Technological Institute of the Philippines

Dr. Teresita U. Quirino †: An Educator for Educators

Chairman Emeritus, Technological Institute of Philippines (T.I.P.)

A wife to her first love. A mother to her four children. A friend to colleagues the world over. A mentor and teacher to employees and students alike. A stalwart of the Philippine educational scene.

Dr. Teresita “Tesy” U. Quirino was all of the above and many more. But undeniably, what strongly accompanied her name and her story is being a school founder to one of the country’s premier technological institutions: the Technological Institute of the Philippines (T.I.P.)

Dr. Quirino's love for learning cannot be denied as seen in her impressive educational résumé. At a young age, she managed to earn multiple graduate degrees from prestigious schools both locally and abroad. This, even after being married at the age of 17 to her first love, Engr. Demetrio A. Quirino, Jr.. In fact, as a testament to the value she placed on education, she even brought her children along with her to classes.

With all the knowledge she gained, she willingly gave back. Like her husband, she was a classroom teacher for many years even before T.I.P., focusing on topics such as language, speech, and personality development while Engr. Quirino taught algebra, trigonometry, analytic geometry, and calculus. Despite this, however, the two always felt that they could do more for the Philippines in general, and for the Filipino youth in particular.

On February 6, 1962, the two established T.I.P. with what limited resources they had. Their goal was clear and purposeful: to bring within the reach of the masses the blessings of higher education. But she did not immediately take a school administrator role for T.I.P. Rather, Dr. Quirino opted to go back to the classroom as an educator. She was a high school and Spanish college teacher at Saint Rita College from 1962-1967, after which she taught Spanish at T.I.P. for two years. She also taught Educational Management at the University of Santo Tomas Graduate School from 1974 to 1975.

Dr. Quirino eventually went all-in at T.I.P. to helm the school alongside her husband. She did so as faculty and administrator for eight years, as President for 30 years, and as Chairman for 16 years.

Her leadership style was very memorable to everyone she worked with. Decisive yet highly charismatic and empathetic, Dr. Quirino was known for running meetings as efficiently as possible so she could spend the remaining time to talk about life and further bond with her employees. This endeared her to the T.I.P. Community who viewed her more as a mentor than a boss.

This kindheartedness was reflective of her belief that to teach is to touch lives forever; that education is empowering; and that education gives people the chance at a successful life. As such, Dr. Quirino made a point to grant scholarships to T.I.P.’s less-privileged-but-deserving students. This has always been one of her expressions of generosity, above and beyond the concept of the school already being for underprivileged Filipino youth.

Her generosity also extended far beyond T.I.P.’s students. She was an avid supporter of various causes close to her heart, including those involved in health and education. Dr. Quirino’s passion in her advocacies was as infectious as it was inspiring, that she was often approached by organizations as an ambassador and speaker.

Such was Dr. Quirino’s ability to rally others.

This served her well during her term as PACU President from 2004-2006, during which several PACU milestones were accomplished. Under Dr. Quirino’s leadership, PACU also successfully contested unreasonable provisions of a draft Commission on Higher Education Memorandum Order that adversely affected the Nursing Education Program. She is also vividly remembered for rallying the member schools to voice out concerns to the Commission on Higher Education via a one-page ad in leading dailies that subsequently led to change that benefited PACU member schools. Moreover, PACU was able to successfully propose amendments to RA 7722 (CHED Law), gaining crucial legislator support for the resolution of wage and labor issues in favor of private schools.

Dr. Quirino concurrently served as Chair of PACU’s umbrella organization, the Coordinating Council of Private Educational Associations (COCOPEA), from 2005 to 2006.

Her dedication towards improving Philippine education saw her being hailed as one of the PACU Person of the Year awardees in 2017. To date, she is one of only 10 individuals to have been given this accolade since PACU’s inception in 1932.

After a long career in education and educational administration, Dr. Quirino closed the chapter on her T.I.P. Chairmanship in the second semester of School Year 2019-2020 as she assumed her new title as Chairman Emeritus. She handed over the care of the school to her daughter, current T.I.P. Chairman and President Dr. Elizabeth Quirino-Lahoz, who is ably supported in the day-to-day operations by T.I.P. Board Member and Executive Vice President Angel C. Lahoz; T.I.P. Vice Chairman and Senior Vice President Angelo Q. Lahoz; and T.I.P. 's professional managers.

Dr. Quirino had this to say as she ended her chairmanship in 2019:

“As I close the door to my chairmanship, it is my hope that it will also open the doors of opportunity to all of you, my fellow workers in T.I.P., to move and bring T.I.P. to greater heights of development and academic excellence.”

From its humble beginnings, T.I.P. now has campuses in Quezon City and Manila, each with state-of-the art laboratories and facilities. From an initial enrollment of 2,400, T.I.P. now molds 20,000 students for the current semester across its two campuses. The school has received numerous programmatic accreditations, awards, and accomplishments from local and international agencies. It is also positioning itself to be a premier research institution through T.I.P. TechnoCoRe, the school’s thrust towards Technopreneurship and Collaborative Applied Research with stakeholders.

All these successes are enjoyed by T.I.P. students. All these accolades came from a deep value for quality education championed by Dr. Quirino.

Despite these accomplishments, she never took credit for them nor took these for granted. Rather, she said, “The best things that I possess and earn in life are God's boundless blessings. These are graces not only for me but for my family, the school, and the community which we serve. We are God's steward for educating Filipino youth in the Philippines.”

Truly, everyone who shall remember Ma’am Tesy shall think of her with much love, admiration, and respect.

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