Mrs. Jocelyn Villegas-Salatandre
For years, this lady has learned the art of resilience.
Resilience is “the ability to recover quickly from illness, change, or misfortune; buoyancy”. It also refers to “the property of a material that enables it to resume its original shape or position after being bent, stretched, or compressed; elasticity.”
There can be more definitions of resilience, but to this lady who has experienced the ups and downs of life, it can only be faith in one Divine Provider who has sustained her all this time.
Mrs. Jocelyn V. Salatandre is the Administrative Assistant at the Office of the President.
She may look strict to anyone who meets her for the first time. But after long conversations, and when one knows her deeper, she is a mother who has the heart to care, love and share with anyone in need.
“Joy,” as many would call her, was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth. She lived a hard life, working as a student assistant way back in college in order to finish schooling. She worked at the then University Personnel Office (now Human Resource Office) under the late Atty. Jose Montebon, Jr., and had the chance to serve in the same capacity the Office of the President during the time of Dr. Quintin Doromal.
She recalls how she shied away from people whenever she was tasked as a student assistant to assist in dealing with University guests and the members of the Board of Trustees. Her experience was varied — from processing employee leave forms, answering phone calls to preparing confidential documents for the Board of Trustees. While she initially dreaded what she was tasked to do, she eventually developed self-confidence and her training allowed her to be exposed to professional work.
It was a source of fulfillment for her when she graduated in 1974 with the degree of Bachelor of Business Administration major in Management. She couldn't be prouder of herself for having successfully put herself through school on hard-earned allowance as a student assistant.
Straight from graduation, Joy was hired as secretary of the College of Arts and Sciences. It was a job that she was given a glimpse of back in college. Four years later, she resigned and joined her husband in the CDCP Mining Company. A few years later, however, she would find herself back in the University in 1987 after the mining company folded up, this time as a substitute staff. A few months after, she was hired as secretary for the new president, Dr. Pedro Flores.
She beams with pride counting the number of superiors she has worked under in the Office of the President: five University presidents and a total of four officers-in-charge or acting presidents in between.
“I love working here because this is what the Lord gave me,” Joy shares, adding how her job is a blessing to her and her family.
Joy says she is grateful to Silliman not only for her education but also for the spiritual nurture. Through her experience and encounters in the University, she has strengthened her relationship with the Lord. And this relationship was tested when his youngest son, Jon Radcliff, lost his life to an accident 13 years ago.
What happened to his son was very painful for Joy. She thought of giving up already, questioning why of all that could happen to her, it was the death of her son. At some point she blamed herself, wishing she could have spent more time with him. But throughout those times when she was down, she still held on to her faith and was always seeking for an answer in His care. She gradually recovered from the loss, and never fails to remind herself of a verse from Ecclesiastes: “In everything, there is purpose.”
On being a hands-on mother to her children, Joy maintains open communication with them. She tries her best to attend to their needs. When they were younger, she would always bring food for her children, Roald Morris, Hanns Reinhard and his youngest, Jon Radcliff, from work. When they committed something wrong, she talked to them in private and made them understand what she was doing.
Like a mother, Joy also tries to instill discipline in the student assistants assigned to the Office of the President. She would teach them the importance of time management, focus, composure, confidence, politeness and respect. Being a student assistant herself when she was in college, she knows by heart what it takes to succeed.
Joy is blessed with a loving husband, Dr. Gervasio S. Salatandre, Jr. She met her husband through a friend while she was still in college and he, a resident physician at the Silliman University Medical Center. At that time, she was hesitant to get into a relationship as she felt she was still too young for it. After four years of courtship, and already with a degree, Joy and Dr. Gervasio got married.
Joy looks forward to enjoying more time with her family. Her children are all grownup and are professionals. She has two grandchildren from her eldest son, Roald: Azanna Jeunesse and Wallace Randall.
Let's get to know Joy more:
Describe yourself in three words.
Persevering. God-fearing. Hardworking.
What is your mantra in life?
“With the Lord as the center of our life, nothing is impossible.”
What makes you laugh/cry?
Missing my three boys.
What’s your favorite time/day of the week and why?
Weekends or holidays for I can spend time with my family.
What do you love doing when not working?
Cleaning the house and listening to music.
What is your favorite hangout place in the University?
What makes you blush?
When someone says I’m pretty and sexy, in spite of my age.
If you were an actor/actress, who would you be?
Tell us a fact about yourself?
I really love my husband, my children and my work.
What’s your favorite game growing up?
What is your idea of a relaxing day?
Enjoying the company of family and friends and counting the blessings from the Almighty.
What one thing would people be interested to know about you?
I was a working student. I consider myself as someone who is overstaying in the same office – President’s Office for almost 27 years.
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?
Pray, be thankful to the Lord for every blessing.
What’s your idea of a family?
Where there is love and harmony and the Lord is the center of each member’s life.