“The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys to will unlock the door to personal excellence.” — Confucius
The true measure of an academic institution’s greatness can be found in the achievements of its alumni. Xavier School, a Jesuit Catholic college preparatory school, is one such institution. A great number of the its 13,000-plus alumni – products of a liberal education, with a special concern for the development of personal discipline, a drive for the pursuit of academic excellence, and a commitment to service – have gained unique distinction through success in their professions and contribution to their communities.
Recognizing these exceptional alumni who have made meaningful contributions to society in their chosen fields of endeavor, the Alumni Association of Xavier School (AAXS) launched in 2018 its first-ever “The Outstanding Xavier School Alumni (TOXSA) Awards.”
The maiden award search is headed by AAXS past presidents Diosdado Ng (’85) and Dr. Kelly Salvador (’78).
Last February 20, Xavier School held its first inaugural TOXSA awards, a first-of-its-kind program that recognizes and celebrates the achievements of its distinguished alumni.
“Each of the five awardees demonstrates how a single individual has the power to create positive change in their world around them,” said Reginald Yu, president of the Alumni Association of Xavier School (AAXS).
“Each of them, grounded on the cornerstones of the Xavier Mission, has illustrated passionate, creative, and innovative thinking – the same three hallmark elements which define the ideal Xavier man,” he added.
For TOXSA chairman Diosdado Ng, these awardees are meant to serve as inspirations to Xavier students, as they can be considered the best of what Xaverian education can achieve.
“TOXSA opens up the lives of each awardee, and their stories are meant to be a source of guidance and encouragement to lead a life of excellence, generosity, and as true men for others,” he told Esquire Philippines.
AAXS awarded five successful men hailing from different industries.
According to Ng, “The objective of TOXSA is to award and recognize alumni who have excelled in their chosen fields, thus there had to be categories to cater to all kinds of careers.”
The Board of Judges were: Fr. Aristotle C. Dy, SJ, PhD (Class of 1989), president of Xavier School; George S. Go, president of Go Global, Inc.; Emerson C. Go (Class of 1965), president of Prosperity Knitting Company and former president of Alumni Association of Xavier School;
Wellington Y. Tong (Class of 1966), president of Pag-Asa Steel Works, Inc.; Jeffrey T. Ng (Class of 1982), president of Cathay Metal Corp., Cathay Land, Inc., Astoria Hotel and Resorts, and Caserta Commercial, Inc.; Natividad Y. Cheng, founder, chair and CEO of Multiflex RNC Philippines, Inc. (Uratex) and Wilson Lee Flores, multi-awarded columnist of The Star.
Each awardee was presented with “The Flame” trophy, the work of Eusebio “Seb” A. Chua Jr. (Class of 1980). It depicts a brilliant and lustrous flame that stands for the embodiment of a distinctive trait in every outstanding Xavier School alumnus — the inextinguishable burning passion.
The minimalist piece expresses the character of every outstanding Xaverian who consumes but not without giving back light and warmth.
It serves to epitomize the ideal Xavier man, one who is fully alive and leading a responsible life committed to excellence, social justice and the service of their fellowmen.
The Outstanding Xavier School Alumni Awardees
Dr. Edward Hsiao Meng S. Wang, MD (Class of 1975), an orthopedist whose research in musculoskeletal tumors has been recognized in the global medical community, having published dozens of award-winning studies and research papers on the subject. Because of his various achievements in orthopedic medicine, he was given the Outstanding Filipino Physician Award in 2008 as well as the Outstanding Xavier School Alumni Award for Medicine and Healthcare.
Classical music composer Jeffrey Reginald T. Ching (Class of 1977) is best known for Das Waisenkind (The Orphan), which was awarded the Theater Erfurt Audience Prize for the 2009-2010 opera season in Germany. He recently won the 2018 Fedora Platform Prize for Public Vote with his composition “The True Story of King Kong.” Ching was recognized as an Outstanding Xavier School Alumnus in the field of Arts and Culture.
Lance Y. Gokongwei (Class of 1983), who was honored as an Outstanding Xavier School Alumnus for Business and Entrepreneurship. He is the president and CEO of JG Summit Holdings, one of the country’s largest conglomerates which has interests in retail, food production, real estate, and various other industries. Under his leadership, Cebu Air Inc., the company behind Cebu Pacific, has become one of the most recognizable names in local air travel.
Hydrogeophysicist John Burtkenley T. Ong PhD (Class of 1986) combined his scientific background with his mission to serve others, and played a critical role in the development of the Mangyan community in Mindoro. For his work, he was given the Outstanding Young Men Award for community service in 2003 as well as the Outstanding Xavier School Alumni Award for Science and Technology.
Basketball player Christopher John A. Tiu (Class of 2003) has become one of the most recognizable names in the local basketball scene, having played for the Ateneo Blue Eagles and Rain or Shine. While he had recently announced his retirement from basketball to focus on his businesses and other endeavors, he was recognized as an Outstanding Xavier School Alumnus in the field of Sports.