Our Executive Director, our GS Directress, the distinguished faculty, the very proud parents and guardians, and of course, my fellow graduates.
Five days ago, the PMA Valedictorian received a house and lot as a gift from the former Senate President Manny Villar. Two days ago, the PNPA Valedictorian also received a house and lot as a gift from Senator Manny Villar. Last night, I had a dream, that, as the FEU GS Valedictorian, I also received a house and lot as a gift from Senator Manny Villar. But that, of course, was just a dream.
So, how do I make that dream come true? The easiest way is to do the hashtag: #FEUGSValedictorian, #ValedictorianHouseandLot. I will do the hashtag until the good Senator Manny Villar notices me. And from the bottom of his kind and generous heart, considers giving me a house and lot, too for being a valedictorian.
The problem is, I was not taught by my parents to be a mediocre and doing the hashtags. Attention-grabbing is just not my style. I was taught by my parents the value of hard work. Sa totoong sipag at tiyaga. To be able to build your dream house, you need to buy a lot then as you slowly progress, you will need to wait patiently until your house is built; stable and complete. That is the story of my stay here in FEU Diliman.
When I started here as a 1st-grade student, I felt like I was starting with an empty lot where I needed to observe everything to make my home just the right shape. In grade 2, I was in the next stage wherein I created the blueprint for my house. In my 3rd to 4th years, I was finally starting my home and slowly building its sturdy base and some of its walls. Then in grade 5-6, I was happy to be able to build a house and leaving FEU, my second home for six years, would be disheartening.
This graduation day, all of us here feel a sense of gratitude, although unique in our perspective given our scholastic accomplishments. I see the dashing smiles of the parents having a graduate in elementary, probably their first, probably not.
Having another batch graduated, teachers feel their joy as they see young teens growing up developed.
And of course, the elated and bright faces of my fellow schoolmates, excited to leap into something new.
We would have remained stranded in an empty lot if it weren’t for the help of those loyal people helping us to be motivated, which we should be happy to have. Just like me, I have certain people that I want to thank, as they have been part of my life.
I want to thank my parents for always giving me the motivation to excel in school and made Manic Mondays, Slow Tuesdays, Sleepy Wednesdays and Draining Thursdays into the best days I have yet to spend. With them, I was able to make the right decisions even if I am facing the most paradoxical choices. Just like building a house, they provided a driveway where I can navigate safely, put up a protective fence to restrict me to the things they found unethical and unreasonable. However, they still made me think and walk outside of the walls and to care for others. With them, I will never be stranded on an empty lot for they will continue to love me unceasingly and sincerely care for my happiness. I also want to thank my teachers and FEU Diliman for mentoring me for six years. They taught us not only academics but also decorated our lives with social skills. They also made sure that the fun never stops for us to understand our lessons better. With that, they truly transformed our lives.
I want to thank God, the omnipotent creator of all, to bring us all up to this day. I have reasonable faith in him, and with his divine guidance, I lift up to him all of my accomplishments. But a student has to study hard to gain blessings from God. Things will not just magically appear from the sky. The Bible tells us that a lazy person is just as bad as someone who destroys things. True enough, through hard work and fervent prayers, I was able to pass my dream high school, the Philippine Science High School – Clark campus where I will be studying at in August.
I also want to thank my fellow graduates, the happiest 2018 batch in the whole world. They shared with me childhood laughter and moments of teenage glee I will never forget. They influenced and opened to me new things, especially the squads I am part of: the Lakas ng Trip Squad, Ministry’s Music, and The Cie MM Squad. They are a part of me I surely will never forget. Our batch has created such a strong bond that we already treat ourselves like brothers and sisters. But, after graduation, departure is inevitable. Farewell to you, my friends. I have been fond of many people here, including the canteen, housekeeping and security personnel, and it feels so sad to leave them. But enough of the drama. Our generation has been provided expedient technologies that make communication easier. We are just Facebook Messenger away.
Graduating leads us to something new like building a new house. They say high school is a much harder phase, which I believe in as well. But stepping into another empty lot should no longer be intimidating for us. Let the excitement and happiness rush through, instead.
We may enter different environments but just the same, we will remain proud of our Alma Mater, and as Tamaraws, we will face those new challenges with fortitude, excellence, and uprightness.
Now, it is time for us to roll up our sleeves again and start building a new dream.
I wish you all good luck.
Thank you very much.
*This was delivered by Samantha Anne Molina during the Commencement Exercise of FEU Diliman Grade School last March 23, 2018.