The recipients of this award must have lived their lives by being moral examples of service to others, more specifically to the Filipino people. The awardees must have sought service to and for his/her fellow brethren to promote genuine national development. Let’s take for instance Bobby Gana, a lawyer of SALIGAN (an NGO), who unfortunately died in a plane crash February 1998. He, together with his co-lawyers, was supposed to conduct educational seminars and meetings on the legal aspects of the party-list elections, local governance and agrarian reform in Cagayan De Oro. After graduating, he spent his life in service, devoting himself for his fellow countrymen. This made him a true example of being a Lux-In-Domino.
It is not only by being of service to the Filipino that makes this award of great importance but how it is supported and guided by the Catholic teachings of the Church. According to the most recent awardee, Alfredo R. A. Bengzon, when he gave his response speech upon receiving the award, the most fulfilling experience out of his work in the Philippine community was his clearer and deeper capture of the Spirit of Otherness. Not only that he made a difference for the benefit of our country, but he did it aligned with the Catholic Church. As he brainstormed through a lot of ideas on how he would be able to help, the guidance of the Bible helped him a lot through his thought processes. In return, he was able to ensure that health become a basic human right.
Being of service to your country and being constantly directed towards the implementation of the teachings of the Church brings about only the blood and soul that runs the Ateneo campus: Being a Jesuit. Contrary to popular belief, being Jesuit mean not only have to wear black robes with a white neck belt, nor having a pre-divinity track course. It is being generous and self-giving in service, expecting nothing in return. Being a Light in the Lord reflects back to the prayer of Saint Ignatius of Loyola. “.. To give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to labor and ask for no reward, - save that of knowing that I do Your most Holy will.” It is by giving our fullest of selves that we be more or less illumiare to others.
Hope in one’s country, service to the community, guidance from the Church, and overall, being a Jesuit – a person-for-and-with-others.