Engr. Omar P. Jayag, an alumnus of Visayas State University (VSU), joins the booming Cebu City business industry as he leads their company specializing in holistic water management solutions, the Terra-Hydrology Corporation.

As President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the company, Engr. Jayag heads a consultancy firm that aims to help its clients make informed and sustainable business decisions through hydrologic analysis.

To those who are close to Engr. Jayag, it may not come as a surprise, since he is known to be an achiever his entire life.

He was a former scholar of the President Diosdado Macapagal Scholarship Program (PDMASP) of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) who graduated in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in ‘Agricultural Engineering’ and landed the 5th spot on the licensure exam in the same year.

Three years later, he studied for a Masters degree in Belgium at the Catholic University of Leuven where he graduated Cum Laude. He was hired to work at VSU for a flood hazard mapping project in Region 8 years after.

In 2017, he was employed as the Principal Hydrologist in JE Hydro and Bio-Energy Corporation that eventually kickstarted his career as a businessman.

He learned and was inspired by his boss and mentor Engr. Joffrey Hapitan whose sharp mind and passion to make a difference by providing solutions to our country’s water problems.

But just like any other person, Engr. Jayag started at the bottom. A self-made man who was not born with a silver spoon.

This is his genesis.

Taking a hold of destiny

As a concept, destiny is believed to be an uncontrollable force that decides one’s future but to Engr. Jayag, it is something that he can control.

As a kid, he used to be small and was often subjected to bullying by some of his peers. Despite all the negativity he often faced, he never lost sight of his dream.

He envisioned himself as someone that would succeed in life, although unclear how, he had the drive to make a name for himself and he did all that he could to be able to do that.

“When I was in grade school, I always dreamed of doing something big in life. I didn’t know what at that time, but I knew that I just had to do it,” Engr. Jayag shared.

He was born to farmer parents and the third son of seven siblings. Life did not come easy for them as they struggled financially, but this did not deter Engr. Jayag from achieving what he really wanted in life.

When Engr. Jayag pursued his college studies, he initially wanted to take up an undergraduate degree in civil engineering but his parents could not afford to. So, he applied for a DAR scholarship and studied agricultural engineering instead.

“It was destiny that led me to study in VSU,” he asserted.

To him, it was necessary that he had to struggle in order to enjoy the things he now has.

After successfully graduating and landing 5th on the board exam, he then worked with Dr. Pastor Garcia of ECO-FARMI as a Science Research Assistant (SRA) for two months. Dr. Garcia was his thesis adviser who eventually became one of his greatest life mentors.

Engr. Jayag also worked as a researcher in the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños, Laguna before deciding to study in Belgium at the Katholic University of Leuven in 2012.

He was also trained by Dr. Rubenito Lampayan who was also a VSU alumnus and an IRRI scientist.

He graduated as one of the top students with a master’s degree in ‘Water Resources Engineering’ and was reunited with Dr. Garcia to work with him as a Chief Science Research Specialist for a flood hazard mapping project in the Eastern Visayas region.

Then he worked for JE Hydro and Bio-Energy Corporation as the principal hydrologist where he participated in the development and sustainability research of the water sources for potable water.

The company is mainly responsible for producing clean and safe drinking water to many of the homes in Cebu and all over the country.

To date, JE Hydro and Bio-Energy Corporation has a total of 149.5 million liters per day of potable water that are now being enjoyed by millions of people in more than 10 cities and municipalities in the country.

Another six water treatment plants are now being completed which will generate a combined volume of 45 million liters per day of potable water.

Using the knowledge and experience he acquired during his stint at his previous employment, Engr. Jayag and other incorporators started a company also venturing into water resources engineering, sustainability studies of water sources, flood hazard and risk assessment, and the like.

Now, as the face of Terra-Hydrology Corporation, Engr. Jayag plans to properly manage existing water resources for equitable distribution in the locality. He also plans to hold projects on watershed rehabilitation and tree planting in the future.

“Water is life. We can’t live without it. That is why it’s important that we have better water management and conservation, because I believe that everyone should have access to safe drinking water,” the Terra-Hydrology Corporation president said.

Engr. Jayag is proof that believing in destiny doesn’t mean leaving your path into its hands, but taking charge of it—going against all odds and transcending from the challenges to work for a future that you believe you deserve.

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