To the University President, Dr. Peter P. Laurel;
To the Executive Vice President, and VP for Academics & Research, Dr. Esmenia R. Javier;
To all the University Officials and Deans of all colleges;
To the Dean of the College of Allied Medical Professions, Dr. Anacleta P. Valdez;
To our Keynote Speaker, Batangas Medical Center Chief, Dr. Ramoncito C. Magnaye;
To all the Professors who are with us today;
To our beloved parents, and of course, to my fellow graduates –
A splendid morning to all of you.
As I was writing this, I didn’t know how to start or what to say. It’s our graduation today; it feels like a joke that’s not even funny. This moment is fleeting. Then again, I’m grateful that we have this. Today imparts chance and hope, for this is not the end; this is just the beginning.
Two years ago and out of plan, I enrolled here without any clue what MLS actually is. Honestly speaking, I initially thought the program was painless and not demanding. I was wrong, and you know that too. I guess that’s why our diploma means so much to most of us. This piece of paper we are now holding proves that we survived those days when we had to prick each other using mental lancets, to hold our breath so we wouldn’t be disgusted with the smell of urine and stool samples of other people, and to study for non-stop quizzes – eseseses.
What fascinates me is that despite these stressful times, I’m still blessed to be here in LPU. This is the place where I had my three firsts.
Believe it or not, this is the first time I graduated with academic honors, because this is the first time I took my studies seriously. Back in elementary, I spent my nights swimming 3 hours every day, except during Sundays. I played online games although the internet connection was weak. In high school, I trained for our dance varsity and sang for the school choir. I played guitar for our band, and jammed with classmates during free time. I led our school publication and competed in writing, spelling, and in different quiz bees. Now that I’m in college, all of these are gone. Almost like zombies. I spend my nights with my nose buried in thick books and photocopies. Frankly, I get pressured due to the JPL scholarship I have to maintain. The only time I’m really at peace is when I’m asleep. However, I don’t regret what I do; I believe there’s no easy way to success.
This is the first time my principles conflicted with each other. As much as I don’t want to view grades like they’re everything, we also need good grades for us to stay in this program. While these marks won’t dictate who we will be in the future, they indicate how much hard work we’ve done. With this in mind, I hope that you, my batch mates, won’t tell yourselves that grades matter more than values, learning, and development of character. This is why even when I get a low grade on something, I’m proud of it, for I did it with all honesty. I got it in the purest way I could.
Lastly, this is the first time I cried because of my studies. It sounds embarrassing, but I think we all came to a point when all we wanted was to cry. Most of the time, I feel like we are red blood cells about to be eaten by splenic macrophages; we need to be in shape for us to finish MLS. Even if we get 60 in practicals and in pre-evals, we shall not surrender. These tests might be failures, but we ourselves are NOT and will never be failures. It’s normal to fail; we are human beings. We should be proud of our scars because they show that we tried. We have to remember that in order to win the game, we need to stay on the game. No matter what happens, we just keep going.
And when I’m too tired, I think of the one reason why I should not quit – I do this for love. I do this because I love my family who never gave up on me. My parents wake up early in the morning to cook my meals, prepare my lunch, and drive me to school. My mom does not get tired of listening to my stories after every dismissal, and she boosts my self-esteem when I needed it. My dad teases and annoys me every time, but I know he does his best to provide me with my needs and requests. My sister makes me feel content with who I am. She’s my best friend and number one fan who supported me in every step of the way. I don’t quit, as this is my way of giving back to my family.
To my fellow graduates, we wouldn’t have reached this point if it were not for our families, friends, and professors who molded us into who we are today. Because of them, all the challenges we faced made us stronger. We will ever be grateful to the Lyceum of the Philippines University Batangas, for preparing us to face real life and to be competent, committed, values-oriented individuals.
We will be battling more of life’s difficulties, but with great courage, I say:
“We can and we will, for God and country (Pro Deo et Patria). Congratulation graduates!”
– Laine Samantha G. Virtucio
Diploma in Phlebotomy
With High Distinction
July 10, 2015