Fe Aldave-Yap, outstanding Thomasian

ROSES & THORNS - Alejandro R. Roces () - August 7, 2008 - 12:00am

In the Philippines, the word “Thomasian” refers to a person affiliated with the University of Santo Tomas (UST), either as a student, faculty member or administrator. The university is the oldest in the country, having been established on April 28, 1611 by the Most Reverend Miguel de Benavidez, O.P., the third Archbishop of Manila. Originally named as the Colegio de Nuestra Señora del Santisimo Rosario, it was later renamed Colegio de Santo Tomas after St. Thomas Aquinas, one of the greatest theologians of the Roman Catholic Church. UST was elevated to university status by Pope Innocent X in 1645 in his brief In Supreminenti, making it the second royal and pontifical university in the Philippines. It was given the titles “Royal” by Spanish King Charles III on March 7, 1785, “Pontifical” by Pope Leo XIII on September 17, 1902 and the appellative “The Catholic University of the Philippines” by Pope Pius XII on April 17, 1947.

The university prides itself in the quality of education it offers. Since its inception, UST has produced many outstanding and distinguished alumni, the most notable of whom is Dr. Jose P. Rizal, our country’s national hero, who took up medicine there. From within its hallowed halls also came four Philippine Presidents, namely Manuel L. Quezon, Sergio S. Osmeña, Jose P. Laurel and Diosdado P. Macapagal; three Vice-Presidents and six Chief Justices of the Philippine Supreme Court. The fact that it has consistently produced multi-faceted individuals is proof of its time-honored commitment to develop people who will become responsible and outstanding members of society.

To further inspire students to strive for excellence in their chosen fields of endeavor, and to give recognition to those who have made significant achievements and exemplary contributions to society, the conferral of The Outstanding Thomasian Alumni (TOTAL) Award was commenced in 1993. It has become an annual event that continues to draw inspiration for all the stakeholders of the Thomasian community in the pursuit of greater excellence. The awardees are individuals who exemplify the Thomasian values of competence and excellence in their respective fields of expertise in pioneering human endeavors, compassion for others, and commitment to their profession.

One of this year’s awardees is my colleague, Dr. Fe Aldave-Yap. Dr. Yap’s field of specialization includes Philippine Linguistics — the science of language, lexicography, and translation. She served as full-time commissioner in the Commission on the Filipino Language and represented the Tagalog region in the Board of Commissioners representing the different ethno linguistic groups in the Philippines. She had served as special consultant in the Chamorro Language Commission and had conducted lecture series on language education and linguistics in the Commission and the University of Guam, USA. She has authored several books and has published articles in the Manila Times, as a columnist.

She taught linguistics in the University of the Philippines, Graduate College of Education and the University of Santo Tomas Graduate School. Besides her many specialization in Philippine Linguistics, she also specializes in general administration and management as a Career Executive Service Officer (CESO), after finishing the Career Executive Service Development Program (CESDP) and the Career Leadership Program in the Development Academy of the Philippines. She had served for five years as the president of the Children’s Literature Association of the Philippines, Inc. (CLAPI), as vice president of the Panitik ng Kababaihan, and as officer of several languages, culture, civic and religious organizations in the country.

Dr. Fe Aldave-Yap has played a major role in the preservation, propagation and amelioration of our National Language. Her work embodies the ideals of what a true Thomasian is.

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