Message from the Editor-in-Chief, Rica Bolipata-Santos

All Things New

All things new?

I chant to myself as I go around the metropolis.

Here I am again, stuck in this horrendous Manila traffic. All the hours spent going to some place I will spend less time in than the time I spent getting there. Traveling along thoroughfares, one can go shopping from one point to another. You can get a decent snack (a cold drink and some boiled peanuts), buy plants (citronella and sometimes beautiful bonsai), and maybe even a toy for an inaanak so that you can cross another name off your Christmas list. Multi-tasking is what we’ve all learned to do to survive the slings and arrows of our nation. 

How tired we all are. The vendors carry the weight of their wares on their backs. You open your window a fraction to pay for your goods, and they try to fan themselves with the cool air from your car. A moment is shared: Merry Christmas, po! Merry Christmas din po! Salamat! God bless, po. I know we both mean every word we say. In our smiles, we underline this truth. Christmas is coming. And all that hardship we both bear becomes lighter.





"Human striving can only take us so far. In the end, we rely solely on the love of God to bring our plans to fruition."


All things new? Yes. He makes all things new.

Here at the Ateneo, we have our own share of new things. In this issue, we share features on our new leaders at the helm of JGSOM and the Ateneo School of Government. We get an update on what’s new with our women’s volleyball team, and a special feature on one of our distinguished alumna Ira Valdez, AB Lit Eng 2005. Fr Manoling Francisco tells us news from Tanging Yaman Foundation. And Fr Bobby, president of the University, shares with us the big news of the university’s dream to become a Laudato Si' university.

We know this to be true - the energy to create something new is ingrained in our DNA. Ateneans are encouraged and trained to use their creativity and imagination to come up with new ways and new methods and new systems to be better, to respond to the changing times, and to think out of the box to conquer complex problems… in God’s time. We all understand this, too. Human striving can only take us so far. In the end, we rely solely on the love of God to bring our plans to fruition.


One of my favorite paintings is called the Census at Bethlehem by Pieter Bruguel the Elder. The scene is winter. The landscape is full of withered trees. All around the canvas are scenes of men and women in labor, shoveling snow, caring for their animals, in groups, probably talking about the hassle of having to line up for the census. The colors are all brown and drab. And yet, in the middle of this scene, one can find Mary and Joseph waiting to declare the birth of their son, Jesus, wanting him to be counted as born on earth. My students laugh when I remind them that this painting tells us Christ had a birth certificate! 

Imagine that! He enters this world of madness, of toil, and trouble, and I use the word enter with intimacy and closeness. He comes into the world and… makes all things new.

I hope this issue inspires you to feel that energy of newness that Advent and Christmas bring. May our tired and disillusioned hearts awaken at the coming of Christ! May his enduring love for us renew us as we continue to work to renew the world.


Rica Bolipata-Santos



Published by the Office of University Development and Alumni Affairs (OUDAA),
Ateneo de Manila University

Fr Norberto "Kit" Bautista SJ

Rica Bolipata-Santos PhD

Cris Yparraguirre

Renzo Guevara, Margarita Santos, KD Suarez

Andrea Bautista
Art Director/Graphic Designer

Ateneo alumni can update their information by emailing OUDAA at