The Girl I Used To Be

Inspired by how Teddy Locsin wrote Cory Aquino’s speeches, I retrieved the only speech I have ever written. My initial intention was just to assess if my writing skills have improved. I ransacked my old boxes housing all the letters that were given to me. It took me days to find it. And just last night, I found a two-page crumpled paper. Printed from a dot matrix printer was my first speech. My first reaction was, “Is this what I was really looking for?” I asked myself if I really wrote these words 10 years ago. It was as if I read it for the very first time.

Our school director Msgr. Domingo Cirilos Jr, our CIE director Rev. Fr. Roderick de Castro, our high school principal Ms. Olivia Demingoy, high school administrative staff, teachers, parents, guests, my fellow graduates, good morning.

Every individual has a place to fill in the world, and it is important in some respect, whether he chooses to be so or not.

We have gone through the most fruitful years in our lives. And now is the time for us to be rewarded of all the hard works we have shouldered. Times are changing faster than we would have thought possible. Four years have passed, but the memories are still fresh in our minds; especially those times when we cannot even think on how we can get through another day. There were times when we all thought that life is so tiring and unfair. But now, we have reached the summit of the mighty mountain of success toward which we have striven during the four long years. Those many sleepless nights, endless cramming for requirements to be met and the daily pressures we have faced have gone to be the fulfilling reasons for us to be here. Also, our confidence in accepting the challenges is inspired to a great extent by our desires to do good and to live up to the expectations of many who trust us. That confidence helped all of us to be on top and should enable us to accomplish even greater things.

Every graduate leaves the graduation hall with three things: a diploma, a dream and a promise we have made in our minds and in our hearts. All of us gathered here are given the recognition we all deserve. More than that, we are given the task of establishing a new nation. We are all symbols of hundreds of hopes that we can respond to a cry which is common to all mankind. In this fast-changing world, men continue to strive for advancement. As we are in the journey of perfection, we still feel the emptiness; we are longing for something, and that is true wisdom and inner harmony. All of us have made a pledge of being the best person as we can be, and taking the responsibility of building a better world to live in. That promise must not be left undone. Our responsibility is absolute. We have to make sensible acts for the betterment of ourselves and our society. We are troubled people; and we need to do near-miracle actions. And this duty should not be shouldered by a few people. Because every individual is expected to be a part in responding to the shortcomings of the existing social systems. If we surmount the difficulties that beset us, if we conquer the obstacles which bar our ways, we will surely grow great in the eyes of the world. But if we strut with false pride and let our own selves be the instrument of making our society a land of disorder and dishonesty, then we are taking for granted the task entrusted to us. We badly need men of integrity and faith; but I am confident that we will have such men. Because this day, we the graduates of the Great Paco Catholic School, Millennium Batch, will respond to the call of humanity.

We always wanted to be somebody. If we made it, it is half because we were able to meet and to overcome life’s ups and downs, and another half because there were many people who cared a lot to help us. Our teachers, who untiringly offer their whole lives and unconditional love; our parents, always on our side giving us all the attention. When we think that the world is not on our side, they are there reminding us that the real meaning of failure is not the falling itself but being down and the hopelessness to get up and move on. We also thank our second home, Paco Catholic School for offering love, care and the best education to us. We thank all the members of the PCS community for touching our lives and bringing out all the best in us. And most of all, to our loving Creator, source of wisdom, understanding and love, for without Him, the reaping of this fruitful day would not be possible.

To my fellow graduates: together we have climbed the mountain and now we are on top. Let us all cherish the joys of our victory. But still, there are more mountains to be climbed and more goals to be achieved. Yes, we made it through the rain. And now, we are on the crossroads of our lives. I know that we are going to choose different paths. But deep in my heart, I am sure that someday we will see each other again in the same road of success. I am wishing for the day that I can see that we have become better individuals unminding our own interests and serving the world with pride and nobility. And we can all proudly say that we have fulfilled our mission as stewards of God’s creation.

My fellow graduates, Congratulations to you all!

After reading it, I felt a sudden burst of melancholy and I totally forgot why I even looked for it. What happened to that young girl rushing with all the optimism? Where is the girl who dreamed of winning? Here I am trapped in the four corners of my workstation trying to code and debug programs. Each day becomes an opportunity for cynicism to get the most out of me. I haven’t won anything yet as I am still in the process of going up through the steep ladder of success.

Reading it again made me realize one thing though. I may not have achieved all of my dreams yet. But I am certain of one thing. I remained faithful to my promise in trying my best to make this world a better place to live in. I may not be the richest nor do the most famous. I may have fall short a lot of times but I keep on trying anyway. I may not be a ‘somebody’ but I was never a ‘nobody’. I may not be the miracle this world needs but I try to do even the simplest things to live up to my life’s purpose. And I can proudly say that I chose to fill my place in this world.

NOTE: I had to retype the above speech so I apologize if there are any typographical errors. :)

1 comment :

  1. Nice speech... So young yet so mature...


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