Marcelino D. Catahan is a self-made man. He was fourth in the eleven children of a farmer’s family in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija, Philippines. He was a self-supporting learner all the way—from high school to postgraduate studies. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in industrial education in Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP), Manila, in 1965. He finished MEd and PhD (educational administration) in Pacific Western University, Los Angeles, California, USA, in 1992, at age fifty-four.
Marcelino taught in Manila public secondary schools (1966–1974). He worked in Papua New Guinea as mechanical instructor/training coordinator in “Plant & Transport Authority” (1975–1980). His migration was influenced by two “special” sons—an autistic and a schizophrenic. Verily, he needed to save big money for their medical expenses. In 1980, he brought his family to California, USA. He supervised the boys’ treatment at Stanford Medical Hospital at Palo Alto, California. But sadly, science effects up to a certain level only—the rest is left to God. With minimal progress, Marcelino’s family went back to Manila in 1981.
Marcelino was a supervisor/instructor with “Cooperative for American Relief Everywhere” (CARE) in Somalia, 1982–1984. This began his more than twenty years stint in Africa. He was an ILO consultant in ILO-Malawi (1986–1988); curricula/in-service training adviser/assistant training director in “Vocational Training Center Namibia” (1989–1992); education consultant of UNICEF–Somalia (1993–1994), and education consultant of UNICEF–Mozambique (1994). He resigned in Mozambique to attend to his schizophrenic son, who attempted suicide.
For three years, Marcelino attended to his son’s medication. In 1997, he went back to teaching. He was a social science professor in AMA Computer University, Sta. Mesa, Manila, and DLSU–College of St. Benilde at Taft Avenue, Manila, until his retirement in 2004.
The reactivation of primary education in Somalia—after disruption for more than ten years due to civil war—was an excellent feat of Marcelino. In recognition, he was awarded distinction as one of the “Twenty Most Outstanding Alumni” during the TIP’s fiftieth anniversary celebration last February 11, 2012.