Tearful Eyes, Into Joyful Hearts June 12, 2005Posted by kilospup in Alumni.
Tearful Eyes, Into Joyful Hearts
By Annalee Foz
Magna cum laude
Bachelor in Political Science
(International Relations), 2001
Speech delivered during the Commencement Exercises
Held on April 2001 at the Folks Arts Theater
CCP Complex, Roxas Blvd., Pasay City
Madam President, Dr. Ofelia Morabe-Carague,
Distinguished Commencement Speaker, Hon. Rosenda Ann Ocampo, Honorable Vice Presidents: Dr. Samuel m. Salvador for Academic Affairs, Dr. Dante G. Guevarra for Administration, Dr. Normita Villa for Research and Development, Dr. Carmela Perez for Finance and Dr. Moises Garcia for Student Affairs.
Beloved college deans and department chairs,
Dearest parents and friends, my co- graduates,
Ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
As I stand before you this afternoon, I realized that it is indeed a great privilege to be a student of this institution, however, such privilege implies great responsibilities: the arduous struggle for excellence and exemplary character building and the acquisition of skills and competencies through varied curricular and co-curricular activities. These molded my life as a student and as a person in order to be honorable in all kinds of endeavor.
Day of graduation! It is a day worth remembering for both parents and students. It is a day when toils and labors are rewarded. It is a day for retrospection, for parents, whose means are inadequate to support daily needs, yet have never ceased to strive to give their children the highest level of education, and for students, who are not discouraged from continuing to run the race, with eyes drawn to the most coveted prize of success, though obstacles before them seem insurmountable. This day is truly a day of jubilation, for both parents and students who will always remember this with tearful eyes yet joyful hearts.
The moment of moments has finally come, and the presence of an overwhelmingly warm crowd of graduates, parents and friends who had shared our struggles to finish our college studies touch the very core of my soul, the essence of my being.
Fellow graduates, as I look at the past, I can see the four difficult years of hardships and toils-the ups and downs, the tears and joys that makes studying challenging and fulfilling. These four years of burning the midnight oil, were not easy, but I never lost my vision; that vision of success, maintaining the philosophy that in every tear, there is forthcoming joy, that in every obstacles and hardships, there will be a rewarding success.
Four years ago, after I finished high school, I made a decision to pursue my studies in Manila although I knew it was going to be difficult to be away from my parents, neighbors, and friends and of course money was definitely going to be a problem.
My parents are public servants. This means that they can afford to send me to college. However, during that time, all of us were going to school and three of us were in college. This made it almost impossible for my parents to make both ends meet. Since it had been my desire to take a four year course, I found myself enrolled in PUP despite the odds staring me in the face. Registration fees were not so much of a problem because it is a state-owned university but day-to-day expenses were a different story.
There was even an instance when my friends asked me to join them to dine out, but since I had only eight pesos in my wallet, just enough for my fair in going home, I did not go with them. Instead, I contented my self with going to the library and doing some research. This situation was repeated several times, until it became the order of the day. Little did I realize this was a blessing in disguise because it helped me become a better student. During those days, I never spent beyond my budget because I simply could not afford it. I had to be a wise spender the extent of limiting myself to two meals a day. I did this by getting up around 9:30 in the morning, eating my breakfast and lunch at the same time at about 10:30 in the morning and then eating my supper late in afternoon. I maintained that schedule for quite a long time, again and again, and the Lord was always with me because He never allowed me to get sick. I now know His plans for me to succeed and be of help to my younger brothers who are still in college.
In addition to financial difficulties, I also had problems coping with the high standards of the university. There was occasions when I’m almost ready to give up. Who would not when after you had tried all your best, by reading prescribed books to answer all questions, and writing the research paper to its perfect finish, professors would still not be satisfied? Instead of quitting, I found myself doing another set of term paper or projects with added meticulousness and accurateness so that everything would turn right. This countless challenging situations happened during my college days, I felt then that there were just too much to bear, but now I realize to my surprise and elation that I have surpassed them all with no regrets.
Mga kapwa ko magsisipagtapos sa hapong ito, kung ano ako ngayon sa inyong harapan ay bunga ng walang sawang pagsisikap ng aking mga magulang at guro sa paaralang ito. To my beloved parents who are here today, I publicly offer my outmost gratitude for your unselfish devotion for my education. Hindi ko kailanman makakalimutang balikan sa aking alaala ang mga paghihirap at walang pagod ninyong paghahanapbuhay para lamang kaming anak ninyo ay matugunan ang lahat ng mga pangangailangan sa pag-aaral. Gayundin po ang walang sawa ninyong pagpatnubay at paghubog sa aking kaisipan patungo sa tuwid na landas ng kinabukasan. Ang inyong pagtitiis sa kabila ng aking mga pagkukulang ay napakahalagang gabay na kailanman ay hindi ko makakalimutan. Maraming-maraming salamat po sa inyo.
Sa lahat ng magulang na naririto upang saksihan an gaming pagtatapos, binabati ko po kayo sa inyong ginawang pagpupunyagi, maigapang lamang ninyo an gaming pag-aaral. Kayo ang mga buhay na bantayog ng pagmamahal, pagdamay at pagmamalasakit alang-alang sa magandang kinabukasan ng isang anak na katulad ko. So, along with all the other graduates this afternoon, I wish to show my administration to all the parents present for a remarkable job. My dear fellow graduates, please stand and let’s give our parents a standing ovation. Palakpakan po natin silang lahat.
To our beloved professors, we pay our tribute of thanks. We will never forget all of you. The knowledge you have imparted to us, will not be put in vain, we will cultivate and water it till it grows to become an everlasting contribution to our country’s progress. Rest assure that whatever success we will achieve will not only be our own; you are an indispensable partner, our victory is Yours. To the victorious mentors of the graduates institution, thank you so much for your efforts. Palakpakan po natin an gating mga Guro.
PUP, kailanman ay ‘di kita malilimutan. There are things in life which an individual always remembers, and for that matter, there are persons and places which cling to my mind and find a niche in my heart. Soon I’ll say goodbye to you, my dear PUP, but there are memories I will always treasure, like the library which was my favorite place because of the reasons I related earlier. In an ordinary school day-especially during vacant hours, I can still feel the serenity in those rooms and the hurry-scurry busy brows working through the books. I shall never forget the buildings with the rooms built to provide an atmosphere conducive to learning, nor the instructors with their patience, kindness, understanding, honesty, fairness, and good counsel that still linger in my mind, allowing me to stand firm in the face of trials and obstacles in life. PUP, I shall cherish you forever. Palakpakan po natin an gating paaralan.
Fellow graduates, we are now ready to face the world. As we step out of the portals of our alma matter, our college life shall soon become pleasant memories that we can only recall with nostalgic feelings. We will then confront the more complex and demanding responsibility we have to share, in our new task of nation-building. In times like this, like what is happening right now, when the country is in great crisis, be it social, political, or economic, it is our responsibility to do something for our mother land. Remember the great Malayan, Dr. Jose Rizal, who had the foremost and full confidence in the capacities of the Filipino youth.
Kailangan ng inang bayan ang mga kabataang katulad natin: mga kabataang mulat ang kaisipan sa mga pangyayaring may kabuluhan, mga kabataang may paninindigan at pagmamahal sa bayan, mga kabataang alam ang kanilang karapatan at limitasyon bilang mga mamamayan, mga kabataang may takot sa Diyos.
Tayo ang mga graduates ng ika-21 siglo. Harapin natin ng buong karangalan at pagmamalaki amg kasabihang tayo ang mga kabataang punung-puno ng sigla at lakas. Ituon natin sa karangalan ng bayan at pamantasang ito ang alab ng talino at pagkamalikhain ng mga kabataang katulad natin.
Fellow graduates, the country needs young people like us: youths who are ready to sacrifice themselves for the sake of service to the country and to humanity. Our country needs men who can either be both nor sold, men who are not afraid to say “yes” when many say “no”, men who are true to their duties.
Fellow graduates, as we become full-pledge members of society, it becomes our prime responsibility to take broader participation in the political reformation, social rejuvenation and revitalization programs of our government. It becomes our mission to take positive leadership in helping our officials arrest the recurrence of sliding back to the ills of the sick and corrupt-laden old society. We can help the government avoid the wastage of manpower of being agents of change. As the adage goes “it is not only a change of men but a change within men”.
Beloved leaders, behold your dreams for each of us; for us we leave the portals of our alma matter and yonder we tread to the next rung of ladder in our quest for a good future, rest assure that we shall bring home the bacon, not long here after. Sisikapin naming ibalik sa aming mga magulang, sa mga guro, sa institusyong ito, sa aming bayan, at higit sa lahat sa Poong Maykapal, ang lahat ng parangal gaano man kalawak at kasalimuot ang landasing aming kakaharapin.
My fellow graduates, I challenge you to rally behind me. Hinahamon ko kayo sa isang krusada-ang krusada para sa kadakilaan at karangalan ng institusyong ito na magdiriwang ng kanyang ika-100 taon sa pagsapit ng 2004. Inaasahan na kahit tayo’y mga graduates na ng PUP, marami pa tayong maitutulong para sa kanyang ikauunlad. Una na rito ang tayo’y maging mga propesyonal, at gayundin naman, kung anong tagumpay ang ating nakamit at kakamtin pa sa mga susunod na mga panahon, ito ay lagi nating ihandog sa magulang, sa pamantasan at sa bayang pinagkakautangan ng ating tagumpay.
God help us to see and understand what awaits us in the future, like the beacon, we shall unfold the luster of gold to give brilliance, glory and honor to our parents, community and country. Maraming salamat po. MABUHAY PO TAYONG LAHAT.