Wearing their junior high school uniform for the last time, two hundred twelve Legazpi Thomasians marched at the UST-Legazpi Dome for this year’s Completion Ceremonies held on June 9, 2023.

The rites are a joint formal celebration of the Junior High School (JHS) department and its three curricula: 5th for the General Curriculum (GC), and 8th for the Science High School (SHS) and Special Program in the Arts (SPA).

Proud parents and guardians, the university administrators with the JHS faculty, and the Parents, Instructors, and Students Association (PISA) President also attended the event.

The university’s Rector and President, Rev. Fr. Ernesto M. Arceo, OP, STL, PhD graced the celebration with his presence and served as the completion ceremonies guest speaker.

“How can we show our gratitude to God and to those who love us, especially our parents?” Fr. Arceo asked the completers.

“The best way to show our gratitude to God and the people who love us, especially to our parents is to use the efforts and inspiration coming from those who love us to make our lives more attractive, more beautiful especially in the eyes of God,” the Rector said.

In the end, Fr. Ernie shared some inspirational lines he has read in the past to the student body, “what we are is God’s gift to us, and what we become is our gift to God.”

Meanwhile, Kristine Pearl M. Torregoza, from the Science High School delivered this year’s Address of Thanks.

In her speech, Kristine went back to her and her batchmates’ journey in Junior High School – starting from their admission to the program in 2019, to shifting to online classes brought by the pandemic, and to returning to the campus and finishing their completion year in-person.

“Thinking about those times is both lonely and fulfilling, in a sense that in spite of the fact that we were facing one of the most draining challenges, even for adults, we all pulled through and came back stronger than ever,” she said.

Torregoza also took the time to recall the batch’s then reality in junior high from greeting the ‘ate and kuya’ guards, running to their classrooms each time the bell rings, shooting Tiktoks together, celebrating accomplishments for each school output, the chants and cheers for each other’s sections, the bond, the laughter that echoed through the hallway — which now have turned into memories.

“These aren’t just moments in time. These are safe-kept treasures that all of us will hold close to our hearts. I hope that wherever destiny takes us, we will never forget that we were once high school students,” she added.

“Yesterday is but today’s memory and tomorrow is today’s dream. Long story short, we survived. Class 2023, I had the time of my life with you. Padayon, Grade 10 Completers!” Kristine ended her 2023 gratitude speech.

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