Gaston Zavalla Ortigas (January 21, 1931 – August 31, 1990), also known as Gasty, is the former dean of the Asian Institute of Management. He is one of the champions of peace during the Martial Law and the post-EDSA days. He staunchly supported political settlements and dialogue over armed and military solutions to armed conflicts. He opposed and organized others against the Marcos dictatorship. Gasty is a teacher, an activist, a peace advocate, engineer and school administrator but to most he is known as the guy wearing humble ‘tsinelas’ (sandals) from conflict-affected communities to the Asian Institute of Management and up to Malacanang when he met with former President Corazon Aquino.
As a great listener, synthesizer and consolidator of efforts, Gasty helped shape the discourse on a peoples’ peace agenda. He fervently worked with farmers and fisherfolk, NGOs, academe, the religious, businesses, among others to in order to build the peace that people want and need. For Gasty, the peace negotiations cannot be separated from addressing the root causes of war itself.
Upon his death, his fellow peace advocates founded the Peace Institute and named it after Gasty. GZO Peace Institute celebrates its anniversary on Gasty’s birthday.
Know more about Gasty? Visit the Heroes Hall Website (Bantayog ng mga Bayani website).
“From the start one is struck by the man’s very strong sense of values–empathy for the poor, resolute adherence to justice and equity for all, a passion for freedom and transparency and a deep respect for the individual. His thinking was revolutionary in the context of his time. He was not only schooled and learned but truly wise.” Felipe Alfonso, former President, Asian Institute of Management