Today, is a day more than just about the medals, the plaques, and the certificates from our beloved institution as we recognize our efforts, hardwork, and the people who enabled us to be the way we are today.
I stand here in front of you looking prim, sharp, and confident young man but inside me are veins that are about to explode, nervous, thinking if my speech will make sense. That’s the reality I want you all to understand today. Behind the glitz and glamour of achieving something are sweat, blood, sacrifices, and risks. People only recognize the best we do but not the unpleasant side of it.
With numerous counts of prayers to have an extension to the 24 hours per day, 7 days a week just to be able to catch up with all the lessons and chapters we have to deal with, mental and physical health is taken for granted and what’s alarming is that it is deemed normal and not given an immediate solution.
We cannot have an absolute solution for sure, but what we can do is to offer help if we can, and seek help when we need it. Our holistic development is more important than the different kinds of pressure in attaining our goals and dreams. Recognition of our achievements needs to just be a part of what keeps us going on and not the sole basis of our individual drives. Because if our lives just revolve around seeking validation from others, it will only produce continuous pressure, drama and overthinking, making it not a life well lived.
Talking about life, it is a gift we have to wholly accept and we should celebrate and embrace the diversity accompanied by it, which all wouldn’t be possible without the provision and guidance from the Lord. In times where physical and emotional support just can’t suffice for the comfort we need, God is just up there and anywhere around waiting for us to talk him out about what’s going on. He’ll sure listen and one will surely notice the untranslatable comfort the conversation gave. That’s just one of the things that comes with the gift of life we should ever be thankful for.
And to the people who became instrument of God who give me the gift of life – my mother and my father, a public school teacher and a tricycle driver, who worked so hard to send us in school and to provide us everything we need growing up. That’s why a “thank you” wouldn’t even be enough to express my gratitude to both of you Ma and ‘Dy. Kalupa na ning sasabyan ku kekayu nyang anak ku pa, nung papilinan daku nung ninung maging pengari ku, ikayu at ikayu pa din ing pilinan ku. Hindi man tayo sobrang nakakaangat sa buhay, sinigurado niyo naman na busog na busog kami sa aruga at pagmamahal ninyo. Hindi man ako expressive bilang mapagmahal na anak sa inyo, sa kaloob-looban ko sobrang nagagalak ako sa lahat ng mga paghihirap at sakripisyong pinilit ninyong lampasan para sa aming mga magkakapatid, kung madalas nga’y inuuna nyo pa yung mga kugustuhan namin kaysa sa pangangailangan ninyo. Si mama na tuwing summer sa halip na magpahinga, pinipili nyang maging summer tutor para lang may maitabi nang pambayad sa tuition naming magkakapatid sa darating na semestre, at kay papa naman na kahit tirik na tirik ang araw at kung minsa’y inaabot na ng gabi para lang mapunan ang mga pangangailangan naming pamilya sa araw-araw.
I want you to know that you both are my inspiration, I worked so hard to achieve what I have achieved to make you proud and to rightfully give back the sacrifices you’ve done for our family. I can proudly say that you have done an amazing job being good parents to my siblings and to the man standing here in this stage at the moment.
To my friends, and to the girl I love and care about the most, who are my anchors that keep me stay grounded despite the recognitions and awards I have received in the entirety of my journey in college. Thank you very much for giving the support and the boost I need to have the confidence in facing the obstacles I need and will be needing to conquer. Thank you very much for trusting my full potential whenever I doubt my skills and capabilities. I value and appreciate you all for being the best people that made my rough and stressful journey feel like a bliss.
To the hardworking professors and mentors whom devoted their precious time in teaching the students not only the topics found in the curriculum but also with real-life lessons that we can surely apply and share with our peers in our future endeavors in the real world – we are extremely grateful that you chose our beloved Sintang Paaralan as your home and as the avenue to enlight us with the knowledge you all are willing to spare/despite the challenges, stereotypes, undelivering income and all the other obstacles that comes with the job.
Today, we will receive recognition from the academe and a whole lot comes with it. We will receive validation from our peers, and celebration from the one’s we love the most. Which in my opinion is more than enough to make us feel loved and valued. That’s why I would like to allot this part of my speech for the students who are struggling and have struggled to get the results and validation they desire. Behind the smiles and enthusiasm we see in this community every single day are people who carry baggage of varying burdens and pressure that they have to disguise in order to cope up with the norms and standards imposed by the institutions and the society in general. Always remember that having to stay longer in the university should not make you less of a person, as it is a challenge from God and you should know that everything will happen in his perfect timing. In every competition I take part, I always pray the words “Lord, let Your will be done,” because regardless of how good our plans are, His plans will always be far better than ours.
The loopholes and troubles that we’ve gone does not define the opportunities that may knock at our doors, as they say nasa diskarte lang ‘yan” and that it’s always wise to be smart rather than to just be an intelligent one.
Whenever life knocks us down, learn to have the courage to rise up, setting aside the opinions of the others and being confident enough to face the world no matter how many times, life will put us down.
To my extended family, my friends, my Feasib&Thesis Mates, my Dormmates, my Finest Family, PICPA Scholarship Foundation, and to all the people responsible for being the building blocks of my achievements – thank you for shedding me light and I appreciate the bond that we made.
Now allow me to revisit my simple yet cherishing memories in my four-year stay in the fifth floor of the Sintang Paaralan.
First year- nakakakaba, pumunta ako sa isang marahas na digmaan na walang ibang dala kundi ang aking sarili at lakas ng loob. Accountancy- basta ang sabi ni sir noong high school, i-memorize lang ang chart of accounts 1001 para sa cash at 1002 para sa accounts receivable, mabubuhay na daw kami. Aba, malaman-laman ko lang na iba-iba pala ang chart of accounts ng bawat company. Nasa isip ko noon, paano nalang ako? Dahil wala naman na akong choice, tinuloy ko nalang at nadaan naman sa panalangin.
Second year- ito na ang part na unti-unti nang nalalagas ang tropa dahil sa SQE, dito din nagpakilala si Financial Accounting na akala ko sobrang hirap na dahil ‘di ko pa naman kilala si Auditing Problems. Dito din ako unang nagfeeling-Harry Potter sa pagbanggit ng mga Latin term gaya ng Solutio Indebiti.
Third Year- ito na ang simula ng paparating na delubyo, halos lahat major subjects na. Ito rin ang taon na isang beses lang ako nakakauwi sa bahay sa isang semestre, maraming family gatherings ang napapalipas at nagpatong-patong na ang pagkamiss sa magulang at stress sa pag-aaral, na madalas nauuwi sa stress eating na kita naman sa paglaki ng tiyan ko.
Fourth year- pinakamahirap ngunit pinakamasayang taon sa kolehiyo, pinagsabay-sabay na thesis, feasib at AudProb. At dumating na ang evaluation na sumubok sa katatagan at sa katinuan ng nakakarami. Dumating din ako sa punto na natutulala nalang ako habang natatawa na naiiyak at napapatanong sa sarili na “bakit ako nag-accountancy?”, hanggang dito lang ba talaga ang kaya ko? At ito lang ba talaga ang inabot ng puyat at pagod ko? Ngunit matapos ang ilang gabing walang tulog, ilang baso ng kape na ininom at ilang set ng highlighter na naubos, nandito na tayo ngayon, matapang na nalagpasan ang mga pagsubok na dala ng tatlumpu’t dalawang evaluation exams.
As we leave our beloved Sintang Paaralan, let’s use the learnings, values, and the principles it instilled us with not only to become the best CPAs in the career path we take but also to become responsible citizens of our country. As the PUP Hymn says “gamitin ang karunungan mula sayo para sa bayan”. Now, go into the world and do well but most importantly go into the world and do good.
Maraming salamat po at mabuhay ang mga iskolar ng bayan!
To God be all the glory.
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About the Author
- Francis graduated valedictorian from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Accountancy Class of 2018. He received the Outstanding JPIAn Award from the National Federation of Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants - National Capital Region Council in 2018. JPIA is the largest student professional organization in the Philippines.