recognition, he received twice the Professional Media Award (PMA) as the Best Science Journalist in the Philippines, in 2001 and in 2013, bestowed by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development and the Department of Science and Technology.


His winning articles on modern agricultural technologies and innovations were printed in Bannawag and The Ilocos Times where he is a regular contributor. Since May 2009, he has written over 500 S&T articles for Bannawag, a record unsurpassed in the publication’s history.


Aside from being the MMSU’s information services chief, Mr. Andres also has served as correspondent of top national newspapers and magazines. His work is syndicated in over 30 regional newspapers in the country.


He also authored a book on English-Iluko Glossary of Agricultural Terms. In the 1990s, the Ilocano Language Department of the University of Hawaii hired him as part-time editor and translator of its English-Iluko Dictionary project in the Philippines.


Meanwhile, one of Dr. Leaño’s notable contributions in the improvement of Ilocos Norte’s health sector is the establishment of the Newborn Screening Center Northern Luzon which caters to all newborns in Regions I and II. The National Voluntary Blood Program (NVBSP) of the MMMHMC is also under her supervision.


She has trained at the MMMHMC-Department of Pathology and Laboratories and became a full-fledged fellow in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology. While her other colleagues opted to practice in areas outside the province, Dr. Leaño remained dedicated to helping fellow Ilocanos.


As one of the few pathologists in Ilocos Norte, she has authored notable medical journals. She hopes to continue training more medical doctors who, like her, will practice in the province.


Mr. Andres and  Dr. Leaño  are among the eight individuals who and two organizations which were hailed by The Ilocos Times as Outstanding Ilocanos for 2019. Other recipients of such label have excelled in the following fields: public service, social media, entrepreneurship, environmental advocacy, and disaster mitigation.