On the March: The Jesuits in the Philippines since the Restoration - Book authored and published by XU Alumnisweeps 2019 awards season

FEATURE
By TITO MIKE
August 12, 2019

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On the March, a coffee table book on Jesuit ministry in the Philippines, has scored its fourth major award this year, adding to its Gold Anvil Award and Platinum Anvil Award from the Public Relations Society of the Philippines and its Gold Quill (Award of Merit) from the prestigious International Association of Business Communicators.

The book was cited with an Award of Merti by the Philippine Quill under the Publications Category during the recently concluded 15th Philippine Quill Awards at the Marriott Grand Ballroom.
 
 
The Philippine Quill Awards is presented every year by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Philippines.

IABC Philippines is the first chapter outside North America of the international IABC, a global network with membership of around 15,500 business communicators in 80 countries. The prestigious annual Philippine Quill Awards is presented to honor excellent communications programs and tools.

The award recognizes excellence in categories in external communication, strategic processes, organizational communication, social responsibility, digital communication, photography, writing, audiovisuals, and marketing communication, among others. Categories cover programs, projects, collaterals, designs, and creative work.
 

A group of dedicated alumni from Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan (Xavier Ateneo) and Filipino Jesuits assigned to the school contributed their hearts and souls to its publication.

Fr. Jose S Arcilla, SJ was principal author of the book edited by John Nery and published by Media Wise Communications. Manuel Paras Engwa and Ramoncito Ocampo Cruz were co-publishers. 

Fr. Arcilla was assigned as regent ​ i​n XUHS 1956 and as GS student counsellor and GS glee club moderator and College history professor from 1965-68, and among his students were executive publishers Manuel Paras Engwa and Ramoncito Ocampo Cruz, fondly known as Manny and Monching, respectively.

Manny graduated from Xavier Ateneo (Class Salutatorian - XU High School 1966; and AB Economics 1969). He attended the Industrial Economics program of the University of Asia and the Pacific. On the March is his personal tribute to the Jesuits who have dedicated their lives to the Philippines.

Manny Engwa’s professional experience encompasses investment, agribusiness, property, and pharmaceuticals. He has worked for a prestigious multinational since 1981 and has served as country manager in Indonesia, head of Southeast Asian operations.

Ramoncito Ocampo Cruz began his first eight years of education at Xavier Ateneo in 1959 (Grade School, 1967). He moved to St Andrew’s School in Parañaque City (High School, 1971) and graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, major in painting in 1976.

A visual artist, advertising and publishing professional, Monching is a multi-awarded publisher and artist. He won his first Catholic Mass Media (CMM) citation as well as a Philippine Quill award for publishing MUSE, a magazine dedicated to art, culture, and travel. He has had three one-man art exhibits.

Joining them on the editorial team are two Jesuits who previously served at Xavier Ateneo and two graduates who are now journalists.

Fr Arcilla as the book’s principal writer was assisted by journalist John Nery, who also served as the book’s editor, and Mike Baños, (also a journalist) who rounded up the writers’ pool.

Fr Rene Javellana SJ, currently the archivist of the Archives of the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus, bolstered the team with photos and documents related to the topics presented in the book.

Fr Javellana SJ also served as a regent at Xavier Ateneo from 1971-1973 teaching mostly juniors and seniors at the high school when Timoteo Butalid was principal. He was also the moderator of the High School Yearbook, taught in the English Dept in College with Fr Al Nudas as his chair.

He was also active in XU college theater, and worked with Fr Al in the production of Antigone, with Mario Francisco in Foursome and other absurd plays by Eugene Ionesco. For two years, he was also involved in XU and Barangay 40's Holy Week Passion plays.

Not the least, he participated in an archeological dig at Huluga led by Museo de Oro then headed by Fr Francisco Demetrio SJ.

​Journalist John Nery was formerly the online editor and currently writes a column for the Philippine Daily Inquirer. His Revolutionary Spirit: Jose Rizal in Southeast Asia was published by Singapore’s Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and by the Ateneo de Manila University Press in 2011.

John studied Philosophy in Ateneo de Manila. He also went to Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan and Ateneo de Davao. After finishing his AB Philosophy degree at AdMU, he taught at the Xavier Ateneo High School.

He has received awards for his journalism; his book editing has been recognized with two National Book Awards. He was a Nieman Fellow in Journalism at Harvard University in 2011-2012 and the Jaime V Ongpin Memorial Lecturer in 2013.

Freelance writer and journalist Mike Baños started his preschool at Ateneo de Zamboanga in 1964 but later moved to Western Mindanao State University (formerly Zamboanga Normal College, and later Zamboanga State College) where he finished his Grade School and High School education. He got his AB Economics degree from Ateneo de Zamboanga (now a university) in 1978 (class salutatorian) and his Master in Business Administration in 2000 from Xavier Ateneo.

A dedicated community journalist, Mike has had a wide-ranging career which includes stints with the local government and chamber of commerce, academe, banking, retail, and broadcast and print media (ABS-CBN, FUBC, Business World, The Manila Chronicle, The Philippine Star, Today) but his heart remains with community journalism as he writes online and in local newspapers as a freelance writer and journalist.

He was a pioneer fellow of the Dart Centre Asia Pacific (for Trauma Journalism) in 2009 and was recognized by the Rotary Club of Manila Journalism Awards as 2017 Provincial Reporter of the Year (Print).

Finally, and perhaps the most instrumental in giving meaning and purpose to On the March, is Fr Jose VC Quilongquilong SJ STD, who succeeded Fr Herbert Schneider SJ as president and executive director of the Philippine Jesuit Aid Association Inc (PJAA).

Fr Joe studied AB Sociology at Xavier Ateneo before joining the Society of Jesus. He completed formation in philosophy (Ateneo de Manila University), Bachelor in Sacred Theology and Master of Arts in Theology (Loyola School of Theology) before his ordination to the priesthood in 1993. He is also concurrently the president of Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila University.

Fr Joe was already actively part of the team last year and was primarily responsible for facilitating the book launch last September 29, 2018, at the Arete. All proceeds from the sale of On the March will be donated to PJAA for the benefit of elderly, retired and infirm Jesuits, and the promotion of Jesuit vocations in the Philippine province. ​

On the March chronicles the Jesuits’ ministry of education and the many aspects of their apostolate in the Philippines as they bring the faith to the most remote corners of the archipelago.

“This latest recognition affirms our commitment to use excellent communications to help the organization achieve its goals and make a difference in society, true to the Philippine Quill’s own aims,” said Cruz, who is also Media Wise president and CEO.

In January 2019, On the March bagged its Platinum Anvil, a recognition given to entries that stand out among the Anvil Gold winners.

The PRSP cited the book for “recognizing the vital role of Jesuits in the country, the book highlights their mission and achievements, including their evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience.”

The Anvil is the symbol of excellence in public relations, awarded to outstanding PR programs, tools and practitioners.

In June, Cruz flew to Vancouver to receive the book’s Gold Quill from San Francisco-based IABC at the 2019 IABC World Conference. Just four other Filipino organizations have received the coveted international distinction.

The IABC awards committee said On the March earned the distinction for “exhibiting high-quality writing and superior production values.”

“The book is well-organized, consistent... from the beginning to end. It flows well. It’s clear that [Mediawise] brought together the right mix of interviewers, writers, designers and publishers to produce a high-quality communication vehicle,” said the committee.

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