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Your Gift of Learning , our tool for Nation Building Our Municipal Mayor, Hon. Wilfredo E. Borres Sr.

, to the EPS-Social Studies and representative to the Schools Division Superintendent, Dr. Salvador O. Ochavo, to the Principal of this beloved institution Dr. Segundina F. Dollete, to the dear faculty and my former teachers, guests, honored parents, dear candidates graduation batch 2012, ladies and gentlemen, a pleasant afternoon. Maayong hapon! Wow! I was exactly in your place more than 9 years ago. On that day in early March, I woke up earlier than usual, excited about the day ahead. That morning was one of the happiest days of my life: my Highschool graduation in this school. I was very ecstatic that day, and I suppose many of you here today are.

But I also know that some / or even most of you also feels sadness. Sadness because you will be departing this institution and from your teachers, and most significantly your friends whom have made your highschool days mostly significant. Some of you may even burst into tears, which mostly reflects mixed emotions.

I was 16 years old then: a good boy whose daily life revolved only around home and school, well behaved, diligent, and irresistibly cute according to my mom. I had awards during recognition days, I was active in folk dancing and in singing, i was also active in the school paper. I was consistently on the honor roll. But dont get me wrong: I was not a gifted child. I never even considered myself one. I was like many other teenagers my age who liked to play games and hang out with my friends most of the time. I hated waking up early in the morning to go to school. And I was the happiest person in the world whenever classes were suspended.

Looking back, I believe what made me achieve some things at a young age was not because I drank milk that turned babies into geniuses, or that I was simply born that way. I believe it was because I was very, very in love with my dreams.

I wanted my dreams so badly they became my driving force especially during my growing up years, when I had an enormous sense of wonder and thought nothing was impossible. Its the power of my dreams, my vision of what Id want to become and do for the rest of my life, that led me to where I am todaydoing what I know I do best, being where I feel I am needed, and making a living out of it.

I was a very ambitious teenager. When I was in 1st year highschool, I wanted to become a scientist. I think almost everyone during that time wanted to become one too. In second year high school, I wanted to become an artist and a singer. Whenever we spend our vacation in Manila my aunt who works at a TV station usually invites us to watch live performances of television actors and actresses. I was inspired by seeing teenstars, at the same age as mine during that time, having live performances and tapings. Well apparently thats not my cup of tea. It was late in 3rd year highschool when I wanted to become a journalist. I became active in joining conferences and competitions for journalism up to the Regional schools Press Conference during my time. And finally, in late in fourth year high school, I wanted to become a doctor. My inspiration of becoming one rooted in reading books in the library, when I get to read facts about the human body. How each cells function and organ systems work hand in hand for a human being to perform activities of daily living. But my mom influenced me to take up nursing instead. And so I took up nursing

knowing that it is also health science profession and could serve as a pre-med course, aside from the fact that it was really a popular choice among newly grads like me during that time.

My college life as a nursing student was never easy. Aside from being a typical probinsyano, who was new to school environment in Manila. I was bombarded with reports, term papers, case presentations, research, sleepless nights and nigh shift duties in hospitals, and not to mention terror professors. Being in college was really different for me because we were not spoon-fed by most of our professors. College students are supposed to go to class really prepared, having read the lessons in advanced. Most of the talking are done by the students. We were used to do reports in classes and the professors supplies necessary facts in the reports. At first it was a nerve wracking experience knowing that I have to keep up having good grades in order for me not to lose scholarship in the school I am in.

I was challenged enough by the tough times I had when I was a student. These challenges allowed me to realize that being a college student requires more dedication, effort, and compassion. And these set of values made me realized another dream that is to become a teacher. I suddenly realized that it is something that I am also good at. I found my self enjoying doing class reports and presentations as well as gain interest in research.

Now being in the academe, I continue to seek learning opportunities and consider myself a work in progress. With Gods help, I was able to consciously design the kind of life that I have now. It is never too early or too late to fall in love with a dream that would set a direction for your life. The key is to

fall in love, or in a way, be mad about it. When you do things out of love, everything seems possibleor even if not, you yourself become driven to make all things possible.

Fr. Pedro Arrupe of the Society of Jesus once said: What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the mornings, what you will do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything.

This holds true for our dreams. My love for Teaching shaped the kind of life I have today, and even before. When I was in school, this love made me endure countless sleepless nights to meet my school paper deadlines while hurdling my subjects in school. I never quit despite the pressure. It motivated me to live and breathe news even while I was a student, not just to keep myself updated, but also to improve my skills. Because of this love, I strived to be the best student I can be, never wasting all the great opportunities I have been given.

This love continues to guide me in my current job, helping me decide in favor of truth and compassion in lessons and powerpoint presentations I make. I continue to be idealistic about this profession despite some of its harsh realities that have turned some people jaded and cynical. I also remind myself of this love whenever I feel tired and burned out.

Theres a certain magic in desiring something. In his best-selling book, The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho writes: When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream.

And thats where the power of love comes in, he states further. Because when we love, we always strive to become better than we are.

But how exactly do we know what we love, or what to love? Its not as easy as it seems. I know a lot of people, including some friends, who still struggle to find something they would want to do for the rest of their lives. They feel theyre in an endless search for meaning, even after finishing school.

Well, some people just know what they want to do for life and never run out of opportunities. Very, very lucky peopleand very rare, too.

Other people realized what they want it because of opportunities they were initially reluctant to seize but eventually embraced. That includes me. I will forever thank my teacher who forced me to join the school paper.

But there are also people who actively search for their purpose, for that one thing theyll fall in love withthose who may not have it at first but do everything to find it. I believe this is the best way to find out what you want to do in lifethe career or life path you want to pursueand fall in love with it. It is, of course, the harder way, and the harder way gets us farther.

Who else can do this best but you, graduates? Your young age and energy provide you great opportunities to explore and experience life. This is the perfect time for you to pursue your interests, learn various skills, and ultimately, actively decide what you want to be and what you want to do for life. At this time, you are ripe to be molded to be somebody someday.

A piece of advice as you move on to the next chapter of your student life: Go beyond your books. Never drown in your academics. The most successful people I know are not those who graduated with honorsalthough that helpsbut those who had a lot of experiences while in school aside from studying for quizzes and acing exams. In the workplace, they are generally perceived as more prepared to face the so-called real world after school.

Thats what extra-curricular activities are for. You can also learn many valuable things outside the classroom that you cannot learn inside. Join organizations that can help you enjoy your interests and improve yourself at the same time. Take part in competitions that challenge your skills. Ultimately, do things that will make you love life more and feel complete as a person. Aside from complementing your academic life and preparing you for real life, this will help you find your purpose.

Pursuing your dreams, of course, would be easier with the guidance and support of everyone around you, especially your parents. So at this point, may I ask the graduating batch to kindly stand and give your parents a warm round of applause. Also, let us not forget to pay salute to our dear

teachers, whom have given us enough guidance and inspiration to realize our dreams through learning. Let us give them a warm round of applause.

However, finding your dream and falling in love with it is not the end of the story. You have to do a lot more. Behind all these, you have to confront the question: What for?

What will you be a doctor, teacher, nurse, engineer, writer, or entertainer for? Why should you keep yourself in love with whatever dream you have?

More often than not, the answers are, Because this is what I do best. I want to maximize my talents. I want to be happy. I want to be rich and famous. Nothing wrong with them, except that they lack an essential shift away from the self. The motivations are self-centered, and they shouldnt be. For you must reach your dreams not only for yourself, but also for something greater, something bigger than you.

When asked why I chose to be a teacher, I often say it is the path that is somehow being prepared for me by the one above. Almost every opportunity that is given to me opens to being an academician. I enjoy teaching and sharing what Ive have learned academically and even personally to my students as well as learning from them.

Of course there are other reasons I love this job, from getting to interact to academicians and to making my parents proud. But above them all is a desire to make the world a better place. Its where my love for this profession leads: Teaching to make the country and even world a better place.

The influence of my teachers on me when I was a student reminded me of how I can make a difference in the lives of my students now. The learning that takes place inside my class may help make or even break a persons future. That as I continue to strive to become better, I am also able to share this to my students that they may also become better in a different ways.

This noble purpose has kept me in love with my job through these passed three and a half years despite having to work overtime often and missing some family occasions and nights out with friends.

As early as now, graduates, start thinking of how your dreams can help you contribute to society, especially its members who need it most. ANG ALAY KAALAMAN GAMIT SA PAG-UNLAD NG BAYAN. As a future lawyer or judge, how can you make sure justice is served to everyone, rich and poor? As a future nurse or doctor, how can you cure those who cant afford to be cured? As a future businessman, how can you provide jobs and livelihood to a country where many are unemployed?

Always seek a higher purpose for anything you do. It may sound corny to your friends, so just dont tell them and keep it to yourself. Seriously, whatever you do has the potential of contributing to the greater good, if you just want it to.

And so as you decide on what career to pursue, think not just of what you want, but more importantly, where you are needed the most. This time of exploration will give you enough opportunities to realize where and how your skills and talents can be used to help society.

A while ago I quoted Paulo Coelho saying that when we love, we always strive to become better than we are. In the same book, he adds, When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.

Dear graduates, dont dream just for yourselves or your families. Dream for our country, and ultimately, for the world. Realized together, your dreams, my dreamsour dreamscan indeed make the world a better place.

Congratulations, graduates! May you all conquer the world with your dreams.