UST fetes new batch of TOTAL awardees

THE University of Santo Tomas’ Office of Alumni Relations, in partnership with the UST Alumni Association Inc., recognized 11 exemplary alumni through The Outstanding Thomasian Alumni (TOTAL) Awards.

Having demonstrated the Thomasian brand of excellence within their respective fields, UST’s rector Very Rev. Fr. Richard G. Ang, OP said “they are indeed living treasures of the university, and living examples of…the University’s [motto]: Veritas in Caritate.”

Among the TOTAL Awards 2022 honorees is Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula for the Service to the Church category. Prior to his appointment, Advincula was known for his pastoral programs as he reached out to communities, as well as established mission stations and schools in far-flung areas in the country, especially in the dioceses of San Carlos and Capiz.

Winning the Outstanding Alumni for Service to Humanity was Jeffrey O. Tarayao. After previously receiving the Thomasian Young Achiever of TOTAL Awards 2008 for the Faculty of Arts and Letters, Tarayao continues to excel in managing corporate social responsibility and corporate foundations. His role as Meralco’s chief corporate social responsibility officer and the president of One Meralco Foundation paved the way for the expansion of the company’s community-electrification program that served thousands of low-income households and remote public schools nationwide.

For Arts and Humanities, the TOTAL awardee is communications and journalism scholar Dr. Crispin Maslog for the category of Media and Entertainment. The Philosophy and Letters alumnus has authored 39 books and became the director of Silliman University’s School of Journalism and Communication. He served as a professor at University of the Philippines-Los Baños, and was able to produce generations of journalists throughout his teaching career.

Painter and sculptor Nemesio Miranda Jr. was bestowed the TOTAL Award for Music, Arts, Literature and Design. Known as the “Father of Imaginative Figurism,” the Fine Arts alumnus is considered an influential art leader in his hometown of Angono, Rizal. He was recently nominated for the National Artists Award administered by the National Commission for the Arts and the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

In the category of Accounting, Business, and Management, former trade secretary Ramon Lopez, who is an alumnus of UST High School, received this year’s TOTAL Awardee for Management; while Engr. William T. Belo, Wilcon Depot founder and chairman emeritus, was the TOTAL awardee for Business.

Lopez’s solid professional economic, trade and industry development career focused on uplifting the micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprise sector, as he advocated for the empowerment of youth, new entrepreneurs and the underprivileged. He worked on major reforms for stronger investment inflows, such as the Ease of Doing Business, Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises, to name a few.

Meanwhile, Engr. Belo has built a brand trusted by many industry professionals, home enthusiasts and homeowners nationwide through Wilcon Depot. Wilcon Foundation, his socio-civic institution, has provided education assistance to underprivileged children and aid to victims of calamities.

Another TOTAL awardee was UST Faculty of Civil Law Dean Atty. Nilo Divina for the category of Law and Justice. With decades of corporate and banking law experience, Atty. Divina continues to contribute to the legal community through publications of books on commercial law and articles for his newspaper column. His firm DivinaLaw has become one of the country’s biggest legal entities with a wide clientele base.

Three Thomasian doctors also joined the list of this year’s TOTAL Awards. Makati Medical Center Medical Director Dr. Saturnino Javier was awarded for the category of Health Allied. As an interventional cardiologist, Javier has devoted time to continuing medical education through lectures and conferences. His commitment made him an active participant in improving the state of local medical practice and education.

In Science and Technology, nephrologist Dr. Edgar Lerma is the TOTAL awardee. The Chicago-based doctor is also a clinical professor at the University of Illinois. He has published 26 books and authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications on chronic kidney disease, hypertension, plus bone and mineral disorders.

Dr. Maria Minerva Calimag was the 2022 TOTAL Awardee for Medicine. The Thomasian doctor, who has been with UST from high school to medical school and later on, for her doctoral degree in educational management, is a practicing anesthesiologist, professor and researcher. She has held many positions in different medical groups, conducted research and presented papers worldwide to fellow scholars and doctors. Recently, she was awarded as Metrobank Foundation’s Outstanding Filipino Teacher in Higher Education.

Dr. Maria Minerva Calimag’s family was this year’s TOTAL awardee for the Thomasian Family Award. The award is conferred upon a family whose members are all UST alumni, and exemplify Thomasian core values in their respective fields of expertise.