Letran at 400: Keeping the Arriba Spirit burning


The journey towards its 400th year of undying passion in transforming lives, nurturing remarkable alumni and redefining excellence is not an easy task but Colegio de San Juan de Letran has remained firm and resilient.
In November, Letran launched its Quadricentennial celebration, a four-year event culminating with the Grand Celebration in 2020.

Colegio de San Juan de Letran PHOTO COURTESY OF DAVY CHIOA

The first year was themed, “Orgullosos de ti y de tu historia” (Proud of you and your history), honoring the storied past of the school and of course, recognizing the ever-burning Arriba Spirit.

Embraced by the walled city of Intramuros, the Colegio holds a colorful memory of the Second World War, where it served as a refuge of the soldiers who were pursued violently by their enemies. Bombs and bullets penetrated its walls, but its heart and soul remained no matter how bloody the war got.

Letran started as a school for orphans and, since then, has been producing notable people that have made an impact in Philippine society. One notable alumnus is San Vicente Liem de la Paz who was a Vietnamese martyr. Up until now, he remains as a model every Letranite looks up to for remaining firm on his faith even unto death.

Letran’s alumni include President Emilio Aguinaldo, President Manuel Quezon, Apolinario Mabini and Emilio Jacinto. In the entertainment industry, Vic and Sen. Tito Sotto, producer Laurenti Dyogi, basketball legend
Freddie Webb and TV5 Host Lourd de Veyra stand proud with the badge of Letran on their hearts.

Credibility in terms of academic excellence is a principle Letran carries as it lived on through the years.

Numerous award-giving bodies here and abroad continually recognize the skills and works of Letranites, as they are in par with the competitiveness of the international and local standards.

Graduates of the Psychology and Accountancy programs are also unceasingly giving pride to the Colegio for always having the topnotch spot in the board exams.

Letran is also a frequent awardee in the Catholic Mass Media Awards, Alberione Awards, Philippine Quill and Araw Values Awards as the Institute of Communication students produce award-giving masterpieces, gaining various recognitions from different organizations.

Since 1620, the Colegio has been devoted to changing lives and upholding the principles of a Knight to its students. And as it goes through the years, Letran still keeps moving forward with that fiery spirit and the words: Siempre Arriba, Siempre Letran (Always Arriba, Always Letran)!


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