To our commencement speaker, distinguished guests of honor, school administrators, program heads, dear principal and assistant principal, dedicated teachers and compassionate homeroom advisers, our beloved parents and guardians, and my fellow MAWD graduates, good afternoon.
I’m thankful that God has given me an opportunity like this. I’m thankful that finally, our journey being senior high school students is finally over. Let us give ourselves a round of applause. Congratulations!!!
Honestly, this is so far the biggest opportunity that has ever come into my life. It is also a perfect chance to share my story about how I surpassed all the challenges throughout my senior high school life. On the side, I hope to give an inspiration to all the young souls here who are still hungry for more knowledge and experiences.
Before I set foot on the campus for a senior high school program, I had to make a big decision, just like most of you. I had to decide which strand to take although I was caught indecisive. Was it to become a STEM student? Or an ICT student? I had these choices because both of them have something to do with computers as per my prior research. I love using computers. Soon, I had to choose what I thought would help me further as I enter college. I want to pursue BSIT with specialization in Digital Arts or Bachelor of Multimedia Arts maybe. In my final decision, I had to choose ICT or MAWD here at STI Ortigas-Cainta because I know that it is the most suitable one for me.
In my two years of stay here at STI, I have experienced a lot. I have learned a lot. This school indeed has changed my life. Not exactly because of the school, but because of the people I’ve met and become friends with. I was a little introvert person, I should say. I had social anxiety and I was scared to talk in front of many people. I was scared to get judged by others. I was scared of failing. I was scared of being criticized. Luckily, I have classmates who were brave enough to talk to me, and I became so happy of that. I thought that it would be tough for me to have friends in school because of my personality.
Since the first day of school however, I always wanted to become an outstanding student because I have been a consistent honor student since elementary and I always wanted to make my parents proud. It was of course hard since it was a struggle for me to express myself in the class. Sometimes because of this, I would experience extreme sadness and frustration. How could I make my parents proud if it was too hard for me to develop myself and to adapt to the environment where I belong to? In my senior high school life, I didn’t experience too much failure when it comes to academics, but in myself, yes. I would treat my sadness as my defeat; however, instead of making myself give up, I would always stand up again and fight more, become more motivated, and become more committed to achieving my dreams. And now, I am standing here in front of you all, showing to all of you how victorious I am. I was able to overcome my personality flaw being an introvert person and started to get close with my friends and classmates. I also did my best and performed well in our class. I also became more expressive and because of that, people got to know me better, especially my teachers.
Yes, I love to draw. My friends know that, and that is one of the best ways on how I developed myself, on how I became a more expressive person. From a student who would always be alone, thinking of his life, his future, creating his own happiness, overcoming his sadness alone, sometimes talking only to himself, to a student who is now expressive, experiencing love, experiencing appreciations, experiencing friendship, and experiencing happiness. I learned to become a more confident person. I learned to believe in myself even more. Those fears that were stopping me, they’re now fading out because I’ve successfully and positively changed to who I am today.
To my teachers from Grade 11 to Grade 12, I wouldn’t be able to make this achievement if it was not because of you. Your pieces of advice, lessons, slices of life, all help me become more motivated in pursuing my dreams. Thank you for being our second moms and dads. **Thank you for helping us to become more motivated. Thank you for the assignments, elms activities, and the ILS that all made us become even more responsible persons. Thank you for making us feel that we really deserve this event.
To my adviser, Sir Seth Gabriel Iguis, thank you for being the best adviser to us. Thank you for being a good father to us. Thank you for the motivations, Sir. Thank you because you’re the one who pushed me and made me feel that I am really deserving to become the valedictorian of this batch.
To my best friends, Nicole Erasga and Irish Van Ochave, thank you for coming into my life, thank you for being there for me in every challenge that I have encountered. Thank you because you’re such my real treasures. To the Blusang Itim, yeah, I know blusang itim is already gone but still thank you for the memories you have given me. To my classmates, thank you MAWD 403.
To the person who has made me feel that I am special and to the person who is also very special to me, Marian Tejada, thank you so much because you came into my life. Thank you for the everyday thoughts. Thank you for being one of my inspirations. Thank you for motivating me. Thank you for helping me fix myself. Thank you.
To my family, thank you for being always there for me. Thank you for being mad at me if many times I would choose not to rest due to academic workloads that I had to finish. Thank you for the allowances that you’ve given me. Thank you for everything.
And especially to our Lord, thank you for the non-stop love. Thank you for listening to our prayers. Thank you for everything.
To all graduates, always remember that there is no challenge that we cannot overcome. All challenges can be overcome if we trust ourselves a hundred percent. Just trust yourself and be positive. Be confident, and don’t overthink. Yes, overthinking is hard to stop, but let your positivity and confidence overrule you. Pope John XXIII once said, “Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams. Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential. Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do.” This quote is really great and inspiring, right. Learn to build up yourself, don’t rely on others, only by yourself. They’re just your support, but you are the real star of the show. Failing makes us sad, but failing also teaches us. It teaches us that we should become better next time. Every person has his or her own potential. Others just surrender because they lack trust in themselves. If you really want to succeed, seek for your keys. Seek for your potentials. Just believe in yourself because God is there. Our friends are there. Our family is there to support us.
To us, MAWD students, we’ve finally finished our journey being senior high students. Now, it is time for us to step to a higher and a more challenging level. Just like the mobile games that we have been developing, for the players to gain more experiences and become more skillful, we should allow more challenges. Let us not give up. Let us believe in ourselves.
MAWD Batch 2018-2019, let us all give ourselves another round of applause. Let us dream bigger! Let us aim higher. Thank you and congratulations!!!
This is the manuscript of the short valedictory address delivered by Dionne Jasper Urbina during his senior high school graduation in April 2019.