STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: Virgilio "Bing" Longakit
By evening, Virgilio "Bing" Longakit is a second-year student in Boyd’s part-time evening program. By day, Bing oversees the Unclaimed Property Division of the Nevada State Treasurer’s Office. He is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Public Manager.
It all sounds pretty pro forma and bland, right? Well, let’s dig a little deeper.
Bing was born and raised in the Philippines, primarily in the small rural town of Pinamungajan on the island of Cebu. A quaint area, it was hardly up to date in terms of conveniences and amenities. “Paved roads did not arrive until the late 1970s, followed by electricity in the 1980s, and finally telephones in the 1990s,” Bing recalls. “While it may seem like I was deprived growing up by Western standards, I never felt a sense of lacking anything.”
But hard work on the family farm was a central theme of Bing’s childhood. One of his distinct memories is that of plowing cornfields, an endeavor requiring him to handle the reins of a carabao, a mammoth water buffalo. Young Bing took pride in mastering control of the beast of burden and other farming tasks, but recognized that there was something in which he found greater satisfaction and joy: studying.
Completion of his secondary education necessitated three-hour bus rides over treacherous roads to the more urban Cebu City where he would spend the week, often homesick for his family. But from that experience, Bing took away great motivation to pursue higher education. He first earned a B.S. in business administration (majoring in accounting) from the Philippine School of Business Administration and later an MBA from Ateneo de Manila University Graduate School of Business.
Bing came to the United States in 1999, but his homeland and upbringing were by no means left behind.