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CM top student wants to give back and serve the country

“UP Visayas has been one of the greatest battlefields in my life. It taught me not just to be academically inclined but also to participate in the activities that foster holistic development. It is time for me to return the favor by using my skills and experiences to serve our country,” said Vhilan L. Onato, the top graduate of the College of Management, about his plans after leaving the portals of UP Visayas. 


A product of public school education, 21-year old Onato remained to be on top of his class.  The BS Accountancy cum laude graduate led the 2015 graduating class of the College of Management with a general weighted average (GWA) of 1.452. 

Onato graduated valedictorian of Class 2010 of Mina National High School in Mina, Iloilo and was also the class valedictorian of Mina Central School in 2006 in the same town. He was a recipient of the GMA Award for leadership, science and technology, mathematics, and academic excellence in high school. 

When he entered UP Visayas five years ago, he was an honorific scholar from 2010-2015. When interviewed, the humble achiever said that it was never his dream to be the top graduate of his college. Nevertheless, he was overwhelmed when he learned about this. 

“The first thing that came to my mind was to thank everyone, especially God and my family, who has been part of my roller coaster journey,” Onato said. 

The deluging and hardworking student realized that the road to become a Latin honor graduate requires great effort and sacrifice in his early years in the University. “That’s why I worked hard. For me this is one way of giving back to my family, aunt, loved ones, and friends who have given their undying support and love and have gave up much for me,” he added. 

In his five years in college, he managed to balance his studies with his extra-curricular activities. He was a comptroller of UPV-Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants (JPIA), a coordinator of Scions Softball Team, an active member of UPV Student Registration Volunteer, president of UPV Junior JPIA Officer, and a representative of Bloc B Officer. 

Furthermore, he joined various academic competitions. He was a finalist in a finance competition conducted by the Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines’ (FINEX) in 2014. He also won in the PICPA-Iloilo organized accounting contests in 2013 and 2014. 

Onato, who hails from Mina West, Mina, Iloilo is the youngest brood of three of Mr. Vicente F. Onato and Mrs. Yolanda Onato, both retired public school teachers. His older sibling, Yolyvic , was also a BS Accountancy graduate of UPV while Freda Eula, the eldest, took her BS Nursing from West Visayas State University.

By: Lenilyn B. Gallos

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