This award is endowed to outstanding alumni who, during the past, has not only demonstrated himself a respectable LCCian, but someonewho has manifested selfless commitment to our Alma Mater by means of his notable contributions to La Consolacion College Bacolod and its transformational and advancement programs and thrusts.
A noted historian of Negros, Sir Modesto has written 14 books all devoted to the history of Negros and the leading families of the province. His books include family histories and genealogies, the two editions of the History of Occidental Negros, the “Church on the Hill” which is the history of the Catholic Church in Negros from 1571 to 1909, and the latest, the two-volume “Against the Rising Sun” which is the most comprehensive documented history of World War II in Negros. His other books are: Brief History of the Church of Negros Occidental (1976); Valderrama (1978); The Chinese in Negros (1980); The Dentists of Negros (1981); Negros Occidental History (1991); Through the Years: History of La Consolacion College Bacolod (1993); A Glance at Bacolod (1998); Genealogy of the Maranon and Miraflores Families(2002); Occidental Negros History, 2nd Edition (2003); Genealogy of the Sa-onoy Family(2003); Ordeals of War,ed.(2006); and Parroquia de San Diego-1776-2006 (2006).
He completed high school in 1956 and holds Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts and Education and Master Arts of Education where he also spent 17 years as a professor in La Consolacion College Bacolod. He left the teaching profession in 1975 to become consultant of the Philippine Sugar Quota Administration and after formulating the Presidential Decree on the formation of sugar cooperatives, he was appointed Director of the Sugar Cooperatives Development Institute of the Philippines and spent several years promoting the formation of cooperatives in the Philippine Sugar industry. As Director representing the Philippines, he delivered technical papers in international conferences and assemblies in Asia and Europe.
He is one of the founders of the Visayan Daily Start, the longest running newspaper in Negros and with the widest circulation. While retaining shares in the Visayan Daily Star, he founded another daily newspaper, TODAY News Views which became Sun-Star Bacolod, the second largest daily newspaper in Negros.
Despite his multifarious activities, Sir Modesto is a co-founder of the world renowned Masskara Festival which he chaired for over 20 years since its foundation. He is twice President of Negros Press Club and chair member of other organizations, including the Negros Historical Foundation which he helped organized.
He was also a member of the Board of Trustee of the Bacolod City College.
He served the longest term as chairman of the Ang Banwahanon Awards Committee that annually selects the awardees for this highest award that the City of Bacolod can bestow on its citizen for exemplary service to the city. He is also a recipient of this most prestigious honor in Bacolod. In 2005, he is recognized as The Most Outstanding Alumni by the LCC College Alumni Association.
In 2008, Pope Benedict XVI, as head of the Catholic Church and the Sovereign of the Vatican State, conferred on him the rarely granted highest rank knighthood as commander of the Pontifical Equestrian Order of Pope St. Sylvester with a Great Silver Medal.
He is married for 43 years to Verobina Abeto Sa-onoy with whom he has two children, Aufred Paul and Angela Rosario who have already settled down.