A son of Virac, Meyrick Ubalde Tablizo, ranked second in the Geologist Licensure Examination administered by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) in Manila last Dec. 27-29, 2021.
Tablizo had a rating of 81.3 percent, tied with a graduate of Mapua University and less than a point away from the No. 1 examinee, a graduate of Partido State University.
His feat comes five years after another Viracnon, Emmanuel Avila Codillo, topped the 2016 board exam in the same professional field.
Tablizo graduated cum laude at the University of the Philippines Diliman – National Institute of Geological Sciences (UP-NIGS) with a diploma in Bachelor of Science in Geology last July 2020.
He was a university scholar for four semesters as a President’s Lister, awarded to students obtaining an absolute minimum general weighted average of 1.45 or better, and college scholar for five semesters as Dean’s Lister, given to those with GWA of 1.75 or better.
Tablizo likewise received financial aid from the Commission on Higher Education’s Student Financial Assistance Program and as full scholar under the State Scholarship Program, as well as similar grants from UP Diliman and Bell-Kenz Pharma, Inc.
Last year, his work on “Revisiting the geology of South-Central Cebu: New Insights on the evolution and development of the Visayan Basin” was named as 2020 Leticia Shahani Best Undergraduate Research Paper in Geology.
After working as student assistant at UP-NIGS’ Geology Museum and Nannoworks Laboratory from May 2018 to June 2020, he began teaching at the institute as Instructor 3.
A graduate of the Virac Central Elementary School and Catanduanes National High School, Meyrick is the youngest child of businessman Manuel Tablizo and Minda Ubalde-Tablizo. The family owns and operates a store along the road in front of Virac Pilot Elementary School in barangay San Roque.
His father told the Tribune in an interview the day after he received the news that it brought them great joy and pride as their son, the youngest of eight children (six boys and two girls), graduated from a good school.
“Dai mi an pigalaoman ta primero sa parte nimi financially medyo kapos pero naihingoha niya,” he shared, paying tribute to Meyrick’s persistence in complying with the requirements which proved difficult at times.
He said that he preferred that the boy would take up law but he was not able to fulfill the requirements so he initially enrolled in AB Philosophy.
“Sabi ko baad lamang durodiretso na ta kang pagkua kaso AB Philo, igwa na man nin mga kumpanyang gaor-offer na tuwang ang aki,” Manuel stated.
But when the opportunity arose, Meyrick shifted to Geology and gave it priority.
“Dakulang ondra na natawan kita ning dakulang inspirasyon lalo na ang mga aki na taga-Catanduanes,” his father said.
“Ang mensahe ko sa mga magurang na arog mi man na gatios habang gapa-eskwela: ibahan ning dasal ang hingoha ning aki, pabwelohon ang aki tapos i-guide na sana, kung ano ang pwedeng ituwang, ituwang maski gatios,” Manuel stressed.
Addressing his son who is still in Manila, he said: “Mek, mabalos! Dakulang ondra ini pero pakumbaba man siyempre. Sana gabos na gusto mo matupad mo. Mabalos sanang grabe, Mek!”
From fellow Viracnon and UP-NIGS Professor of Geosciences, Dr. Carlo Arcilla, who is also director of the Philippine Nuclear Research Institute (PNRI) came another message to the young Tablizo: “Congrats to a fellow Viracnon geologist for placing no. 2 in the geologist board exams. Am doubly honored being from Virac and from UP NIGS where I am professor. Meyrick follows in the footsteps of Emman Codillo, also from Virac who got no. 1 in the board exams and now a PhD candidate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Happy New Year sa gabos!”
(Following is the text of the interview of recent No. 2 Geology board topnotcher Meyrick U. Tablizo, as conducted by his classmate and UST journalism graduate Cris Eugene T. Gianan)
How does it feel to be a fully-licensed geologist? I assume rare ‘yung practitioners sa field dito dahil konti lang takers.
Sigh of relief. Bako talaga akong keen na magtake pa ning licensure exam ever since I decided na dai na ako ma-industry (e.g., mining, petroleum etc.) and focus on being a scientist. Although practicing geology pa din siya (geologist/teaching) kaya kaipuhan pa din may license talaga. Aside from that, I was really elated to be able to pass the exams and even get the 2nd spot, kahuna ko dai talaga ako makapasa. Salamat sa diyos!
In terms of the practitioners, I guess quite sizeable na din ang geologists ta dakol na din Catandunganong geologists, bako nga lang masyadong developed and appreciated ang field uya sa bansa. Sa industry din, cycles of boom and bust din siya (naka-tie sa mga commodity prices). Pero ang geology as a field very wide kadakol na field na sakop.
Pwede sa industry (extractive, exploration), pwede scientist kung anong focus (like paleo), pwede envi etc.
What’s the next step for you?
Continue and finish my MS program and then proceed to obtain PhD. After that, I am still quite undecided if ma-continue ako sa teaching or settle on museum curatorial position siguro in the future, although very competitive ang mga positions uya. I am already quite burned out sa Instructor position ko ngunyan sa UP NIGS which made me rethink kung gugustuhon ko ba magtuloy as professor. One of the main reasons ngata ako nag geology ay ang interest ko sa dinosaurs buda ibang prehistroic organisms. Dai ko naoutgrow su fascination ko sa mga ini kaya ang focus ko ngunyang MS ay vertebrate paleontology (study of fossil vertebrates) and hopefully sa future PhD program na malaugan ko.
Any tips for other aspiring Catandunganon geologists?
Choose the field that you will love. Kaipuhan naenjoy mo ang gigibuhon mo na maski nagabot ka na sa point na overwhelming na, igwa kang rason ngata mo ipadagos. Sa mga interested sa mga earth or natural sciences, medyo broad ang geology na baka macater ang mga interests ninda. Kung interested ka sa mga rinog, mga minerals, ores, natural processes, earth’s interior, environment, dinosaurs et al., and even space. Shameless plug pero for example sa undergrad program sa UP NIGS medyo dakol na units for geology electives na pwede kuanun kaya kung anong field man interest mo baka makua mo duman hehe.
Also the outdoors palan! haha
Kung daing pandemic kadakol field works maapreciate nindo mga batong gakalat kalat sana haha