His is the classic story of a faculty or staff dependent who was sent to study at Foundation University because of the sizeable tuition discount as a privilege for employees.
For Rhynard Patron, the benefit became two-way as not only was he able to finish his basic education starting from Kinder I up to Grade 12 or Senior High School with flying colors, but Foundation Preparatory Academy (FPA) is credited for shaping his formative years, thus, becoming a walking ambassador of sorts.
It did not come as a surprise that Patron’s parents would send him to FPA. His mother, Rhyma Hope, worked in various capacities in several departments of Foundation University, and was one of the pioneering employees of the Institute of Youth Sports for Peace (IYSPeace) until she transferred to the public school system in Dumaguete City.
“It was not only because of the tuition fee discount that I enjoyed at Foundation University. I admire the well-developed sports program of the university, enhancing our physical abilities,” shared Patron. He himself was a member of the football varsity team, competing in tournaments outside of Dumaguete, like in Cebu and Dipolog. “We represented the university in the regional meet, the first time for FU to bag the championship in the soccer men’s category,” Patron enthused.
In awe of his consistently extraordinary, stellar achievements (having graduated as batch valedictorian, leadership awardee, and most outstanding student of the year from primary to junior high school, then to senior high school at FPA, and graduating magna cum laude with the degree, Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at Silliman University in 2022), Patron’s sojourn at FPA was short of exceptional because of his remarkable aptitude and boundless energy to be of service to others.
His teachers and classmates fondly remember his service as president of the FPA Supreme Student Government in 2015-2016 and in 2017-2018 where he organized worthwhile events and initiatives, achieving close to 100 percent attendance in department-wide events and activities. Together with his fellow students, they assisted in the distribution of food packs and clothing to affected communities during Typhoon Paolo.
As Prime Minister of the Greyhound Debate Parliament, he participated in the Visayas Debate Championships and trained as first speaker for the Asian Parliamentary Debate setup, thereby, honing his public speaking skills, analytical and logical thinking, argumentation, and composure.
Patron was also active in the Department of Education’s Division Schools Press Conference where as a student radio broadcaster, he served as one of the anchors for Filipino radio broadcasting, placing first runner-up in the division level.
Moreover, as team captain of the football team in 2011-2012 and in 2015-2018, it allowed the FPA to reach four Central Visayas Regional Athletic Association meets and one Negros Island Regional Athletic Association meet.
Patron has established a track record in such a short time, having passed the licensure examination for mechanical engineers in February 2023 and now employed as a maintenance and outage planning engineer of First Gen Corporation, the primary holding company for power generation and energy related businesses of First Philippine Holdings Corporation.
Having been exposed to numerous opportunities to lead various organizations up until his tertiary years, Patron offered this piece of advice: “As a leader, there are people who will go against you. You cannot control how they will treat you, but you can control how you react to them or how you treat them.”
He considers Dr. Mira D. Sinco, president emeritus of Foundation University and FPA principal and, later, superintendent of the Senior High School, as his “guiding star.” He remembers vividly the three Ms that Dr. Mira inculcated among the students. “These are ‘dili maulaw, dili mahadlok, dili maikog’ ” (don’t be shy, don’t be afraid, don’t be timid/bashful).
If there is one characteristic that has endeared Patron to many people, it is his humility and candor. These are traits that have been handed down to him from his parents as a child and from Foundation Preparatory Academy as a courageous, but gentle breed of Greyhound. (Dr. Cecile M. Genove)