On June 28, the Bacolod Brothers Community conferred on Mr. Leonito “Diotay” Lopue the Letter of Affiliation to the Institute on behalf of the District and the Institute. The event was held at the Lopue residence and was witnessed by Diotay’s wife, children and grandchildren. The conferment was solemnized with a prayer service and was followed with a simple meal prepared by the family. The quarantine context somehow provided an intimate and solemn ambience on the whole celebration. (Text: Br. Vince Fernandez FSC; Photos: Br. Irwin Climaco FSC)
Mr. Leonito “Diotay” Lopue came from a humble family whose retail trade became successful through hard work, perseverance and their Lasallian education. Not one to forget his humble beginnings, with strong conviction and resolve, he has made conscious efforts to ‘pay it forward’ by continuously supporting the Lasallian mission in three schools - University of St. La Salle, St. Joseph School-La Salle, and La Salle College Victorias - in various capacities throughout his adult years.
Through many decades, he has championed the table tennis sports in the City of Bacolod, the Province of Negros Occidental, and in the country. He has helped the table tennis program of the University of St. La Salle by providing sports equipment and valuable space in his Lopue’s San Sebastian Mall which provides an international standard venue for table tennis. He consistently emphasizes the importance of sportsmanship and fair play to his players who look up to him as their mentor. Furthermore, he has supported the poor but hardworking players from the public schools to be educated in the Integrated School and College of the University of St La Salle.
Through the years, Diotay has extended dedicated service to the many mission areas where few lay people are able to help. He volunteered and became Chairman of La Salle College Victorias and the Handumanan Science Foundation which provided educational scholarships to financially-challenged but deserving students. He has been very supportive of the apostolate for youth offenders at the USLS Bahay Pag-asa Youth Center where he once was a member of the Board of Advisers. He also served as member and later as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the University of St. La Salle for many years, and he has assisted the Brothers in navigating local and national realities that became a challenge in the mission in Negros Occidental. He supports various causes outside of La Salle, and recently went on a mission to provide solar lamps to distant isolated mountain villages in the province.
He has been accorded numerous awards and citations befitting a man who has given so much of himself for the welfare of others and the community; among these are the St. La Salle Award (1984), the highest institutional award given to an alumnus of the University of St. La Salle whose personal and professional life epitomizes the core Lasallian values of faith, zeal for service, and communion in mission, the Banwahanon Award (2009), the highest accolade given to a resident by the Bacolod City Government in recognition of his notable contributions toward the betterment of the larger community, and the degree Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, conferred on him by the University of St. La Salle in 2005.