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Far Eastern University Celebrates Distinguished Alumni with ‘Green & Gold Awards’ for Advocacy-driven Careers

FEU Alumni
Recipients of the 2023 Green and Gold Awards for Outstanding Alumni with Dr. Michael Alba, FEU President (leftmost), Maria Teresa Trinidad Tinio, FEU Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs (second to the right) and Celmer Santos, FEU Alumni Relations Director (rightmost)

Far Eastern University (FEU) continues to showcase its excellence in producing exceptional alumni who not only excel in their respective fields but also serve as role models in their advocacies. In celebration of its 95th anniversary, FEU recently held the Green & Gold Awards to honor outstanding alumni who have made significant contributions to society through their careers.

Among the notable awardees were Miriam Suacito and Dr. Luis Gatmaitan, who were recognized for their exemplary commitment to social development in the country.

FEU Alumni
Miriam Suacito (third from left) receiving her FEU Green and Gold Award for Outstanding Alumni

From left: Celmer Santos, FEU Alumni Relations Director; Atty. Gianna Montinola, FEU Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs; Miriam Suacito, NAGDILAAB Foundation Inc. Executive Director and Mindanao PEACE Building Institute Chairperson; Aurelio Montinola III, FEU Chairman

Miriam has been the executive director of Nagdilaab Foundation Incorporated for almost two decades, overseeing several long- and short-term programs that aim to empower local communities in Basilan. She attributes her passion for community development to her religious upbringing and the values instilled in her during her time at FEU.

“Witnessing the tangible impact of our organization’s aid on a community fills me with a sense of empowerment. It affirms that our efforts have not been in vain and have made a meaningful contribution to the people we serve. By providing communities with the opportunities they need to thrive, we help them become self-sufficient and self-reliant. It’s a humbling experience to witness firsthand how even the smallest contribution can catalyze growth and transformation within a community,” she said.

Currently, Miriam and the Nagdilaab Foundation are collaborating with the Department of Labor and Employment Region 9 and Isabela City Field Office to provide livelihood grants to out-of-school youth in Menzi, Basilan. This project is a testament to her unwavering dedication to uplifting the lives of the marginalized.

FEU Alumni
Dr. Luis Gatmaitan (third from left) receiving his FEU Green and Gold Cultural Award

From left: Celmer Santos, FEU Alumni Relations Director; Atty. Gianna Montinola, FEU Senior Vice President for Corporate Affairs; Dr. Luis Gatmaitan, AIDS Society of the Philippines President; Aurelio Montinola III, FEU Chairman

On the other hand, Dr. Luis Gatmaitan, a medical practitioner, has found a creative outlet in writing children’s books. He has been recognized eight times by the Don Carlos Palanca Memorial Award for Literature and has received a citation from the Manila Critics Circle-National Book Awards for his book series “Mga Kwento ni Tito Dok.” His passion for writing children’s books with medical and health topics can be traced back to his days as a medicine student at FEU.

“My passion for writing stems from an inspiring experience I had during my biochemistry studies. One of my professors challenged us to break down complex ideas into simpler terms and present them through creative means, such as a stage play. While most of my peers struggled to convey the topic of health in a format suitable for children, I found myself drawn to the task. This experience strengthened my desire to become a doctor who not only heals patients but also empowers them with knowledge. Through writing, I hope to guide people on their journey towards holistic well-being.” Dr. Luis shared.

Dr. Luis has published 46 children’s books, all of which are available in Filipino and English. His works not only entertain but also educate children about health and wellness, making a significant impact on their lives.

Other distinguished recipients of the FEU Green & Gold Awards are as follows:

Outstanding Alumni Award

  1. Grecebio Jonathan Alejandro (Professor/Director-University of Santo Tomas Graduate School)
  2. Edwina Lema Beech (President/CEO-Mabuhay Personnel & Management Services, Inc.)
  3. Dr. Rizalina M. Bonuel (System Director, Nursing Practice/APRN Program Coordinator-Harris Health System)
  4. Brigitte S. Cypress, EDD, RN, CCRN (Associate Professor-Rutgers School of Nursing-Camden)
  5. Dr. Arturo S. De La Peña (President and Chief Executive Officer-St. Luke’s Medical Center)
  6. Prof. Khamis A. Elessi (Neurorehabilitation and Pain Medicine Consultant, Associate Professor, and Head of Evidence-Based Medicine Unit, Faculty of Medicine-Islamic University, Gaza City, Palestine)
  7. Laarni C. Florencio, MSN, RN, CLN (Program Director, Continuing Education-New York Presbyterian Hospital)
  8. Engr. Antonio C. Keh (President-Hi-Power Steel Industrial Corporation & National President-Young Men’s Christian Association of the Philippines)
  9. Hentje Leo L. Leaño (Partner-SGV & Co.)
  10. Sec. Amenah F. Pangandaman (Secretary-Department of Budget and Management)
  11. Assoc. Justice Ricardo R. Rosario (Associate Justice of the Supreme Court)
  12. Miriam L. Suacito (Executive Director-NAGDILAAB Foundation Inc. & Chairperson-Mindanao PEACE Building Institute)
  13. Jose Ronaldo T. Tagbo (President-SM Supermarket)
  14. Asser Tamayo (CPA Reviewer and Founder-The Review School of Accountancy “RESA”)
  15. Atty. Adriana Alexis C. Uson (Director & Head (AMERICAS)-Singapore International Arbitration Centre)
  16. “Vice Ganda” Jose Mari B. Viceral (Celebrity and Businessperson)

Cultural Award

  1. Jigger P. Cruz (Visual Artist)
  2. Dr. Luis P. Gatmaitan (President-AIDS Society of the Philippines)
  3. Severino S. Marcelo (Visual Artist) Posthumous Award
  4. FEU Folk Dance (Dance Company)

Sports Hall of Fame Award

  1. Manfredo P. Alipala (Professional Boxer) Posthumous Award
  2. Clinton Kingsley Bautista (Coach-Track & Field)
  3. Ghereeka Mae T. Bernabe (Coach-Cheerleader)
  4. Jeffrei D. Chan (Professional Basketball Player)
  5. Ramil De Jesus (Coach-Volleyball)
  6. Marnelli S. Dimzon (Coach-Football)
  7. Veronica I. Domingo (Coach-Taekwondo)
  8. Victor P. Pablo (Professional Basketball Player & Basketball Coach)
  9. Roger Ray B. Pogoy (Professional Basketball Player)

FEU‘s Green & Gold Awards is a testament to how the university continues to produce outstanding alumni who embody the values instilled in them during their stay at the institution. Miriam and Dr. Luis are just two examples of FEU’s commitment to producing experts in various fields who remain grounded in their advocacies and serve as catalysts for change in their respective communities.

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