‘It is worth going home to Ateneo’
31 May 2022
Every university has its traditions, and at Ateneo de Manila University, one tradition worth celebrating is the annual University Service Awards. Established in 1978, the service awards are given to recognize the employees' length of service, with the first awards bestowed at the 5-year mark.
Meet four honorees from the Loyola Schools.
Francis Matthew De Guzman
Office of Student Discipline
Years of service:10
I joined Ateneo last April 2011. I was invited to ba LS ADSA re/formation team for students, which I was interested in because I worked with educational institutions for a long time and enjoyed accompanying students in their different learning journeys.
What is most enriching for me in Ateneo is the opportunity to use(and pay forward) my God-given talents and skills in connecting and processing learnings with students and other community members. This also goes hand-in-hand with how cura personalis and magis were taught to me during my entire Ateneo Grade School life.
There's always fulfillment in living a life in service to God and others, no matter how small or significant.
Michael Jacinto Mallilin
Office for Student Services
Years of service: 15
I applied first to the Ateneo because I wanted to give back to the school which had formed and nurtured me for 16 years as a student. Then, I re-applied back in 2009 because it just felt like going home to a community and a sanctuary where the values of the real world aligned with my own.
I stay in the Ateneo because I find peace here. The physical space and the community around me continue to nurture me. In addition, I find fulfillment in work and see that I make a difference in people's lives.
Ateneo can indeed be their home if they immerse themselves in the culture and the values that Ateneo holds. It is a place where learning and service are genuinely embodied by the community of wonderful spirit, youth, and faith. It is a place where you will get to learn from failure and challenges along the journey, but you will find many rewards, not just material, but mostly spiritual and lasting.
Department of Information Systems and Computer Science
Years of service: 25
When I was young, My father (Head Cashier) and my eldest sister ( Record Officer in the Registrar's Office) took me to Ateneo when there was an event. I saw the beauty of the University, including its ambiance. I dreamt that I could be like my father and sister one day and become an employee of this prestigious University. Someday, my children could study at one of the country's top universities.
One of four of my children is now an alumna (BS Psychology 2013) and is currently taking her graduate studies in Education.
Dr Cristina Montiel
Professor Emeritus, Department of Psychology
Years of service: 45
I started as a graduate student, and I was offered a scholarship. Towards the end of my studies, I was invited by Dr Tati Licuanan, my mentor, to teach full-time.
The community is very intellectual, but it's more profound than that. It's the depth of spirituality of how to go through life and how to go through social and political engagement, to have kindred souls as companions. I can't imagine myself staying anywhere else.
Masarap tumanda sa Ateneo. Yan talaga ang sinasabi ko (It is good to grow old in Ateneo. This is what I say). The best years of my life are spent getting old in Ateneo. Ang sarap tingnan yung nakaraan na hindi nasayang. Kahit may pagkakamali ay may natutunan (It is worth looking back and see that that nothing was wasted. There may have been mistakes but we learned from them.
It is worth going home to Ateneo. It is not perfect; it has many flaws, but it's worth it- the goodness that comes out of this human institution.
The 44th University Service Awards will be held on Thursday, 9 June 2022, from 3-5pm at Hyundai Hall, The Areté.
Responses have been edited for length and clarity.
30 Jun 2022