Tarlac State University completed its 34th Commencement Exercises for 2023 with one magna cum laude from the Bachelor of Arts in English Language Studies program out of the 287 midyear graduates this morning (September 27) at the TSU Gymnasium.
Precious V. Berdolaga, the sole magna cum laude graduate under the College of Arts and Social Sciences (CASS), delivered her valedictory speech via a recorded video, as she is currently studying in a Christian training school in Malaysia since June 2023.
In her message, Berdolaga highlighted the importance of having one's own identity and letting oneself decide for his or her future.
"The choices you will make today will determine your future… As you plan and make decisions for your life, may you always choose to allow God to direct and establish your steps," she said.
Berdolaga represented the university during the 2021 Metro Manila Toastmasters Club (MMTC) - Club Contest Category: International Speech, where she won first place with her six-minute piece titled "The Water I Drank."
She was also a top-five finalist during the 2022 District 75-Philippines International Speech.
Hon. Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Tesoro Go, senator of the 18th and 19th Congress of the Philippines, graced the ceremony as the commencement speaker and shared his experiences as a public servant since 1998.
He advised the graduates to love and serve their fellow citizens.
"Seize the opportunities that come your way, but also create opportunities for others… Be ambassadors of change and models of integrity, and lastly, be the best version of yourselves," Sen. Go added.
To honor the graduates' hard work, Sen. Go distributed grocery packs to all graduates and gave tokens to the three graduates with Latin honors as well as to the "class goat."
Aside from Sen. Go, Tarlac Province Governor Susan A. Yap, Tarlac City Mayor Maria Cristina C. Angeles, and Filipino actor Philip Salvador attended the graduation ceremonies.
A total of 62 graduates from various master's and doctoral degree programs received their diplomas, along with 225 graduates from the bachelor's degree programs.
Meanwhile, the baccalaureate services were held last September 22, with a Holy Mass presided over by Rev. Fr. Robert M. Cabrera. The baccalaureate speaker was TSU alumnus Engr. Aser Sunga Mallari, Department of Public Works and Highways Central Office engineer. (jlmm-OPA)
Photos by Eduardo F. Laxamana, Jr.