Mrs. Genevieve Jurlano
In the world of bits and bytes, a bit of sheen can give more bite to hard drive. And that’s just what Mrs. Genevieve “Gen”Jurlano does for the geeks and techies of the College of Computer Studies (CCS). In a place defined by circuits and wires, she’s the sparkle that sparks the connections among people lost in their own worlds of zeroes and ones. Having served the college right from its inception, she knows the inside track of all CCS faculty and staff (even office and classroom stuff) that have come and gone.
No other college secretary in Silliman University can claim of being there from the very beginning. Hence, when her two daughters finally get tired of living the bongacious life of the unattached, Gen can regal her grandkids with tales of how she stuck with the college through thick and thin and get them wide-eyed with the stories of people and things that have made her life more colorful.
At quick scan, this bubbly lady from Jimalalud, Negros Oriental seems to be a strange fruit in the wrong basket. A graduate of Agribusiness who would rather talk about her dogs rather than engage in tech-talk, she seems out of place and out of her depth in an environment that is wired to the teeth. But that’s precisely what balances things out at the CCS office, for when the CCS boys get bored with their toys and codes, they run to her for a refreshing round of low-tech chika (right, chitchat).
Thirty-four years of service to Silliman, 20 with CCS, Gen started out as secretary of the College of Agriculture right after graduation when Dr. Christopher Ablan, then Dean of the College, asked her to fill the shoes of the secretary that had just resigned. Although she never applied for the job, she was glad that she accepted Dr. Ablan’s offer because it was there that she met a young Animal Husbandry graduate who was to become her husband, and later Dean of the College. It was when her hubby took over that, out of delicadeza, she transferred to the newly established College of Computer Studies.
Like everyone else, Gen had to weather a really rough time. A few years back she was diagnosed with a grave throat ailment and had to have it operated. She nearly lost her voice and had to struggle for more than a year just to be understood when she would say something. She nearly called it quits, but out of sheer tenacity, propped by the intangibles of the Silliman spirit, she stayed on, until one day her voice finally came back like a rushing tide.
If there’s one thing Gen wants to be remembered by, it would be as the mother figure that looked after her CCS family all these years. And that, indeed, is how she will be etched in the stored memories of everyone that she connected with – at CCS, in the whole university and, well, the world.
Describe yourself in three words.
Motherly. Loving. Thoughtful.
What is your mantra in life?
“Live each day as if it is your last.”
What makes you laugh?
Jokes – all sorts of jokes. I even laugh at those Bisdak jokes on the radio. But what really jangles my funny bones are my husband’s jokes. My husband is such a joker he answers me in jokes even when I’m being serious (which turns out to be a good thing because it eventually soothes her jagged mood).
What makes you cry?
Seeing my children very sad or crying, esp. when they have problems. Sad movies also make me cry, as do touching family stories.
What’s your favorite time of the day and why?
When it’s already five o’clock in the afternoon, because I know by then the day is over as far as work is concerned, and I can already go home and spend time with my two lovely (Japanese Spitz) dogs.
What’s your favorite day of the week and why?
Weekends, when I have movie marathons with my husband and daughters.
What do you love doing when not working?
Watching movies with my family, eating whatever we want to eat.
What is your favorite hangout in the University?
What makes you blush?
I no longer blush (and somewhere in the ether, a disembodied – okay, imaginary – voice whispers: [read: I’m too sexy to blush]).
If you were an actress, who would you be?
Tell us a fact about yourself.
I can always be your friend if you know me better.
What’s your favorite game growing up?
What is your idea of a relaxing day?
My husband and me just sitting around, at home or at the mall, chatting about nothing in particular, just enjoying each other’s voice.
What one thing would people be interested to know about you?I have no laptop or tablet and I’m not tech-savvy at all – more like a tech-klutz. Truth is, it was my husband who created my FB account.
What song best describes the YOU and the life you have now?
I can’t think of a song that describes me and the life I have at present, but I do like the song “When I Fall in Love” by the Lettermen.
What is the first thing you do right after waking up in the morning?
I pray; I thank God for giving me the gift of waking up to a new day. Then I cook breakfast.
What’s your idea of a family?
My family is my life – without them I’d rather stop breathing.