Marianas Variety

Last updateTue, 10 Dec 2019 12am







    Sunday, December 8, 2019-11:50:58P.M.






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Loremel Hocog: NMC Class of 2012

IN just two-days’ time some 120 students dressed in cap and gown will walk in a graduation ceremony to collect their Northern Marianas College degree as family and friends cheer, clap and cry.

Loremel Hocog participates in a DEQ Laolao Bay re-vegetation project in 2011. Contributed photosLoremel Hocog participates in a DEQ Laolao Bay re-vegetation project in 2011. Contributed photosFor Loremel Hocog, the ceremony carries more significance and gratitude than probably most of his peers could ever imagine.

The future liberal arts degree graduate is a measured, focused, highly articulate and thoughtful young-man who has kept his eyes on the prize for himself and two families.

“I want to make Saipan and my parents proud,” declared Hocog in describing his daily objective.

Manila boy

Hocog is the oldest of five children in his Filipino family of origin.

In 2005, at the age of 13 years old, his parents sat Hocog down and helped him imagine a better life with quality education that would lead to life-long success.

The dream though required significant self-sacrifice that many families could never embrace; separation and selflessness.

When the teenager landed on Saipan from Manila he was embarking on an adventure that would include his adoption by an Aunt (his father’s sister) and her Chamorro husband, and a new country, culture and school.

“The change was a little scary at first, but I was also excited, and soon felt at home among the Kagman High School community” stated Hocog about his time of transition.

Loremel Hocog  holds his Kagman High School diploma after graduating as a Top 3 student in 2009.Loremel Hocog holds his Kagman High School diploma after graduating as a Top 3 student in 2009.The newly minted son understood the heavy expectations of two families on two islands in two countries.

“I realized the privileges of being here…not many people get this kind of chance in their lives,” explained the calm young man in jeans and a T-shirt, “and I had to take it seriously.”

And so he did, with determination and dedication.

Hocog graduated in the top 3 of the Kagman class of 2009 and headed straight to NMC after a ‘Start Smart’ seminar that aims to encourage and prepare high school students to pursue a college education.

On Saturday, Hocog will be one of 50 students collecting an associate’s degree in liberal arts.

Next up, Hocog will head straight back to NMC in the fall to complete two more years for a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

Thereafter he hopes to work at PSS in an elementary school and take online courses to attain a secondary teaching degree to reach his ultimate goal of being a high school teacher at where else but KHS.

“Kagman is always underestimated…it’s a great school that welcomed me from day one and I want to join the family again as a teacher,” enthused Hocog.

In the meantime, he continues to work full-time at Subway to help supplement the college scholarships and send money home for his other siblings’ education.

“Going to school full-time and working full-time is a small sacrifice for what I’ve been given by both my families… I’m happy going to work knowing the money makes such a big difference to my family in the Philippines,” said the young graduate with endless gratitude.

To all the families making selfless sacrifices on behalf of the next generation, the Marianas Variety thanks and salutes you.