Wings of Maroon and Green

It’s graduation season again in UP Diliman woo! As sunflowers start to grow, memories and nostalgia start to creep in hahaha. It’s been 2 years since college ended and life after college has been pretty awesome and hopefully I’m still in the right track.


So tonight after running a 5KM at my “acad oval” here in BGC (the track around Mind Museum), I came through some old files in my computer and stumbled upon this graduation speech from our 2014’s commencement exercise.

I am quite amazed by how these words rang true with conviction and how these words continue to ring true and serve as a daily guide. Truly, this speech won’t be made possible without all the experiences and all the people I met and who became a part of this journey.

For the sake of nostalgia and memories, let me share it here.

To our distinguished guests of honor, dear administrators, foundations of education, teachers, mentors, staff, alumni and benefactors, dear parents, fellow graduates, ladies and gentlemen, a pleasant evening.

Today, we are gathered in celebration of honor and excellence, the most awaited day of our lives: our GRADUATION. As we come together gracefully dressed in our best attire, we remember and are thankful that we have surpassed all those sleepless nights where we are too busy cramming papers due midnight or reviewing for exams the next day that no matter how we say: “Keep Calm Wala Pang 11:59”, we still feel that stint of panic within ourselves. Surely we will also never forget that joyous feeling upon receiving our exam results with flying colors or perhaps that first academic heartbreak when we learned that our best wasn’t enough and how we promised, with full conviction, to do better the next time.

For the past years, my fellow graduates, our days were filled not only with books, machine exercises, laboratory sheets, bluebooks, long exams, term papers, homeworks, quizzes, field trips, calculators, asymptotes, sine cosines, algorithms, vectors, gravity, refraction, but were also filled with laughter, joy, sadness, tears, surprises, hopes, and friendship – a unique mix for each of us that contributes to who we are today.

Our journey wasn’t easy. There may even be days when we doubted if we could make it through. Like butterflies coming out of our cocoons, the process might be long, difficult, time consuming, and sometimes painful. But my dear friends, we have proven that it’s all about determination, perseverance, and the will to survive. As the anecdote goes, this challenge of coming out of the cocoon is what makes the butterfly strong and ready for the real world because success really comes with no shortcuts; it is a culmination of hard work, perseverance, sacrifice and faith.

As we move on to the next chapter of our lives, let us not forget the people who have guarded and cared for our cocoons, they who were with us and in their own ways showed us that they care. On behalf of Class 2014, I would like to express our sincerest gratitude to our teachers and mentors, the light who have guided our paths in school and have taught us lessons that are not only for the classroom but for life as well; to our thesis advisers, for always sharing their precious time and never failing to give us golden comments, support, and inspiration; to all the staff, for making our stay in UP comfortable by attending to our various needs in the library, laboratory, canteens, and everywhere else; to our friends who have become a part of our lives and the ones who easily make a hectic day in school seem light and enjoyable; to our families, parents, relatives, and guardians, our pillars of strength and source of inspiration, thank you very much for the understanding, love, and care. Maraming salamat po for working so hard to provide us with good education and comfortable living. And lastly, to God almighty, the source of light and wisdom, that if not with him, nothing is possible.

And of course, my fellow graduates, let us not forget to thank and congratulate ourselves for a job well done! Our efforts and perseverance paid off. Here we are today! Remember the cups of coffee we drank to survive an all-nighter, the meals we skipped because we are busy doing requirements due in an hour or so, the kilometers we walked and even ran under the heat of the sun or the cold drops of the rain to and from classes? This, my dear friends, we have endured because we have a goal, a goal that materializes today as we receive our diplomas and are now graduates of UP, our dear university whom for the past years have nurtured us under her tutelage and care.

Today, being a commencement of our college days, also brings us to a greater challenge: a challenge of making a mark and propagating change in the real world. Like the butterfly that has come out of the cocoon, we are now faced with a bigger challenge of flying with a purpose in the outside world away from the protection of our cocoons, but equipped and strengthened by its provided experiences and learning. Life after college may be faced with more uncertainties as we are now on our own, away from the university rules or curriculum guides.

Kung sa enrollment pa, bahala na tayo mag enlist ng subjects, mag-addmat, at changemat, wala nang advising step o kung droppping man, wala ng advisers consent/guidance, sapagkat ngayon, nakadepende na sa atin ang lahat.

Decisions will become harder to make as what is right may not be convenient, as what is right may be tiring, and as what is right might not be easy. There may come a time that we may be tempted to shift our goals, values, priorities, and principles because of confusion and uncertainty due to the myriad of choices in the real world . Despite this, fellow graduates, I have faith that the spirit of the Oblation will burn in us and continue to inspire us in offering our lives to others for the good cause. This spirit will also help us to flutter our wings of maroon and green in upholding the values of what our dear university, UP has taught us.

Wag din nating kakalimutan na kung saan tayo ngayon ay dahil sa bayanihan ng sambayanang Pilipino. Milyon-milyong Pilipino na nag-ambag-ambag mula sa kanilang pinagsikapang kita upang tayo ay makapag aral. Ang ating buong pagkatao ay mula sa pag-aaruga at pagmamahal ng ating pamilya, kamag-anak, kaibigan, mga guro, kaklase at ng buong sambayanan. Huwag nating sayangin ang kanilang sakripisyo para sa atin. Nawa’y ating maibalik sa kanila ang kanilang ipinunla, sa pag-asang, sa pagdating ng panahon, tayo ang mga magiging haligi ng bansa sa pagbabago at pag-unlad. Nawa’y dumating ang panahon na iyon. Huwag tayong makalimot.

As we go on our separate ways, may we forever be united by one goal and one vision – to work for the good of our countrymen, contributing to the development of the country as engineers of the future, offering our craft for the greater good, upholding honor and excellence, and giving justice to the UP education that we’re privileged to experience. Let us not only be iskolars ng bayan, but also iskolars PARA sa bayan.

Congratulations to all! Maraming Salamat, UP!

Maraming salamat, UP!

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