Challenges are part of our everyday life. Whether big or small, few or many, it is good that we reflect on the essence of experiencing these challenges. A prominent person once said, and I requote, “A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.”
As pioneering graduates of the controversial K to 12 program, we have been confronted with novel challenges, the demands and expectations in the overhaul of our educational system. However, we have also been equipped with knowledge and skills, hence honed, nurtured, and developed so to deal with more challenges and struggles in our lives hereafter. To my fellow graduates, or should I say future architects, engineers, scientists, doctors, accountants, managers, assistants, teachers, or whatever profession or job soon pursued, challenges can be but akin to heat in different temperature levels, heat that helps us forge our weapons against harsh realities of life.
To our commencement speaker, distinguished guests, school administrators, our academic head and principal Ms. Renia Matira, our assistant principal, Ms. Jo Anne Galo, members of the faculty, parents, and my fellow graduates, a pleasant afternoon to all of you!
Tonight, as we savour our last day being senior high students, we come to remember so many experiences that are worth cherishing and be thankful for. We are all gathered here, much older and much wiser, and hence, very much ready to take whatever challenges that may come to our lives. As I face all of you, mixed emotions overwhelm my heart – happiness, excitement, nostalgia, and even sadness. My vivid memories of the past two years seem rushing back today — the new environment, new classmates, new friends, and new teachers. I have experienced a lot of adjustments and struggles which helped me become who I am today. As the top student of this batch, it fits me in this occasion to express my gratitude and appreciation to all those who have extended me their support, hope, guidance, courage, and direction as I celebrate this milestone.
To my parents, thank you for guiding, encouraging, loving, and supporting me to bring out the best in me – what I can, and what I must remember. As I become irrational and stubborn sometimes, thank you for your understanding and guiding me to improve. To my mother, you’ve never pressured me to have awards, I’ve never heard you say, Kailangan ganito ka kapag grumaduate ka. You never asked for more, you are happy and contented with the passing marks in my subjects. And to my father, who has sacrificed a lot to show his love and support for us, thank you very much. I offer you this honor and recognition to show, in the least but best possible way, my gratitude for having parents like you.
To my siblings, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude and genuine appreciation for all things you’ve done. To the eldest, Ate Jezreez, thank you for sponsoring my tuition fees for the past two years. Without you, I would not be able to set foot on this institution. To Kuya Jasper, thank you for giving me pieces of advice for all things that I do. Despite your busy schedule, whenever possible, you still lend some time to share your insights with us. And of course, to my younger sister, Judith, thank you for giving me lots of things to laugh at and boosting my mood at times. Thank you all for helping me realize where I need to improve as a student.
To my dearest classmates, STEM 407 and my adviser, Ms. Christine Yurag, we’ve been through a lot. You guys have made me stronger in everything. Thank you for believing in me during those times I couldn’t even believe in myself. To Kyla, Jirah, and Lizette, my junior high close friends, as well as Shiela and Estella, for this senior high, you have influenced me a lot to strive harder in my studies, leading me to reach this goal. Thank you for being there through thick and thin. To my dearest club, STI Mathematics and Science Society, as well as my club adviser Ms. Donna Jane Delima, I owe you a lot. Being the president of this club, I have learned that being a leader takes a lot of efforts and sacrifices. I have developed my self-confidence and learned to adapt to different kinds of people. I will surely miss you all guys, surely will. Without you, my senior high school life wouldn’t be complete and enjoyable.