Ladion, Samuel Acain, Sr. (1929–2000)

By Andresito P. Fernando, and Remwil R. Tornalejo

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Andresito P. Fernando is currently serving as assistant professor at the College of Theology of the Adventist University of the Philippines, Silang, Cavite.

Remwil R. Tornalejo is an associate professor in the Historical-Theological department of the International Institute of Advanced Studies Seminary (AIIAS). Tornalejo has a B.A. in theology from Mountain View College, Valencia, Philippines, and M.P.S., M.Div., and M.Th. degrees from AIIAS. He had served as a pastor, Literature Ministry Seminary dean and instructor at the South Philippine Union Conference. He had served as chair of the theology department of the South Philippine Adventist College. Tornalejo completed his D.Theol. from Theological Union (ATESEA). He is married to Marilou Manatad. They have four children.

First Published: November 15, 2020

Samuel Acain Ladion, Sr. was an educator, professor, church leader, and school administrator from the Philippines.

Early Life

Samuel Acain Ladion, Sr. was born in the municipality of Maria, Siquijor Island, Negros Oriental, Philippines, on April 8, 1929. His parents were Demetrio Ladion, Sr., and Rosalia Acain Ladion, both converts to Adventism.1 Ladion Sr., later became an Adventist minister. Samuel was the third among the five children of the Ladions, namely: Exequiela, Demetrio Jr., Josue and Esther.2

From Negros Oriental, the family moved to Cebut and then, before World War II, the family moved to Mindanao in search for a better life for the family. Ladion was baptized into the Adventist Church in December 1940 at Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental, by Elder William B. Riffel.3

When the war broke out, the family hid in the mountains of Mindanao to avoid capture by the Japanese soldiers. In the 1950s the family moved to Manticao, Misamis Oriental, Mindanao, then, later on, a few years later, to IIligan City, Lanao Del Norte, Mindanao, where Samuel's father served as a pastor in the local Adventist church.4

Ladion started his formal elementary education in Cebu City Church School for three years. When the family moved to Mindanao, he attended and completed his elementary education at Mindanao Mission Elementary School.5

Education and Marriage

The difficulties and challenges the family encountered did not deter Ladion from his quest for higher education. He started high school education at Mindanao Mission Academy (1946-1947) and completed it at East Visayan Academy (now Adventist Academy, Cebu) in 1949.6 He attended Philippine Junior College in Mindanao for two years, then pursued his college education at Philippine Union College (now Adventist University of the Philippines) at Baesa, Caloocan City, where he earned the degrees of Bible Instructor, Bachelor of Arts in History, and Bachelor of Science in Education on June 12, 1953.7

Ladion enrolled at the University of the Visayas in Cebu City from 1953 to 1954. He earned a Master of Arts in Education degree from Philippine Union College in 1970.8 He also attended the Philippine Women’s University from 1973-1975.9

In 1975 Ladion obtained his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Education. “Ladion is the first Adventist Filipino Fund for Assistance to Private Education (PAFE) scholar to be conferred the doctor of education degree at Philippine School of Graduate Studies affiliated at Philippine Women's University” - Taft Avenue Campus, Manila.10

Ladion also obtained post doctoral education from the University of the Philippines in 1978, and at Andrews University, Michigan from 1979 to 1980,11 and Loma Linda University, California in 1983.12

At Philippine Union College he met his wife, Herminia Bayocot De Guzman, a Lucena, Quezon Province native. Her parents were Gil de Guzman, of Meycauayan Bulacan, who served as union president of the South Philippine Union Mission, and Monica Bayocot de Guzman, of Paete, Laguna. The Guzmans served as the first Filipino missionaries to Singapore with Pastor and Mrs. L.V. Finster. Samuel and Herminia had four children, namely: Laverne (B.S. in Chemistry), Marjorie Ann (M.D.), Samuel Winston (B.S. Bio and Occupational Therapist), and Jannine Grace (BSN).13

Ministry

Prior to Ladion’s denomination service, he was principal of United Samar Insititute from 1955 to 1956.14 He started working for the church as a graduate assistant from November 1, 1957 to March 1, 1958, at Philippine Union College. From June 1, 1958 to November 31, 1959 he served as principal of Bukla Seventh-day Adventist Elementary School in Bagontaas, Bukidnon.15 From July 1, 1961 to May 31, 1962 he served as a Bible and History teacher at Pasay City Academy. He served as acting principal of the same academy for the month of December 1962. He was appointed as principal of Pasay City Academy on January 1, 1963 and served in that post until June 30, 1965.16 On July 1, 1965, he was called to serve as instructor of the School of Nursing of Philippine Union College. He was ranked as an assistant professor beginning in January 1971, and was promoted to professor in 1977. That same year, he also served as registrar while teaching as a professor of the Education Department. He served as Registrar and Director of Admissions from January 1980 to December 1981. From 1982 to 1983 he was Director of Admissions and Records. From 1984 to 1985 he served as the Director of Admissions and College Dean. In 1986 he became Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences until November 30, 1987.

Ladion was elected to serve as president of Philippine Union College on December 1, 1987, and served in that capacity until the end of 1990.17 After his tenure as president, he served as the Dean of Arts and Sciences until he retired in 1994.18

Ladion was a member of Fund for Assistance to Private Education from 1973 to 1075, and Phi Delta Kappa, an international association of professional educators in 1976. He also served as chairperson of the Department of Educational Administration, School of Graduate Studies, Admission Committee; vice president of the Doctor of Education Club, Philippine School of Graduate Studies, and the Education and National Development Club (Graduate Studies, University of the Philippines, 1978); and business manager of the Association of Philippine Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Region IV Department of Education Culture and Sports, 1978.19

Later Life

Ladion officially retired from denominational service from Philippine Union College in October 1994.20 During his retirement he lived with his family in Camerino Drive, Barangay Buho, Silang, Cavite. Even in retirement there were no idle moments in the life of Ladion. He continued to engage in his passion of teaching. He taught as an adjunct professor at the Adventist International Institute of Advanced Studies, Graduate School of Education from 1990 to 1994. From 1995 to 1999 he served as professor and dean at the Manila Sanitarium and Hospital, School of Medical Arts, at Pasay City. He daily commuted from Silang to Pasay, a distance of 46 kilometers. He used the travel time to share the Adventist message with his seatmates in the bus.21

He was actively involved in the church as a Sabbath School teacher. From time to time he accepted calls to preach in the neighboring churches. His Sundays and other holidays were spent with his friends at the tennis court. He read avidly and wanted to learn new things, and most of all desired to help students. He loved music and plays the piano, guitar and saxophone.

On December 9, 2000, he died due to prostate cancer. He was 71 years old.22

Contribution

The contributions and legacy of Dr. Samuel A. Ladion to the educational institutions of the Seventh-day Adventist Church are highly notable. For 45 years, he served in various capacities as teacher, principal, professor, registrar, director, dean, and college president. Through his insights and leadership, many educational institutions where he served attained significant progress. His teaching ministry and leadership directly and indirectly contributed to the attainment of Adventist educational aims—to keep the faith of Adventist young people, share the gospel message to non-Seventh-day Adventist students, and train committed youth to be soul winners and leaders of the church. He saw to it that Bible courses were part of the curriculum, and that all courses integrate faith and learning in the instruction. Aside from daily worship in the dorm and in the church, many students spend their breaks doing evangelistic meetings and church visitation. This is “best expressed in the motto coined by the department of education in the 60’s: ‘Keep the saved, save the lost, and train for service.”23

Dr. Ladion’s unwavering commitment to teaching and leadership roles in spite of challenges was founded in his conviction anchored in the statement of E.G. White, “Those who accept the one principle of making the service and honor of God supreme will find perplexities vanished, and a plain path before their feet” (The Desire of Ages, p. 330).24

Sources

“Dr. Of Education.” Far Eastern Division Outlook, February 1976. https://documents.adventistarchives.org/Periodicals/FEDO/FEDO19760201.pdf.

Garcia, Lydia R. “Six MA Degrees Conferred at PUC.” Far Eastern Division Outlook, June 1970. https://documents.adventistarchives.org/Periodicals/FEDO/FEDO19700601.pdf.

Information of National Workers, Samuel A. Ladion Sr., Southern-Asia Pacific Division Archives, Silang, Cavite, Philippines.

Personal Service Record of Samuel Acain Ladion, Southern-Asia Pacific Division Archives.

PUC College Voice: The Official Monthly Student Publication of Philippine Union College. Silang, Cavite: PUC, vol. LX, no. 4, 1987.

PUC, College Voice. March 20, 1988.

Reyes, Herman L. Breaking Through. Quezon City, Philippines: Kaunlaran Trading and Printing Co., Inc, 1981.

Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, 1989; 1991. https://www.adventistyearbook.org/.

Notes

  1. Personal Service Record of Samuel Acain Ladion, Southern-Asia Pacific Division Archives.

  2. Information provided by the Ladion children and confirmed through email dated April 7, 2021 by Marjorie Ann Ladion, daughter of Herminia de Guzman Ladion.

  3. Personal Service Record.

  4. Ibid.

  5. Ibid.

  6. Information of National Workers, Samuel A. Ladion Sr., Southern- Asia Pacific Division Archives.

  7. Ibid. See also Personal Service Record.

  8. Lydia R. Garcia, “Six MA Degrees Conferred at PUC,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, June 1970, 13. f

  9. Personal Service Record.

  10. “Dr. Of Education,” Far Eastern Division Outlook, February 1976, 2.

  11. Information of National Workers.

  12. See PUC College Voice: The Official Monthly Student Publication of Philippine Union College, Silang, Cavite: PUC, vol. LX, no. 4, 1987, 1.

  13. Information provided by the Ladion children.

  14. Ibid.

  15. Personal Service Record of Samuel Acain Ladion.

  16. Ibid.

  17. Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, 1989, 415; Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, 1991, 432.

  18. Personal Service Record.

  19. Information provided by the Ladion children.

  20. Ibid.

  21. Ibid.

  22. Ibid.

  23. See Herman L. Reyes, Breaking Through (Quezon City, Philippines: Kaunlaran Trading and Printing Co., Inc, 1981), 197. In this book, Dr. Reyes shows the significant contributions of Seventh-day Adventist schools in keeping young people in the Adventist faith, winning students to the Adventist church, and training future leaders and evangelists as missionaries and leaders in the Adventist church.

  24. These lines were stated by Dr. Ladion in his commencement message to the graduating class of 1988 and was printed in the Philippine Union College College Voice, March 20, 1988, 1.

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Fernando, Andresito P., Remwil R. Tornalejo. "Ladion, Samuel Acain, Sr. (1929–2000)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. November 15, 2020. Accessed November 29, 2022. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=8AV8.

Fernando, Andresito P., Remwil R. Tornalejo. "Ladion, Samuel Acain, Sr. (1929–2000)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. November 15, 2020. Date of access November 29, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=8AV8.

Fernando, Andresito P., Remwil R. Tornalejo (2020, November 15). Ladion, Samuel Acain, Sr. (1929–2000). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved November 29, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=8AV8.