Editorial Note: The following is a news release from the publicist of Vallacar Transit Corporation on the conferment by tge University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos of an honoris causa Doctor of Philosophy in Business Management degree on Olivia Villaflores Yanson, the matriarch of the clan that owns VTI that owns and operates the giant fleet of Ceres buses in the country.
Dr. Olivia Villaflores Yanson felt honored to earn her honorary Doctorate Degree in Philosophy Major in Business Management conferred by the University of Negros Occidental Recoletos Bacolod in rites held at the university gym on August 30, 2023.
The conferment rites began with a concelebrated Mass of the Holy Spirit officiated by Rev. Fr. Rafael B. Pecson , OAR with University President Rev. Fr. Joel A. Alve, OAR, other priests and brothers who served as co-concelebrators.
Fr. Alve said, Dr. Olivia Yanson is a woman of exceptional grace, compassion, and vision.
We are joined not only by distinguished individuals from all walks of life but also by the legacy of the Yanson family that has left an indelible mark on the landscape of Bacolod and Negros Occidental. As we stand here, we are reminded by the incredible journey that began with the Late Ricardo and Olivia Yanson, two souls who ignited change, progress, and hope in our region.
Their tireless dedication, visionary leadership, and unwavering commitment have not only transformed communities but have also been instrumental in shaping Bacolod and Negros Occidental into what they are today serving as centers of prosperity, growth, and compassion.
In the presence of the Yanson family, we extend our heartfelt gratitude for their relentless efforts that have become fruits of goodness, empowerment, and advancement. The legacy of compassion and generosity that Olivia Yanson carries forward continues to touch countless lives, reminding us of the power of benevolence and the significance of sharing blessings with those less fortunate.
Today, we also express our gratitude to the Divine Providence for individuals like Olivia Yanson, who selflessly work towards making the lives of many brighter and better.
Her actions exemplify the true essence of philanthropy – a beacon of hope that illuminates the path for others to follow.
The University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos (UNO-R) stands as a testament to this spirit of enlightenment and progress.
With a nurturing environment and a commitment to providing quality education, UNO-R has become a haven for over 12,000 young minds, guiding them towards the eternal teachings of Christ. These young individuals is sacred, and their growth and journey we undertake with development are a testament to the values we uphold.
To the Yanson family, thank you for your immeasurable contributions to Bacolod and Negros Occidental. And to Olivia Yanson, we celebrate you not only for the honor bestowed upon you but for the lives you have touched, the paths you have illuminated, and the legacy you continue to build.
Congratulations, Olivia Villaflores Yanson, on this well-deserved honor, and may your legacy continue to shine brightly for generations to come.
In response, Dr. Olivia Villaflores Yanson respectfully accepted the Honorary Doctorate Degree conferred upon her by UNO-R.
“I wholeheartedly thank you for this acknowledgement and honor. I will treasure this PhD degree as a testament of my achievements and my legacy to the world. I am so honored to be Dr. Olivia Villaflores Yanson,” she said.
She shared that she has chosen a career path which began as a nurse with a calling to serve humanity, with compassion and caring as the basic core elements of my noble profession.
The nursing profession was celebrated with joy by her parents Cayo Villaflores and Dolores Torrillo when she graduated from Silliman University, Dumaguete City, Philippines.
“At the time, neither my parents nor I, myself would have come to envision that there was far more in store for me throughout my life which began with the compassion and caring commitment to humanity.
My story is one that will treasure along with SO many people whom – have touched in my daily dealings as a nurse in my early beginnings after college, followed by the years when fate led me to becoming a successful entrepreneur. My husband, the late Ricardo Yanson and I started a transportation business in our own humble way and dreamed that someday the business will blossom into something more: being more profitable serving more people who needed to be transported into places to attend to their own lives. It was never easy at the beginning, the hardships involved financial difficulties in starting a business and there were so many other challenges. In the course of our transportation business, there were numerous opportunities such as providing jobs to people and witnessing the realities of life for people who helped us in our business, such as our employees and their families. I have witnessed first-hand, my employees’ struggles with their own lives as they continued to help us succeed in our business. I became so involved with their worries as well as their successes realizing that I was and I am a big part of their lives.”
Furthermore, her philanthropic works include health services wherein she sought more ways to help in her capacity and sponsored a group of physicians and surgeons from Pennsylvania, USA, to come and perform surgery to the needy families with children who had cleft lip and cleft palate.
“That was a very rewarding mission as I saw the happy faces of children who were once withdrawn and shy because of their deformity, transform into more confident children. This is God’s work and not mine. I am merely a vehicle for the Almighty God’s work here on earth.
I supported education by providing buildings and educational resources to schools and colleges and funding the education of underprivileged children as I believe that through education, they will have a bright future and will be able to become better citizens of this country.
Everyday, there was something for me to do, the business aspect was amajor role for me but the humanity aspect was even a bigger role because human lives are at stake and that is precious.
I speak for the past and the present because I feel and I know that I am needed here in this life to serve humanity.
Being a nurse, a businesswoman, a mother, a grandmother, a good friend, a relative, all amounts to loving and serving humanity with compassion and caring, touching people’s lives as I am there for them in God’s will.
This is who I am, Olivia Villaflores Yanson, a woman of strength, dignity, resilience, a generous heart, and committed to my life’s work.”