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ON THE MARCH. "On the March" was the only Gold Anvil awardee in the publications category which was also cited with a Gold Platinum Award. Supplied photo. 

Multi-awarded boutique publishing house Media Wise Communications (Muse Books) marked yet another milestone in its publishing journey after it was awarded the Platinum Anvil award for its coffee table book On the March: The Jesuits in the Philippines Since the Restoration.

The Platinum Anvil is given only to outstanding entries that stand out among Anvil “Gold” winners. On the March chronicles the journey of the Jesuits as they bring the Catholic faith to the remotest corners of the Philippines.

The Platinum citation reads: “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 project was conceived so that practical, sustainable aid could be channeled to the Jesuit community. To do that, a beneficiary institution was chosen, the Philippine Jesuit Aid Association Inc (PJAA), which is dedicated to providing for the healthcare needs of infirm priests.

Presented annually by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP) the ANVIL is the symbol of excellence in public relations. It is awarded to outstanding PR programs, tools, and practitioners. On the March bagged the Platinum Anvil for PR Tools, under the Publications category, the only one so cited in this category.

Unless a reader of this book reads the publication credits in its opening pages, he would not know how a group of dedicated alumni from Xavier University - Ateneo de Cagayan (Xavier Ateneo) contributed their hearts and souls to its publication.

Foremost among them are 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.


WINNERS. Pictured here are Many Engwa, John Nery, and Monching Cruz. Supplied photo. 

On the other hand, 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.

Monching was part of an influential group of six artists, Hidden Lines, which included Jose Tence Ruiz. In 2017, he received an Anderson Centennial Award from St Andrew’s and an Outstanding Alumnus for Professional Service from Xavier Ateneo.

 After a stint with Sining Makulay CATV (a cable television company) and The Manila Chronicle, he established his own graphic design and publishing company, Media Wise Communications Inc in 1993.

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 Jose S Arcilla SJ was the book’s principal writer, aided 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 Arcilla did his Jesuit regency at Xavier Ateneo in 1954. After his MA in History at the Loyola University in Chicago he was assigned in Xavier Ateneo from 1965-68, serving as a college professor, XU Grade School student counselor and Glee Club moderator.

He was a professor of history at the Ateneo de Manila University and served as Archivist of the Philippine Province of the Society of Jesus. Among his many published works are An Introduction to Philippine History, Rizal: A Tribute, and Formation of Philippine Society.

Similarly, Fr Rene Javellana SJ 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.

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


ON THE MARCH. Media Wise Communications' coffee table book "On the March" wins the Platinum Anvil in the Publication Category at the 54th Anvil Awards held 30 Jan 2019 at the Marriot Hotel, Pasay City. Supplied photo. 

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. 

Perhaps it was only fitting that Monching and Fr Joe received the Platinum Anvil for On the March during at the 54th Anvil Awards Gabi ng Parangal at the Marriot Grand Ballroom held  30 January 2019 in Pasay City. ∎ (From Media Wise Communications)


PLATINUM AWARD. Monching Cruz and Fr Joe Quilongquilong receive the Platinum Award for Media Wise's "On the March" coffee table book 30 Jan 2019 at the Marriot Hotel, Pasay City. Supplied photo.  


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