Former AB prof, Philets alumna Lourdes ‘Nena’ Syquia-Bautista dies at 99

Art by Janssen Judd Romero/THE FLAME

FORMER UST Faculty of Arts and Letters professor ‘Nena’ Syquia-Bautista, died on Thursday, Oct. 26.

She was 99 years old.

Bautista, an alumna of the defunct Faculty of Philosophy and Letters, passed away at 3:51 p.m., her daugher Aggie Bautista Cabugao announced in a Facebook post.

“It was a beautiful passing during the divine mercy hour…I will always be grateful to the Lord for giving me a mother like Mommy. She is like no other. And I had her for 69 years.” Cabugao said in the post. 

In a Facebook post, UST described Bautista as a “beloved teacher” with a “unique brand of care and formation.”

“Even after retirement, she always found time to come home to UST, where generations of alumni remember her with great fondness,” it added.

Bautista finished her bachelor’s degree in English and literature summa cum laude at the UST Philosophy and Letters in 1946. 

She served the University as a professor for 38 years, teaching philosophy, social sciences, English, literature and theology subjects.

The Philets alumna also pioneered the UST Center for Campus Ministry, where she continued her dedication to spread the Christian living. She retired at the age of 75.

In 1977, Bautista was granted the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Award for her distinguished service to the Church. In the same year, she received the Catholic Authors Award for her contribution in propagating the Catholic Faith through print media.

She, her late husband Felix, and their 12 children were conferred the Thomasian Family of the Year Award by the UST Alumni Association in 1975. The award is granted to a family whose members are all UST alumni. 

Felix, a UST journalism professor for 18 years, passed away on Sept. 6, 1991.

Aside from teaching, Bautista penned several letters and stories about her childhood, her faith, and her journey in motherhood and teaching which were all compiled into books like Needlepoint: Stitches of Life (1988) Faith, Family and Friends: A Celebration of God’s Goodness (2018).

The late professor began writing under the High Blood section of the Philippine Daily Inquirer in her 90s and was an active columnist until 2021.

Most of Bautista’s published articles were reminiscent of her experience as a mother, wife, war survivor and devotee, including “Happiness is a choice,” “Who remembers Christmas 1941?,” “Motherhood” and “3 Sundays in October.” F

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