Dr. Evalyn Elardo-Abalos
In this generation, when you ask kids what they would like to become, “a teacher” rarely figures on their list.
But unlike those kids today, Dr. Evalyn E. Abalos grew so much admiration for her third grade teacher in her hometown of Guihulngan that she sealed her fate in a profession in the academe. (Her fondness for her teacher was addictive that there was a point in her life where she did not entertain moving on to another grade level.)
Evalyn is the Acting Dean of the College of Nursing. She had no intention at first of becoming a nurse, as she had set herself out follow in her favorite teacher's footsteps, but her being an obedient daughter prevailed. It was her parents' choice for her to become a nurse. Adjusting to a course that her heart was not fully into was difficult that she thought of quitting during her junior year.
It was only after graduation, while taking care of her parents who were sick at that time, when Evalyn started to appreciate and develop a passion for the nursing profession. Because of her course, she became more confident and understanding in seeing after their needs.
“Then, I started to love nursing,” Evalyn shares.
Her student years at the College of Nursing were not at all boring. Her goal of being a teacher was evident in the excellent grade that she received in the subject Practicing Clinical Instructor. Evalyn involved herself in extra-curricular activities and took on leadership roles as a class level officer. She also couldn't forget her experience doing community service.
“I used to dread it. I always had this fear of being bitten by dogs or being confronted by cows along the road in Valencia where I was assigned for community service duty,” Evalyn shares.
But those years shaped her view of community life. They pushed her out of her comfort zone and made her more resilient and socially aware.
When Evalyn graduated in 1978 with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Nursing, she thought it was the end of her dream of becoming a teacher. But little did she know that she was just a step away from that dream. She received an invitation from then Dean Dr. Dalisay Dumalag to join the College of Nursing as a faculty.
“All I wanted in life was to become a teacher. There before me was that opportunity. I couldn't be more grateful for I fulfilled both dreams of my parents and mine — I'm a nurse-teacher,” Evalyn says.
A woman of faith, Evalyn continues to seek to mold her students to become Christ-like and “others-centered”. She emphasizes to her students the importance of maintaining a strong relationship with God. She encourages them to reflect on the acronym “WWJD”, in times of crisis, instead of turning to “WWW”. “Why not ask ourselves the question: 'What Would Jesus Do?”, instead of turning to social media on the 'World Wide Web'?”
Evalyn for one is a testament to God's goodness. For seven years, she went on leave and worked in the United States as a nurse. She left her husband and her kids in the Philippines for that long. During those times, she was convinced that she could only lean on God.
”I want to be a reflection of the glory of God. I want the people around me to see Christ in me,” she says of her mission in life.
Beyond the university, Evalyn draws great inspiration from her family. She is married for 34 years now to Armando, a degree holder in commerce. They have two children, both of whom are married: Brian Lloyd, a mechanical engineer, who is currently doing private consultancy and works on geothermal projects as fluids drilling engineer, and Keith Ernest, a computer engineer, who heads Yherly Enterprises, a family-owned business in Davao City. An addition to their family is their two grandchildren.
“I want to be remembered by my family as a person who loved them for who they are and for their individual imperfections,” Evalyn shares.
Every day that Evalyn is at work, she reminds herself of the words quoted by the first Filipino Dean of the College of Nursing, Dr. Ma. Concepcion M. Roble: “To whom much is given, much is required.” Those words guide her as she imparts knowledge as an educator, extends care as a nurse, and shares unconditional love as a wife, mother and friend.
Describe yourself in three words.
Understanding. Encourager. Strict (at times).
What is your mantra in life?
“Give it all to Jesus.”
What makes you laugh/cry?
I laugh when my grandchildren crack jokes. I cry when my children and grandchildren are away for a long time.
What’s your favorite time/day of the week and why?
Saturdays and Sundays — when I can relax and go to church.
What do you love doing when not working?
What is your favorite hangout place in the University?
William Barry Thompson Hall Faculty Office.
What makes you blush?
When people tell me I look younger than my age.
If you were an actor/actress, who would you be?
Tell us a fact about yourself?
I am involved in the Disaster Preparedness Program of Brgy. Candau-ay.
What’s your favorite game growing up?
What is your idea of a relaxing day?
When I can sleep (whenever I can).
What one thing would people be interested to know about you?
That I can sing.
What song best describes the YOU and the life you have now?
“I Offer My Life” and “Through the Years.”
What is the first thing you do right after waking up in the morning?
Take my medicine.
What’s your idea of a family?
Your support in good times and in bad.