Campus News

Augustinian tops 2016 Bar Exam; takes oath

babayen on

If you work hard, you get results. – Atty. Allana Babayen-on, 4th Place, 2016 Bar Examinations

University of San Agustin – College of Law Class of 2016’s valedictorian placed 4th in the 2016 Bar Examinations. Atty. Allana Mae Babayen-on, a native of Brgy. Belen, Banate, Iloilo got a passing percentage of 88.75%. She is just one of the 3,747 new lawyers of the Republic of the Philippines who comprises the 59.06% of the total examinees. The result was released the late morning of May 3, 2017, at the Supreme Court grounds.

The Augustinian law topnotcher is a proof that beauty and brains work in the bar. She is also the 2005 Mutya sang Banate (a local pageant in her hometown) and is USA College of Law’s representative during the 2012 Mr. and Miss Intramurals.

The lady attorney’s topping the bar didn’t surprise her classmates and colleagues because she completed her pre-law course with flying colors, finished her Bachelor of Law as Class Valedictorian as well as she topped four subjects when she took the law comprehensive exam.

Unlike those surrounding her, she personally had late night inhibitions before the results were released. “Being number 4, it was really a surprise,” Atty. Babayen-on shared in one of her interviews. She related that when she learned about her ranking 4th in the bar, she felt the feeling that she envisioned ever since she started law school. Of course, she never failed to credit her conquering the bar to the Highest Power and also to her parents and professors who supported her.

“The University of San Agustin prepared me and my batch,” she remarked.

The Dean of University of San Agustin’s College of Law, Atty. Jose Mari Benjamin Francisco U. Tirol is very proud of the success of his students, “Our success would not be possible without the support of the University Administration, our alumni, our faculty, and our students – especially those involved in the Bar Operations. Our success depends on our team effort and teamwork as an Augustinian family. Bulahan kita tanan!”

Her secret in making it to the top matches the words of her dean, “About friendship, I think very very important gid nga maka-find ka sang core group. Since first year, may ara ako girl friends nga super close gid kami until fourth year. Sang nag-review ko sa Manila, upod ko akon best friend, so daw nakabulig gid nga maka-adjust ka sa life nga very kapoy, may somebody nga daw buffer mo bala. Ulupdanay kami, then pasar kami tanan!” Truly, in law school, having a support group is an asset, and teamwork works best.

On the other hand, Atty. Babayen-on is currently connected with the Province of Iloilo’s Bids and Awards Committee. When asked about her plans after earning a rank in the bar exam, she said that she is going to celebrate this time with her family, friends and mentors who were instrumental in her success. According to her, the six long months of agonizing in waiting is enough to justify every law taker’s break whether or not they made it in this year’s exam.

Unmatching to the stereotype of academically excellent students, Babayen-on manages to make quality time for her family, friends and special someone.

She’s the next Augustinian Bar Topnotcher after almost three decades of waiting. She’s succeeding Atty. Cyril Regalado who ranked 7th in the 1988 Bar Examinations. Other Bar Topnotchers produced by the University of San Agustin are Antonio Montelibano, 3rd place (1947); Rodolfo Taasan, 12th place (1950); Wenceslao de la Paz, 3rd place (1963): Carmelo Betita, 7th place (1963); Mario Guarina, 2nd place (1966); Eduardo Aguillon, 9th place (1971); Ricardo Chu, Jr., 3rd place (1972); Dolores Abad, 3rd place (1984); and Ma. Elena Opinion, 10th place (1986).

Alongside with the successful bar examinees, she took her oath at the Mall of Asia Arena, Pasay City last 22 May 2017.

Based on the unofficial count (subject to final verification), there are 60 new Augustinian lawyers which comprises the 84.50% consolidated passing percentage of the institution. On the other hand, the passing percentage for the first time takers is 82.82%, while, 86.66% for the retakers.

On the other hand, as Atty. Babayen-on's way of giving back to the University which was instrumental to her success, she will be joining the top-caliber law professors of the USA College of Law in honing aspiring lawyers starting this AY 2017-2018.

Augustinian replaces Sy as SM Investments Chair

Augustinian replaces Sy as SM Investments Chair

jtsioJOSE Tan Sio, University of San Agustin Alumni Achievement Awardee in the field of entrepreneurship and management, is the new chairman of SM Investments Corporation. Sio succeeded the 93-year-old patriarch, Henry Sy, Sr., who established the company in 1958.

Like most of the University of San Agustin alumni who are now successful in their respective chosen careers, Sio is also the epitome of an Augustinian graduate.

A Transformative Community Builder

The community which Jose T. Sio builds alongside other management experts may be different from a layman’s concept of a community. He has established various communities for which he ensures growth and financial stability.

Sio is affiliated to SM Investments Corporation as Chairman, former Director and Executive Vice President, Chief Finance Officer, Corporate Information Officer and Member of Audit, Compensation and Compliance Committees; SM Keppel Land, Inc. as Director; China Bank as Director and Chairman of Trust Investment Committee; Manila North Tollways Corporation as Director; Belle Corporation as Director and Member of Adult Committee; Atlas Consolidated Mining and Development Corporation as Director and Member of the Executive Committee; Carmen Copper Corporation as Director and Member of the Executive Committee; Banco de Oro Unibank, Inc. as Board Adviser; SM Prime Holdings, Inc. as Member of the Audit and Corporate Governance Committee and of the Compensation Committee; as well as SM Development Corporation as Board Adviser and Member of the Audit and Risk Management Committee.

Apparently, his extensive service is instrumental in the successful growth and expansion of the company he serves.

A Restless Critical and Creative Thinker

Jose Sio finished his Bachelor of Science in Commerce, major in Accounting, at the University of San Agustin in 1962. Thereafter, he became a Certified Public Accountant. As a restless critical and creative thinker like St. Augustine of Hippo, he pursued his Master of Business Administration degree, major in Corporate Finance Management, at New York University, USA, as a scholar.

His restless pursuit of excellence, though, was not just confined to his student life. He similarly exhibited the same restlessness as a professional, as manifested by the many citations he reaped.  He was recognized as one of the CFO Superstars by the Global Finance Magazine (1997), The Asia 500 Leaders for the New Country (1999-2000), Who’s Who of the Asian Pacific Rim (1999-2000), Profiles in Excellence Bibliotheque World Wide (2003), ING and Financial Executives Institute of the Philippines – CFO of the Year (2009), The Asset Triple “A” Asian Awards – CFO of the Year (2010, Hong Kong), Finance Asia Award – Best CFO (2011, Hong Kong), Corporate Governance Asia Excellence Award – Best Philippines CFO (2012, Hong Kong), Corporate Governance Asia Excellence Award – Best Philippines CFO (2013, Hong Kong), and Alpha Southeast Asia Best CFO in the Philippines (2013).

Certainly, it takes a great deal of perseverance and creativity to be able to garner all these recognitions from prestigious national and international award-giving bodies.

A Social Communicator of Truth

Sio serves as an inspiration to many of his contemporaries in his field of discipline, including those who are not. He gives hope to the many Augustinians and Filipinos who are just jumpstarting their careers.

In 2014, Sio was given the USA Alumni Achievement Award – a search launched when the University of San Agustin celebrated its 60th Anniversary as a University in 2013 – not only in recognition of his exemplary achievement in the field of entrepreneurship and management. Most importantly, he was recognized by his Alma Mater for being an instrument in transforming lives and communities by means of his significant contributions to his profession.  Through the life he lived, he was able to communicate to the broader society the true value of an Augustinian education – the formation of hearts and minds so that the pursuit of excellence shall not only be for the self but, most importantly, for others.

Sio’s success is a testament that with this brand of training and education, the Augustinian can!

The University of San Agustin community is truly proud of the achievements of Jose Sio and all the other alumni who have brought the name of the University in the limelight.  The First University in Western Visayas hopes that the Augustinians of then and now will continue to live the Augustinian legacy of excellence and lead the way towards the transformation of man and society. (PEAR-USA)

Mendel Botanical Garden


Enrollment Schedule 1st Semester A.Y 2017-2018


Augustinian student wins as 2016 Most Outstanding Jose Rizal Model Student of the Philippines



Kelly Binder (BS Marketing Management-4 of the University of San Agustin) receives her trophy as the 2016 Most Outstanding Jose Rizal Model Student of the Philippines from the Knights of Rizal. (Photo credit:Mr. Leo R. Villacarlos)

University of San Agustin’s pride Kelly Binder (BS Marketing Management-4) was recently adjudged as the 2016 Most Outstanding Jose Rizal Model Student of the Philippines. The nationwide search was concluded during the celebration of Rizal’s Day last December 30, 2016 at the International Headquarters, Knights of Rizal Building, Port Area, Manila, Philippines.

Ms. Binder, a student leader and a face in one of the local morning shows in Western Visayas, stood out from among her 19 co-finalists. They were evaluated based on Academic Excellence, Student Leadership/Co-Curricular Activities, Community Involvement, Knowledge About Dr. Jose Rizal, Verbal Communication and Personality Projection.

An epitome of an Augustinian student, Kelly was also acknowledged by the Ayala Group as one of its Ayala Young Leaders for the 2016 Ayala Young Leaders Congress. Kelly is looked up to by her fellow students in the University of San Agustin for she has balanced her academics, co-curricular activities, leadership and even work as a TV host.


Kelly Binder holds her trophy as the 2016 Most Outstanding Jose Rizal Model Student of the Philippines (Photo credit:Mr. Leo R. Villacarlos)

Ms. Binder is the third Augustinian from the University of San Agustin to have been included in the roster of the Ten Outstanding Jose Rizal Model Students of the Philippines and is the first to have brought home to the University the highest award. Other Augustinians awardees were Cynette Lovelyn Mirasol-Montoya (1999) and Rex Carton.

The 29th Annual Search for the 2016 Jose Rizal Model Students of the Philippines is initiated by the Knights of Rizal. The search aims to recognize Ten (10) Outstanding College/University Students of the Philippines who best epitomize the Rizalian qualities of academic excellence and leadership in campus and community activities, thereby serving as role models to the youth.

Ms. Binder is just one of those Filipino youth who were challenged by what our National Hero, Dr. Jose Rizal, has said, “It is a useless life that is not consecrated to a great ideal. It is like a stone wasted on the field without becoming a part of any edifice.”

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