Today, we are gathered to mark the end of one chapter in our lives and the beginning of a new one. Happily, we are finally graduating after four years of living high school life to the fullest. It seemed only yesterday when we first set foot on the SMCS high school grounds and as we look back and reflect on past events, we recall the countless times we were challenged and have succeeded; threatened and have survived; stumbled and have risen. There were times when we thought this day would never come, but here we are now, gathered for a bittersweet celebration of congratulations and goodbyes.
We are truly grateful for the many blessings, but none has had greater impact on our young lives than the 7 C's that have led us to where we are now. Allow me to give my thoughts on the 7 C's as it concerns our generation of Santa Marians, now called the Ateneans of Iloilo.
When we first entered this school, we were young boys and girls who had yet to develop to the fullest a stable conscience centered on the love of Christ. Indeed, the school did not go wrong in teaching us moral reasoning and the habit of reflection in the things that we did be it playing or studying. The desire and the commitment to do what is good and right were not difficult for us Ateneans because we had the best examples in our priests. To our school's Jesuit priests and brothers, we give our sincerest gratitude for giving conscience a face, thereby making it easier for us to develop it.
Who among us, in our first two years in this school, thoroughly knew who we really were? Some of us had identity crises, others had a difficult time accepting their weaknesses and most of us went through teenage life buffeted by the waves of questions about ourselves. We learned to develop our God-given talents and most importantly, learned to accept our shortcomings because of our parents who have been with us in our personal and academic triumphs and adversities. Our school taught us self-mastery...
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