Source: “Humans of Pinas” asked the ASI President’s Executive Secretary to make a write-up of some distinguished Pinays. This was published in the ASI Facebook on March 28, 2021
One of the areas that women have excelled in the Philippines is education. Dr. Mina Ramirez is one rare gem excelling in this field. Dr. Mina Ramirez is the female successor of Rev. Fr. Francis Senden, cicm, PhD, founder of the Asian Social Institute (ASI), after his death in 1973.
Introducing Dr. Mina Ramirez in one of her public lectures, Dr. Sixto K. Roxas who is known as an advocate of Eco-System Based Sustainable Organizing and Management (ECSOM), stressed the point that the story of ASI is the story of Mina:
Among the first batch of graduate students when ASI opened in 1962 is Mina Ramirez a graduate of Liberal Arts and Bachelor’s degree in Education from St. Theresa’s College Manila in 1955 and 1956 respectively, Summa cum Laude, and eventually completed a Master of Science in Sociology in 1965 in ASI. She is known as the closest associate and the closest disciple of Rev. Fr. Dr. Francis Senden, CICM. After the Founder’s death in 1973, she took on the leadership of ASI and paid her mentor the supreme compliment of not merely maintaining his vision and continuing his work but pushing the vision way beyond its original scope and brilliance that took ASI to its golden anniversary (2012). ASI is now known both nationally and internationally in all its aspects as graduate school, research institute, and social action center, an innovative and effective force for social economic and political transformation in the Philippines and other developing countries in Asia. The height to which ASI’s evolution has risen is seen by merely considering two major developments: ASI’s flagship graduate course embodying the new grander vision of Dr. Mina Ramirez, the Doctoral Program of Applied Cosmic Anthropology, the intellectual tool of the millennium’s spiritual revolutionary movement integrating all the disciplines relevant to the further reaches of human evolution and development; and the down to earth integration of ASI’s social, economic and political transformation objective which are demonstrated in ASI’s integrating framework labeled CSBCom, for Co-Creating Sustainable Regional Communities.
Although Dr. Ramirez is not one who makes big claims on her work (according to Mr. Michael Traber, Editor of World Association of Christian Communication-WACC), the words of Dr. Sixto Roxas has found echoes in the significant awards she received – The Frederick Ozanam Award in 1991 for her contribution to education and social services directed at the transformation of society, given by the Ateneo de Manila University in 1991, a plaque of appreciation in 1997 as religious leader and social educator and for her contribution to “social conscience decisions” during her term as member of the Board of Trustees of the De La Salle University System; Historical Women Award in the Area of Spirituality given by the Philippine Centennial Commission-Women’s Sector; Saint Benedict Award given by San Beda , February 16, 2005 for her outstanding leadership of the Asian Social Institute and for faithful embodiment of the Benedictine ideals peace, prayer, work and humility.
The late Rev. Fr. Paul van Daelen, cicm, a former superior General of CICM (1974-1987) and Permanent Executive Consultant of ASI (1987 to 2015) considered Dr. Ramirez as “co-founder” of ASI. She held significant positions: as consultants of the London-based World Association of Christian Communism (WACC), founding member of the Pontifical e Academy of Social Science, Vatican City established by St. Pope John Paul II in 1974, President of the Amersfoort (Netherlands) based Ecumenical Development Cooperative Society (EDCS), an alternative ecumenical bank, now known as Oikocredit. She was a member of the Board of Directors of the Ramon Magsaysay Awards Foundation from 1991-1995. While involved in these international organizations, she remains to be in close touch with students, serving as mentor of theses/dissertations using the existential phenomenological perspective – a method she has pioneered in the field of social science in the Philippines – and professor in classes that aim to journey with each student who she considers as co-learner in the shared journey towards Integrity of Creation, Justice and Peace (ICJP) (3-5-2021)
Eve Magnata is the Executive Secretary of Dr. Mina Ramirez. She assists her in all her work.