Mr. Abe P. Cadeliña
His life story is written all over Silliman. It is a story of nurture and giving back that he continues to pen until today. And it is one told of love found in the midst of surrender.
Mr. Abe P. Cadeliña, currently Officer-in-Charge of the Student Organizations and Activities Division, was born to parents, Anthropology and Sociology professors Fred and Connie, whose professional life builds a foundation in Silliman. Abe grew up in faculty homes on campus. This gave him access to a playground where the towering acacia trees stood witness to his youthfulness.
To many students, Abe is just that man across the desk who decides on the fate of their application for the conduct of on- and off-campus activities. He could come across as stern and restrained, but a little effort to know him better can easily wipe off this first impression. And this is why to his friends and colleagues, Abe, while takes his work to heart, is a fun person to hang out with.
His three-letter name means “little Abraham,” just a few letters short from that of his grandfather's who was named after Israel's patriarch.
Abe obtained his degree of Bachelor of Science in Business Computer Applications from Silliman in 2001. He proceeded to law school and obtained his second degree of Bachelor of Laws in 2005 from the University.
He looks back to college life and shares how most of his personal growth and leadership were developed from his involvement in organizations and in a fraternity.
“I used to think negatively about fraternities and sororities like most people. But when my father urged me to join one, I took his advice, trusting that a father would only want good things for his son,” says Abe.
He then followed in the footsteps of his father, who was himself a frat man, and joined an active and a registered fraternity.
While he admits to being a “frat man”, Abe holds a strong stand against hazing and any form of violence in an organization. Recently, his office implemented changes in the processing of permits and in the administration of initiation and acceptance rites. This, after the recent incidents of hazing in universities in Manila; one claimed the life of a sophomore. He joins the rest of the community in condemning hazing.
In this phase of his life, Abe considers building a family of his own as a signicant milestone. There was a time though when getting into marriage seemed a blurry prospect, especially after several failed relationships.
Abe jokingly shares how if he were to draw lines on a map representing his relationships, he could already connect the major islands in the Philippines. He had relationships with women he did share the idea of love with coming from Luzon, Mindanao and his home court, the Visayas. But no matter how hard he tried, they all ended up in pieces.
He gave up on love — and running after it — for two years. Abe vividly recalls praying in February 2013 that he would offer his self to the ministry and his work if it were the will of God that nothing romantic come his way that soon.
Exactly a month after, while it did not seem to be an answered prayer yet, Abe, who was already a staff at then Student Personnel Office (now Office of Student Services), was introduced to Rea Mae Albon, one of the newer guidance counselors in the University. Nothing short of playing hard-to-get, Abe introduced himself but dismissed that moment as no more than a professional encounter.
In hindsight, Abe also felt the seeming lack of interest on the part of Rea. She was also through the same trials. They were unknowingly both on the same ship, together struggling to uncover an answer to the hurts that they each went through. And like Abe, Rea also gave up on love herself.
It was in June of the same year in an office retreat at a resort when Abe had the chance to know Rea more. There was no fancy music in the background neither was there anything reminiscent of a romantic ambience. They were in a game of volleyball and found themselves on the same side of the court. It was a perfect moment to count each strike and toss as an opportunity to get closer to each other. And closer they did as that paved the way for them to meet more, talk more and profess more than just a personal interest to explore what married life could be.
Asked what made him fall for Rea, Abe said they both enjoy community work and are God-fearing. But of all that made him realize that Rea was really an answered prayer, it was that sense of assurance that he felt from her: “She is able to control me. She can influence my decisions and temper my outgoing spirit.”
Abe considered himself carefree and was always on the go. He went biking, trekking and did all athletic activities at any free time he had. But Rea provided the needed calm in his life. For some reason, Abe, said, Rea managed to pull him back from spontaneous decision-making that single men usually enjoy.
Without any need for traditional courtship, they officially became together on July 15, 2013. Believing that it was God's purpose for their paths to cross, they tied the knot on December 17, 2013.
This story of Abe and Rea, of them meeting each other on campus, is the same told of Abe's parents, Fred and Connie.
Abe now looks forward to Rea giving birth this year to a child that will bear witness to the love of a couple who once gave up loving.
Describe yourself in three words.
What is your motto in life?
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” – Edmund Burke
What makes you laugh?
Dry or witty jokes
What makes you cry?
What’s your favorite time of the day and why?
Mornings. Because unlike most people, I don’t have any difficulty waking up.
What’s your favorite day of the week and why?
Saturday — because I get to indulge myself in doing my hobbies, like biking and cooking.
What do you love doing when not working?
Watch movies and explore Android apps.
What is your favorite hangout place in the University?
I live inside campus, so if my residence counts, that would be it. But other than our home, it would be my office.
What makes you blush?
Blushing is a thing of the past for me.
If you were an actor, who would you be?
Russel Crowe or Gerard Butler
Tell us a fact about yourself.
I am the designer/architect of the tree of life at Portal West.
What’s your favorite game growing up?
As I child, I loved playing “kayukok” and “tangasanay ug bunga sa acacia.” As a teenager, I enjoyed playing basketball.
What is your idea of a relaxing day?
I am a rain person. I love it when it rains because the sound of rainfall has a very calming effect on me and the roads suddenly become less noisy when it rains. I also find it relaxing to be with nature.
What one thing would people be interested to know about you?
I don’t like public speaking. I can do it when I have to, but if it were up to me to choose I would rather not.
What song best describes the YOU and the life you have now?
“Bless the broken road” by Rascal Flatts
What is the first thing you do right after waking up in the morning?
Go to the comfort room.
What’s your idea of a family?
God-fearing and serving the community together as a unit.