DAGUPAN CITY, Feb. 1 (PIA)– Director Abraham N. Libadia, the regional director of the Philippine Information Agency in the Ilocos, bids farewell to public service on his 65th birthday, today.
Abe, to his colleagues, first served as officer-in-charge in 2002 before assuming full-time a year later, making him the longest to sit at the PIA Ilocos regional post.
He finished grade school at the Bauang Community School in 1960 and high school at the Union Christian College, where he graduated as salutatorian in 1965.
He took up Bachelor of Science in Education as a Rev. Rockywood Scholar at the Saint Louis College, where he graduated in 1971.
His first stint in the government service began in 1971 as an English teacher at Acao Barangay School in Bauang.
In mid-1974, he left the teaching profession and worked with the government media, where he landed as a news writer for the Department of Public Information (DPI)—Region 1 in La Union in 1978.
He secured a permanent job at the DPI five years later as artist illustrator, keeping the job even as the DPI was renamed as the Office of Media Affairs (OMA) in 1985.
After the ouster of President Marcos in 1986, the OMA, along with its sister agency National Media Production Center (NMPC), was abolished to be merged into single agency.
President Corazon Aquino, by virtue of Executive Order No. 100 issued on December 24, 1986, created what is now the Philippine Information Agency.
From then on, Libadia slowly climbed up the agency’s ladder, later becoming an Information Officer in March 1988. He reached the top regional post in 2003, after having been promoted three times.
Former Pangasinan Information Center Manager Behn Hortaleza describes Libadia as a very industrious and efficient information officer at the OMA.
Hortaleza who was at the NMPC at that time remembers Libadia as the “OMA’s workhorse.”
“Abe struck me as someone who is very dedicated in his work. I remember him always stooping and taking notes. He impressed everyone at the NMPC for his dilligence,” he said.
Hortaleza said he had always known that Libadia would turn out heading the agency one day.
OIC-Regional Director Jennilyne Role said she was thankful for Libadia who groomed her for the post.
Describing him as a great mentor and a father figure, Role said Libadia worked her up and prepared her for the Agency’s planning and operations.
“He shared his wisdom and expertise. He was never selfish,” she said.
Libadia was given a surprise tribute during the joint North and Central Luzon cluster meeting with the Southern Tagalog and National Capital Region at the Hotel Ariana here.
The tribute was led by top Agency officials that included Secretary Sonny Coloma, of the Presidential Communications Operations Office.
During the tribute, Libadia asked his regional staff including provincial officers to support the officer-in-charge the way they provided support during his term.
He also urged all PIA employees to obtain further education to guarantee promotion and security of tenure. Libadia went back to school in 1993 and earned his Masters in Public Administration.
A reservist with the rank of commander of the Philippine Coast Guard Auxilliary based in Poro, San Fernando City, he said he is considering serving in the unit.
His immediate plan is to spend time with his wife Estella Oximana, and children Femileen, Charmaine, Rex Vincent and Aleo in their family home in Bauang. He said he plans to buy a car for them.
Despite his retirement, he has expressed his dedication and his desire to preserve his ties to the agency where he worked for 35 years. “I’m just a phone call away,” he said. (CCA/ARF PIA1 Pangasinan)