Agnes Locsin received the first Fr. Theodore Daigler Award for Mindanao Culture and Arts last 1 April 2017, from Ateneo de Davao University President Fr. Joel E. Tabora, SJ. Photo by Igy Castrillo.

Ateneo de Davao University recognized the exemplary service and immeasurable contributions of Bro. Manuel V. de Leon, FMS, Ms. Agnes Dakudao Locsin, and Atty. Adoracion Cruz-Avisado during the 2017 Commencement Exercises last April 1 at the Martin Hall.

Bro. Manuel V. de Leon, FMS, received the Archbishop Clovis Thibault Award. This award is given in recognition of his exemplary service to the Church, as a champion for education, a steward of the environment, and an instrument of peace and reconciliation.

Named after the Most. Rev. Clovis Thibault, PME, first Prelate-Ordinary of Davao, first Bishop of Davao, and first Archbishop of Davao, this award is given to priests, nuns, and other clergypersons for their outstanding service to the Church.

Bro. Manuel V. de Leon, FMS, is a member of the Marist brothers, a congregation of men who devote their lives to Christian education, training and guidance of the youth throughout the world.

He served as the Provincial for the Marist Brothers Philippines from 2003 to 2007, and the Provincial for the Marist Brothers in East Asia from 2007 to 2013.

He has also helped establish the Marcellin Home for Street Children in General Santos City, and the Kuya Center for Street Children in Quezon City—both youth centers that protect, promote, and promulgate the rights of at-risk children.

He also campaigns for the environment. He was a lead advocate of Kaayusan Pilipinas, an organization that established linkages with local government units to augment the government’s implementation of the Solid Waste Management Act.

His efforts also allowed the adoption of 30 hectares-worth of forests in Sitio Malutok at Rizal, Palawan, which could have been easily destroyed by cash crop plantations in the area.

Ms. Agnes Dakudao Locsin received the Fr. Theodore Daigler Award for Mindanao Culture and Arts for her contribution to the cultural and intellectual life of the University, Mindanao, and the Philippines.

This award, named after Fr. Theodore Daigler, the first rector of the University and a known lover of the arts, is given as recognition for Locsin’s contribution to the cultural and intellectual life of the University, Mindanao, and the Philippines. It is also given with utmost gratitude for a life suffused with art, with generosity, and with the spirit of creation.

She extended the efforts of her mother Carmen Dakudao to transform ballet into a singularly Filipino dance, which produced several masterful works. These are works of historical consciousness and cultural sensitivity, marked as well by a concern for man’s mercenary relationship with Nature.

Just as important as Locsin’s artistic productions are her contributions to the body of knowledge about Philippine dance. She has written several academic papers and articles, published in the Philippines and abroad, as well as a book, Philippine Neo-Ethnic Choreography: A Creative Process (2012).

Atty. Adoracion Cruz-Avisado received the Drs. Jess and Trining de la Paz Award. This posthumous award, named after doctors who dedicated their lives to the service of others, is given as recognition to Atty. Avisado’s work in pursuit of gender equality and transformative justice. Atty. Avisado’s husband and children received the award.

The former Regional Trial Court judge was a developmental lawyer and a Christian feminist who championed women empowerment and transformative justice in the country.

Growing up under the teachings of a father who appreciated and upheld fairness and understanding, Atty. Avisado learned at an early age that justice should be swift and possible for all. She took up Law at Ateneo de Davao University, and graduated as Class Valedictorian in 1981.

In 1999, she was appointed as Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court Branch 9 in Davao City. Seeing how delays in court action affected poor litigants, she promptly conducted trials and expedited case resolutions. Such actions earned her the respect of the three branches of government.

During the centenary celebration of the Supreme Court, she was given a Special Award for Transparency and Advocacy of Judicial Reform.

Despite the fact that hers was the lone Drugs Court in Southern Mindanao, she was cited by the Executive Branch in 2001 and 2002, for her speedy disposition of cases.

In 2003, both the Oversight Committees of the House of Representatives and Senate of the Philippines also awarded her for her proactive measures in the administration of justice.