Graduates and Hope
By the time you read this, graduation season has ended, families have finished celebrating and the fresh graduates are now looking forward to an exciting new life! For parents though, all those years of investing and of patiently guiding their children are finally bearing fruit. To give congratulations is a mere understatement. Sa tingin ko, di biro ang pagpalaki ng isang anak at pag-aralin siya simula kinder hanggang college. Ngayon na tapos na ang kanilang pagsasakripisyo, it’s up to the young graduates to look towards the future for both themselves and their families. I trust that the graduates will not disappoint.
They already know that there is a time-tested formula for success: plan ahead, believe, pray, work hard and never give up. Many of them, however, might ask: why? “Why bother when our country is already known world-wide for corruption? Why work hard when your success seems to depend on who you know, not what you know or what you do? Why believe in the straight and narrow path when everybody who succeeds seems to take the crooked path to push ahead?” My answer is simple. Yes, the country is in a bad state. Yes, our system is broken. But the question to all of us, especially to our graduates, is: do we accept it or do we change it? Their determination to stay, to fight, will be the collective determination of our people in the long run. These graduates can be the source of much needed change or they can be swept along in the tide. The choice is theirs. The parents know this and have much hope. I share this hope with them and I share it with all of you: the hope that we all welcome these graduates to a future characterized by putting conscience over ambition, principles over selfishness, integrity above power, and country above self. Our country has risen to the occasion before: when we fought for our freedom from Spain, when we fought for our freedom against Japan, and when we fought for our freedom against our own dictator. Filipinos put country above self then and inspired the world. We can do it again.
Mabuhay ang kabataang Pilipino! Mabuhay ang bayang Pilipinas!