The purpose of learning is to plant seeds. Every seed is contained with so much hope. The role of the school is like that of a farmer.  It is incumbent upon mentors that they take good care of their students. And for students, starting today your task is to take root. To take root is a great responsibility. It takes time to take root. Hence, dear graduates, be very patient. Patience will mean everything.

Dear graduates, for several years the seed has been there inside you. Take a look at your teachers, say “Thank you”. Thank them always from now on. Greet them each time you meet them. You owe them the seed of direction and success.

But how will you take root? May I share with you three things how. One, never give up. Have endurance. Two, be practical. Instead of the usual dreaming big and flying high, be realistic and go practical. And three, every day when you wake up, ask yourself, para kanino ako bumabangon? It is motivation.

Definitely, you have the right to party today because you are graduating. After the party, life will again go back to being ordinary. Continue to make sacrifices. Up until now, we can say, maraming bigas pa ang kailangan mong sasaingin at kakainin. Never  give up. Never give up kung hindi ka kaagad makahanap ng trabaho. Never give up kung maliit muna ang suweldo. Never give up kung sa malayo na lugar ka muna mai-assign ng office mo. If there is one thing that you should give up, it is your lovelife. Huwag ka munang mag-asawa. Wala ka pa ngang trabaho at lalong wala pang ipon. Bakit ka ba nagmamadali? Sacrifice muna and never give up.

Last year, I also delivered a speech in a graduation. After the ceremony, the owners and officers of the school treated me to a restaurant for dinner. While waiting for the food to be served, somebody greeted me. Nagulat ako kasi hindi naman ako tagaroon at may nakakilala sa akin. It was the waiter. I asked the waiter how come he knows my name. He told me, “Kayo po ang graduation speaker namin kanina.” I was stunned. Sa halip na magparty, naroon siya nagsusumikap. Sabi nya sa akin, “pandagag tuition lang po Father at tulong na rin sa mga magulang.” I think the waiter has a lot of reasons (or excuses) to give up studying. Maaaring puede siyang may tampo rin sa kanyang magulang pero sa halip siya pa ang tumutulong sa kanyang mga magulang. He does not want to give up. We are very sure that this working student will go a very long way to make it in life.

Second, be practical. Do not get me wrong, to dream big is not wrong. To fly high is neither incorrect. But at times, we become disappointed when dreams are not fulfilled and flying high becomes frustrating when it is beyond our reach. Instead, be wise enough, be realistic and go practical. Be practical. (Hugot!) “Wag kang maghanap ng taong makaiintindi sa yo. Ang hanapin mo ay yung taong hindi ka man maintindihan pero hindi ka naman iiwan.” “Huwag mo na sanang pakialaman kung di mo naman kayang ipaglaban. Kung hindi kayang ipaglaban, malamang hindi talaga nagmamahalan.” Be practical. “Mabuti pa ang thesis. Sana thesis na lang ako para kaya mo akong i-defend.” Huwag sanang ganun. Bakit kailangan pang i-defend kung baka hindi ka naman mahal. Ipinaglalaban mo pero hindi ka naman mahal. Mabuti pang mahulog ka sa kanal wag lang sa taong hindi ka mahal. Be wise. Be realistic. Be practical.

My third and last advice to you is about motivation. Para kanino ka bumabangon? Every morning, strive very hard to be motivated. Bumabangon ka pero para kanino? The question is not “para sa ANO ka bumabangon but “KANINO”. Our motivation is not about things, but about people. Wag kang bumangon para sa pera, bumangon ka para sa “kanya” o para sa “kanila”. And when motivation is about people, we call it not just motivation but inspiration. In terms of prioritIzing, let us make the family your number one inspiration. And if there is somebody who could be higher than number one it must be our parents. They are second to God. Ang Diyos naman ang bumabangon sa atin.

Your parents are very proud of you today. Continue to make your parents proud of you. Have a desire in your heart to make someone proud of you. You may not know it or are not aware of, your parents are always telling you, albeit in silence, “Anak, I always have your back.” They follow you. They care for you. They want you to be successful, to be happy in life, to be significant in this world. Huwag nating kalimutan at lalong huwag pababayaan ang mga taong nagmamahal sa atin, lalo na ang pamilya, higit lalo ang ating mga magulang. Para sa kanila tayo bumabangon.

Dear graduates, the seed is already there. Starting today you have to take root. Just take root, it is God’s business to bless you with fruits. Take root and may God grant you a bountiful harvest.

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