Mr. Diosdado R. Custodio

Mr. Diosdado R. Custodio

ImageA handmade Christmas card for an elementary class project led him to realize his talent in arts.

Mr. Diosdado Rombines Custodio, an Office Assistant at the Robert B. and Metta J. Silliman Library, serves the specific task of library artist. He takes an active hand in the physical set-up for book fairs and library programs, and has also extended his creative skills in designing the stage for Tipon, an annual gathering of alumni and friends of Silliman University.

Born 15 days before Christmas, Dado, as he is fondly called among colleagues and friends, is the eldest son in a brood of six. A native of this small yet charming city, he enjoyed a childhood immersed in the simple and laidback Dumaguete life during the early 50’s.

His favorite game as a child was “sungka,” a traditional Filipino game played by equally distributing shells or rocks on a solid wooden block with two rows of seven circular holes and two large holes at both ends called “head,” with the goal of accumulating as many pieces in your own “head.”

ImageDuring the mid-50’s, Dado discovered his artistic abilities while a pupil at City Central Elementary School. He explored working on canvass and experimented with colors and shades. By the time he was in high school, he was already selling his paintings. This was particularly helpful in funding his schooling at the Negros Oriental High School. Throughout this time, Dado always attributed his creativity to God.

He attended college at Foundation University, where he took up Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, major in Agriculture and minor in Filipino. While in college, Dado learned to be more independent and was actively involved in many extra-curricular activities. He was class president, choir member and part of the dance troupe. He also received a Certificate of Recognition from the Reserve Officers Training Corps for his exceptional skill in disassembling and assembling a riffle. In 1969, he finally earned his diploma.

After graduation, he toured most of the island in search of a job but was unsuccessful. While waiting for responses to his application letters, Dado took an interest in sewing. Five years later, a job offer came his way at the Amador Dagudag Memorial Elementary School. He applied and was accepted as a substitute teacher. He served for three years.

In 1990, a friend came knocking at his door inviting him to take an exam for an open post at the Silliman University Medical Center (SUMC). He passed the exam and was hired as a nursing aide. His efficiency and diligence eventually earned him the promotion to secretary of the laboratory.

About a year later, in November 1991, his sister gave birth to an unusually small baby whom she was ill-prepared to raise on her own. She decided to leave her newborn with Dado. Though unprepared himself to raise a child, he took the baby girl in and cared for her as his own. The child was very sickly, often having high fever and convulsions. When she turned five, she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. Dado, though had difficulty accepting the condition of his niece at first, did not love his niece any less and considers her a blessing.

ImageFour years later, the SUMC Coordinator recommended him for further education at the Philippine General Hospital on operating an electroencephalography (ENPH), an apparatus for detecting brain waves. Everything from his board and lodging was covered by the hospital. He also received allowances which he invested on neurology books. At the end of the course, Dado successfully passed the exam for ENPH Technicians. Upon his return to SUMC, he was promoted to the position of Technician.

Ten years later, in 2000, administrative changes at the SUMC got him reassigned to the post of Office Assistant at the 2nd floor of Hibbard Hall, while it was still the student lounge. Unchallenged in his new work environment, he applied a few months later for the post of stage decorator at the Claire Isabel McGill Luce Auditorium. Dado had a greater sense of fulfillment working at the Luce. He delighted in being able to use his skills and abilities to make props for shows, especially those directed by the late Ms Evelyn Rose Aldecoa. But his assignment at the Luce was short-lived. University Librarian Mrs. Lorna Yso was in urgent need for a librarian artist and Dado was offered the post.

ImageDado shares that he has spent 13 good years at the University Library until his retirement in December 2014.

At this point in his life, Dado simply wishes to grow old gracefully, as he continues to care for his 86-year-old mother and his 23-year old niece with cerebral palsy.

Describe yourself in three words.
Friendly. Simple. God-fearing.

What is your motto in life?
“If you strive hard, you will find success in life. If there is success in life, there is HOPE.”

What makes you laugh?
Anything funny

What makes you cry?
Offensive words

What’s your favorite time of the day and why?
After eating dinner with my mother – because that’s the time when I get to relax myself while listening to classical music over the radio at 8:30 in the morning

What’s your favorite day of the week and why?
Sunday, because it’s the time when I get to talk to my mother about her memories of the past

What do you love doing when not working?
Painting and singing.

What is your favorite hangout place in the University?
No place in particular. I usually go home immediately after work.

What makes you blush?
When I’m out of tune in singing, especially when in front of an audience.

If you were an actor, who would you be?
Johnny Depp

Tell us a fact about yourself.
I enjoy painting anything that comes to mind.

What’s your favorite game growing up?

ImageWhat is your idea of a relaxing day?
After work on Fridays. That’s when I have choir practice. Praising God through songs is my idea of a relaxing day.

What one thing would people be interested to know about you?
My fondness for anything that requires creativity

What song best describes the YOU and the life you have now?
Every song has its own meaning, and every word in a song reflects something in your life.

What is the first thing you do right after waking up in the morning?
I thank God for giving me life, strength and wisdom.

What’s your idea of a family?
I’ve realized the importance of having a father in a family. Since my father died in 2006, I have been supporting my mother. My brothers and sisters are all married. I am alone and single.