46 graduate from MCS

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FOR its 60th high school commencement exercise on Saturday, Mount Carmel School observed social-distancing guidelines and other safety measures.

Forty-six graduating seniors and only a few members of their families were allowed to attend the ceremony at Mount Carmel Cathedral on Saturday that was livestreamed on Facebook.

MCS principal Barbara K. Merfalen led faculty and staff members in congratulating the Class of 2020 and thanking the parents for their trust and confidence in allowing their child to be a part of the Knights family.

Merfalen also thanked MCS teachers and staff for their dedication in helping the students succeed.

For her last advice to the Class of 2020, Merfalen told the graduates to “be purposeful and have a mission like the one we have at MCS, which is to educate the whole person to see with Christ’s eyes.”

MCS President Dr. Galvin Deleon Guerrero said the Class of 2020 truly appreciates what it means to have unconditional love.

“I felt it from your class officers who are trying to do the right thing with all that money you raised for your senior trip, but you never got to go on. I even felt it from all of you when, despite all the challenges of this pandemic, you found a way to express your appreciation and your love for your teachers, your school, and each other. You loved all of us, even when we didn't love all of you, the way we should have. The adults were getting things wrong. You are getting something right,” Deleon Guerrero said in his remarks.

He said it was irresponsible to lay it down on the next generation “to make the world a better place” when the adults are currently “running the show.”

“This means that we, not you, must make this world a better place for you. That is our job. We need to be better stewards, better leaders, better parents because you deserve nothing less,” he added.

He showed the graduates a photo of Make-A-Wish Foundation fulfilling Juan Vicente Blanco’s wish 11 years ago when he was battling leukemia.

In the photo, then-7-year-old Blanco with his father John were in the White House having a conversation with then-President Barack Obama.

“It shows an entire community doing everything they can to save this one kid,” Deleon Guerrero said. “It shows this very important leader, taking time out of his very busy schedule to make this one kid feel important. It shows a father doing everything in his power to love his son,” he added.

Juan Vicente Blanco is one of the graduates of the Class of 2020.

 MCS Class of 2020 valedictorian Kalea Lou Bullan Borja.


MCS Class of 2020 salutatorian Danielle Jaden Kekoa Yamagata-Santos.


Mount Carmel School observed social-distancing protocols when it held its 60th graduation ceremony at Mount Carmel Cathedral on Saturday afternoon.


Strength and resilience

Class of 2020 salutatorian Danielle Jaden Kekoa Yamagata-Santos thanked MCS teachers and staff members for being patient with the seniors and for helping see their potential. She also thanked her family for supporting her.

She said members of her class have many personal accomplishments.

But 10 years from now, she added, no one would remember the students who made it to honor roll or got straight A’s. “Grades do not define who you are as a person…you will be remembered as the person who had a kind heart, or the person who was there for someone when they needed it the most.”

For valedictorian Kalea Lou Bullan Borja, the Class of 2020 has shown strength and resilience.

She said her class wondered why they had to go through many distressing situations, including the Covid-19 pandemic, which deprived them of the senior year they deserve.

However, she said, “I am grateful for the efforts the school made to continue our education despite the pandemic.”

She added, “Because the Class of 2020 can persevere through typhoons and a pandemic, then we will persevere beyond what many people would expect out of us in life itself.”

Top students

Valedictorian – Kalea Lou Bullan Borja

Salutatorian – Danielle Jaden Kekoa Yamagata-Santos

1st Honor – Jim Michael Vergara Ham

2nd Honor – Lleyton Andre Albuen Javier

3rd Honor – Emmeline Lee

4th Honor – Nicole Mae F. Pak, Katelyn Angeles Rabang

5th Honor – Jeffrey Yu Xin Chua

6th Honor – Riley Ann O. Buenaventura

7th Honor – Casey Jo Pathil

8th Honor – Jan Matthew Pineda Millo

9th Honor – Vincent John Pangelinan Reyes

10th Honor – Francesca Marie Avengana Bucalig

Subject awards

English Language Arts – Kalea Lou Bullan Borja

Science – Danielle Jaden Kekoa Yamagata-Santos

Mathematics – Haesu (John) Yeo

Social Science – Jim Michael Vergara Ham

Theology – Danielle Jaden Kekoa Yamagata-Santos

Computer Science – Casey Jo Pathil

Foreign Language – Julia Ikeda Taguchi

Art – Casey Jo Pathil

Physcial Health Education – Matthew R. Richardson, Francesca Marie Avengana Bucalig

Speech – Kalea Lou Bullan Borja

Drama – Kalea Lou Bullan Borja






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