De La Salle University honored its most outstanding faculty and students in this year’s Gawad Lasalyano ceremony held last November 23 at the Teresa Yuchengco Auditorium. Gracing the ceremony were several distinguished guests, including the University President Br. Raymundo Suplido FSC, University Chancellor Br. Bernard Oca FSC, distinguished alumni, heads of the various University offices, and distinguished visitors.
The annual ceremony recognizes students, faculty, and staff who displayed exemplary Lasallian values in their service to people and the community.
Mabuhay ka, Animo Lasalyano
The ceremony was kicked off with a doxology performed by DLSU Innersoul and a formal entry of the Philippine and Lasallian colors overseen by DLSU Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadets. DLSU Innersoul along with the La Salle Dance Company-Contemporary opened with a performance of Mabuhay ka, Animo Lasalyano, invoking the Lasallian spirit of excellence and sacrifice.
Oca delivered the opening remarks, commending the hard work of the awardees and reiterated the Lasallian ideals of service and self-sacrifice. “Bilang mga Lasalyano, tayo ay hinahamon para gamitin ang ating talento at oras upang magbigay tulong sa ating kapwa. Ang maglinkod sa halip na paglingkuran, unahin ang kapakanan ng iba kaysa sa ating sariling kapakanan,” he stated.
(As Lasallians, we are challenged to use our talents and time to help others. To serve instead of be served, to put the needs of others before our own.)
Oca reiterated the call to Lasallians to take part in the Lasallian mission as upstanding citizens, “Tayong mga Lasalyano ay tinatawagan upang makibahagi sa misyong Lasalyano: maging huwarang mamayan na tumitindig sa katotohanan, pagkakapantay-pantay ng tao, at mulat sa nagaganap sa ating lipunan,” he added.
(We Lasallians are called to take part in the Lasallian Mission: to be good citizens who stand firmly for truth and equality, and to be conscious of the issues around us.)
In recognition of excellence
With History Department professor Dr. Lisandro Claudio serving as emcee, awarding formally began with the recognition of Diligence in Service for Students (Pagkilala sa Masigasig na Paglilingkod ng mga Mag-aaral) and Diligence in Service of Partners in the Lasallian Mission (Pagkilala sa Masigasig na Paglilingkod ng mga Katuwang sa Lasalyanong Misyon). Among those awarded were representatives from the Lasallian Pastoral Office, Office of Counseling and Career Services, NSTP and Formation Office, Office of Student Leadership, Involvement, Formation and Empowerment, the Office for Sports Development, as well as individual awardees.
The Collegiate Awards (Pagkilalang Pangpamantasan) were presented to students and student organizations who excelled in culture and arts, journalism, sports, military service, and leadership. Among those awarded were the student publications Ang Pahayagang Plaridel, The LaSallian, and Green Giant FM. Recognized as well were student athletes from the women’s football team, the chess team, table tennis, taekwondo, and badminton, among others.
Individual awards were also presented to members of La Salle Dance Company-Street, ROTC, and former University Student Government President Zed Laqui, who were recognized for their leadership. The individual awards were given to students who were distinguished in service to their respective functions. The Gawad Br. Alphonsus Bloemen FSC, presented to the college that displayed excellence in service and college management, was awarded to the Gokongwei College of Engineering.
Other awards presented were the Gawad Col. Jesus A. Villamor, for outstanding student leader in military service; the Gawad Blimond Pierre FSC, for outstanding foreign student; the Gawad Leandro Locsin, for outstanding student leader in culture and the arts; the Gawad Fr. Gratian Murray AFSC, for outstanding student in community development; and the Gawad Asisclus Michael FSC, for outstanding student organization president.
Rachelle Nicole Lao, awardee of both the Gawad Fr. Gratian Murray AFSC for community development and Gawad Asisclus Michael FSC for outstanding student organization president, encouraged Lasallians to be an example inside and outside the University and commended the values formed in Lasallian leaders, “Ang pagiging Lasalyanong lider ay may kakayahang balansehin ang pag-aaral at paglilingkod. Natututunan natin ang mga kasanayang bago at malayo sa nakasanayan.”
(The Lasallian leader has the ability to balance studies and service. We learn experiences that are new and far from what is familiar.)
She shared a quote from former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, stressing the importance of character in leadership, “The most important ingredient of leadership is character. Most of the proficiencies can be learned, but what’s inside you is something that’s difficult to change”.