LOOK: Handwritten thesis by Engineering student in the 80’s

This is some extra dedication, blood, sweat and tears!

For undergraduates, a thesis is usually required to fulfill requirements in completing and attaining a degree. It could be one of the most grueling parts of being a student, but once revisions have been made, bound, and ready for submission, the sense of fulfillment is incomparable.

Back in the day when computers weren’t maximized in writing research papers or academic requirements in general, students had to literally write their thesis – so imagine clean sheets of paper with legible writing, proper (and accurate!) indention and no erasures! Then BS Mechanical Engineering student Almar D Tablada made it possible.

Engr. Tablada’s son Randel was so proud of his father, he took it to his Twitter account and shared the fruit of his father’s labor.

WHEN IN MANILA was able to reach out to Engr. Tablada for an exclusive interview.

WHENINMANILA.COM: Good day, Engineer. May we know a little more about yourself?
ENGR. ALMAR TABLADA: I’m 57 years old, married, from Brgy. Roxas, Naguilian, Isabela. I work at the Bureau of Equipment, Department of Public Works and Highways. I’ve been employed for almost 32 years. For 17 years, I was the area equipment engineer for the province of Isabela. My role is to manage my office in maintaining light and heavy equipment utilized by the 4 DPWH District Engineering offices of Isabela. I finished BS Mechanical Engineering in Far Eastern University on October 1982. I took the board exam and passed it on October 1984.

WIM: Could you tell us more about your thesis, Engineer? Was this written by group? How long did you write it?
AT: It was an individual thesis in our subject ME 68 (Power Plant Engineering). After our prof has discussed to us in the design of a certain auxiliary of the plant, we have to apply it in our thesis by way of designing with the corresponding data values in our handbook. I design and solve it, writing at once on the bond paper using a 0.5 technical pen. Engineering students are required to write in ‘engineering letters’. At the start of the semester, every night of Mondays to Fridays, I did my thesis 10 pm to 2 AM until mid-October before the semester ended. Almost every day, there was a new topic, thus, every night at home I solve and design to come up with the deadline. It took 1 sem [to write it], actually bale 2 na libro ‘yun. Coal Fired Thermal Power Plant and the other one combined ang diesel electric power plant and hydro electric power plant. 

WIM: What challenges did you face while writing your thesis?
AT: Yung hindi kami nakakakita ng actual na planta para may idea sana, pero noong nagkatrabaho na ako dito sa Isabela, namasyal kami sa Magat Hydroelectric power plant at natuwa ako kasi parang tama yung naidesign ko. (The time when we were not able to see an actual plant for ideas, but when I got a job here in Isabela, we visited the Magat Hydroelectric powerplant and I was happy because I believe I designed the plant correctly.)

WIM: Could you give a brief background on your thesis?
AT: [It was about] a power plant with a capacity of 30 Megawatts (30,000 kW). It is all about distribution of load to consumers and design of all the auxiliaries of a plant such as heaters, pumps, cooling tower, feeders, chimneys, transformers and others.

WIM: Since your son Randel posted photos of your thesis on social media, what was your reaction? The post garnered praises and thousands of likes and retweets.
AT: Frankly speaking, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude because it was not as easy to do with the thesis, hanggang ngayon inaalagaan ko yung libro at parang bago pa (until now I still take care of the book and it’s still good as new) – the thesis was done in 1982.

WIM: What advice could you give for those writing their thesis?
AT: To those who are making their thesis in a written manner, they have to make sure that they will have to write legibly so that it will be readable. In making thesis either written or through the use of a computer, it should be well-prepared, well-organized and with self-confidence. Don’t rely so much on others, focus on your God-given ability. Rest assured you will make it. 

Engineer Tablada is such an inspiration! Good luck to all students currently writing their thesis!

What do you think of this story? Let us know in the comments below!

WheninManila wishes to acknowledge Engr. Tablada and Randel Tablada for the photos.


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