Distinguish guests, beloved teachers, proud parents, fellow graduates, friends, ladies and gentlemen, good day to all of you…
Graduation day…. this is our moment in time. We have been making a countdown. 5 days more to go, 4 more days to go, 3, 2 and one more day to go before graduation. Yes, wee have been excited for the last few days. And now, the final hour has come. We now have a sigh of relief. Thanks God! No more assignments, recitations, projects, exams, tasks that are too taxing for everyone of us. My fellow graduates, this is not yet the end but just a beginning of another phase in the lifetime quest for learning. Let us bear in mind the knowledge and skills we acquired with which our supportive parents, dedicated teachers and thoughtful classmates equipped us with, will be our weapon for further struggle in life. We will be facing the more delicate, sacred and gargantuan tasks of nation building.
There was a very young eagle, curious than the others, moved to the edge of the nest, lost his balance and fell to the ground. He was unconscious for a while but woke up soon to find himself in a family of a chicken. He saw the chicks, scratching the grounds and picking up some grains to eat. He tried to do the same to satisfy his hunger but found himself, almost a failure.
The next morning, he looked up in a blue sky, which was so inviting. It seemed to tell him, “Fly to me, this is where you belong.” He tried to imitate the birds in the sky, but he would always fall down to the ground.
Few days later, looking again, he saw some eagle flying. Something inside him, motivated him to try spreading his wings again up and up. He came soaring to the sky. Then, he said, “Now i know, my home is in the sky and I AM AN EAGLE”.
Like that eagle, I’m sure that most of us have found our own identities. We are Filipinos. We owe our existence to our Almighty Creator that we’ll love one another and care for our beloved country. Each one has a duty to keep ourselves growing, the way our Creator wanted us to be.
Let me quote a line from Jose Rizal’s Mi Ultimo Adios. “Querida Filipinas, oye el poster adios!” “Beloved Philippines, let your name be proclaimed in the world!! It has been Rizal’s dream that we Filipinos must be proud of our race. Taas Noo, Kahit Kanino, Tayo ay Filipino authored by President Fidel V. Ramos. We really can’t deny the fact that we had great men who almost conquered and made name in the world. To enunciate, the prowess of our athletes like Nepomuceno, Velasco and Espinosa. The great artists like Lea Salonga and Nora Aunor, the names of Sarah Balabagan ang Flor Contemplacion, the award given to us during the 108th Tournament of Rose Parade and the success of APEC. These and many more justify that we as Filipinos should have that pride and not be ashamed of our race.
Friends, let us join hands to continue the good deeds of sung and unsung heroes and the great men of our nation. The future depends on us. Start to help in building our nation and let us not be burden our society.
I know that most of us are from poor families. But it can’t be denied that education opens the door for the better future. Secondary education is not enough so we have to take anothe leap for brighter tomorrow. Let this be our guiding words. If there’s a will, there’s a way. Poverty is not a hindrance to success.
We Filipinos are conquering the world. Let’s continue rekindling the flames of torch of victory. Do you still remember the poem that we took up in our First Year? Let me recite that poem..
LIKE THE MOLAVE
by Rafael Zuleta da Costa
Not yet, rizal, not yet, the glory hour shall come
Out of the silent dreaming from the seven thousand fold silence
We shall emerge saying We Are Filipinos
And no longer be ashamed
Sleep not in peace
The dream is not yet fully curved
Hard the wood but harder the blows
Yet the molave will stand
Yet the molave monument will rise
And God will walk in brown legs….
Friends, let’s keep moving. I thank you.
This was delivered on my graduation day at Bigain National High School, April 1997.