UST’s The Outstanding Thomasian Alumni (TOTAL) Awards recognizes new batch 

Published July 2, 2022, 10:04 AM

by Jerico Villamonte

The University of Santo Tomas Office of Alumni Relations, in partnership with the UST Alumni Association, Inc., recognized its exemplary alumni with The Outstanding Thomasian Alumni (TOTAL) Awards. The ceremony was held at the Dr. Robert C. Sy Grand Ballroom of the UST Buenaventura Garcia Paredes, O.P. Building in its Manila campus. 

(From left:) UST AAI President Dr. Evelyn Songco, Engr. William Belo, Jeffrey Tarayao, Prof. Maria Minerva Calimag, MD, Ph.D., UST Rector Very Rev. Fr. Richard Ang, O.P., Ph.D., Dr. Crispin Maslog, Dr. Saturnino Javier, Nemesio Miranda, Jr., Atty. Nilo Divina, Sec. Ramon Lopez, OAR Director Asst. Prof. Fredeswindo R. Medina

Eleven awards for a new batch of prominent Thomasians were given. Having demonstrated the Thomasian brand of excellence within their respective fields, UST Rector Very Rev. Fr. Richard G. Ang, O.P., said that “They are indeed living treasures of the University and living examples of what the University stands for: Veritas in Caritate.”

Among the TOTAL Awards 2022 awardees is the Manila Archbishop Jose Cardinal Advincula for the category Service to the Church. Before his appointment, he has been known for his pastoral programs reaching out to communities and establishing mission stations and schools in far-flung areas in the country especially in the diocese of San Carlos and Capiz. 

Winning the Outstanding Alumni for Service to Humanity was Mr. Jeffrey O. Tarayao. After previously being conferred as the Thomasian Young Achiever of TOTAL Awards 2008, Arts and Letters, he continues to excel in managing corporate social responsibility and corporate foundations. His role as the Chief Corporate Social Responsibility Office of the Manila Electric Company (Meralco) and the President of One Meralco Foundation paved the way for the expansion of Meralco’s community electrification program that served thousands of low-income households and remote public schools across the country.

For Arts and Humanities, Another 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 UP Los Baños and produced generations of journalists throughout his teaching career.

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

In the category of Accounting, Business, and Management, two graduates stood out in their respective field of expertise among the nominees in this year’s TOTAL Awards. UST High School alumnus DTI Sec. Ramon Lopez is this year’s TOTAL Awardee for Management while Wilcon Depot founder and chairman emeritus Engr. William T. Belo is the TOTAL Awardee for Business. 

Sec. Lopez’s solid professional economic, trade & industry development career focused on the development of MSME sector and advocated for the empowerment of youth, aspiring entrepreneurs and underprivileged sectors. He has worked on major reforms for stronger investment inflows in the country such as the Ease of Doing Business, Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises to name a few.

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

Another TOTAL Awardee is UST Faculty of Civil Law incumbent 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 column at the Daily Tribune. His firm, DivinaLaw, has become one of the country’s biggest law firms with a wide clientele base.

Three Thomasian doctors have also joined the list of this year’s TOTAL Awards. 

Makati Medical Center Medical Director Dr. Saturnino Javierwas awarded for the category of Health Allied. As an interventional cardiologist, he devoted his time to continuing medical education through lectures and conferences. His commitment made him an active participant in improving the status of medical practice and education in the country. 

In the field of Science and Technology, nephrologist Dr. Edgar Lerma is the TOTAL Awardee for this category. 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 about chronic kidney disease, hypertension, bone and mineral disorders.

The 2022 TOTAL Awardee for Medicine is Dr. Maria Minerva Calimag. 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 held many positions in different medical groups, and travelled around the world to conduct research and present papers to fellow scholars and doctors. Recently, she was awarded as Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipino Teacher in Higher Education.

The family of Dr. Maria Minerva Calimag is this year’s TOTAL Awardee for the Thomasian Family Award. The award is conferred upon a family whose members are all Alumni of the University of Santo Tomas and who exemplify the Thomasiancore values in their respective fields of expertise.