To our invited speaker, distinguished guests of honor, school administrators and program heads, our principal and assistant principal, our hardworking teachers and compassionate homeroom advisers, supportive parents, friends, classmates, my fellow graduates, ladies and gentlemen, good morning!
Moving forward matters.
I, for one, was stuck in the past during my first year in Senior High School. Lagi kong kinukumpara ‘yung mga kaklase ko dati sa kaklase ko ngayon; kinukumpara ang sarili ko sa nakalipas na panahon. I never looked at what’s in front of me during the first months of my Grade 11. And that limited me to do more than I could have, and it gave me a hard time. Umiyak ako no’n naalala ko.
“Nay, ayoko na. Lilipat na lang ako ng school next sem!” “Kasi gan’to, kasi gan’yan!”
My mother, being the supportive one she is, challenged me, “pag ‘di mo na talaga kaya, sige lilipat kita.”
From that moment onward, I had a reason. Higit pa sa makapasa, kundi pati makalipat. It’s quite a sad reason para pumasok, but it made me take the first steps forward, half-heartedly.
I became the president of our section. It greatly helped me get out of my comfort zone. Step by step, I interacted with them gradually so that somehow, I could become their worthy classmate, friend, and president.
I started to forge healthy relationships in and out of the classroom. It was fun and genuine at the least, but the frustration’s there because half of the purpose was merely out of obligation and not entirely out of will. I drew a line between people saying, “I need to do this as their president.”
I was moving, yes, but slowly kasi may pinanghahawakan pa ako sa nakaraan.
Then Grade 12 came, and I can say this was one of the best years of my life. ‘Di ako lumipat ng school kasi slowly but surely I knew that STEM404 was where I belonged. I stepped down from my position in our classroom because I became the President of STIMSS which also became my stepping stone to who I am today.
That’s when it all began. Sabi ko, simula pa lang tapos nilagay ko rin sa PerDev Plan ko, that I would be speaking here in front of people who share the same emotions as me, and here I am. In some way, paraan ko ‘to para makabawi sa mga kaklase ko, I want to make them proud.
That’s when I decided to really move forward, to let go of who I was, and actually be a STEM404 student and not an STE in STI.
I began to move forward.
I met a lot of people, made even more friends with G11 kids and G12 “klasmeyts.” It was fun, fulfilling, and memorable. I met the people I want to keep, met the world waiting for me.
I admit that I was a step behind, but it was never too late to take the leap forward. Hindi man ngayon o bukas, o kaya naman humakbang ka na pero sa tingin mo naiiwan ka pa rin, hindi pa huli para tignan ang sarili [tignan mo kung may paa pa ba] at magtanong kung humakbang ba talaga tayo, baka nga nadapa lang tayo o kaya nabunggo. It comes with the right time along with our own pace, and of course with our own full will. Kasi kung tama nga yung timing, ayaw mo naman; wala rin.
Motion is done with an external force acting upon an object. The force needs to come from us so we can move forward and be able to fight back the gravity that’s pulling us down. It’s a challenge that prepares us today and the days to come. We will be the ones to shape our future, our footprints will be the ones that will color the canvass that we have just started to paint.
Wala naman sa kung sino ang unang humakbang pa-abante, kung hindi nakasalalay ito kung kailan nga ba talaga natin tunay na pipiliing humakbang. Kasi pag natuto tayong humakbang, matututo tayong maglakad, tumalon, at tumakbo. Madapa man tayo, pero at least sa pagtayo, alam nating gumalaw tayo mula sa dating posisyon. So, whatever it is, appreciate it. Alam mo sa sarili mong nag-eeffort ka, and alam kong nag-eeffort ka. It’s not too late to let go of the past, move forward, and see what the present has in store for us.
Kaya ngayon, tapikin niyo yung katabi niyo sabihin niyo sa kanila, “proud ako sayo.” Your every little step matters, ikaw yun e. Nagmo-move ka. There are times nga lang na may tutulak sayo’t ma-a-out-of-balance ka. But it’s a progress, kahapon, ngayon, o bukas ka man humakbang,
“I’m proud of you.”
Ito talaga yun e, I want to tell everyone in this place na kahit isa lang ako, ay may taong sumusuporta at proud sa kanila.
This time, tapikin ang sarili sa balikat. Tapos sabihin mo with all your heart, “proud ako sayo.” Because more than anyone else, we should be proud of ourselves, sariling paa pa rin naman natin ang gumagalaw kaya deserve mong i-appreciate at i-recognize lahat ng efforts na ginawa mo, maliit man o malaki, to move.
Of course, to every supportive parent in this gymnasium, I know everyone of you is as proud as my parents.
Guys, proud din sa ‘tin si God, remember that.
To end this, I’d like to thank a few for being there in every single step I made and will be making: God, everything I have achieved is by Your grace. Nanay, Tatay, at lahat ng tao sa bahay, I’ll make you even prouder in the future. My non-blood related family Karla, Pao, Jas, Ash, Linsie, Ardelle, at Ren. Sa lahat ng teachers nating naniwala at naniniwala sa’tin. Cheers to Ma’am Donna, Sir Marvin, Ma’am Christelle, and of course to Ma’am K, Mikee Katigbak. Yhannie, Gab, at buong STEM404 na walang sawang sumusuporta sa brownies ko at sa’kin. Proud na proud ako sa inyo. Albert, Jan May, and Frances, thank you. STIMSS STI, thank you.
And lastly, thank you sa’yo Ainalyn. Proud na proud ako sayo. Thank you to everyone in this gymnasium. I wish for your success whatever course that may be. Good luck sa tatahakin nating landas, kahit ano pa yan, let’s move forward.
Once again, congratulations and thank you.
This is the manuscript of the short valedictory address delivered by Ainalyn Nerves during her senior high school graduation in April 2019.