A Chocnut and a Prayer

By: Seth Jefferson Maquiling
March 25, 2023

Art courtesy of Eah Dino of The LANCE.

Midterms can be a harrowing stretch of time for any college student, more so the final exams each semester. Sometimes, it requires all-nighters and countless cups of coffee to just even get a passing grade for some of the more difficult classes. The Letran Freedom Wall is littered with the pleas of students to their professors to be a little more merciful and considerate.

Sometimes, desperate times call for desperate measures, be it via prayer or offerings. If University of Santo Tomas (UST) has their tiger-statue-turned-wishing-well, Letran has their very own—a statue of St. Vincent Liem de La Paz, affectionately known as “Shawty Vince” among other students. While UST students offer pesos in their tiger statue’s mouth, Letranistas humorously litter St. Liem’s feet not just with pesos, but with well known Filipino sweets such as Hany and Chocnut, veritable modern-day offerings fit for a modern-day image.

“Offer a Chocnut per subject to St. Vincent Liem de la Paz for more chances of passing midterms/finals,” writes an anonymous poser from Letran Freedom Wall. The LFW is littered with posts such as these, bemoaning some professors’ insensitivity, the difficulties of the tests. It is clear that the practice of offering something to St. Liem was born out of a desire to pass one’s examinations.

As for the origins of this endearing practice, no one knows how it exactly started.

“I guess it’s fun that there is a shared struggle and desire to pass exams that’s why we offer peanut snacks to St. Liem,” says Melody Jade Soriano, head of SCRIBE, when asked about the custom. There is humor to be seen in struggling together as students.

The exams are always seen with a tinge of fear among students of any level, a time that has spawned countless sleepless nights, sweaty palms, and butterflies in one’s stomach. Maybe that’s why, if only for a while, that anxiety can be relieved by simply offering a Chocnut to your friendly neighborhood statue of St. Vincent Liem de La Paz.