FORMER Faculty of Arts and Letters (AB) mentor Lourdes “Nena” Syquia-Bautista, whose tenure at the University spanned five decades, died on Oct. 26. She was 99. 

Her death was confirmed by her daughter Aggie in a Facebook post

“I said goodbye to Mommy,” she said. “It was a beautiful passing during the divine mercy hour, at 3:51 p.m.”

Bautista began teaching at UST High School in 1946 when it reopened after World War 2. 

She taught philosophy, social sciences, English, literature, and theology at AB for 38 years. 

Bautista was also one of the pioneers of the UST Center for Campus Ministry and frequently gave talks and recollections. 

In a Facebook post, UST remembered Bautista as a “beloved teacher to many” who had a “unique brand of care and formation.” 

Three-time UST rector Fr. Rolando de la Rosa, O.P., in 2022, described Bautista as an “excellent teacher” who “would go to great lengths and bridge great distances to be present to people who needed her most.” 

“Ma’am Nena does not like to postpone for tomorrow any opportunity to do good,” De la Rosa said in his Nov. 27, 2022 column in the Manila Bulletin. “She knows that what fills us with utmost regret are not the things we did, but the things we leave undone.”

Bautista was born on Nov. 30, 1923 in Binondo, Manila. 

She obtained her degree in English and Literature in 1946 at the defunct Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, graduating summa cum laude. 

After retiring from teaching, Bautista started the “Christian Maturity Formation Seminar” together with the late former UST rector and archbishop Leonardo Legaspi. 

She authored the book titled “Needlepoint: Stitches of Life,” a compilation of her letters to family and friends published in 1998.  

Bautista in 2018 published her second book, “Faith, Family, and Friends: A Celebration of God’s Goodness,” a compilation of writings and speeches on her childhood, early education, Catholic faith, and journey as a mother and teacher. 

She and her family of 12 with her late husband, the UST journalism professor and publications director Felix Bautista, were feted the “Thomasian Family of the Year Award” in 1975 by the UST Alumni Association. 

Bautista was also given the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Award by Pope Paul VI in 1977 and the Catholic Authors Award in the same year for her “continuing contribution to the propagation of the Catholic Faith through the print media.”

She wrote for the Philippine Daily Inquirer as a columnist until 2021. 

Bautista’s wake will be held from Oct. 27 to 29 at the Christ the King Memorial Chapel in Quezon City. 

A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. 

Her remains will be interred at the Holy Cross Memorial Park in Novaliches, Quezon City. 


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