Former sponsored child awarded as one of the Filipino Faces of Biotechnology
“I humbly and gratefully accept the award. Indeed, a bonus for something I have passionately pursued and thoroughly enjoyed as a researcher and advocate,” Dr. Romero shared via SMS after receiving the award.
Gabby, as fondly called by family and friends, was the fourth of five children solely raised by his mother, a public school teacher. He was registered into World Vision’s child sponsorship program from 1972 to 1975 in San Pablo, Laguna.
“I am indebted to all that supported my studies. World Vision for part of my elementary and highschool.”
Eventually, through hard work and determination, he entered college and studied in the University of the Philippines at Los Banos, consistently as a scholar.
“All my education ‘til PhD and post-doctoral was through scholarships. Good grades will attract support and eventually help one rise from poverty. Diligence and completing your studies are already a way of showing gratitude.”
“I was truly blessed to have sponsors.”
In the 1990s, Gabby earned his PhD in Genetics from the University of California-Davis. He also became one of the scientists of Rice Biotechnology for the Philippine Rice Research Institute. Years ago, he was also cited as one of the country’s Ten Most Outstanding Young Men awardee.
A few years ago when Dr. Romero was invited to speak in World Vision gathering, he had this to say: “I congratulate World Vision for having a genuine program for development. To the world, what you are doing may not be the most glamorous job but in God’s eyes, it is a noble task.”