Latest News List AdZU honors with Special Awards Zamboangueño journalist, Mindanawon Theologian, and AFP Chief of Staff

The seventeenth year anniversary of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University as a full-fledged university is one that will be remembered as the time when three highly remarkable individuals graced the University premises with their presence. Last August 21, AdZU celebrated the 2018 Special Awards Convocation to honor Bro Carlito Morante Gaspar, CSsR, of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer; AFP Chief of Staff Carlito G Galvez Jr; and the late Zamboangueño journalist Antonio Ma Nieva, along with the nation’s commemoration of the 35th year anniversary of Ninoy Aquino’s sacrifice and Eid Al Adha. Their life-long acts of service for Mindanao and the country are sources of inspiration for anyone to do what is right, good, and true for others. All three epitomize humble service and love for fellow men and country.

AdZU President Fr Karel San Juan, SJ, in his message, lauded the awardees - their moral integrity, commitment and selfless devotion to their mission, a timely reminder, he stressed, to always stay true to one’s values despite the series of challenges the nation faces today.

Fr San Juan's Closing Remarks

The Mayor Cesar C Climaco Award was conferred posthumously upon the late Antonio Nieva, an outstanding alumnus (AdZU GS’57 and HS’61) for his valiant efforts to defend and fight for press freedom during Martial Law, a most turbulent time in Philippine history. Nieva co-founded the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines and fought tirelessly in organizing workers in media. His daughter Aleta Nieva-Nishimori delivered the response in behalf of her father, recalling memories of her father's fight against the regime, which had also led his family, including Aleta who as a child, to experience the terrors brought about by the dictatorship. Despite the struggles, Aleta expressed that her father “will never be happy in any other job.” Nieva upheld the values of an Atenean by championing press freedom and advocating the cause of journalists. 

Ms Nieva-Nishimori's Full Speech in Behalf of her Father

The Pro Deo et Patria Award was bestowed upon Bro Carlito “Karl” Gaspar CSsR for his commitment to missionary work and service to God. A proud Mindanawon, he is a sought-after speaker, facilitator, and resource person of religious congregations. He had persistently fought for the poor and for peace, most especially during Martial Law and even after the 1986 People Power, through his speeches and literary works. Despite his advancing age and health issues, Bro Karl continues to carry on with his mission to achieve the greater good with enduring passion and excellence. A writer and an advocate who is most devout and nationalistic, Bro Karl’s life achievements serve as inspiration as these are the embodiment of the mission of the University – in service of God and country.

Bro Gaspar's Full Speech


General Carlito Galvez Jr was presented the Ateneo Peace Award for his significant achievements to the peace process and the culture of peace, particularly during the Zamboanga Siege in 2013 and the most recent Marawi Siege. A highly decorated military officer, General Galvez continues to utilize his extraordinary giftedness for the promotion of peace in the country as he expressed his resolve to always respect the rule of law, and most importantly, human lives. Despite being a battle-tested leader, his focus lies toward achieving a just and lasting peace in Mindanao, where he is beloved and respected by many. To further attest to his remarkability, Gen Galvez surprised the congregation with his heartfelt and most sincere apology towards the other two awardees, as they have been victims of Martial Law.

Gen Galvez's Full Speech


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