Fr Bobby at the LS Red Brick Road



Message from the University President, Fr Bobby Yap SJ

A Sharpening of Focus

Christmas 2022 is far different from the Christmases of the past two years – it is as if the pandemic never happened!

With the traffic, crowds, and bright lights everywhere we go, it’s much closer to our pre-pandemic holiday celebrations than the muted ones we had in 2020 and, by some measures, even 2021. The only giveaways that we’re still in pandemic mode are the alcohol dispensers and masks that are still everywhere.

In many ways, too, this season is different because of what we’ve been through in the past few years. Aside from the pandemic, we as a country faced a lot of changes that, for better or for worse, will define our path in the years to come. And these changes demand for us to pause and reflect, so that we can readjust our bearings as we soldier on.

Back up our perch in Loyola Heights, we’ve taken the opportunity of the past two years to also pause and reflect as the world around us changed dramatically. Now, after a lot of discussion, research, and reflection, we’re in the midst of moving around many of the pieces that make up our University, making our organization more agile and responsive to our needs and to our mission.

One example that would be familiar to alumni would be the creation of the Office of University Development and Alumni Affairs or OUDAA. This is the merged Office of University Development and Office of Alumni Relations, which will synergize how Ateneo takes care of important sectors of the community: you, our alumni; our parents and parents’ associations; and our generous donors and benefactors. OUDAA is also an essential element in marshaling resources for the advancement of our research, sustainability, and social engagement thrusts.

We’ve also strengthened and unified all of our offices and teams working on social development, spirituality, sustainability, and formation, under the Mission Integration cluster. Under the leadership of Vice President Rizalino "Lino" Rivera, the Mission Integration cluster is at the core of “instilling, nourishing, and promoting the core values and principles of the Ateneo de Manila University, as embodied in the teachings of St Ignatius of Loyola and the Society of Jesus, among members of the Ateneo community.” MI also serves the important role of ensuring we stay faithful to our vow of becoming a force for good, giving meaningful service to society.




"With the lessons and insights our University had from the past few years, we are seeing things in a new light, and adjusting our course accordingly as we journey towards fulfilling our important mission."


Another major piece of this reorganization is the formation of the Higher Education Cluster: the integration of the former Loyola Schools and Professional Schools into one. We started exploring this idea back in 2021, and by 2023 the HE Cluster will be up and running. By uniting all of our higher education units under one group, we hope to better sharpen our focus on the academic "core" of teaching and learning, research, and internationalization. This will also encourage more synergy and collaboration among our faculty, researchers, students, and partners, paving the way for more knowledge production and dissemination, and a more innovative and creative Ateneo community.

Lastly, I’m sure you’ve heard that our University has embarked on an ambitious journey to fulfill our quest to become a true force for good in the world. Under the banner of the Lux in Domino 2030 strategic plan, we aim to fulfill projects and programs under four strategic priority areas, all of which are our University’s response to our society’s biggest, most pressing issues.

Under this strategic plan, we have what we call our “Magis Aspirations”: key initiatives that will be the major anchors of these strategic areas. Among these, arguably one of the most transformative for Ateneo is our bid to become a Laudato Si’ University.

This is a major commitment, a 7-year program under the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, of which Ateneo is part of the first cohort of colleges and universities worldwide. It will be an exciting journey for Ateneo, our way of responding to  Pope Francis’s important call to hear the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor.

A sharpening of our focus – this, essentially, is what we are doing. With the lessons and insights our University had from the past few years, we are seeing things in a new light, and adjusting our course accordingly as we journey towards fulfilling our important mission.

As 2022 draws to a close, and as we welcome 2023, it is my fervent hope that we all take the lessons of the past year with us, and use these to forge a clearer path towards a better tomorrow.

Fr Bobby Yap SJ



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