Mrs. Violeta D. Rusiana
She is a familiar face to anyone who has burned hours of research and study time at the Reserve Section of the Robert B. and Metta J. Silliman Library. For nine years now, Mrs. Violeta Dumalag-Rusiana, the Reserved Section Librarian, has guarded a special collection of rare, out-of-print or limited edition books and resources.
Dumaguete-born Violeta is the third child in a brood of nine. Back when strong and clean waters flowed from the river, summers were usually spent swimming with her siblings at Banica.
Her father, a World War II veteran, drove a cargo truck for a living while her mother helped augment the family income as a dress-maker. With both parents at work and her two older siblings in school, Violeta was tasked with managing the household as soon as she completed elementary school. She stayed home to do the cooking for her younger siblings during the day and attended evening classes at Foundation University throughout high school.
Her love for cooking convinced her to pursue a degree in Home Economics at Silliman University in 1971. To help pay her school tuition, she applied to be a student assistant at the University Library, which was located at the time at the Hibbard Hall. She was assigned to help at the Periodicals section. A year into her course, financial considerations compelled her to drop out of school.
While waiting for opportunities to get back into college, she met a young bachelor who changed her life forever. In September 1974, during the town fiesta of Sambuan in Cebu, Violeta was introduced to Misael Rusiana.
Misael, who worked as a cook for the Zamboanga Plaza Hotel, swept young Violeta off her feet almost instantly. It was a whirlwind romance which ended in an exchange of vows just three weeks later. They tied the knot in September 24, 1974 in front of their family and friends.
Two years after her marriage, a grant for the dependents of veteran soldiers allowed her to pursue college studies again. This time her heart was set on a career in library science. Unfortunately, the program was not offered in Silliman yet so she opted to enroll at the University of San Carlos in Cebu. She completed her degree in 1981.
Immediately after graduation, Violeta was hired as School Librarian for the Elementary and High School Departments at the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos in Bacolod. She stayed there for two years before moving to Zamboanga to be with her husband as they were to have their first baby.
They are now blessed with three children: Ian Gerard, Ivy Grace and Hannah Vi.
While in Zamboanga, she enjoyed taking an active hand in raising her children. Violeta decided to stay at home until she received a call in 1986. A family friend who worked as high school librarian in Silliman informed her of a vacancy at the University Library.
Violeta considered it a blessing to get a chance to return to her hometown. She sent her application in a heartbeat and was hired by the University as Assistant Librarian at the Periodicals section June that year.
Twenty-nine years later, with all her three children successful graduates of Silliman, Violeta is set to move into a new phase of her life upon retirement October this year.
Describe yourself in three words.
Patient. Long-suffering. Home-buddy.
What is your motto in life?
A mother’s heart is set at successfully raising her children.
What makes you laugh?
Jokes and my grandson.
What makes you cry?
Loss of loved ones and being wrongfully accused for something.
What’s your favorite time of the day and why?
I love evenings because that’s when I’m home with my family.
What’s your favorite day of the week and why?
Sunday – because it’s family and church day.
What do you love doing when not working?
What is your favorite hangout place in the University?
What makes you blush?
Praises and compliments from people.
If you were an actress, who would you be?
Tell us a fact about yourself.
I am a martyr when it comes to my kids.
What’s your favorite game growing up?
“kayukok”; “tubig-tubig”; “dakpanay”
What is your idea of a relaxing day?
A day at the beach with family
What one thing would people be interested to know about you?
The story of shotgun wedding
What song best describes the YOU and the life you have now?
What is the first thing you do right after waking up in the morning?
I do the sign of the cross and pray.
What’s your idea of a family?
There is no perfect family, but what’s important is that you try your best to understand one another.