Tita Lina: Tested and Trusted

HAPPY RETIREMENT, TITA LINA. Ms. Paulina Landicho, Administrative Assistant II at OVCCA, had served UPLB for 42 years, before compulsorily retiring on 15 June 2018.

The Walking Telephone Directory of OVCCA

She is called an ‘institution’ at the OVCCA (or probably even at UPLB) because she is older than the office itself. Even before there was an OVCCA there was already a Tita Lina.

Known as the ‘walking telephone directory’ of the OVCCA for memorizing almost all the landline numbers of offices at UPLB, Ms. Paulina ‘Lina’ S. Landicho had worked at the University for four decades. She had spent half of those years at OVCCA, serving as the secretary of all of its vice chancellors, from the very first one, who was the late Dr. Francisco F. Peñalba, to the current one, Dr. Serlie Barroga-Jamias.

Regretfully, the OVCCA must let go of one of its dedicated and loyal staff on 15 June 2018, the day of Tita Lina’s compulsory retirement.

Early years

The University of the Philippines Los Baños was the birthplace of Tita Lina’s career. After graduating from college, she started working in the Department of Agricultural Education at the College of Agriculture in 1976, which was 42 years ago.

Her boss at that time, Dr. Obdulia F. Sison, was appointed as the Director for Extension and she took Tita Lina under her wing. She worked at the Office of the Director for Extension (ODE) before the organizational structure of the UPLB administration changed, which led to the creation of the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs (OVCCA).

Starting at OVCCA

Tita Lina experienced working with supervisors of all shapes and sizes, from the most lenient to the strictest.

She recalled that her earlier years as the secretary of the vice chancellor for community affairs was not easy and was immensely challenging. Being new to the job, she was still unfamiliar with her secretarial duties, which mainly involved arranging and coordinating meetings, managing the office schedule, and calling important landline numbers for the vice chancellor.

A strict vice chancellor certainly did not make the job easier.

“Hindi puwede sa kanya ang wala. Hindi pwede sa kanya ang hindi mo alam,” Tita Lina, referring to one of her bosses.

Having a gentle and cheerful soul, she would cry in a corner because of too much stress from the job. In spite of the strict leadership of her former bosses, Tita Lina is still thankful to them for toughening her up mentally and emotionally. The number of years in service she rendered to the University proves that she is a fighter and survivor.

Leaving a Mark at OVCCA

Despite the challenges of being the secretary for the vice chancellor of community affairs, she decided to stay.  “Maligaya ako dito sa office” she said. She loves her working relationship with co-workers. She said that they made her happy.

Her immense experience with the work at OVCCA has also sharpened her institutional memory. In fact, vice chancellors turn to her for advice about how their predecessors dealt with crucial matters in the office.

Through the years, she learned to accomplish her tasks as though they were second nature.

Her former bosses also mentored her well, learning to always consult her supervisors and never to be afraid of asking questions.

Future Plans

If she only had it her way, she would continue working at OVCCA as an ‘emeritus’ even after age 65, the mandatory retirement age in government.

But probably now is the time for her to travel, which she was unable to do because of her office-home-office routine for over 40 years.

Written By: Karla Mae Bolaños, OVCCA intern

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