In the 1980’s, MacGyver was a household name for someone who can fix anything broken, taken eponymously from a TV icon who always finds his way out despite the odds and scarce resources. If he were a real-life hero, he would go simply by the name of Reynaldo Gimena Sr.
At 53, Rey is literally and figuratively all over the place. He climbs ladders, checks water tanks, arranges transport, or fixes just about everything from a broken chair to a broken pipeline. He is all-around handyman a school can’t do without.
“We live to serve. As long as people need our help, we will extend our assistance to them,” he says.
He wears many hats, too. He can shift roles being a General Services Supervisor, a teacher, a mentor, a class adviser, and a Safety Officer. His 23 lengthy years of service is unparalleled and his commitment to CITE unwavering.
“If not for Mr. Gimena, I would have not finished my schooling. I was about to quit school, but he talked some sense into me,” recalls Emmanuel Compayan, a former mentee.
But a role he always plays well enough is being a tough father to seven boys now turned into fine young men. Four of whom have graduated from CITE as full-fledged technicians, one is currently studying Electromechanics Technology. He holds the record for having the most number of sons who graduated from CITE.
Reynaldo Jr., his eldest son, is a technician at Lexmark Research and Development Corporation. Eric, his second, is CNC Operator and Assistant Supervisor at Shooter’s Arm. His third son, Kevin Williams, is a Data Processor at the Survey Sampling International, and Lester, his middle child, is a machinist at Philippine Iino Corporation.
His fifth son, Kalvin, is now a third year student. Two of his younger sons are currently in high school.
Now a grandfather to four grandkids, Rey finds solace going home on weekends in the Municipality of Ronda, a two and a half hours ride from the heart of the city. His better half, Emelita, 49, makes sure that he gets home to spend time with the family.
“He is the eldest of my sons. (chuckles) I have to check on him especially with his health. If he can’t come home, I make sure I get to see him when I go to CITE to attend parenting seminars,” reveals his wife.
Next to two members of the management, Rey has the longest tenure on faculty.
“It’s not just about earning a living. It is our impact to the community. I feel happy seeing students graduate and think that I played a role in their education.”
On being tagged as MacGyver, he starts to feel uncomfortable and begins to pace around. Maybe, he needs some time to himself before this new title sinks in.