A magnitude 6.1 earthquake jolted parts of the Philippines in 22 April. The same day, qualified students were set to graduate from the University of Caloocan City. Considering safety concerns, the program was forced to halt. The program was resumed in 3 May. The valedictory speech below was delivered by Ronald Macasero. VoicePoints obtained permission from Ronald to post his speech in our platform.
First of all, I want to thank God for His wisdom and guidance. To my parents, Mama, Papa, and to my sister, thank you for all your hardwork and for never giving up on me. I also want to thank all the parents who always support in our journey. Maraming salamat sa lahat ng mga magulang na gumigising nang maaga para magluto, maglaba, at maghanapbuhay upang maibigay lahat ng pangangailangan ng kanilang mga anak. Wala kaming karapatang mapagod dahil ang mga taong nagpapaaral sa amin ay hindi napapagod. Thank you also to all the professors who shared their knowledge to us and molded us to become the persons we are today. I also want to express my gratitude to our City Mayor, to the University President, to our college Dean and to all the University officials for this right and privilege to have a high quality education and for making our tuition free. Thank you to all the people who helped us in our journey.
It all started with a dream, a dream to become a professional, to work in a big company, to have a high salary, and to travel the world. All of us wanted the reward, but only few of us endured the process. It required faith, hardwork, determination, and focus. The process didn’t go easy, failures and struggles blocked the way. Just like any other students, I too, experienced those things. I studied a lot but still failed in our exams. Disappointments knocked me down but I didn’t let them stop me. I stand up every time I fall. I choose to learn every time I fail. And as I learn, I always tell myself, something needs to be changed, something needs to be done. I need to be serious and focused. If the effort I am giving is not enough, I would double it in order for me to perform better. I do whatever it takes to reach my dreams. I compared myself to a pencil, I can only serve my purpose when I am sharpened.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are all here because we endured the process, we reached the finish line, and we made it to the top. This will be one of our greatest achievements, not only of us but of all the people who helped us break the barriers. It is impossible for us to reach the end by us alone, a battle is never won by a single soldier, but by an entire army. Congratulations everyone for our victory!
As another chapter of our life ends, it comes with a new beginning and a new season. Life doesn’t end here. We can rest but we must not stop. I challenge everyone to continue their own journey, although we may have different ways, I know someday our paths will cross, and you and me will talk about how successful we have become. Always remember that all of us are extraordinary, worthy, valuable, and capable of being the best version of ourselves. Most importantly, let us always keep our feet on the ground. Be grateful to the opportunity and knowledge our university gave us. Cherish all the people who helped us. As we graduate, our parents also graduated from supporting us financially. It is now our time to give them what is due to them. Let us pay back the blood, sweat, and tears they have invested in us. Let us treat them in a movie house, have a date with them, or even a simple talk will do, just let them know that we appreciate them and all the sacrifices they have done. It is now our moment to take the driver seat and have them in the back, sitting comfortably.
As I end this speech, let me share with you my favorite Bible verse in Mark 9:23: “all things are possible for one who believes.” We have reached this far because we believed in the Lord, we believed we can, and the people around us believed in us. That’s the power of faith. We believe that we will graduate, although the earthquake stopped our graduation last April 22, yet we are all here now celebrating the continuation of our commencement exercises. The same thing with life, we may experience some delays, but it doesn’t mean we are not going to succeed. And as we go along our different paths and face new challenges, I hope that our faith will be above all things. Thank you and again, congratulations!
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About the Author
- Ronald, a BS Accountancy graduate, is the Class Valedictorian of Batch 2019 of the University of Caloocan City. He won in various academic accounting quizbowls, including the 14th Charlwin Lee Cup, also known as the "Battle of the Champions," a national competition. He is also the Most Outstanding JPIAn in Academics in 2019 as awarded by the National Federation of Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants - National Capital Region.