Seizing the day and being grateful despite failures are the keys to happiness, UST Rector Fr. Richard Ang, O.P said during the virtual Baccalaureate Mass for Batch 2021 which consisted of over 6,000 Thomasian graduates.

“My dear Thomasian graduates, carpe diem. Seize the day. Be happy by recognizing how good things really are despite your previous failures or faults,” Ang said.

The Rector said being contented, happy and grateful would lead to more blessings.

“Ang tao, kahit hindi kagandahan o kagwapuhan, gumaganda o gumagwapo naman kapag masaya ang buhay,” he said.

Failures, Ang said, are always part of the journey to success.

“You are all achievers. Nobody is born a loser…The only way to succeed, ironically, is to fail. Failure is part of every success story,” he told this year’s graduates.

Ang urged the graduates to always look back as they journey toward success.

“Show gratitude to the people behind you, especially your parents, teachers and friends…wherever destiny may take you, remember your alma mater: the University of Santo Tomas. Here in España, she stands with her gates open to her sons and daughters,” he said.

In a separate message, Ang expressed sympathy with the graduates for having to celebrate the end of their college journeys in an online setup and without the traditional rites at the UST Grandstand and Open Field and Quadricentennial Pavilion. 

“I know that the graduates feel sad and disappointed that one of the most important events in their life will not be celebrated on a usual day. Wearing your academic gown and cap, walking proudly at UST Quadricentennial Pavilion, your parents watching you as you go up the stage to receive your diploma or medal… [but] the pandemic is not going to be a reason to prevent us from celebrating this milestone,” he said.

Ang also called on the graduates to remember their “vital role to play in society and nation-building.”

“Remember our vision and mission. You are no ordinary graduates; you are graduates of the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas. This means great responsibility rests on your shoulders. In a span of few months, you will be sharing your knowledge, skills, virtues, and values with the world,” said the Rector.

“Wherever you go and whoever you will meet in this journey, your Thomasian identity and experience will definitely shine through. Always remember that you can do something to make this world a better place. Like birds, you are ready to fly and soar to even greater heights,”  he added. 

Traditionally, the Baccalaureate Mass is held at the UST Grandstand and Open Field, followed by send-off rites, namely the Ceremony of Light and the exit through the Arch of the Centuries.

Due to the restrictions on in-person gatherings due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the send-off celebrations for Batch 2021 were conducted virtually. The Baccalaureate Mass was aired over the University’s official Facebook page, while the rite of passage through the Arch of the Centuries was done through the UST Minecraft server.

The send-off proper was broadcast by UST Tiger TV. Christine Joyce Paras


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