Graduation Speech

So…I was sorting through my computer files, and stumbled upon this graduation speech I delivered last year. I was invited to speak before the graduating class of my high school Alma Mater in March 2015. It was my first time to be invited as a speaker. I was really nervous and remembered writing my speech for days.

After numerous revision, I finally decided to write a “not-too-formal” speech. I wanted to connect to those pupils, thinking that they might be feeling confused/overwhelmed the same way I was when I just graduated from high school. Below is my speech for that event.

Change. The only thing in life that is constant. Sobrang cliché pero if there’s one thing na napatunayan ko so far, ito yun. Actually, at this point we can say that you are on the verge of changing. Kasi magdedecide na kayo kung anong next step, kung ano na bang susunod na gagawin niyo.

Baka nga at this very moment most of you are thinking kung saan kayo magka-college? Anong course ang kukunin niyo? Kung gusto niyo ba talaga i-take ang course na yun?

Ang daming tanong. May ilang may sagot na. May iba na wala pa. Mahirap naman kasi talaga sagutin ang tanong kung zero-knowledge ka of what will happen in the future. Pero wala naman talaga nakakaalam kung ano ang mangyayari, kahit ako when I graduated from high school a decade ago, I also didn’t know. But what I remember was that I braced myself for the coming change. I prepared. I asked the people I know and trust to help me go through my options and decide.

Yet, even if you have decided, you are still uncertain. And uncertainty brings fear. So what do you do? You deal with it. You do what you can because I’m sure when you decided you already had a glimpse of what or how you want your future to be like. Kapag nagdedesisyon ka, you’re thinking of the pros and cons. Iniisip mo kung alin ba mas okay para sayo. At kapag nakapagdesisyon ka na, siyempre paninidigan mo. Kasama yun sa growing up. Now, how will you do that? Mag-aral kang mabuti.

Gasgas na naman?! Kaya lang tried and tested na yan. I bet I wouldn’t be only person who will say this to you. Ask successful people and they most likely tell you the same thing. Mag-aral kang mabuti. Learn as much as you can. Magbasa ka. Makinig ka. Manood ka. Try to acquire new skills, especially those that will help you when you go out to the real world. Because the real world is never what it seems. Minsan madali, madalas mahirap. Ang daming hardships na puwede mong pagdaaanan before you achieve the life you want. You’ll need all the tool you can use to make your way through life. Make your education your tool. Use it to achieve your dreams. Use it to have the life that you envisioned. Because it is through it that you will have the best chance of succeeding.

Thank you! And Congratulations Graduates!

I really hoped that I inspired them just a little bit. 🙂

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Why Me?

I never knew what to call “us.”

Whenever I ask you if we were friends, you would always tell me that we are not. Of course, I wouldn’t ask you if we are more than that. I am not crazy. Well, I am crazy but not that crazy. I also think that it was best not to ask that. I’ll probably wouldn’t like your answer, anyway.

You are so unique, so different from others. You don’t even look at people when you talk to them. You don’t like people touching you. You cringe at the idea of sharing a cup, a plate with another person even when you are in the company of friends and sharing cups and plates is one of things you just do.

That’s why I can’t help but think at times, “How and why did we ever become what we were?”

How did someone like you, who mostly kept to himself, approach me one afternoon and talk to me? What pushed you to sit beside me at the table in the pantry and show me those confusing line and bar graphs? I barely know you, then. I can’t even remember if we were introduced to each other. I just knew that you were the new guy in the office.

Looking back, I don’t see any reason why you would talk to me, which time and time again brings me back to my question. Why ME?