Retired UPV College Librarian listed in the “List of Filipino Writers”

Retired UPV College Librarian listed in the “List of Filipino Writers”

Melchor Francisco Cichon, or Mel or Nong Mel as friends and colleagues fondly call him, was born on April 7, 1945, in Sta. Cruz, Lezo, Aklan.  He obtained his Certificate in Fisheries in 1970 at U.P. Diliman, Quezon City; Bachelor of Science in Education in 1974, MLQU, Manila; Certificate in Governmental Management in 1982, UPV, Iloilo City; Master in Management (Public Management) in 1982, UPV Iloilo City; and Master in Library Science in 1985, U.P. Diliman.

Mr. Cichon held several positions while still active in service.  He used to work as Library Assistant, UP Main Library, Diliman, Quezon City, in 1976.  During the transfer of the College of Fisheries Library in 1988 to Miagao campus, the former College Librarian Ms. Altagracia Balane did not accept the relocation offer, so Mr. Cichon acted as Officer-in-Charge and was Head of the CFOS Library effective February 1, 2007, until March 31, 2010, which was but few days before his retirement at age 65.

His love of the library did not end during his retirement.  He still worked at St. Therese-MTC Molo, Iloilo City, Great Saviour College, and Aklan Catholic College as Librarian. 

Nong Mel received many certificates of appreciation and recognition within and outside of his expertise and work. To name a few, he received a 2020 PAARL, Inc. (Philippine Association of Academic/Research Librarians, Inc.), a Lifetime Achievement Award (Visayas), a Taboan Award 2018 for his craft of poetry, and an award for exemplary service as a librarian and steadfast advocate of Aklanon Literature in October 2018 (given by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts). He also received Outstanding Aklanon on Arts and Culture, awarded by the Province of Aklan in 2011, and a Certificate of Appreciation for “sharing his knowledge and insights as Paper Presentor at the 18th Conference on West Visayan History and Culture on November 22-23, 2007. He is the first Aklanon to receive the Gawad Pambansang Alagad ni Balagtas awardee presented by the Unyon ng mga Manunulat sa Pilipinas (UMPIL) on August 25, 2001 "for his outstanding achievement and pioneering work in poetry in Aklanon that has marked his considerably significant and permanent contribution to Philippine literature. Using the peculiarities of his mother tongue to its full potential, he has, in articulate poetic terms, expressed the lamentation and celebrations of his fellows, transcending the local milieu to become one of the country’s esteemed poets."

Not just an ordinary worker, Nong Mel, has twice been awarded the University of the Philippines in the Visayas Most Outstanding Research and Professional Staff. In 2007, Nong Mel received the Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Performance in Professional Academic Service (Non-Teaching Staff).

Writing was one of his hobbies; thus, he published several books on poetry and history.  He was a recipient of a 2006 Fray Luis de Leon Creative Writing Grant for his book manuscript SINIAD-SIAD NGA KAEANGITAN in May 2006, he was Writing Fellow at the 34th National Writers Workshop in 1994, and was the recipient of the CCP Literature Grant for writing “Ham-at Madoeom Ro Gabii, Inay? At Iba Pang Binalaybay (POETRY) in February 1994.

His works have also won several prizes.  He won first prize in the first Home Life poetry contest in 1994. He won third prize in the Sentro Ng Wikang Filipino, U.P. essay writing contest in 1994. He won second prize (Aklanon category) and third prize (Filipino category) in the 1994 All West Visayan Poetry Contest sponsored by the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts, and he also won third prize in Hari/Queen of Poetry in a 1998 poetry contest sponsored by U.P. at the Visayas Sentro ng Wikang Filipino.

As UPV-CFOS College Librarian, he had also published several articles on fisheries in his blogs.  Among them were bio-profiles of Filipino Fisheries Scientists.  This site features 27 Filipino fisheries scientists, including our former Chancellor, Dr. Ricardo P. Babaran.  As a Supervisor, he was always ready to share his knowledge with his staff, willing to learn. His good leadership had made the services of the CFOS Library exemplary.

On February 26, 2020, he was listed in the List of Filipino Writers (The Lists, The Mother of all Lists).

Mr. Cichon is still very active.  From January 14, 2019, to the present, he is the Chief Librarian of St. Paul University Iloilo. 

He is married to Mrs. Pilma D. Cichon, also a former library staff of UP Visayas.  They are blessed with 4 children.

To view all of his Bio-Data, please open this link

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