Alumni Stories

This portion of the alumni page features the struggles and achievements of BU Alumni. Please E-mail us if you have stories to share which may inspire, the rest of the BU Community influence, motivate.


BU Alumnus Jojo Bragais is the official shoe sponsor for 69th Miss Universe

The Bicol University takes pride in another alumnus who gained prestige in the world of pageantry with his world-class shoe designs. Jojo Albao Bragais is a graduate BS Nursing from BU Tabaco Campus (TC) batch 2012. He grew up in Albay as the youngest of four siblings to Diomedes and Elsie Bragais.  He is a licensed midwife and nurse by profession and now, one of the respected Filipino shoe designers chosen as an official shoe sponsor for the upcoming 69th edition of Miss Universe to be held on May 16, 2021, in Hollywood Florida, USA.

Bragais is not a neophyte in the world of pageantry, having provided footwear for Bb. Pilipinas candidates in the previous years. It all started when he helped another alumna Yvette Marie Santiago who joined the said pageant and bagged the title of Bb. Pilipinas Supranational 2014. He also had his tremendous contribution to Team Catriona during the 2018 pageant season. Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray's victory would not have been possible without the support of Bragais. He was instrumental both financially and logistically for all her preparations leading to the pageant in Bangkok, Thailand.

The captivating and charming Jojo Bragais is now the first Filipino designer to provide sleek and sexy footwears for all the Miss Universe candidates. As his shoes gained popularity here in our country and in the world, he is now conquering the limelight to be at par with international shoe brands like Stuart Weitzman, Payless Shoe Source, and Chinese Laundry as the official shoe of the Miss Universe beauty pageant. (Charina J. Cipcon, BUARO)

Related References:

CNN Website/Lifestyle Philippines, April 18, 2021


CGFNS appoints BU Alumnus as Director of Global Standards and Qualification

The Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) International, Inc. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA the world's largest credentials evaluation organization for nursing and the healthcare community appointed Dr. Jasper L. Tolarba, DNP, RN, NEA-BC as the Director of Global Standards and Qualifications. He first joined CGFNS in 2016 as Director of Credentials Evaluation Services.

On his new post, he will lead the organization's program around global standards and qualifications for health professionals collaborating with global leaders in the fields of education, regulation, accreditation and practice. This is also an opportunity for him to represent Filipino nurses and set a platform to harmonize requirements and standards for nursing education which a lot of nurses here and abroad would benefit.  

He is also active in the world of health research and recently completed his undertaking as a J. William Fulbright Scholar at the Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST) in the Kingdom of Jordan. He then finished his scholarship before he assumed his new designation in CGFNS.  When asked for a message to BUENO frontliners, he said “Nurses, along with other healthcare professionals and frontliners, are deemed modern-day heroes, literally putting their lives on the line. Unfortunately, this COVID19 pandemic has taken lives of many people around the world including nurses. I would like to personally call for nurses around the world to be vigilant in the frontlines to make sure they are taking the proper precautions to protect themselves. They also need to speak up if they feel that they are unsafe going to their patient care assignments. Always wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients afflicted by COVID19 and demand to have proper PPEs. Nurses' lives are priceless, and they too have families. Losing one more life in the fight against COVID19 is too many.”

Dr. Tolarba hails from Ligao City and received his Doctorate in Nursing Practice from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut., where he concentrated in Health Policy. He holds a Master of Science in Nursing from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, as well as a Master of Arts in Education from Bicol University in the Philippines, where he also earned his Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Dr. Tolarba is currently pursuing a second doctorate in Nursing Education with concentration in Curriculum Evaluation from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York. (C. Cipcon, BUARO)


Dr. Zeus Salazar




Dr. Zeus Salazar has always been a man in the move.

Born to Atty. Irineo Salazar of Tiwi, Albay and Mrs. Luz Atayza of Pilar, Sorsogon, Salazar was born in Tiwi, Albay on April 29, 1938 but grew up in Malilipot, Albay where his father served as Judge. His father's postings brought him to Manila and Europe.

Dr. Zeus A. Salazar would get his grade school education from San Beda- Mendiola where he is considered one of its notable alumni. Together with his six (6) younger siblings – Cesar, Nora, Ruby, Oscar, Lulu Fe, and Maria Luz – and his parents, he would find himself back in Bicol.

He would get his secondary diploma from Albay High School in 1951. At Albay High School, he shone as editor of the school paper. Perhaps not surprising since he lived in Sagpon which the late Bienvenido N. Santos described as a BARRIO OF WRITERS. In the essay, Santos wrote:

Then there is Zeus Salazar who graduated from the UP summa cum laude. There is the littlehouse where he lived. That is his father waiting for a bus for Sorsogon, showing Sagpon folks the latest letter from Sorbonne, where his son is a UP scholar.

Perhaps it was from Santos who lived across the street that Salazar learned to love chess.

Zeus A. Salazar began his career as a historian in the University of the Philippines, where he completed a degree in AB history in 1955. He was the first to receive SUMMA CUM LAUDE award from UP's Department of History.

This achievement earned Salazar a scholarship to a Paris university. In 1958 he commenced graduate studies in France, obtaining various diplomas in ethnology, anthropology, and linguistics. His studies culminated in a doctorate in cultural anthropology in 1968 from the prestigious Sarbonne Université de Paris a “Très Bien” stamped on his dissertation.

Upon returning to the Phiippines later that year, he rejoined the UP History Department. Where he has taught until his retirement. He came home with wife Marlies Spieker with whom he has three children: Irineo, Wigan and Ligaya.