Speech by Dr Dulce Miravite
Our university president Fr. Karel San Juan, SJ
Vice President for Basic Education Fr. Stephen Abuan, SJ
School Principal Ms. Liza Garrido
Assistant Principal for Administration and Finance Ms. Nimfa Fortich-Mabalot
Faculty and Staff, Parents, Guardians, Guests, Graduating Class, Ladies and Gentlemen
A pleasant afternoon!
Graduation is rooted in the Latin word “gradus”, meaning a ‘step.’
We do not only graduate in school, our life is a series of graduation… a series of steps. Our first graduation was when we were born out of the womb and into the world. Then we graduated from toddler, to pre-school, and today, you are taking a step to claim the prize that you have worked on for 6 years and soon will move up to junior high school.
It has been twenty-five years since I have graduated from grade school, back then cell phones and tablets are non-existent and the internet connection is just an idea in someone else’s mind. There may be 25 years between you and me but there are some things that stand the test of time and I am just as young as you are at heart…
Some of your teachers have also been my teachers, to name a few – Sir Simplicio de la Cruz, was my class moderator in Grade 4 St. Kostka; Ma’am Nimfa Fortich-Mabalot was my English teacher and Ma’am Marilou Din-Drapiza was my class moderator of Grade 6 St. Realino. We say thank you to you dear teachers for your dedication and for teaching us well.
As I look back, let me share with you some of my realizations with the hope that you will find these insights useful sooner or later…
Becoming a doctor is a dream of my childhood and of my parents. I am blessed to be doing well in my studies by God’s grace but the income of my parents was not enough to cover for the expenses for medical school. Hence, as I was nearly graduating from college finding a job was at the top of my priority, but my parents insisted that I pursue medicine and realize the dream for them; thus I applied for scholarship and is blessed enough to be granted one.
I have learned that it is important to listen to your parents. We might not be able to understand them at the time being, but they only want the best for us and almost always they know what is best for us. Had I not listened to my parents I would not have pursued medicine and become a doctor.
It is also essential that we show and tell our parents, guardians and loved ones that we love them and care for them while they are still with us. My daddy died before I took my medical board exam and my mama died 3 years after…
It is okay not to know what you want to become at this time, I only know for sure that I really wanted to be a doctor when I was already enrolled for one year in the medical school. What is important is for you to reflect and find meaning and purpose for the things that you do. I always pray and ask God to guide me to do the things that He wills me to do.
Having been granted a scholarship by an organization that barely knows me made me a believer in the goodness of people. It is a symbol of hope and a reminder that God sends angels to help us when we are in need and one way we can repay this kindness is to pay it forward and let kindness ripple to others as far as it can reach.
The end product at graduation more than the medals or the diploma is your son or your daughter. It is our self; embracing our own individuality, knowing that each of our dream and aspiration matters, achieving the dream and living it.
If we are to take a higher step on life’s ladder, it is essential that we have to develop an experiential sense of God, a well-founded sense of self, a shared sense of people and a critical sense of the world.
We have to have that inner sense of realization that God loves us without condition and that we are precious in His eyes.
We have to accept our personal gifts and talents as well as our weaknesses. You have to learn to take care of yourself or change yourself until you can like yourself. Be the best version of you.
We have to look at the people around us. We all affect each other. Be the positive effect. Have a life of love and laughs and a connection to other human beings.
We have to have a critical sense of the world. It is absolutely wrong to lie, cheat or steal. As you grow older, and enter the workforce, you will be tempted by the system to think in relative terms. We have to preserve and obey the absolutes as much as we can. If you never lie, cheat or steal, you will never have to remember who you lied to, how you cheated and what you stole.
All human steps, all graduations, must come to the most important one: the graduation where the diploma of your life will be given to you. It is the summing up of all steps you have taken, you will be measured not with your accumulated material symbols, not by the number of degrees you have, not with the position of power and popularity you have attained… you will be evaluated by how you have developed the one being entrusted to you: yourself.
I am confident that you will be able to develop and reach your full potential. The Ateneo grade school education have provided you with the core values of Jesuit education that has prepared you to meet the challenges as you move up to a new phase – high school.
Congratulations to the graduating class! Most especially congratulations to the proud parents and guardians, today you reap the fruit of your love to your children.