Engr. Jesus G. Amiscaray, Jr.
In the good Book, there is no sweeter name than His. A name derived from the Hebrew word for “savior” is the very same name given to the Dean of the College of Engineering and Design (COED), Engr. Jesus G. Amiscaray, Jr.
He is “Jessie” to colleagues and “Jun” to close friends and family. A native of Dumaguete, he is the youngest in a brood of ten who was strongly drawn to sports early on in his life. He was part of the baseball varsity team during his elementary and high school years, and squeezed in a good game of basketball or football in between baseball tournaments.
While sports could well define Jessie's childhood, it does not fully capture how he was as a teenager. He had his eyes also focused on academics, eventually clinching a spot on the honors list when he graduated from the Negros Oriental High School in 1983.
When college came, his fate was sealed. Engineering was an easy choice, one that he did not have a hard time deciding on, as his father and older brothers were licensed engineers. So he enrolled in Silliman under its Mechanical Engineering program.
What may have been an all-studies and all-sports life for Jessie took on a sweet twist when in 1984, he met during their high school reunion a former classmate who had left for Manila for college. Gina Rowena was no stranger; he knew her since third grade. But it was only during their high school reunion when Jessie mustered the courage to ignite what would turn out to be the sweetest love story they could ever share together. It was a feat as Jessie was restrained and shy, a complete contrast to Gina who was sprightly and outspoken. But like magnets, these two opposite characters found themselves starting to naturally bond to each other.
For the next three years, the post office became a silent witness to their love on ink and paper. Distance kept them intact, and inspiration remained strong that even when they were oceans apart, they kept their individual investment of time and dedication in their respective studies.
In 1988, Jessie obtained his degree of Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He then took the licensure exam that same year and passed.
He ventured into the urban jungle of Manila where his first job was as an underwriter for an engineering equipment insurance company. A few years later, moved to another a job with Unisol Industrial and Manufacturing Corporation in Calamba, Laguna as supervisor of their Engineering Department.
Closer to where “home” was, June tied the knot with Gina in 1992. They are blessed with three talented children: Gianne Rizia, a licensed Medical Technologist who is now on her way to medical school; Genin Raya, a sophomore Economics student; and Jude Martin, a senior high school student.
A year after their eldest daughter was born, Jessie decided to move his family to Dumaguete, a place he believed to be more suited for raising his children. That same year, he was hired by the then Philippine National Oil Company, now Energy Development Corporation in Valencia, Negros Oriental. A year later, he was reassigned to Leyte to handle a newly established site there.
Jessie had a flourishing career, but because his work took most of his time away from his family, this caused him heartaches. He remembers coming home during one of his short breaks from work and finding his second daughter, who was just months old that time, unable to recognize him. This prompted him to give up his promising career with PNOC to spend more time with his family.
Following his resignation, Jessie applied for a teaching position in Silliman. In 1998, his prayer was answered: he was accepted as a faculty at the College of which he is now Dean. Jessie found new fulfillment in taking an active hand in shaping the country’s next generation of engineers. It was this that compelled him to seek further studies in 2000. He took a study leave to complete his master’s degree at Central Philippine University in Iloilo, one that he successfully completed in two years.
On his return, Jessie was appointed Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department. Ten years later, he was offered the deanship of the College.
As a father, Jessie is protective and demonstrative of his love. He faithfully stands behind his wife, who is a bank executive, daughters and son as their greatest supporter in all their endeavors. It comes as no surprise then that they all excel in what they do.
His approach to parenting mirrors the proverb “Train a child in the way that he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Other than being coach and mentor to his kids, he also leads the family in prayer and worship. These are values that he develops in his children in equipping them for their respective journeys in life.
Describe yourself in three words.
Reserve. Funny. Family-oriented.
What is your motto in life?
Family comes first.
What makes you laugh?
Jokes and funny experiences.
What makes you cry?
Seeing people in difficult situations.
What’s your favorite time of the day and why?
After 6PM, when I get home from work – because that’s when I get to relax and watch the news.
What’s your favorite day of the week and why?
Weekends – because it’s my leisure time with family.
What do you love doing when not working?
I enjoy reading the newspaper and watching movies.
What is your favorite hangout place in the University?
As a student, I used to hang out at the Uytengsu Hall lobby.
What makes you blush?
If you were an actor, who would you be?
Jose Manalo – I like his sense of humor.
Tell us a fact about yourself.
I’m a man of few words but I also enjoy making people laugh.
What’s your favorite game growing up?
Baseball, basketball and football.
What is your idea of a relaxing day?
What one thing would people be interested to know about you?
Maybe they would be interested to know about my life because I rarely talk about it with others.
What song best describes the YOU and the life you have now?
“Saturday Night Fever” by the Bee Gees.
What is the first thing you do right after waking up in the morning?
Check the time.
What’s your idea of a family?
Family is about being together.