The Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) has started the search for the 2021 Pro Deo et Patria and Catholic School Heroes candidates. The Association has opened the nomination last March 24, 2021 and will end on May 15, 2021.
The Pro Deo et Patria is the highest award given to deserving individual/s who manifest an exemplary attitude of love for God and country and his/her faithfulness to Catholic teachings as part of service to God. The awardee must be seen as a model of Christ the Teacher. Past recipients of this award are the late Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin, the late President Corazon C. Aquino (posthumously), Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal (Cebu 2010), Fr. Anscar R. Chupungco, OSB (posthumously, Cebu 2013), Fr. Catalino G. Arevalo, SJ, Abp. Leonardo Z. Legaspi, D.D. O.P. (Davao 2014), Dr. Lourdes S. Quisumbing (Manila 2015), Amb. Henrietta De Villa and Cardinal Rosales, D.D. (Cebu 2016) Sr. Amelia G. David, ICM (Davao, 2017). Orlando Cardinal B. Quevedo, DD. (Mindanao, 2018), Sr. Josefina G. Nepomuceno, OSB (Iloilo, 2019) and Sr. Corazon P. Manalo, DC, AFSC (posthumously, Iloilo 2019). Just last year, the award was conferred to Fr. Roderick C. Salazar Jr., SVD. They were chosen by the members of the board from nominees recommended by member institutions, superintendents, or Regional Councils.
The Catholic School Heroes Award is an award that recognizes the perseverance, dedication, and loyalty of individuals in CEAP member schools that contributed to the development of their school communities and have been in service for 10 years or more. This is for the promotion of solidarity and unity of action among the member institutions towards fulfilling the evangelizing mission of the Church in Education recognizing the dedication of individuals in its member institutions who continuously promote quality and transformative Catholic Education. At the 2018 National Convention, CEAP conferred the award to Dr. Sylvia L. Flores of Dumaguete City and Ms. Annunciation B. Espejo of Diocese of Bangued. In 2019, the award was conferred to Ms. Rosario Fe L. Saavedra and Dr. Amelia G. Ronquillo.
The Catholic School Heroes award will be in partnership with Bato Balani Foundation Inc. (BBFI). The BBFI is a non- stock, non-profit organization engaged in the conceptualization and implementation of education development programs. Established in 1991, the foundation has focused on four major thrusts: school development, teacher development, student development, and special involvements. Its target beneficiaries are mainly students, teachers, educators, and educational research institutions. The foundation provides programs such as Teacher Training, School Administration Management Development, School and Library Assistance and Development, Scholarships, and other education-oriented programs aimed to uplift Philippine Education.
[Article submitted by Dianne D. Balios, Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines]