Distinguished guests of honor, school administrators and Madam Principal, dynamic members of the faculty, proud and ever-supportive parents, dear friends, fellow graduates, and all who have gathered here today, good morning!
As I stand here today, I can still hear, even in silence, the same expectations and doubts I was first acquainted with two years ago. Doubtful, yes. That was how I felt the first time I had my feet on the campus and started carrying out what I believed was my part in meeting the demands and expectations of the evolving academic landscape, and others which I came to realize soon after. Yes, that was years ago, because here, I stand before you, a confident and self-affirmed young lady who is armed with all the knowledge and experiences, and who declares herself as ‘ready to face life’s challenges.’
Sometimes, our doubts become our reasons, not just our natural responses, to bring out the best in us. As we realize and push ourselves through, we become creative and resourceful in looking for alternatives, and hence we find inspirations to initiate and inspire change for the betterment of things around us.
Soon, my doubts became motivations which translate to moving forward, accomplishing tasks, breaking personal records, and hence, striving for excellence and accountable learning. I became accountable for my own learning that I exceeded expectations, not for numerical reasons, but for personal growth and the acquisition of knowledge and skills that may give me a ticket to the journey towards a more promising future of certainty and sustainability.
Our ultimate competitors are ourselves. Let’s all be competitive, without comparing ourselves against the achievements and success of others, for we may lose track of our journey and imprison ourselves in the shadows of others, rather let us be competitive upon liberating ourselves from enslaving complacency and fear of learning new things. Ralph Marston once said, and I requote, “Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude.” Excellence is an attitude, an unconscious desire to accomplish things excellently that would make us not only meet expectations but surpass them. It is the attitude that we constantly want to surpass our past achievements and be the better versions of ourselves.
In my two years of stay at STI, I have learned the value of hard work. Those seemingly sleepless nights, energy-draining school days, conflicting schedules, and daunting project defenses and presentations have sharpened my physical and intellectual gears. As I experienced rejections, failures, and efforts that seemed to go to waste, I became even more eager, more driven. As I stood up again and all sacrifices and perseverance seemed to pay off, I was also gifted by chance sweeter tastes of triumph.
Without any doubt however, STI has been true to its promise of superior learning systems for real-life education. We have become fully prepared for what life awaits us hereafter. In its pursuit of academic excellence among its students, soft skills and other beyond-the-classroom lessons have all also been taught and instilled by our dynamic and highly competent teachers. All that we can give in return for now is our heartfelt, ‘Thank you.’
My profound gratitude as well to the members of this batch, you guys, who have become part of my meaningful journey. To my friends who have been with me during my ups and downs, who have taught me that it’s not really bad to get out of my comfort zone, who have comforted me whenever I felt disappointed and inferior to others, who have accepted me even though I’m not really fun to be with, and definitely not the best friend you can have. I’m still happy with the thought the you guys still accepted me in your circle. You guys are the best people I have ever met. Thank you!
To my parents, Ma, Pa, I may not be the best and sweetest daughter you can have but believe me, I always try my very best to be deserving of wonderful parents like the two of you. I’m sorry for being a burden to you, but I promise I will strive really hard just to make you proud, and say, Anak ko yan! Most importantly, to God for making all of these possible, for giving me strength when I’m tired, motivation when I want to give up, and a fighting spirit when things don’t go my way. Thank you!
Today, I feel a mix of delight and shock — delight, because I can see how happy and proud my fellow graduates are. After the seemingly endless and stressful home works, quizzes, long tests, iLS activities with almost same deadlines, here we are today. Yes, we have just managed to survive without giving up. Seeing each of my batch mates’ faces gives me a sudden flashback of many different memories, and a little shock, because I still can’t believe that I got this kind of recognition and a privilege to speak on behalf of this graduating class.
I won’t make this very long. Again, I would like to congratulate all of us, the 2018 STI Senior High graduates for reaching this far. We’ve all done a great job! To all the proud parents here, we present to you the fruit of our success. God bless us all. Thank You!
This is the manuscript of the short valedictory address delivered by Maria Angelica M. Asi during her senior high school graduation in April 2018.