Bong Fornal or Serry Fornal to many of his Sibalenhons friends and relatives never dreamed that someday he will live in the land of the maple trees and snow-capped landscape of Canada. He had disliked the idea of living in a foreign land because he got a good career to live with and he hated the social, economic and cultural birthpains he will have to undergo while on the adjustment period. But like many struggling families who dream of a good future for their children, Bong gave up his arrogant assumption of himself but not necessarily his nationalistic tendencies in favor of the children’s future.
The second child in a brood of 10 children from Salindraban, previously a sitio in Dalajican, Sibale Concepcion, Romblon(Salinraban is now part of Barangay Masadya), Bong started to attend school at the age of 6 at Dalajican Primary School where he managed to be on top of the class from grades 1-4. He settled for lower (fourth) honors in grades 5-6 when he transferred to Concepcion Elementary School in the town proper where he had to walk 15 kilometers everyday on one way hike.
He was a consistent honor student of Sibale Academy where he spent his high school and graduated as valedictorian of class 1977. He also served as the President of Sibale Academy student body organization in that year.
Bong pursued his BS degree in Agricultural Engineering from Central Luzon State University (CLSU) in the Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija under the sponsorship of the COCOFED Scholarship Program. Aside from being a dean’s lister, he was a campus figure and was very active in student politics. He served as the President of the CLSU Society Cocofed Grantees, a group of Cocofed scholars with the biggest number in terms of membership; a founding member of the Phi Delta Sigma fraternity and sorority; and the standard bearer of CLSU Kilusang Tagapag-ugnay ng Mag-aaral (KTM), one of the two major parties that bested the student supreme council elections in 1981. He could have landed to UP system had he did not give up his democratization scholarship from the University of the Philippines in favor of the Cocofed Scholarship which offered better financial package. He is also an alumnus of Adamson University for studying and taking his masteral degree in Management Engineering.
Bong’s first taste of the a corporate workplace was at Food Terminal Inc. (FTI) where he was hired as a junior line supervisor. He was promoted to Plant Operations Manager after four years bypassing two structural positions.
His good performance at FTI eventually led him to Purefoods Corporation where he was hired as Production Manager for the Poultry Dressing Plant in the City of Marikina. He resigned from Purefoods Corporation after 8 years only to be employed by an industry competitor, Tyson Agro-Ventures, Inc.(TAVI), the second largest poultry processor in the Philippines next to San Miguel Foods. Bong holds a Safeserv certificate as recognized by the International Food Safety organization through the US based National Restaurant Education Foundation to conduct lectures, seminars and workshops on food safety and total quality management. His working stint at TAVI was snuffed when he emigrated to Canada in 2004.
Bong is married to a Food Technologist, Getty Patawaran of Baliuag, Bulacan and blessed with three children, Gerald (18), Christine (17) and Catherine (8).