Alvaro Trinidad Antonio, also known by his nickname Bong or Ambong (born February 19, 1952) is a Filipino politician, who was the Governor of Cagayan from 2007-2016. He is a former pro-bono lawyer at the Citizen's Legal Action Office (now known as Public Assistance Office or PAO) and a former Mayor of Alcala.
With an aptitude for classical studies, Governor Alvaro "Bong" Antonio spent his high school years at San Jacinto Seminary, where he graduated in 1968. He thereafter went to the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas in Manila, to pursue his College Studies. Governor Antonio completed his baccalaureate in philosophy, with honors, in 1972.
Suprema Lex Fraternity
Realizing his calling to serve the people, Governor Antonio proceeded to take up Law, also at UST. While finishing his Law degree, Governor Antonio became acquainted with a group of young, idealistic law students. The group called themselves the Suprema Lex Fraternity. As a young legal scholar, Governor Antonio was mesmerized by the group's close brotherly bond, and their ideal of promoting the general welfare, through activism, legal assistance, private enterprise, and law practice. Suprema Lex Fraternity's fundamental belief that "The welfare of the People is the Supreme Law", echoed through the consciousness of the young Bong Antonio. This principle would later on inspire Governor Antonio to serve as a pro bono lawyer. Thence, he later on joined the fraternity, and contributed to the fulfillment of the fraternity's ideals, as one of its most successful members.
Shunning better-paying offers, Governor Antonio started his career as a pro bono lawyer at the Citizen's Legal Action Office (later on Public Attorney's Office). His resolve to assist the less fortunate through his legal service, is one which reechoes his belief that 'those who have less in life must have more in law!' After his dedicated stint as a pro bono Lawyer, Governor Antonio heeded the people's cry that he serve them as their local chief executive. He thus ran and won as Mayor of his hometown, namely Alcala Town, in Cagayan Province. Governor Antonio's popularity grew, as he became an outstanding mayor dedicated to uplifting the lives of his constituents. Thus in 2007, he was elected as Governor of Cagayan Province, despite opposing the province's kingpin and rouge politician, Manuel Mamba. He went on to win two more terms. His reign as Governor is one marked by programs for the welfare of the people. Governor Bong will remain one of the best, and most loved governor of Cagayan.