Dreams come true when one has the courage to pursue them. This is what Reynaldo Z. Lachica, a commissioning site chemist, believed in. With the proper formula in life, he has achieved the highest professional qualification as Chartered Chemist (CChem) and Chartered Scientist (CSci) in the United Kingdom. He is also categorized expert level as power plant chemist in his profession.
An outstanding overseas Filipino worker (OFW), he also supports the Filipino youths’ education through his school and community-based programs in Manila.
As a site commissioning chemist, he is in charge of providing chemical engineering services and power plant chemistry support for the over-all commissioning and start-up operations.
Currently, he works for the commissioning and start-up of a power plant project in Mexico with $425 million costings.
Previously, Lachica had worked for 21 months as a site chemist (expert level category) for the commissioning and start-up of a turbine heat and power plant project in Israel.
With nearly 20 years of combined work experience overseas, he recalled the reason why he left the Philippines and worked abroad. “I left the Philippines to seek a better future for me and my wife and raise my own family, to financially support our parents, and to gain more technical knowledge and expertise in the field of science, especially in power plant chemistry and industrial water treatments,” he said.
While in the United Kingdom, Lachica played the following roles: senior inorganics chemist, chemist and lab technician, station chemist, EfW plant chemist, power plant chemist, assistant chemist, power plant chemist, and commissioning engineer and chemist.
Career-wise, he became a regular member of the Americal Chemical Society, Member Chemist (MRSC) of the UK Royal Society of Chemistry, Corporate Member of the UK’s Water Institute.
A chemist with a heart, Lachica, despite being away from the Philippines, still supports the community and schools by joining and launching drives and community services. While the world still continues to fight the pandemic, he also provided essentials to various barangays in the Philippines.
Having achieved professional success albeit outside his own country, he sees to it that he gives back by inspiring and motivating young Filipinos back home. His personal advocacy includes the sponsorship of the annual Ulirang Kabataan Awards for deserving students both in his alma mater–Manuel A. Roxas High School and Bagong Barangay Elementary School in Paco and Pandacan, Manila, respectively. Lachica also grants awards to outstanding elementary and high school students in the whole sub-district of Pandacan.
“Working overseas, my wife and I were able to financially support our parents back home and managed to live our life fully independent,” he said.
With his current mode of employment as an agency worker and in-contracting, his job is not readily available and might scarce for some years. He said some projects last between six to 20 months while the next thing is 18 months of unemployment.
“In this situation, my family and I need to use up all our savings until the next job will be forthcoming. Our resilience is also supported by the high tax payments we made in the UK which also provided some government financial benefits during the unemployment period. As I believe, whatever success or failure I may encounter in life, my family will always be my strengths,” he added.
For being a role model and an exemplary overseas Filipino, he received the following accolades:
2014 Bagong Bayani Awards for Outstanding Employee given by the Bagong Bayani Foundation, Inc.
2012 BPinoy Awards for Science and Technology given by the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and BPI Europe Plc
2012 TYGP ‘Ultimate Global Filipino Awards’ sponsored by the Commission on Filipino Overseas, Duty-Free Philippines, and Kraft Philippines Inc.
2010 UK Centrica Energy Awards Nomination for Pioneering Spirit
2010 Search for the Toughest Jobs Philippines sponsored by the Department of Labor and Employment and Alaxan FR/United Laboratories
2010 Most Outstanding Alumni (Science/Chemistry) awarded by the M.A Roxas High School (Manila) General Alumni Foundation, Inc.
“Being an OFW and achieving the highest professional qualification of Chartered Chemist (CChem) and Scientist (CSci) in the UK truly exemplified that we are world-class Filipino. CChem and CSci professional qualifications represented the chartered mark for all scientists, recognizing high levels of professionalism and competence in chemistry and science,” he said.
“Whatever career path you take, be focused on it, and use all available resources to improve yourself. Whatever we learned and experienced in the Philippines, either educational or work-related, are all considered “at par” with the competitive global standards. Given the chance and right opportunities, we Filipinos will excel in everything we do no matter where we are,” he concluded.
This story has been featured on the eighth issue of The Global Filipino Magazine. To get a copy, you may contact Mr Orli Gayeta at +971503196856. If you have an inspiring story or know someone with one, please send an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.