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Collaborator Friend

Helen Conol-Villaruel

There is a saying that "you can see a person's heart through his/her written words." When I saw Helen's comments in the guestbook section of Oroquieta.com (March 2002), I immediately saw that her heart beats for Oroquieta City and its people. I sensed a tremendous connection between our two spirits in which I felt the power to initiate a bridge for friendship. Without any doubt and wasted time, our friendship was born based on mutual interest, love and compassion for Oroquieta City and its people.

Helen Conol-Villaruel

When Helen and I first communicated and masterminded our plan for Oroquieta's best interest, I immediately felt her loyalty towards Oroquieta City. From that point, she connected me with her father, Dr. Emerico Conol who has been the most important and significant link in creating a foundation to produce this website. I consider Helen and Dr. Conol as the "cement glue" that holds this website's foundation.

Like many Oroquietanian children, Helen finished her high school from Stella Maris College. She pursued her college education at the University of the East (UE) in Manila, where she finished her bachelor's degree in Business Administration. Looking at Helen's educational interests I see that we have something in common. With strength and determination, Helen proceeded to conquer the collegiate challenge in the United States. She pursued her graduate studies at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire, where she earned her master's degree in Business Administration with advanced certificate in International Business.

After finishing her graduate school, she worked with the International Catholic Migration Commission under the auspices of the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees (UNHCR) at the Philippine Refugee Processing Center. Her extraordinary task encompasses all aspects of teaching in order to prepare the Indo-Chinese refugees for their eventual asylum in the United States.

From there, Helen worked for a Consultant Agency in Manila where she gave seminars and performed investigative studies of business establishments that were affiliated with her agency. Her hometown nostalgia brought Helen back to Oroquieta City where she became the Conol Ventures' entrepreneur. While in Oroquieta City, Helen actively participated in political activities to help her father. Her active involvement and leadership in the organization of the Rural Improvement Club (RIC) enabled many Oroquietanian women to learn various ways of enterpreneurship such as food processings, food productions, and many other productive skills.

Helen eventually immigrated to the United States, however, prior to her departure from her job as the Federated RIC President, she successfully obtained a funding for the RIC building for food processing from the Administration of Governor Ernie Clarete (who was the Governor at that time).

Although Helen did not witness the "finishing touch," inauguration and use of the RIC Building after she left for the United States, her legacy will live on. Her true heroic hard work to save Oroquieta for the future is extraordinary and commendable. There is no doubt that she carries the "blood" of the loyal son of Oroquieta City, Dr. Emerico Conol. Thank you so much, Helen and God Bless!!!

Helen is presently working with Piping Technology & Products, Inc in Houston, Texas. She is happily married to Deiter Villaruel, also from Oroquieta. They have two adorable children, Cassie and Craig.

Ging Mutia