THE FIRST Faculty of Arts and Letters (Artlets) Gantimpala Awards saw the homecoming of more 31 alumni awardees to their alma mater last March 13.

The Rizal Conference Hall was filled with the 31 recipients of the first Artlets alumni awards that recognized outstanding alumni of the oldest humanities school in Asia.

In his speech, Vice Rector Fr. Pablo Tiong, O.P. recognized the “pedigree” of Thomasian alumni Artlets has been producing for the past four decades.

“Without the sense of the past, the heart remains ungrateful. Let yourselves be torches that inflame fellow Thomasians,” Tiong said.

Winners came from different sectors including public service, education, media, and the Church.

Public officials Judge Oscar Herrera, Jr. and Rizal Mayor Ramon Ilagan were awarded for Government Service, Jesus Carlos Villasenor for Industry/Management, and Jose Javier for Nation-Building. Civil Law Dean Nilo Divina, a behavioral science graduate, was awarded for his excellence in the field of Law.

Former Ecclesiastical Faculties dean Fr. Jose Antonio Aureada, O.P., and Artlets professor Jose Garcia were recipients of the Gantimpala Awards for Teaching/Philosophy and Advocacy/Apostolate, respectively.

Media veterans and communication arts alumni Herman “Isko” Salvador, popularly known as “Brad Pete,” was awarded for Entertainment; Ruben Nepales and Emmie Velarde for Media, GMA Network reporter Sandra Aguinaldo for Broadcast Media, Juanito “Lito” Tacujan for Print Journalism, Newsbreak managing editor Glenda Gloria for Management, and Lucien Dy Tloco for Advertising/Marketing. Osias Barroso and Cesar Apolinario, also a GMA Network reporter and film director, were recipients for the Arts and Culture Gantimpala award.

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The family of Varsitarian editor in chief Emil Karlo de la Cruz was given the Gawad Angkan Award. He received the award with his father Edwin, former Varsitarian Circle editor and managing partner of De la Cruz Entero Law Offices; mother Pennie Azarcon, former Varsitarian associate editor and current executive editor of the Sunday Inquirer Magazine, and sister Andrea, a multimedia specialist of an outsourcing company.

Other award winners were Maria Liza Lopez-Rosario and Noel Albano for Gawad Alab; Loida Flores and Cezar Virina for Gawad Bigkis; Luisa Mendez-Marshall for Gawad Bagwis; Butch Francisco for Gawad Adhika, and Victoria Alcantara, Emi Calixto-Rubiano, Dante Santiago and Justice Ezperanza Fabon-Victorino for Gawad Alagad. Darenn G. Rodriguez

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