JOAQUIN VILALLONGA dedicated himself to a life of service when
he entered the Society of Jesus in 1885 at the age of 17. He has been closely associated
with the development of our Philippine nation since he was first assigned to teach at the
Ateneo Municipal de Manila 67 years ago. Later, he became Rector of that fine institution,
where many of our leaders have been trained, and served in other senior posts of his Order
in our Islands. His example of discipline, erudition and simplicity and his abiding faith
in man's humanity to man have been an inspiration to generations of Filipinos.
Twelve years ago, after he had held other high administrative positions of his Order in
Spain, India and the Far East, he asked to come back to our country to serve the lepers at
Culion. Today, at 92, he still ministers to their spiritual needs. A Chaplain
extraordinary, Father VILALLONGA has shared the wisdom of his experience and the warmth of
his understanding with those men, women and children who live in the banishment of a dread
disease society has not yet learned to accept in its midst.
TEE TEE LUCE has given abandoned and wayward boys off the streets of Rangoon not merely
a roof and food but what they missed and needed mosta home and a share of her heart.
Alarmed by the incidence of crime in her country, she spent a year studying and coming
to know the deserted children who were its breeding ground. Other civic-spirited citizens
joined with her in forming a Children's Aid and Protection Society and helped plan and
finance a home. On September 1, 1928, they offered a group of street boys a place to live
and study and with 19 volunteers the Home for Waifs and Strays was launched.
From that time, except through the war years, Daw TEE TEE, has carried on with
singleness of purpose the mission of the Home she founded. There have been runaways and
other failures, but for most the Home has been a haven and an opportunity to lead a decent
life. Now caring for as many as 130 boys, she has provided formal schooling, physical
education and training in useful crafts and introduced these boys from the meanest walks
of life to classics of music and literature. Above all, she has been their
An active partner in her enterprise has been her husband, Professor Gordon H. Luce,
himself held in affection and high regard by the people of his adopted country for his
scholarship on Burma's history and for many contributions over 47 years as teacher and
unfailing friend. Though others have given generous assistance, often the two of them have
had to strain their resources to keep the Home for their boys in operation. It is a
fitting coincidence that she should receive this Award on the eve of its thirtieth
Father JOAQUIN VILALLONGA and Daw TEE TEE LUCE, caring as did Ramon Magsaysay for all
people as individuals and believing in their dignity and importance, have sought to
improve the lot of the unfortunate and have approached the task with selfless devotion.
In electing them to share the 1959 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service, the Board
of Trustees recognizes their compassionate concern for others whom society had cast aside.
Humanitarians, both, they exemplify the ideal of service embodied in the doctrine of
many faiths and expressed by the Founder of the Christian faith in this way:
"Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, you have
done it unto me."