Mga Imbak na Marka: graduation

It takes a dream and a push

“Kamo na po ang bahala kaan na aki mi, dae mi na po an kaya!” that was a statement from a parent who obviously opted not to find ways anymore in getting their child back to school. The conversation that happened a few years ago was still heartbreaking.


A parent cannot give up on her child no matter how academically slow or apathetic the latter is. At the back of our mind then, “what future would the child have should we opt to give up on him, too?” In the little ways we could, we tried motivating the learner… encouraged him to go to school and did what we could to make him love the idea that staying in school is cool and it’s really a prerequisite towards achieving his dreams [if he already had one for himself or for his family].

Before the second quarter ends, the parent informed us in a casual conversation that their child has decided to quit schooling. And that she and her husband have yielded to their son’s desire to leave for Manila and get whatever work he could find there. They’d even justified their decision that it was the best option their child had so he can finally avoid his ‘barkadas’ whom they accused of serving as ‘bad influence’ to their child. It was a crazy idea, I complain to myself.

Maybe our ‘little ways’ were too little… Obviously, we failed.

Another parent came to us [upon our guidance counselor’s request], complained of an almost similar plight… of how much their child was giving them so much headache [and perhaps, heart attacks of varying degree] and how sorry their family was for their child’s misbehavior.

But the twist in the story happened when the parent reaffirmed their commitment of not leaving their child. I sensed an air of doubt and hopelessness when she began saying, “dae na gayod kami ki magibo kaan na aki…” but was turned almost teary-eyed when I heard her adding, “…kaya lang pano na sana an pag-abot kan panahon, kun dae mi paghinguhaang mag-agom na makatapos maski hayskul na sana.” The student’s father is a carpenter and his mother is a plain housekeeper.

I was reminded of the latter’s conversation yesterday during our school’s graduation rites. While reading the roll of graduates, I was among the spectators who cheered for him as he happily waited for his mother and hold her hand as they walk towards the stage to receive his diploma.

One dream at a time… Click this photo to view the post on Facebook.

It’s a dream come true for his parents. It’s also a dream come true for us teachers and for the Institution who have been entrusted of the most challenging task of taking good care of their dreams and inspirations.

There is still so much task ahead for both of us – the school and the home, but we’re glad we’re doing our collective share one learner at a time, one dream at a time. Maybe that was enough…

The Gift in You…

Transcript of my Commencement Address during the 44th Commencement Exercises of Carrascal Memorial Academy, Magallanes, Sorsogon on March 28, 2012.


CMA Alumni Association President Mr. Cesar G. Labalan, Mrs. Gimma Lou Abraham - Mella, ESP1, the Confirming Official, GPTA President Mr. Roger Llaneta with me congratulating Marjorie Dioquino Guarino, the Class Valedictorian.


Thank you for the introduction

To the School Administrator Ms. Margie Orteza, my former  adviser and subject teacher when I was in Grade IV at Eduardo Lee Chan Memorial School, Maam Gimma Lou Abraham – Mella, the DepEd Representative, the dedicated members of the faculty of Carrascal Memorial Academy, Inc., Mr. Cesar G. Labalan – the ever-supportive President of the CMA Alumni Association, Mr. Roger Llaneta, the president of the GPTA and the rest of the member officers who are here tonight, to the proud parents of Batch 2012 whose happiness is evidently felt at this very moment, to you my dear graduates of 2012, guests and visitors, ladies and gentlemen, a blessed evening!

When I was first asked by my friend, Ms. Jean Gonza, if I could be able to be with you on this very special occasion as your commencement speaker, I wanted to humbly turn down the invitation because I just felt somebody else deserves more to be on this podium giving you graduates and the rest of you who are here tonight messages of inspiration and well wishes. Pero magayunon palan na oportunidad na makaibahan kamo ngonian. Just last week, I fully realized, I had to be thankful to Mam Gonza and Mam Laida Tia-Cruz and the rest of the faculty for this exceptional opportunity. Numbness of my left face has caused me to twitch a bit and my left eye to involuntarily close. Medyo matanglay an kabanga ko na pandok.  Eating and even drinking has become a slight inconvenience to me as my facial muscle weakens. Suddenly, I found it hard to pronounce some words. The initial finding reveals that it was a mild stroke. Marhay ngani ta nakataram pa ako ta basi madiretso ako matiwi dae Sarong dakulaon na honra na makataram ako sa atubang nindo mga magurang asin mga graduates. Tonight is the 44th Commencement Exercises of CMA so tibasi  makaabot pa man ako ki 44. Good sign siguro ito.

Commencement does not mean – end. Kung mareparo kamo kan diksyunaryo, an commencement boot sabihon ‘pagpoon’- start. The dictionaries define it as a ‘start’, an ‘initiation’, a ‘beginning’. Thus, today marks the dawning of greater chapters in your lives, dear graduates. Ngonian minapoon an panibagong kabtang kan saindong mga buhay. Better changes are about to commence sigurado na mga maray na pagbabago an saindong mamamatian asin maaapresyar should you allow yourselves to be actively involved with. After all, nothing remains constant except for change. Dae man baga talaga ki permanente sa mundo apisar sa pagbabag-o.

As you stand on the brink of moving into life beyond Carrascal Memorial Academy, ngonian na mahale na kamo sa  eskwelahan na naguin nindong pangaduwang harong,  change will be inevitable! It is inevitable and indeed gratifying to see that your class matured and became skills proficient ready to tackle and further your life-long education. It is inevitable that structures and processes and relationships will change in your day-to-day lives. Kadakol na manga pagbabag-o an saindong mahahampang sa manga maabot pa na aldaw asin panahon. It is inevitable that you will face new challenges and it is inevitable that things may seem a little different in the years ahead. Yes, life is definitely going to change as you bid goodbye to CMA.

I would like you to look back this evening on a journey – a journey that started out with hesitant, doubtful steps four years ago mawot ko na balikan nindo ito na eksperhensiya nido kan nakaaguing apat na taon digdi sa CMA when you first entered CMA as freshmen. I invite you to recall the most wonderful experiences you shared with your classmates and peers, including those which you happily shared with your mentors. Your stories and experiences of love, friendships, pains and joys, both serious and humorous will now be part of your yesteryears – malipas an panahon asin an manga ini kabtang na lang kan saindong mga pinagaguihan…  the worth reminiscing episode of your high school life…

But acquiring basic secondary education here in CMA isn’t just about making friends or gathering happy thoughts and sharing worthwhile encounters with your classmates and teachers. There is something more important in your stay here. Mas may hararom pang rason kan pagpadigdi nindo sa eskwelahan…

True to her vision, Carrascal Memorial Academy believes in your potential to be great leaders in our community.  An CMA dakula an pagtubod sa saindong kapasidad na maguing lideres kan komunidad na ini sa tamang panahon. Thus, to fully realize this, your mentors who seem to be attending  the impeachment trial right now – with their gowns [laughter] have committed themselves to provide you with a variety of learning experiences that will cater your needs and possibilities, hoping that in the future each one of you becomes an able… lugod an kada saro saindo sa tuwang asin pagpadaba kan mga maestro maestra digdi may may mikontribwer sa satuya na banwaan…. we hope that each one of you becomes an ableand dependable members of our community. I am fully aware how your teachers have selflessly marked their influence in your formation.

At this moment, let us give Carrascal Memorial Academy the applause she so deserves! [Applause] This Christ-centered educational institution embarks on the premise of developing the holistic being of the minds and hearts of young Magallenos. Thank you for committing to your Vision and Mission! In the occasion of your 44th Commencement Exercises CMA has proven well enough that as an educational institution you have a vital role in touching and improving the lives of so many Magallenos.  Indeed, in your care, you have nurtured thousands of productive citizens of our beloved town – Magallanes! An manga kairibahan ko ngonian parehas ko produkto man kan Carrascal Memorial Academy. Mam Gimma Lou, Sir Cesar are both products of CMA!!!

The same words of recognition and gratitude go out to you my dear colleagues in the noble field of education!  You are heroes in the hearts of this graduating class! As an educational facilitator myself, I have understood how challenging our roles are! Nasasabutan ko asin namamatian ko kun pan-o ka dipisil maging paratukdo sa panahon na ini. It is never easy to maintain utmost poise and sanity when students go out of hand, sometimes. Preparing our lessons and effectively delivering them to cater their multiple intelligences and hone them up as independent learners is never simple! Laen simple maguing kaparte kan buhay kan manga aque na ini bilang maestro asin maestra. But, tonight’s occasion is a resonant congratulatory manifestation that you have done your part so well! Dear teachers, thank you for continuing the legacy of Msgr. Francisco Antiado – Hermida, the founder of this school and his successors, the late Lola Adelina C. Labalan [my Biology Teacher when I was in second year] and our good friend, Mr. Evan Orteza Cruz. Salamat kan padagos na pagdara nindo kan sulo… kan kalayo tanganing magtaong liwanag sa mga aki na ini… Thank you for keeping their spirit alive! Thank you for not ceasing to exist as role models and constant motivators of this graduating class! You deserve a round of applause! [Applause]

Again, Class of 2012 there is something more important in your stay here! This year’s theme: ‘Your Gift of Learning, Our Tool for Nation Building’ is a provocative cue of your role in our society! Igua kamong importante parte sa satuyang sosyodad… The DepEd Secretary, Bro. Armin Luistro, in his commencement message, says. ‘We are all architects, engineers and builders working together in this colossal project we call our country, the Philippines.Padagos tang pinapagayon, pinapakarhay an kamugtakan kan padaba tang Pilipinas…  Your education in this institution which serves as your second home, prepares you of your noble responsibility in making our country and the lives of our fellowmen better! Kaya kamo anion ta pigpeprepar kamo kan saindo na parte sa padagos na pagpanday kan satuyang padaba na nasyon. The experiences which you have gained in the classrooms are dynamic springboards of your tasks in the future.  Your skills and proficiencies, which are sharpened in the four walls of your classrooms, are in demand in order for us to build a better Philippines. Anuman an manga aktibidades asin eksperhensiya na igua kamo sa classroom gabos ito parte tanganing madiskubre nindo an saindong manga kakayahan bilang manga panday kan banwaan na ini – bilang nation builders.

Indeed, your education is a gift! The Philippine government, through the Department of Education, is in constant pursuit of offering you the best quality basic education you can have! President Benigno Cojuangco Aquino, through his Educational Reform Program, pursues the achievement of excellent graduates in the elementary and secondary level. The implementation of the Understanding by Design (UbD) approach in the new Secondary Education Curriculum, the passing of the Republic Act 10157 popularly known as Kindergarten Act which shall fully take effect next school year, and the proposals to add two more years in high school – that is the senior high school, are clear evidences that this country wants and is on its way of producing quality graduates competent enough to meet the international standards and responsive enough to actively address the needs of this developing nation.

But I would like to emphasize this ladies and gentlemen, dear graduates! The real gifts are not solely the learning that you have received in this institution and the education that you will be getting in college. Your toga, your diplomas are but just wrapper of the real gifts… Your medals and awards are but just ribbons and additional decoration of these gifts. Some gifts are lucky to be adorned with special wrappers, multi-coloured laces and gold-plated ornaments while others are plainly wrapped. But then again, these are only the superficial portions of these gifts. The real gift lies WITHIN YOU! An tunay na regalo yaon sa laog kan togang iyan… yaon sa nagkakapot kan diplomang an!

You are the gift that this country needs! You are a gift to your family… sa manga magurang nindo… You are a gift to the world!!! Celebrate the gift in you! Recognize and believe in your potentials as dynamic leaders in the making! Midbidon asin iapresyar an sadiri bilang regalo na may maguiguinibuhan para sa satuyang sosyodad.. Appreciate the ‘’giftness’’ in you…

Dear graduates, forget not that in the discovery of your being a gift to others, sa pagdiskubre nindo kan saindong manga sadiri bilang manga regalo, igua que manga tawo na nagdusay sa saindo… there are those who have painstakingly and selflessly guided you. These are the very special individuals who have moulded you and introduced you first in the laboratory of life… They are your parents, your guardians, who have become your first teachers.

In this very important moment, it is but right that I invite you dear graduates to show your appreciation and love to your parents. Go to them, embrace them and let them feel the warmth of your gratitude and love…. Magduman kamo sa saindong manga magurang asin ipamati an saindong pagapresyar sa pagpadaba saindo… this is the moment to tell them how special they are to you… [pause]

Manga padaba ming magurang… Dear parents, thank you for moulding these young individuals into what and who they have become now! Your sacrifice and countless acts of generosity have surely inspired these young kids to become the better gifts that they are now! Nagtaong inspirasyon an saindong pagsakripisyo asin paglapigot sa manga aki na ini tanganing sinda mag-ungod sa pag-adal… Thank you for sending them to school… Thank you for providing their needs – materially, emotionally… Thank you for understanding them when they become unlovable, sometimes. Minsan ngani manga pasaway dae man guiraray nawawara an pagpadaba ta sainda. Thank you for just being there. Thank you for your immeasurable love! And most of all, thank you for allowing us to experience their sense of ‘giftness’!  To you I give my salute and warmest appreciation! Tawan ta ki parakpakan an padaba tang manga magurang… [applause] saludo po kami sa saindong pagsakripisyo…

Now, finally, my dear graduates… Today’s achievements may fade or even be forgotten…. gabos na kaogmahan kan bangui na ini maaagui asin minsan malilingawan… The applause may become a distant memory and your diplomas and medals may gather dust on a shelf or in a drawer. But, you will always be remembered for caring enough, for helping someone, for making someone feel special and appreciated and for being the kind of classmate or friend that others enjoy spending time with here in school.  An ogma kan saindong pagtinir digdi sa eskwelahan padagos nindong babalunon… The classrooms may be filled again with jovial rumblings of new sets of students next school year, but rest assured your memories will be etched in your teachers’ hearts. Mamimiss kan manga maestra nindo an saindong manga harakhak… manga pasaway… mamimiss an paguiguing regalo nindo… Your names are now engraved in the foundation of this educational institution. You have done a great job! Congratulations!!! [Applause]

Arie Pencovici says, Graduation is only a concept.  In real life every day you graduate.  Graduation is a process that goes on  until the last day of your life.  If you can grasp that, you’ll make a difference.”

‘What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.’
  an author says. Value what’s within you! Distinguish and make use of your talents, skills, values and characters  because altogether these make the GIFT in you!

Graduates, Ladies and Gentlemen, as we face and tackle the inevitable changes in our lives and in our society, let us hold true to ourselves and celebrate the ‘giftness’ in us. Let us remember to hold onto our value system, our work ethic and most importantly, our humanity. It is these qualities that will guide us further on our journey as we continuously build a better, more peaceful and a developed Philippines!

Dios marhay na Bangui po sa saindo gabos….