Fr. Jose on Colegio Week 2023: ‘To celebrate our oneness amidst our diversity’

By: Thea Divina, Izza Belle Basubas
November 08, 2023

The Letran Administration gather to open Colegio Week 2023 with oneness as the primary theme. Photo courtesy of Vince Allen Atienza of The LANCE.

Marking its 403rd founding anniversary, Colegio de San Juan de Letran commenced its traditional Colegio Week 2023 with a theme ‘Fiesta de la Amistad: Celebrating Unity, Joy, and Arriba Spirit’ which will occur in a 4-day celebration on November 7 to 10.

Opening the event is a Holy Mass presided by the Rector and the President of Letran Manila and Bataan, Rev. Fr. Raymund Fernando P. Jose, OP. wherein he reiterated the essence of Colegio Week which centers on showcasing the Letran culture and talents of every Letranites.

“To recognize the gifts and talents and [to] celebrate our oneness amidst our diversity.” Father Jose said in his homily.

Multiple stalls and booths were placed at the Old Catwalk and St. Thomas grounds functioned by the Arribanchetto of the senior high school department and Negosyo Letranista of the College of Business Administration and Accountancy (CBAA). 

A series of in-campus and online (webinar) events spearheaded the first day of the Colegio Week along with amusement rides, an open mic, and a horror-themed escape room launched by the Letran Student Council LSC at the St. Thomas Hall. 

The third year of Tawag ng Tanghalan sa Letran also resumed its program during the first day’s lineup of activities. The singing events continued as ABS-CBN’s Starpop personalities visited Letran for its Campus Tour featuring performances from its artists including Star Music’s Day 1 band and ‘Ako Naman Muna’ singer-songwriter Angela Ken.

In an interview with The LANCE, select students shared their sentiments about the annual Colegio Week.

Samantha Gregorio, a first-year psychology student who is also participating in her first Colegio Week in Letran said, “Colegio week is the chance for the students, especially the first-year students (freshmen), to explore the culture of Letran and their traditions."

Senior High School - STEM student Samihah Mielle Ruado who is a Letranite since elementary commented that her experiences in 2019 to 2020 were more fun and there are more rides compared to this year.

“Interested ako sa rides kaso parang bumaba expectation ko this year… I think before mas masaya sya kasi ngayon po is [parang] mas tipid," Ruado said.

Former Letran-Bataan student Emmanuel Alfred Macha, who is currently celebrating the foundation week in Manila, expresses that the Colegio’s anniversary celebration helps the students to freshen up and lay low for a while. 

“Mas nakaka help yung colegio week sa students to lay low for a while because of the activities na nangyayari rin siguro naranasan naman ng lahat na since bombarded ng activities yung students,” Macha said.

Macha also compared the difference of activities in Letran Bataan and Manila, stating “More on fun activities compared to bataan na more on sports, may kantahan rin and more interactive Colegio week here in Manila.” 

The first day of festivities were split into co-curricular and extra-curricular agendas as some classes were still conducted and its suspensions were left to the discretion of the professors with some professors opting for the latter. 

With three more days of celebration, the Colegio with the LSC has prepared set of events and the return of the crowd favorites: Bingo, Run Hueknighted, and the Arriba Fest to be joined by hit OPM band Spongecola, social media influencer Kween Yasmin and other artists.