To our distinguished guests of honor, school administrators and beloved principal, faculty and staff, our dear parents, my fellow graduates, and all who have gathered here today for this very special occasion, good afternoon!
Today marks another milestone of a shared endeavor among the stakeholders of education, our proud and ever-supportive parents, our highly competent and skilled educators, and all young souls who first set foot on this campus two years ago. Yes, that was two years ago when all I had then were hunger and thirst for knowledge and experience.
Two years ago, I was just a typical student. Shy and nervous. I felt like a stranger wandering in a place where most, at my age and innocence, wore but friendly and innocent smiles on their faces, and I guess as I also had in my head then, confidence with the promise of this reputable institution. I should have been skeptical just the way others, who would simply peek from the outside, usually do, but I never did. I held firmly onto this confidence until such a moment of a great realization – I have been living each day of my senior high coinciding just with the promise of real-life education.
Living with the promise has led me to the discovery of my innate abilities, faculties, and all that deserve enhancement and refinement. Of course, it was never easy discovering my true self and identity. But who would say it’s easy breaking free from your shell of ignorance and innocent irrationality? Thanks to all the academic challenges that have served me a reason to grow, a reason to develop new life skills, and a reason to break my personal records. I am, with honesty and confidence, but a student recently conferred as a graduate, and I say that I am ready to face life’s challenges.
Without those nearly unrealistic academic workloads and everything that required us all to go through sleepless nights, stressful exam weeks, daunting defenses and presentations, and healthy arguments with team members, we would not have learned the value of hard work, the sweetness of the compliment ‘You have just exceeded our expectations!’ and the need for the long been desired but might have already been given up by many Filipinos – collaboration and solidarity.
Now we all have the reasons and the experiences from the last few critical months of our celebration of innovation and simulated entrepreneurship, not the skepticisms, to believe in the promise of real-life education. Right here and more steps farther, we just had the taste of the realities of life and the change that the world awaits us to make. May the same reasons and cherished experiences fuel more our engines as we climb more heights and reach horizons.
As a humble representative of this batch of graduates, I would like to express my sincerest gratitude and appreciation to all who have been by our sides in our encounters with the ups and downs all throughout our senior high school life.
To our teachers and professors, who have passionately shared their knowledge, skills, and experiences to the best that they could, and who have made us realize that failures are inevitable and that we should not be discouraged rather motivated, thank you, Ma’am and Sir! As J.K. Rowling said, “Avoid living so cautiously that you might as well not lived at all. In which case, you failed by default.” Our special thanks to Sir Bes, our Tay AJ Ganzon, for instilling among us the value of being ‘ready’ at all times. Whenever you would say, “Are you guys ready?”, we would panic a little, and start asking our seatmates, Huy, may homework ba? or Hala, may quiz ba? As the school year ends, we will surely miss that feeling and experience. Thank you, Sir, for being our motivation and for giving us challenges that we thought we couldn’t make but soon surprised by how we were able to make it. You are truly the best, Sir Bes!
To my Adviser, Sir Genesis David, thank you sir for being kind to us. Thank you for believing in us. You have always encouraged us to do better. You have always been there whenever we needed you. You are just one “page” and one “chat” away. You’ve always been approachable ever since. You are more than a professor for us, thank you sir for being our friend!
To our mentors, who have always been willing to help us with all their capacity and experience, thank you for spending your time helping us in and outside the school no matter how busy you were.
To my friends, Team Caps, Power Puff, Brownies, sama na rin yung Brotherhood, thank you for all the laughter that we shared! I enjoyed every moment I spent with you. You never failed to make us laugh and lift each other up when we’re feeling down. My stay here on STI would have been boring without you guys! Ang gagaling niyong lahat ‘tas enjoyin niyo lang ‘yung life. Sabi nga ni Sam, EZ ka lang brownie! Mamimiss ko kayong lahat!
To my parents and so to all parents here, thank you for always being at our side and for providing us what we need. Without you, we wouldn’t be here. Thank you as well to the parents of my group mates who have welcome us in your humble homes for our sleepovers and group studies.
To my fellow graduates, congratulations! As much as we have gained a lot from our experiences here, there are still more to go. May we not get tired of learning new things. May we not deviate to what we have been taught to become – more effective followers, competent leaders, and productive members of our society. Let us all aim higher, STIers!
After all the struggles and the bumpy roads that we’ve been through, we have finally reached our destination. Although we haven’t shared the same struggles, I’m still proud that nothing stopped you from being here today. And now, we must prepare for another road that we are about to take. I know and I believe that we, guys, are still going to make it. As what Mirranda Kerr, a famous author, said “We all have bad days, but one thing is true, no cloud is so dark that the sun can’t shine through.”
Congratulations Batch 2018! Thank you, and good luck on our long journey ahead!
This is the manuscript of the short valedictory address delivered by Karen Faith A. Abuan during her senior high school graduation in April 2018.