For the Class of 2013.

For the Class of 2013.

Commencement Address
Rock Ed Philippines Founder Ms. Gang Badoy
14th Commencement Exercises, University of Cebu
Banilad Campus, 25 March 2013 4pm

Thank you for your generous introduction.
Thank you for inviting me here this afternoon, on the occasion of your 14th Commencement Exercises.

Kani nga speech, para ra ni sa Class of 2013.
Wala ako nakig-istorya sa mga gilikanan, maestra, ug sa mga uyab na naa karon.
Sa mga graduates nga wa’ay uyab – okey ra na …. may bukas pa! 

[This speech is just for the Class of 2013. I am not going to talk to the parents, this message is not for the teachers, nor is it for the boyfriends or girlfriends present here today. To the graduates who aren’t dating anyone, that’s cool, there is still tomorrow.]  🙂

Graduation speeches are mostly about hope, after all.

Today is about hope and tomorrow and moving on, moving forward, and up up up.
Anyway –

I was excited and nervous when Chancellor Candice Gotianuy invited me to join you today, the past month found me making lists of what I wanted to share with you, I asked friends what they thought I ought to tell you and many of them advised me to start by recalling my college life. While doing that…nothing was more prominent in my memory than my college LOVE LIFE!  Apparently, my love life was a big part of my undergrad years, the boys I dated, the flings, (ah hah!) the boy who broke my heart, and the ones I really fell in love with as best as my young heart could manage. My goodness, I thought to myself, was I such a horrible student that all I remember is THAT?!  What I perfected, however…. what I did well, was to give out love advice. Ako yung pinaka-magaling magbigay ng love advice sa barkada ko, specialty ko yan. Sayang walang diploma doon! 

So I decided to list down a few things I learned from falling in and out love with you today. I think that really is the secret, you know. To paraphrase a Jesuit named Pedro Arrupe, because I think he said it best:

Nothing is more practical than

falling in love
in a quite absolute, final way.
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 morning,
what you do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, whom 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.

So this afternoon, as you face the rest of your life outside the confines of UC-Banilad, let’s talk about love. (What better thing!) Game?

Tulo ra jud ako nga masulti karong adlawa:
[I only have three things to say today.]

Una – Perhaps the time has come to end all flings. By fling, I do mean those short-lived romantic seasons. Seasons where you fall in love for a month, a week, a night, a day, online, via text, on the phone – inconsistent, fiery, impermanent and not so much about real life. We’ve all had this, I’ve had this. When I was younger, I liked buying bracelets from different tribes of the Philippines, I’d wear them ‘til they were dirty and ‘till they fell off. I felt more nationalistic when I’d wear those. I would buy native bags, or scarves and felt patriotic. And also when I was in college, I envied those who were terribly fluent in Filipino, or Tagalog, I thought kapag mas tatas managalog, mas nationalistic, o katong mga kaklase ko na komportableh mag batik, tingali mas nationalistic sila kaysa sa akin.” How silly, no? After a while I realized, ang pagiging Filipino ay nasa diwa, wala sa dila. My criteria was so cosmetic, so shallow, so flingy! So NOT true love.

So today, your graduation day, is the day you stop having flings with nationalism, stop having flings with learning. Stop going for thing for a short period of time and then drop it off when things are inconvenient or god forbid –boring! I remember breaking up with boyfriends before because they were ‘boring,’ – how many of you have done that? (raise your hand) Then if for minor reasons like that you break up – then it is not love. Ganun din with a profession, with loving the country. Analyse if you’re merely having a fling or is it true romance.  I believe today is a good day to start planning to commit. Not necessarily to a lover (pero okey rin naman yon) — but to a craft, a job, something you want to do, to make a living, to working at something, to be good at it. I think it’s time to consider committing to something, to someone, to Cebu, to the Philippines. MAO NA JUD NI! [This is it!]

Ika duha – It’s time to be grateful. It is ALWAYS time to be grateful but TODAY more than ever. Think of all the people who have been kind to you, everyone who was generous to you, even those who have hurt you, talked about you negatively, people you had fights with, friends you’ve lost, friends you’ve gained, friends who stayed, lahat, whoever helped send you to school, think of them now, think of the custodians of UC-Banilad, in fact, I’d like very much to ask everyone to applaud the non-teaching staff today, please – a round of applause for the Manongs and Manangs in the canteen, those who kept the classrooms and hallways clean for you, the ones who cleaned the restrooms, the ones who watched over laboratories, AV rooms, auditoriums, we have to say thank you to them.

I know there are many UC graduates who have become successful in their careers – and today you join their ranks. This afternoon, I can also see the proud faces of your parents and relatives and I wish I had the chance to shake their hands, every single one of them, for being your pillars of strength. I wish I could also give diplomas to those who helped in this journey. I share in their dreams of wishing you financial stability.

Sana makahanap tayong lahat ng maayos na trabaho, na magkaroon ng trabaho na higit sa sapat ang sahod. And while I wish you financial success, I also wish you happiness. I hope they come into your life hand in hand. I hope you never have to give up one for the other. I hope you never have to give up money for happiness, nor happiness for money. I hope you find your balanced journey.

I also want to ask all those who teach to stand up, teachers, instructors, professors, coaches, everyone who teaches to please stand up, – and graduates – please, everybody, give them a round of applause. The applause, goes without saying, also goes to the Administration of the University of Cebu – without the vision, there would be a great void in Cebu – and in turn the nation. I know for a fact that UC-Banilad has produced board and bar topnotchers before. My point is this – you are now name bearers of a proud school, a university with a heritage of graduates who have contributed greatly to our country. I am certain there will be many of you here today who will do the same. I look forward to hearing those stories of success and of good work – and I will say proudly, “Ako to ang midiskurso sa ilang graduation!” [I spoke at their graduation!]  And it will be a source of pride in my later years.

So yes, we are grateful to the founders of this University, too. That they decided to build a school that encourages you to:

“Be the visionary and the industry leader.”

To “Live in the spirit of harmony and approachability.”

To make sure that “All your activities are geared towards core values and priorities.”

A university that worked to develop you into individuals who are “Always professional, mindful of God, university, the community and self.”

Because they only want all 747 of you “To be great at whatever it is you do and go for the best.”

The Board of Directors, Augusto Go, Ms. Candice Gotianuy, Atty. Baldomero Estenzo, Dr. Helen Estrella, Atty Nendel Hans Abella, Dr. Ana Liza Son, Dean Ofelia Mana, inyong mga ginikanan, ug mga mag-tutudlo, naning-kamot para moabot mo dinhi. Dapat lang dili ninyo palabyon ang matag-panahon nga makigstorya mo nila. Ato silang tagaan ug us aka masipang pakpak.  …[your parents, your teachers, worked very hard to get to be here, right where you are. We must never miss a chance to thank them. Let’s give them a warm round of applause.]

Ika-tulo – It’s time to DREAM!

But before that ask yourself: Unsa imong abilidad? Unsa ang importante alang kanimo?
Unsa kaha ang kinahanglan nimong buhaton para sa pamilya, sa imong kaugalingon, ug sa nasud?  [ What are you good at? What do you need to do for your family, for your self, for the nation?

Kon mahimo lang, iapil kanunay ang nasud sa inyong mga damgo. [If it’s okay, please include the nation in your dreams.]

We are all with you, me, your parents, mentors, friends, we are WITH you – ANG IMO NGA DAMGO, AKO NGA DAMGO, ATO NGA DAMGO. A BETTER CEBU, A BETTER PHILIPPINES. A MORE PEACEFUL WORLD. [Your dream is my dream is our dream.]

But you have to dream, you have to dream while awake. Some people will kill your ideas, many people will kill your dreams by telling you to ‘be realistic’ to stop dreaming. Don’t! The world needs its dreamers – because TRUE DREAMERS are DOERS. Libre managanip. At LALO naman libre magising, bumangon, at magtrabaho for that dream.

It is only when we dream DANGEROUS dreams that the Philippines is saved. It is when we risk that we are rescued; rescued from dead dreams that keep us frustrated all the days of our lives.


Inyo na kining panahon. Ang Sugbu, ang Pilipinas, tanan nimong mga pangandoy – imo na! Kay kamo ang Sugbu. Dili ra kamo ang paglaum ng Sugbu, kun dili, kamo MISMO ang Sugbu.
[This is your time. Cebu, the Philippines, all your ambitions – those are yours! Because you are Cebu. You are not just the hope of Cebu, in fact, you ARE Cebu.]

Kamo ang Pilipinas.
Kamo sad ang mundo.
Mabuhi kita!
[You are the Philippines. You are, even, the world. So let’s LIVE!]

Class of 2013, UC Banilad:  Maayong hapon sa ato nga tanan.
[Good afternoon to us all.]


(Special thanks go to Januar Yap, Jessah, Kim, Au, Cherry of Rock Ed Cebu, and Edz of University of Cebu for checking my Visayan grammar and pronunciation. Without them I’m certain I would’ve sounded rude and/or terribly ‘street’ and wrong.)


About gangcentral

My name is (actually) Gang. View all posts by gangcentral

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