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VP Leni is UNC’s Most Outstanding Alumna

The University of Nueva Caceres - Bicol’s first University has produced a great many outstanding alumni and has contributed a fair share of illustrious individuals in Bicol and beyond, here and abroad for 73 years. One who comes to mind easily is UNC’s Most Outstanding Alumni Awardee, no less that the Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines – Hon. Maria Leonor Gerona Robredo, popularly called “Leni.” The UNC community can only rejoice and take pride to see one of our very own - our time’s best ambassador, make history and rose to become the second most powerful person in the Philippines.

VP Leni studied at the University of Nueva Caceres School of Law, graduated in 1992 and passed the bar exams in her second try in 1997. Inspiring students to rise from failures, VP Leni would recall when she failed the bar exams on her first try in 1992. She recounted the challenges while reviewing for the Bar exams, juggling multiple responsibilities as a student, professional, wife to the then mayor of Naga City and a mother raising three daughters - Aika, Tricia and Jillian.

As an alumna, VP Leni would generously grace UNC occasions. She was the guest speaker in the 69th Commencement Exercises of UNC, and just recently in the 73rd Commencement Exercises, she sent her congratulatory message. UNC is also the beloved Alma Mater of VP Leni’s parents; her mom finished Doctor of Education and her dad, who was a judge for over 20 years, finished Law in UNC.

Exhibiting extraordinary valor, UNC’s Most Outstanding Alumna in VP Leni champions human rights, uplifts the womenfolk and children, empowers the marginalized, defends the poor and oppressed, opposes corruption and promotes servant leadership. As a stateswoman in the second highest office in the land, she advocates transparency in processes, accountability of officials and people participation in decision-making. VP Leni, UNC School of Law’s most distinguished graduate was at the axis of significant legislative reforms geared toward helping people and improving their lot.

VP Leni is a leader well-loved, respected, admired, emulated, and embraced by people from all walks of life. She was hailed the Most Influential Filipina of the World, and Outstanding Woman Award of Southeast Asia. A viral photo years ago merited all the social media frenzy and drew admirations from netizens. It shows VP Leni, then Camarines Sur third district Representative, waiting for a provincial bus to Naga City, alone in a gasoline station one night. Her humility and simplicity altogether redefined leadership and brought it closer to the people.

Heroically, VP Leni demonstrates governance with a strong social conscience, a brave heart for the masses, and moral courage that inspires an entire generation. She upholds the leadership legacy set by her late husband, the iconic Jesse Robredo, former Department of Interior and Local Government secretary and long-time Naga City mayor. Her leadership mantra “matino, mahusay at may puso” best reflects the UNCean spirit. None could dispute nor dismiss that the most esteemed UNC alumna embodies a remarkable combination of sterling character, stellar competence and sincere compassion, plus charisma.

Wherever destiny calls her, wherever brilliance takes her, and wherever her heart leads her, she is a future-ready UNCean. As UNC’s Most Outstanding Alumna, VP Leni makes us even more proud to be Filipinos, Bicolanos and UNCeans.


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