Southland Celebrates 15th Anniversary


A wave of excitement has been stirring in the academic setting in southern Negros.

That stirring of excitement has been centered in Southland College in Kabankalan City.

The excitement was evident when the college marked its 15th anniversary last month – on March 23 – with the theme, “Resonating Loyalty”, which inspired the recognition of personnel who have served the school through the years.

Fifty-two faculty and staff members were honored as service awardees in the recognition program that highlighted the 15th jubilee year (please see separate story for the list of service awardees).

Rep. Mercedes Alvarez- Lansang (6th District, Negros Occidental) and Director Dr. Raul Alvarez of the Commission on Higher Education, led guests and officials in the anniversary program held at Zaycoland Resort and Hotel.

From left, Dr. Aniceto Diputado Villaluz Jr., Southland founder and pioneering president; Rep. Mercedes Alvarez-Lansang; and CHED Regional Director Dr. Raul Alvarez
From left, Dr. Juan Antonio Villaluz, Southland College president; Kabankalan City Vice Mayor Miguel Zayco, Southland EVP; Southland Board Chair Annette Zayco-Villaluz is escorted by grandson Kane Holem at the start of the anniversary program

Director Alvarez congratulated the college community for its “really, really rapid” growth. Looking at the plans you have, I envision Southland to be one of the best institutions that we will have, he said.

Rep. Alvarez-Lansang, in her congratulatory remarks, called Southland College the “pride of the CHICKS (Candoni, Hinoba-an, Ilog, Cauayan, Kabankalan and Sipalay) Area.”

SC President Dr. Juan Antonio Villaluz reiterated the tribute to Southland founder and pioneering president, Dr. Anecito Diputado Villaluz Jr., his father, when he said: “As we embark on this new chapter, we honor the legacy of Dr. Villaluz by adopting his ethos of tenacity and faith.”

We invite you to join us in this journey through prayers, support and encouragement as we cannot do this alone, he said, as he expressed gratitude to the faculty and staff who were honored as service awardees.

We are very much appreciative of how you stood by us… amid the challenges we faced together, the college president said.

The young Villaluz succeeded his father as college president when the founder died in 2015.

Also attending the recognition program were SC Board Chair Annette Zayco-Villaluz and EVP Miguel Zayco, who is also the incumbent vice mayor of Kabankalan City.

Dr. Rhoda Amor, vice president for academics, who was among the service awardees, said during the ceremony: “We would like to express our deep and sincere appreciation – to Southland College, under the able and competent leadership of our president, Dr. Juan Antonio Villaluz, thank you, Sir for your family and the administration. God bless, Southland.”

She concluded the expression of gratitude by echoing the school motto, “Dominus Fortitudo Nosta (The Lord is our Strength)”.


Also stirring interest in the academic as well as outside community is the move to transfer the campus to Barangay Hilamonan, located about 3 kms. from the city proper.

A month before its 15th anniversary, Southland officials, faculty and staff held a site-clearing activity, which also signalled the start of the construction period, for its One ADV (named after founder Aniceto D. Villaluz) Campus.


The college was founded in 2009 through the efforts and funding of Dr. Aniceto Villaluz Jr. and wife, Annette.

It started with a small campus at Don Emilio Village Phase 1. The initial population was 300 students in various levels. It started in 2010 the construction of the college complex, which was completed in 2012.

Southland yesterday, left photo, and today
Perspective of the main building of One ADV campus at Barangay Hilamonan
At the anniversary program, Dr. Romeo Regalado, RadTech dean, front, and from left, back row, Susan Jean Abada, Annette Villaluz, Engr. Giel Rex Besas, Sandra Toga, Marla Lucerna and Gladly Mae S. Tortal

Today, Southland has about 2,100 students enrolled in its numerous academic programs under five tertiary-level schools – Education, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, Computer Science and Architecture, Business and Accountancy, Midwifery and Radiologic Technology and Hospitality and Tourism Management – as well as the School of Basic Education.

The college president said that Southland plans to open two offerings – B.S. Medical Technology and B.S. Nursing – when the One ADV Campus is operational.

In addition, it will open a birthing center to be operated by the Midwifery program, Dr. Villaluz added.


Highlighting the SC beginnings and its educational philosophy, the college website has underscored that Southland leaders “have dedicated their lives to ensure that the mustard seed of a dream which is now Southland College will reign supreme in the global arena” as the school vision states.


Fifty-two administrators, faculty and staff members were cited as service awardees of Southland College when it celebrated its 15th jubilee year on March 23.

The service awards were presented in a program held at Zaycoland Hotel and Resort and Hotel in Kabankalan City.

The awardees, with their number of years in service were:

The Southland College service awardees
The Southland Board Members at the anniversary program, from left, EVP Miggy Zayco, Annette Zayco-Villaluz, chair, Dr. Rhoda Amor (a service awardee) and Dr. Juan Antonio Villaluz

15 years: Nilo Villaluz, Gladys May Tortal, Sandra Toga, Razel Taquiso, Marilyn Talatala, Marissa Tabucon, Imelda Patricio, Marla Joy Lucerna, Loidivimi Hermogenes;

Gregorio Galindo, Ruth Elbanbuena, Emily Diaz, Mary Grace Cañizares, Jan Mark Cahilig, Jan Jay Barbadia, Carlito Arca, Cherrie Araneta, Debbie Aral, Emalyn Apuhan, Romeo Antonio and Rhoda Amor.

13 years: Michael Junes Valiao, Adrian Rival and Dorlyn Orcena.

12 years: Glorioso Tabanda and Josieray Alpay.

11 years: Marlen Romano, Jonah Navarro and Nolan Fernandez.

10 years: Daniel Tagulalac Jr., Yvonne Suarez, Carmi Grace Jabonete and Runel Ed Elbanbuena.

9 years: Jyll Mae Gellecanao, Scottie Gamelon and John Dave Desor.

8 years: Nestor Valiao Jr, Joey Orcena and NellonJane Dedosin.

7 Years: Diana Rose Servales, Socel Española, Ruben Elosendo Jr., and Cherrie Deguitos.

6 years:  Julie Ann Yupracio and Edwin Banarjee, and

5 years:  Pastor Edwin Taquiso, Rhobe Faith Panganiban, Jonel Macaya Cherry Lopez, Melca Gallanes, Franz Josif Eliver.amd Precious Joy Baclason.


Southland College will transfer to a new location in the near future.

The college will move from its present site at Don Emilio Village Phase One at Rizal Street in Kabankalan City to Barangay Hilamonan, which is about 3 kms. from the Poblacion.

Site clearing and construction at Hilamonan started on Feb. 1.

Overview of the future campus at Hilamonan
At the Feb. 1 clearing rites at Hilamonan

The 4-ha. site, to be called the One ADV (Aniceto D. Villaluz) Campus, “is a manifestation of  the commitment to innovation, sustainability, and academic excellence, embodying the dedication of Southland College to shaping a future that is bright and full of possibilities,” said Dr. Juan Antonio Villaluz, Southland president.

The first phase of the project, which costs about P80 million, is expected to be completed by next academic year, Villaluz said, adding “we will work to complete it phase by phase as will be a mid- to long-term project for Southland.”

The first phase, when completed, will house the college programs.

“Moving to the new campus next will be the Senior and Junior High School and Elementary School then the Preschool as the ultimate goal,” he said.

As we transition, our current campuses will remain operational until the ONE ADV Campus is functional, after which they will be repurposed for commercial use, he added. | AVDel Carmen / Cover Photo by JLP Rivas Architects & Associates / Credit to Nixsun Casuncad for facilitating photos and details