Mrs. Rodora Tadena-Sagun
Her warm presence and her dainty smile can give you an impression of a woman devoid of abysmal circumstances in life. Serving the University for 20 years now, she continues to live her life driven by the overflowing swells of kindness and compassion so fervently instilled into her entire being since childhood. Her past is what defines her, her present is what keeps her moving forward, and her future is what drives her to become the best mother that she can be for her family.
Her academic training entails searching for the story behind every story. As a Psychology graduate, much of what she has done for the past years involved trying to to vindicate and justify human nature. As a Guidance Counselor, she has been an instrument of compassion and kindness to students who sought for a shoulder to lean on to. As a mother and as a wife, she admits being far from perfection, but she has been pouring herself entirely for her family in terms of love, care, and affection.
Born on the 9th of November in the year 1963 in Zamboanga City, Rodora Tadena-Sagun entered the world with a companion – her twin sister in the name of Rowena. She recalls having blissful memories with her twin, although marred with the inevitable minor fights and the comparison that people always subjected both of them to. Raised together with her four other siblings, Rodora basically grew up in Dumaguete City under the guidance and supervision of their older relatives. She admits that having absentee parents while growing up is not something she would have wanted to happen, but she still remained grateful especially to her father who worked so hard as a seafarer in order to ensure their future and welfare growing up.
She experienced a typical childhood. Although not very much exposed socially, she spent most of her tender years playing bala-balay with siblings and cousins. She finished at West City Elementary School and graduated at Silliman University High School.
After her high school graduation, she was one of those who had no clear path in mind. She wanted to pursue Engineering, yet a part of her longed to work in a bank or an office. She tried various courses before finding what she felt was the perfect direction for her.
She first entered Silliman as a Management student, and then later found herself studying in Cebu pursuing Economics. After dreading the life she had at the Queen City of the South, Rodora came back to Silliman and pursued AB English, what she deserted in third year after realizing that the course was definitely nowhere near her inclinations and interests. It was then that she pursued Psychology solely because of the fact that it was the only course where she can graduate from in a span of two years. Never did she imagine that just after a year, she would see herself finally pursuing the course, which she did, in the year 1987.
Right there and then, her life started to slowly fall into place just like the first blossoming of spring after the cold, gloomy winter. A year after graduation, she acquired a job at a college in Midsayap, Cotabato where she found her other half, a newly-registered dentist by then, Dr. Ronald C. Sagun. They later got married at the Chapel of the Evangel in the year 1990. They are blessed with two children: Trisha Angelique, who followed in her father’s footsteps as a dentist and who is now part of the University Clinic in Silliman, and Christian Denzel, a sophomore Nutrition and Dietetics student.
Rodora entered Silliman University in 1995 as the Guidance Counselor of the Elementary and Early Childhood Department. In the subsequent years, she was transferred to the College of Business Administration, College of Law, Divinity, and College of Nursing. After a few years of commendable service to the University, she was offered an opportunity to pursue higher studies which she accepted following the consensus of important people in her life. She finished her MA (Masters in Measurement and Evaluation) at Miriam College in 2003. In 2007, she was appointed Head of the Guidance and Testing Division. Two years later, she changed roles, already as Head of the Scholarship Division, a position she holds until today.
Despite her busy schedule at work, Rodora never fails to perform her duties as a mother. She made sure her kids learn the values of compassion and gratitude and to never disregard even the smallest random act of kindness to the less fortunate. She believes that everything that happens has a reason, and only looks forward to every meaningful moment spent with family.
Behind what many describe as a cold and serious exterior is a woman who definitely has happy stories to tell. With everything she has been through, her life is indeed a living witness that having a good life is never a state of being nor a destination, but that it is process and a direction.
Describe yourself in three words.
Gracious, punctual, compassionate.
What is your motto in life?
Everything happens for a reason.
What makes you laugh?
Funny shows (“Just for Laughs”).
What makes you cry?
Very difficult and challenging situations.
What’s your favorite time of the day and why?
Although I am generally a morning person, I also look forward towards the end of the day where I can relax from work and spend time with my family.
What’s your favorite day of the week and why?
Friday. It is when I look forward to the coming weekend.
What do you love doing when not working?
I do household chores.
What is your favorite hangout place in the University?
Oriental Hall, specifically the OSS offices.
What makes you blush?
When I am placed in an uncomfortable situation, specifically when I’m embarrassed.
Tell us a fact about yourself.
I have a twin sister named Rowena.
What’s your favorite game growing up?
Balay-balay and Jack Stones.
What is your idea of a relaxing day?
At home, sleeping and watching TV.
What song best describes the YOU and the life you have now?
“Blessings” by Laura Story
What is the first thing you do right after waking up in the morning?
I tickle my husband so he’ll wake up.
What’s your idea of a family?
A place where you can be loved and accepted for whatever you are.
At this point of your life, what for you is your life’s mission?
To become a blessing to other people in my own little ways
How do you like to be remembered as a colleague?
As someone who is dependable and trustworthy.