Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Lat March 19, I was invited to serve as Guest Speaker during the Graduation Exercises of my then Elementary School in Mabinay, a beautiful town just north of Dumaguete. It was a new experience for me, and I was really excited to share my thoughts and inspire the young people of my little hometown. 

I was happy that Jheck had an engagement there, too, a day before my event. He asked Keith, Jhet's boyfie to help, which means... yes, Jhet had to go, too! Yay! And so, Jhet and I grabbed the opportunity to enjoy a quick getaway. 

It was really short, and we got to visit only two of Mabinay's beautiful tourist spots. We did not even have the chance to go caving, which is a must when you go to Mabinay, else it would feel like you just didn't go there at all. Sooo... to compensate, we decided to go back there again for a summer vacay. I promise to blog about that trip, too, so you all can see the paradise that lies just 2 1/2 hours away from Dumaguete. 

I only was able to write my speech a day before we headed to Mabinay, and got the chance to read it and practice the night before. I even had to do some minor revisions on stage! Luckily, the feedback I received after the event was so overwhelming. The audience was really happy, and they found my speech very inspiring. A DepEd representative even spoke to me about another possible speaking engagement. Aww... Thank you, God! 

Here's a snippet of my speech, by the way: 

"I have always been ambitious, a dreamer, to put it more appropriately. I was never contented. I started dreaming when I was a just a kid, and my dreams started growing bigger and bigger as I age. These dreams are what motivated me to go on in spite of all those trials seeming to tell me that there was no hope. These dreams are what pushed me to stand up and fight. These dreams are what kept me alive, and inspired, and moving.

Twelve years ago, I was also just like you – so timid and innocent, yet so full of hope for tomorrow. Growing up was a challenge, life had been tough; but later on I realized –- life is just like that. It is not, and never will be perfect. Life is messy. People hurt you… and you sometimes tend to hurt others, too. I believe that the earlier you realize this, the better and easier it is for you to accept it. Life is not, and never will be, fair; but we always have the power to change our perspective. We always have the power to look at the brighter side, instead of stay hidden in the dark.

Here are a few things that I want you, the nation’s future leaders, to know as early as this stage in your life. Though I know that things will not seem to make so much sense now, still I wish you’ll always remember these things and perhaps make them your guide as you move on towards the next chapter in your life.

First: Always be your best self. Sometimes all it needs is getting used to. When you always strive to be the best in everything that you do, you just get so used to doing it that it no longer takes so much effort to excel. When you are always your best self, there becomes no other way for you but being the best.

Second: keep the faith. Never fear life and everything that comes with it. Do not allow the many inevitable obstacles to hinder your progress. Do not allow anyone to define what’s possible or impossible for you. The world may take away a lot of things from you, but your faith always remains. Never give up. Never lose hope.

Third:  Dream big dreams. Dreams are always a big deal to me. I don’t understand how a person can live without one. Our dreams push us to move. And when you dream, always make it big.  Dreaming, however, must be coupled with perseverance. Big dream + hard work = achievement.

Lastly, and above all else, PRAY. Always ask for guidance in everything that you do, and when everything seems to be not heading towards the right path, just ask and He will be there to make things right again.

Friends, today marks another beginning for you. This is not yet the end of the road. You still have a long way to go. Remember that learning never stops. As my idol and mentor, Dr. Henry A. Sojor, always says, “Education is Power!” Strive for education, for it will be one of your most important assets. Being part of a society where a degree and a diploma is basis for social status, education is the main key to your success.

Thank you very much and congratulations, Graduates!" 

Dress - thrifted (yes, galing UK lang yan)
Pumps - Rusty Lopez
Accessories - Marcella

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