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Pinoy Inhinyero by Ethel Clemente FernandezEngineered with love – part 3 of 3

By Ethel Clemente Fernandez

Working on a project for BC Hydro; a one-kilometre overhead double circuit with 100-foot clearance above the water between two islands. October 2013
At the White House rear wing gates, with wife Merle and grandson Jonas. Washington DC, June 2012
At home in BC with Merle, granddaughter Makayla and grandson, Jonas, Easter, April 20, 2014

In the previous issue, we retraced Mr. Rogelio Calderon’s steps as he went through the rigmarole of getting the professional engineer (P. Eng.) designation. That designation paved the way for a lucrative engineering career at one of the largest electrical engineering companies in the province. He didn’t sit on his laurels for long, as he was ready to embark on a new journey.

In 1989, he moved to Vancouver, where, after working for a couple of multi-disciplined engineering firms, he landed a job at BC Hydro, where he still works to this day.

He is now nearing retirement, however, he still wants to continue working part time, for as long as he is healthy and mentally capable. He also hopes to re-write his first book draft, which was initially turned down by a high profile publisher in New York City. He would like to pursue and see its viability to its target market. Regardless of the outcome, he already feels happy about it.

He loves to travel and his future plans include exploring more of the world. And though he and his wife have been to Europe three times, travelled to the big cities in the US and seen more Canadian provinces than most of us, there are still many places to see and enjoy in his twilight years. In his earlier travels he and his wife would bring their kids along, but this time, he plans on spending the time with his grandchildren.

Indeed, the hardships and challenges he faced in his earlier times in Winnipeg are now a sweet memory of his perseverance and triumph.

Such was the journey of Mr. Rogelio Calderon, P. Eng – the first known Filipino engineer registered with the Association of Professional Engineers in the Province of Manitoba. A distinction that will never be replicated.

In parting, he would like to convey this message for the Filipino Members Chapter of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of the Province of Manitoba (FMC-APEGM) and new Filipino engineers immigrants:

“First, I would like to congratulate the FMC-APEGM members who were able to accomplish their goals in achieving their P. Eng. credentials in Manitoba. With that achievement, your horizons are limitless and flexible, and you are capable of succeeding further and broader. You can expand on this and continue to obtain more credentials from other provinces for mobility in your future. The earlier you get them, the better!

“I do not know how many Filipino P. Eng’s are registered today in the APEGM. I still keep my APEGM 1990 and 1996 membership rooster books as treasures where my name was listed there. It is nice to know that many others were successful too in following my trail for recognition.

“Secondly, to the new Filipino immigrants who want to pursue their dreams as a P. Eng.: You can do it too. It is no different than getting your P.E. in the USA. It is better to try rather than procrastinating or giving up without even trying. Remember, like in basketball, you can score only if you attempt to shoot as many as you can! Of course, we have setbacks but we can overcome them and mitigate them if need be. It takes time but we need to be patient. As Walt Whitman had said, “they also serve those who stand and wait.”

Special thanks to Mr. Grant Koropatnick, Executive Director and Registrar of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of the Province of Manitoba, for connecting us to Mr. Calderon.

Ethel Clemente Fernandez is a registered member of the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of the Province of Manitoba (APEGM). She currently works for a federal crown corporation and is serving on the Executive Committee of the Filipino Members Chapter (FMC) - APEGM. For inquiries, please e-mail