Valedictory Speech- Address of Gratitude SPCM Batch 2013-2014
To our beloved Directress Sister Teresita Bayona, SPC; our dear Principal Sister Azucena Nate, SPC; our
dedicated local superior Sister Josephine Ramada, SPC, all the Sisters of Saint Paul of Chartes present,
our distinguished guest speaker Ms. Louise Angelica Gutierrez, our ever-supportive teachers, staff, and
personnel, all the loving parents in this Convention Hall and my fellow Paulinian graduates of this 68th
Commencement Exercises, a grace-filled morning to all!
As I stand before you, I feel deeply honored and humbled at the same time. Let me open with this verse:
“We have fought the good fight. We have finished the race. We have kept the faith.” As Paulinians, we
know that this came from one of the letters of St. Paul. During the 6 years of our elementary life, at
times – we grow weary. What can I say? We are humans, we get tired. There were sleepless nights,
days when we had to finish our requirements and numerous co-curricular activities to attend to in order
for us to get promoted from one grade after the other. All these baby steps accumulated, brought us
where we are right now. There was an easy way out – but no, we did not take that path. We kept the
faith that is why we are all gathered here today.
In life, please bear in mind these 2 things: Number 1- Always give your best shot and Number 2 –Leave
the rest to God. Let us remember that in life we always play doubles. We are all fighting different
battles in our life. We, just like David, have our own Goliaths (our fears and doubts). At times, we may
feel that our battle is impossible or too difficult. But here is my word for you: Please do not try to fight
alone, because God designed our life to be lived NOT as a singles game, but as a doubles game (hand
gesture –number 2). We need a partner. We need God. With a Champion partner like God, He will give
us the strength, courage and wisdom that we need.
Dear batchmates, our role in this world is like the moon. Please ask me why? (audience participation)
Why? Why the moon and not the sun? It is because the moon has no light of its own. It merely reflects
the light from the sun. Reality sets in, that that’s how we should be – merely reflecting the Son of God
shine and never trying to shine in this world by passing off the light as our own. We are just mere
instruments for without Him , we are truly nothing.
For my fellow graduates, may I invite you to please hold the hand of the person beside you and to close
your eyes for awhile. Correct. Please do that. Close your eyes and try to reminisce and clearly picture
the happy moments that we experienced together in SPC Makati. This would be the best way to
remember our Alma Mater—St. Paul College of Makati. Also, please take a glance at where your
parents and teachers are and give them a short breath prayer—a prayer of gratitude (pause while eyes
are closed) – this is the best gift of gratitude that we could offer them, not only for this day but for the
rest of our life---the gift of prayer. To our family, words are not enough to express our gratitude. You
are always with us not only during the highest of our highs but more importantly during the lowest of
our lows. You served as our safety net and our protector from the storms of life. Thank you from the
bottom of our heart.
To Sr. Teresita Bayona, SPC, Sr. Azucena Nate, SPC, and the administration, thank you very much for
making my advocacy come true through the implementation of “Working Towards a Peaceful and
Friendly Campus.” Thank you very much for allowing me to share the message to my fellow Paulinians
that no one is superior nor inferior – that we are all equal, and that our school- being our second home-
- should be a place where we feel safe and where we belong.
I believe that every graduation serves as a sanctuary of optimism and hope. Earning our diploma is just
the beginning of new and exciting adventures as we step into a new stage of life. I am confident
that St. Paul College of Makati, our second home, has equipped us with the armor and shield as we
trudge in the arena of life. Wherever we are in the future, we will always take pride in being a Paulinian.
Fellow graduates, as we live in the present with passion, keep in mind that it is important to remember
the past with gratitude. Many good things, including the painful ones, have molded us into who we are
today. Let us look forward to the future with confidence in God--the power greater than us.
My dear friends, this is what God is telling us to be: To give our best in everything that we do and leave
the rest to Him. As Bro. Bo Sanchez points out: “God wants you to give your life your best shot. The
world is your stage! And everyday, God wants you to go out there, stand on that stage and give your
best performance.” So, as we move on to the next chapter of our lives, let us live out your purpose.
Cultivate your gifts. Listen to your heart and have the courage to follow it – we only live once. Let us not
allow the noise of others’ opinions drown out your inner voice. At times, this may cause you to be
unpopular, but what good is it to gain the approval and applause of the whole world and lose yourself.
You do not have to feel alone because if God is with you, who can be against you? Remember, if you do
not give up in doing good, in His time we shall be blessed.
Graduation is fleeting. The final destination of our journey depends on how well we live the rest of our
lives. Let me end with this Danish Proverb: “What you are is God’s gift to you; what you do with yourself
is your gift to God.” I leave this question with you for you to reflect on: If today were the last day of your
life, how would you like to be remembered?
My warmest congratulations to Batch 2014! Caritas Christi Urget Nos!
Thank you everyone for attending today and seeing us on to the next chapter of our lives. To God be the