Asst. Prof. Diomar C. Abrio
He postponed his college education to work as a dishwasher in Manila, in order to put his siblings through college and help his family arrest a financial difficulty. And yet he had no qualms about it. Instead, he drew fulfillment from every bitter, sweet and bitter-sweet experience that came his way.
So when his siblings were all done with college, Asst. Prof. Diomar C. Abrio, who hails from the town of Mabinay in Negros Oriental, knew it was already his turn. His hard work paid off. While he postponed an opportunity to march the stage earlier, he reaps more recognition today as the Cultural Affairs Officer of Silliman University.
At 44, and single, Diomar holds no single regret in setting aside for a later date his own desires to pursue college. Until today, he believes that all things that had happened in the past were God-directed. They were steps that He made to reach the current state of life he is in.
When all his siblings finished college, Diomar was more encouraged to follow in their footsteps. He headed down to Dumaguete where he enrolled in Silliman University, taking up Bachelor of Music major in Music Education, then under the School of Music and Fine Arts (now College of Performing and Visual Arts). He obtained his degree in 1996. Convinced that he could push himself farther, he pursued graduate studies in the same University, and received his Master of Music degree in 2003.
It was Diomar's passion for singing since childhood that attracted him to the course. At an early age, he was already involved in church choirs and was one of the few male sopranos — an assignment he proudly recalls he had fulfilled until his high school days. It was also in high school when he began to direct a church choir.
Choir directing provided Diomar a glimpse into teaching, developing what he firmly considers his love of imparting knowledge. To him, music education is more than a mix of two worlds; it completes his life’s purpose of promoting Filipino culture through song. He feels strongly about culture being an important foundation on where every nation should stand. It is only through it that he says other dimensions of the arts can flourish.
As a student in Silliman, Diomar considers himself lucky to have had the chance to join the Silliman University Campus Choristers which brought him to different places, including the United States. He also fondly remembers those days when the Choristers would compete in the National Music Competition for Young Artists and those years when he was part of the Silliman University Band, assigned to the clarinet or saxophone. The experiences that he gained from both organizations developed his sense of discipline and precision.
Diomar was also a student leader back in college. He was president of the Sigma Mu Lambda and was a recipient of the Young Men’s Christian Association Leadership Award at the end of his undergraduate studies.
It came naturally for him to take on leadership roles when he joined Silliman as an instructor. He helped revive the Men's Glee Club, and was later designated manager of the Claire Isabel McGill Luce Auditorium.
Outside his post as Cultural Affairs Officer, Diomar teaches full-time music education, piano and voice to students majoring in Music.
Music for Diomar is part of his life. It helps him cope with life's challenges, inasmuch as it brings inspiration and the needed boost to his self-confidence. And how music empowers him, he shares with the youth in nearby communities, training them for choir competitions.
On his 17th year of service to Silliman, Diomar sets himself out for yet another task: a degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Administration. He is presently pursuing the course and hopes to finish it well within his own timeline. In spite of all the successes that he encounters, he remains the same young man from Mabinay who continues to support and provide for his family.
Let's get to know Diomar more:
Describe yourself in three words.
Snobbish. Kind. Hospitable.
What is your mantra in life?
“Honesty is next to Godliness.”
What makes you laugh/cry?
I cry when family problems come and laugh easily when friends crack some jokes.
What’s your favorite time/day of the week and why?
On Sundays, when the family goes to church together and bond. That's also the time I cook for my family.
What do you love doing when not working?
Sleep. Take some rest.
What is your favorite hangout place in the University?
Cultural Affairs Committee Office.
What makes you blush?
If they ask me why I’m still single.
If you were an actor/actress, who would you be?
For an actor, I want to be Leonardo di Caprio. If I’ll be a singer, I would like to be Andrea Bocelli.
Tell us a fact about yourself?
I am very vulnerable to food that the doctor prevents me from eating.
What’s your favorite game growing up?
“Shatong,” Chinese garter and “taksi.”
What is your idea of a relaxing day?
Going to the beach with my family.
What one thing would people be interested to know about you?
I am sincere, helpful and kind.
What song best describes the YOU and the life you have now?
“Journey” by Lea Salonga
What is the first thing you do right after waking up in the morning?
What’s your idea of a family?
Family is a home of individuals who understand each other, who love each other and who pray to God together.
(NOTE: “Colleague of the Week'” serves as a window into the life of the faculty and staff members of Silliman University. It seeks to showcase colleagues from different departments and units, and present them as “the” faces that form part of the foundation of Silliman. Featured weekly are faculty and staff who have committed themselves to providing members of the Silliman community a campus experience that cultivates competence, character and faith within one and all. We get to know them as people who like any of us also have their fair share of challenges, successes, and an inspiring story to tell. Not all of them may be popular, but not a single one of them lives a life without hope and meaning to share.)