Former Manila mayor Lito Atienza, a UST architecture alumnus, and Asst. Prof. Danielito Jimenez of the Faculty of Arts and Letters’ legal management program

TWO THOMASIANS were named “Outstanding Manilans” during the Gawad Manileño 2023 awards ceremony at the Manila Metropolitan Theater on Thursday, June 22.

Former Manila mayor Lito Atienza, a UST architecture alumnus, was the recipient of the Gat Andres Bonifacio Award, the highest accolade presented by the City of Manila to an outstanding citizen, in this year’s ceremony.

Atienza began his political career in 1968 when he was appointed as Manila’s chief information officer under Manila Mayor Ramon Bagatsing.

Atienza faced imprisonment twice during the Martial Law era for exposing human rights abuses during the Marcos dictatorship. Despite these arrests, he managed to secure a seat as a member of parliament in 1984.

He was elected vice mayor under Mayor Alfredo Lim in 1992 and mayor in 1998 when Lim decided to run for the presidency. Atienza served as Manila mayor from 1998 to 2007.

As mayor, Atienza used his architectural training to change the city landscape. However, he was criticized for the demolition of the art-deco Jai Alai building and the heavy traffic caused by his downtown pedestrianization project.

Atienza served as deputy speaker of the House of Representatives from 2020 to 2022.

In 2022, Atienza ran for vice president under boxer-turned-politician former Sen. Manny Pacquiao but lost.

Asst. Prof. Danielito Jimenez of the Faculty of Arts and Letters’ legal management program was also among the Gawad Manileño 2023 awardees.

Jimenez, who earned his law and master’s degrees from UST, was named Outstanding Manilan for his legal expertise.

Jimenez is a former president of the UST Central Student Council and the founding president of the Thomasian Alumni Leaders, Inc.

Jimenez worked as a consultant to the national security adviser during the term of former President Rodrigo Duterte.

He also taught at the UST Faculty of Civil Law.

The other Outstanding Manilan awardees were Ricardo Manansala (Gawad Rajah Sulayman), Maria Cecilia Santiago (Education), Metropolitan Trial Court Judge Carolina Esguerra (Judiciary), Anne Marie Yao (Prosecution Service), Sampaloc Hospital Director Dr. Aileen Lacsamana (Public Health), Victor Lima (Mass Media), Joaquin Andre Domagoso (Acting), Wilven Infante (Culture and the Arts), John Ivan Cruz (Sports), Mark Anthony Antonio (Barangay Affairs), Lambert Louise Loleng (Youth Welfare and Development), Police Col. Julius Añonuevo (Peace and Order), and Paco Savings & Credit Cooperative (Socio-Civic).

Manila Mayor Honey Lacuna-Panga and Vice Mayor Yul Servo Nieto led the awarding ceremony, which featured a performance by the UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe.

This year’s Gawad Manileño awards ceremony was organized as part of the celebrations for the 452nd founding anniversary of Manila on June 24. Logan Kal-El M. Zapanta


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