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Conrado M. Vasquez was the first Ombudsman of the Philippines and an Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court. He is also the father of PLM President Ma. Leonora V. De Jesus.

The Gawad ng Kadakilaan is therefore being given to the graduate who best personifies the spirit of the last word in the University's motto – greatness – like the illustrious Justice.

Kadakilaan – that spark of greatness, something unique and powerful deep in your core. The man after which this Award is named, had it. His greatness as an individual is legendary. And so must all of us.

How you harness it and set your sights for the future and believe in your spark are what set this graduate apart from the rest.

Never stop. Never quit. Have faith and keep on working for the best. These seem to be the driving force that moved the late Conrado M. Vasquez Sr. to come out of retirement at age 74 to become the country's first Ombudsman and serve his country again.

So PLM is likewise expecting great things from this year's recipient, Michael de Chavez, a MassCom Student in the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (CHASS) who was chosen from among 600 applicants to take part in the prestigious Ayala Young Leaders Congress (AYLC) for 2017, and the 2018 PLM Most Outstanding University Student.

He is being recognized for his leadership track record, strong positive impact and dedicated service to others with the hope that he will continue to become a collective and powerful catalyst for change and national renewal when he leaves PLM's hallowed halls.