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March 17, 2022


Recognition of SLC’s Service Awardees, Merit Awardees, and Retirees
on the Occasion of the 58th Foundation Anniversary of SLC.

March 10, 2022, Father Jose Burgos Gymnasium


Beloved awardees and retirees, and family members who have accompanied you, Dr. Lea L. De Guzman, Vice President for Academic Affairs, Atty. Edwin C. Siapco, Vice President for Administration, Members of the Management Council, our College Deans, Department and Program Heads, BEdS Principal and Assistants, committed faculty members, all dedicated staff members, Frs. Valentin Narcise and Fernold Denna, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.


I am deeply honored and privileged to give the opening message to this special and meaningful event. This is the third time that I am doing it. Every time, I feel happier and more inspired. Contrary to what you might guess that it would be a lot easier to do so because I would just retrieve from my files the messages of the past years and simply print them out and deliver, I tell you, it just becomes a bit more difficult every year.


Why? The main reason is that the appreciation and recognition of your dedication as part of SLC become bolder and higher as I have come to get to know you better and deeper. I realize that the ideals and aspirations, the challenges and the forecast of Saint Louis College as a Catholic Educational Institution of Higher Learning in our ever-changing learning environment, the personalities and talents of each one of you here at Saint Louis College, begin to sink deeper into my consciousness and heart, and I would say: you are a blessing to SLC. You have added to your profession, an ingredient unique to us: that is, your being servant leaders, ready and willing to go the extra mile, to give until it hurts!


There is a quotation from the former United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld that has become very popular worldwide. It goes this way, “For all that has been, thanks. To all that shall be, Yes.” By this he meant: we should have the moral courage to look for opportunities to begin our lives anew, and render the best service to others the best way we can, inside out, so there will be peace and justice.


A few years back, a priest-friend of mine modified a bit this famous saying, just to emphasize his wholehearted and determined commitment to be a committed missionary. In the souvenir stampita on occasion of his ordination to the priesthood, he wrote, “For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, why not?”


For all that will be, WHY NOT!


For all that will be, why not. To say, “Why not?” and not simply, “Yes” makes a lot of difference. It expresses dedication, loyalty, perseverance, self-sacrifice, enthusiasm, and optimism.


We have here with us, 33 service awardees, from ten years to 40 years. May I request all 33 to please rise to be recognized.


We have here with us 14 retirees. May I request all 14 to please rise to be recognized.


We have here with us, also, our Merit Awardees, but that cannot be revealed at this moment, as our awarding protocol would dictate.


All of you, but most especially at this very moment, our retirees and our service and merit awardees, have said: WHY NOT, THIS IS WORTH IT.


We realize that SLC is walking on the shoulders of many men and women like you who struggle and rise above the challenges and the difficulties. For this, we are infinitely grateful. A special toast for you: to your health, to your family and loved ones, to your success, in God’s time.


You have become a living witness of our Lord Jesus who, in one of his crucial moments in life, had to choose between life and death, truth and falsehood, unconditional love and self-centeredness, justice and tyranny, and said, “Here I am, loving Father. Why not, it is Your will!”


I am sure that those who have known you and have seen your dedication to the ideals and aspirations of Saint Louis College – San Fernando, have been inspired, and also have shouted with their lungs bursting out, or in a quiet meditative whisper, WHY  NOT! This is worth giving my life to. For this, we are very grateful. And therefore, let us celebrate and enjoy the moment.


“Do not get tired of doing good.” This was how Pope Francis opened his Lenten Message for this year 2022. What a fitting statement for this occasion, the Gawad San Luis Two Thousand Twenty-Two (2022). You have happily reached a milestone in your life. You have given your best to your beloved SLC. You are good persons, so continue to do good. Never tire!


Thank you and congratulations!