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We may be disappointed and frustrated about the thought of not graduating on time than expected, but here’s a story of a #ProudViscan who proves that delays are not the end of our dreams, but instead a training ground for a bigger opportunity ahead.

Meet Police Brigadier General Chito Galvez Bersaluna, the concurrent Deputy Director for Operations of the Philippine National Police (PNP). He was an agriculture graduate of the then Visayas State College of Agriculture (ViSCA) in 1992.

How did he end up on a different career path? 

In a long overdue visit to his alma mater held last year, General Bersaluna talked and inspired VSU officials about his humble beginnings in the university, which he also echoed to the more than 100 local policemen in attendance at the Philippine Root Crop Research and Training Center (PhilRootcrops).

In this same event, he recalled his fond and challenging memories while completing his undergraduate degree at VSU that allowed him to build his resilience and grit, which to him were the important foundations that made him grow as a person and soon as a leader of the national civil force.

Tough seven years in VSU

PBGen Bersaluna hails from Alicia, Bohol. Despite his intention to get a career in seamanship, his parents decided to let him join his older siblings who were studying in ViSCA at that time to separate him from his circle of friends who were not a good influence to him in their hometown. 

He eventually took Plant Protection as his major with a minor in Entomology. He happily recalled that he made his name on the list of topnotchers several times since it was a tradition before to post the students who aced the departmental exams.


Albeit the good foundation of his academics, what took him 7 years to finish his bachelor’s degree was his undergraduate thesis. This issue is not new, in fact, this is the common tight spot of every Viscan's life—to make a thesis before they can graduate.

“Ang reason talaga du’n kasi ‘di ko matuloy-tuloy ang thesis ko. Kaya na-frustrate ako, napa-barkada. Nag-enrol ako ng thesis, pero ‘di ko ginagawa,” PBGen Bersaluna admitted.

[The reason why I did not immediately graduate was because I couldn’t finish my thesis. I became frustrated, I hung out with friends instead of doing my thesis.]

#ProudViscan Bersaluna revealed that he was already on the verge of giving up. However, because of the encouragement of many people including former VSU President and then Head of the Department of Plant Protection Dr. Paciencia P. Milan, who pushed him to opt for a field practice in exchange for doing a thesis, he was able to graduate after seven long years.

Detours and victories

Right before his graduation, while he was still doing his report about his field practice, he took the Philippine National Police Academy (PNPA) Cadet Admission Test also known as the PNPA Entrance Examination. After submitting all the requirements to PNPA in Camp Crame in Quezon City, PBGen Bersaluna was notified that he passed and had gotten into the academy.

After getting his diploma in ViSCA, he immediately proceeded to PNPA to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Public Safety.

Regardless of how different his new career path was, his training in ViSCA was influential to his journey in the academy.

Since #ProudViscan Bersaluna was an athlete and varsity scholar in track and field back then in ViSCA, his experience in running and physical conditioning helped him survive the rigid and rigorous training in PNPA.

“Sa training pinapahirapan ako ni Sir Antipaso. Halos mamatay-matay ka na sa takbo. May regimen siyang pinapasunod sa akin. Although deep inside parang ayaw ko [gawin].”

[I was being trained hard by Sir Antipaso. He would let me follow a strict regimen even though deep inside I hated doing it.]

Aside from the mental and physical stamina that he obtained from his training, he would not have survived PNPA, from all the stresses and distractions if it were not for the important values such as grit, toughness, and resilience that he learned from over time staying in ViSCA.

He shared that he became street-smart and was able to surpass difficult challenges in PNPA.

“Hirap ng buhay dito [sa ViSCA], lalo sa amin na taga-malayo.” 

[Life here in ViSCA was difficult, especially for us who came from other provinces.]

When he finished studying at PNPA in 1994, he volunteered in the Philippine Special Action Force (SAF). After the training, they were first deployed in Basilan. And then re-deployed in Central Mindanao in Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, and Maguindanao for ground operations.

In 1995, they were part of the close-in security for the visitation of Pope John Paul II for the World Youth Day celebration where there was an assassination attempt on the pope.

From his successful ground operation experiences in different assigned places, PBGen pursued graduate studies and now holds two master’s degrees, one in management at the Philippine Christian University in 2000 and criminal justice at the Philippine College of Criminology in 2013.

Moreover, he also served as chief of police in four different stations namely Cabuyao City, San Juan City, Caloocan City, and Bulacan. 

During his time as chief of police in Caloocan, the city won the Best Police Station in 2016 in the National Capital Region. On top of that, when he served as an acting battalion commander, his team the Regional Public Safety Battalion 13 hailed as the best battalion nationwide in 2016, respectively.

Message to the Viscan community

After three decades, PBGen Bersaluna was finally able to visit VSU and reminisce about the good old days at the university. 

“When we entered the portals, I had goosebumps. I already had a plan to come to ViSCA. It’s very nostalgic. I remembered our happy moments with friends. When I looked around, there were a lot of changes already than I could remember.”


He was warmly welcomed by the PNP Baybay and VSU professors Dr. Manuel K. Palomar, Dr. Aleli A. Villocino, Dr. Dilberto O. Ferraren, and Dr. Maria Juliet C. Ceniza, alongside friends from VSU, including former VSU President and now Baybay City Councilor Hon. Jose L. Bacusmo.

He aspires that VSU will become the leading academic institution in all the degree programs being offered and that all Viscan graduates can compete globally.

“You are somebody when you are a Viscan graduate.” 

As for the overstaying students, PBGen Bersaluna highlighted that they should not surrender in pursuing their heart’s desires. He also left a message to the next administration and the alumni.

“Just never give up. If you have that dream, you pursue that dream no matter what. The setbacks are just temporary. What is important is to rise from your fall. Every time you fall just rise and go.”

“For the students, you are sent here to study, so study hard, study your lessons, and make your family your inspiration. For the alumni, I encourage you to contribute to the betterment of VSU in whatever ways, if you can muster financial support, come up with tangible projects. For the administration, to the incoming president, I hope that he or she will take care of VSU.”

The PNP General also met with OIC President Dr. Daniel Leslie S. Tan at the VSU Administration Building where he expressed his full support to the university especially in the improvement of the criminology program being offered at VSU Tolosa.


“I have a related master's degree and have been consulting with local colleges in Manila offering criminology. I would love to be part of developing a strong criminal justice program here at my alma mater. I’m also equally delighted to know that even at a young age since its offering, the VSU Tolosa criminology program has become the strongest we have in Eastern Visayas because of impressive performance in the licensure examination.”

VSU Tolosa is now the top performing criminology school in the region as announced by the Professional Criminologists Association of the Philippines (PCAP) in Eastern Visayas. For the April 2023 licensure examination, VSU Tolosa obtained an institutional passing percentage of 51.43% for first-time takers which is the highest rating under Category A (above 100 takers). 

This overall institutional performance still eclipses the national passing percentage of 31.84% with only 4,139 out of 11,131 takers nationwide successfully making it in the April 2023 CLE.

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