DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/15 September) – The Ateneo de Manila is honoring on September 16 six “exemplars in their respective fields,” two of them Mindanawons — Orlando B. Cardinal Quevedo, OMI, DD, the Archbishop of Cotabato, as “Missionary and Peace-builder” and Agnes Locsin of Davao City, as “Pioneer of neo-ethnic Filipino dance.”
The six awardees who “exemplify the values of the University,” will be honored during a Special Academic Convocation at 3 p.m. Tuesday, September 16, at the Rev. Henry Lee Irwin, SJ Theater, Ateneo de Manila University in Quezon City.
The University’s Board of Trustees chose to confer the Traditional University Awards on these six exemplars: the Bukas Palad Award to “Missionary and peace builder” Cardinal Quevedo; the Gawad Tanglaw ng Lahi to “Pioneer of neo-ethnic Filipino dance” Locsin; the Government Service Award to “ Fighter for justice and good government” Conchita Carpio Morales; the Lux-In-Domino Award to “Mathematician and administrator” Mari-Jo P. Ruiz; the Ozanam Award to “Champion of Marginalized Women” Teresa Banaynal Fernandez; and the Parangal Lingkod Sambayanan (posthumous) to “Missionary and champion of Indigenous Peoples” Delbert Rice.
According to the citation, Quevedo, who recently celebrated his 50th year as priest, “has proven to be an authentic peace builder, especially between Christians and Muslims in Mindanao. He has consistently championed the rights of the poor and marginalized in society, regardless of their beliefs” and through his work and life, “truly embodies the Ignatian spirit of generosity and has greatly contributed to the creation of what Pope Francis calls a ‘culture of encounter,’ which the Pope says is the foundation of peace.”
Quevedo, who once served as President of the Notre Dame University, had served as Bishop of Kidapawan, Archbishop of Nueva Segovia and Archbihsop of Cotabato. He was elevated to Cardinal in February this year. He served as President of the Catholic Bishops of the Philippines (CBCP) for two terms and was secretary-general of the Federation of Asian Bishops Conference (FABC) from 2005 to 2008.
Locsin, cited as “one of the country’s most progressive contemporary dance choreographers (who) pioneered neo-ethnic dance by blending indigenous themes with Western classical and modern techniques,” is “always open to new and innovative approaches” and has collaborated with musicians, visual artists and poets in the creation of her original choreographies, which include Encantada, La Revolucion Filipina, Sayaw, Sabel and the four-part Alay sa Puno series.
“Over a span of thirty years, Ms Locsin has created a body of work which proudly celebrates Filipino indigenous cultures, practices, beliefs, rituals and lore, contributing to our own appreciation of the complexity of our culture and identity,” the citation reads.
Locsin spent her elementary and high school years at the Philippine Women’s University in Davao City and finished her AB English at the Ateneo de Davao University.
She earned her MA in Dance from the Ohio State University.
As a student at the Ateneo de Davao in the late 1970s, she collaborated with artists Joey Ayala and Al Santos for the rock opera, “Sa Bundok ng Apo,” where she did the choreography for Santos’ lyrics and Ayala’s music. They would collaborate again in “Encantada.”
“Man of peace”
“He deserves it, especially on the issue of peace-making in Mindanao,” Mohagher Iqbal, chair of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace panel, said of Quevedo’s latest award.
Froilyn Mendoza, aTeduray who co- founded the Téduray Lambangian Women’s Organization, Inc. (TLWOI) and a member of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission (BTC) that was tasked to draft the Bangsamoro Basic Law, said it is “good to hear that a man of peace” was given the award.
Guiamel Alim, a member of the Council of Elders of the Consortium on Bangsamoro Civil Society said the Cardinal “deserves the prestigious award. May Almighty God continue His Blessings on him.”
In a statement, Charlito “Kaloy” Manlupig, head of the Cagayan de Oro-based Balay Mindanaw, said his organization “joins the entire peacebuilders’ community in celebrating the recognition given to Orlando Cardinal Quevedo by the ADMU for his key role in the pursuit of justice, development and peace in Mindanao and in the country.”
“On a personal note, I also take pride in being a product of Oblate education and formation of which Cardinal Quevedo is one of the pillars. The Oblates have instilled in us the virtues of resiliency and persistence by sharing with us their motto ‘Leave no stone unturned.’”
According to the ADMU website, the Bukas Palad Award was initially named Peypoch Award, in memory of Fr. Manuel Peypoch, SJ, who taught at the Ateneo de Manila and distinguished himself in serving the Jesuit Order, the Church and society in the areas of education and culture, in social and human development concerns.
The Award, first given in 1963, was renamed Bukas-Palad to “capture the Ignatian spirit of ‘Generosity’ and to give recognition to the unconditional, dedicated service of Religious in Christ’s Kingdom.”
Other missionaries in Mindanao who were previously given the award include Fr. Sebastian D’Ambra PIME in 2010; Fr. Eliseo Mercado, Jr., OMI in 2006; Bishop Benjamin de Jesus, OMI (posthumous)’ Fr. Michel de Gigord, MEP, Fr. Rhoel Gallardo, CMF (posthumous) in 2003: Bishop Bienvenido Tudtud (posthumous) in 1992; Bishop Gaudencio Rosales in 1991; Archbishop Gerard Mongeau, OMI in 1981. (MindaNews)