Photo of me and Jasaan National High School Secondary School Principal, Ma’am Florencia D. Baang.

Photo with my fourth year high school adviser, Sir Jeffry Francis Mercado.

Photo with my second year high school adviser, Mister Arnold Deluna. (Sad, I don’t have a photo with Madam Alma Timario, my  freshman year adviser; Sir Ernesto Seco, my third year adviser; and Madam Gina Barcenal, my school paper moderator.)

Good afternoon, guys! Tonight, I will be publishing the speech I delivered before more than 500 students, faculty and staff, and guests of my Alma Mater, Jasaan National High School. Luckily for me though, I was invited to be the Guest Speaker during their 3rd Moving Up Ceremony for Junior High School. I was so happy that I was tapped for this because I did not imagine even just seconds to be a Guest Speaker for my high school, even though I must admit that there times I am so curious how it feels to be one. Yeah, and here, finally. Yes, I am sooo happy guys – to be able to inspire youngsters in my own little ways, thank my parents and family for so many years that they supported me to reach my dreams and for continuing to check on me in my life even I am on my 24th year already; and of course, to my advisers and teachers back in high school. They cause a big impact on me and on how I viewed life. My life is not perfect. There are times I childishly over-rant over social media because I am fuming with anger, overwhelmed with work, or very emotional over a heartbreak years ago, but I am in the point of my life right now where all I have to think is to make my ways right because everything tools that I need are already here and what I should do now is just to sharpen these all. I am thankful because God blessed me so much all these years.

This post supposedly (Look, I am really talkative!) is to publish my speech. I titled it “Homecoming.”

So, there it goes below:


To the Schools Division Superintendent, Dr. Randolph B. Tortola; Chief Curriculum Implementation Division, Dr. Erlinda G. Dael; Secondary School Principal, Ma’am Florencia D. Baang; Assistant School Principal for Senior High School, Ma’am Domina Gorospe; Head Teacher III, Ma’am Liezl V. Macalisang; Chairman on Education, Hon. Rebecca S. Edos; Chairman on Rules and Regulations, Hon. Andres B. Ompoc; Hon. Johannes D. Salcedo; General PTA President Mr. Arden Mercado, School Governing Council President, Hon. Reynaldo Calibay; department coordinators, advisers, teachers, parents, Junior Completers, distinguished guests, friends, ladies and gentlemen, a pleasant morning to all of you.

I am greatly honored and flattered to have been asked to speak for this very, very wonderful occasion. You never knew it, but I at times prefer to construct a presentation for my director, than to deliver a speech in a large crowd, like this. But I am inspired, remembering back in 2009 when Ms. Joan Katherine Valledor, now one of your teachers, spoke in our high school graduation. Her speech is one of the most genuine that I have heard.

One of those beautiful things that she told us is that – “One day, we will come back in JNHS and we will realize it is so much different to be home.” Today, here, I consider this as a homecoming and I am happy that I still feel home with JNHS.

Today, on this 2nd Moving Up Ceremony, I am very proud of my home, Jasaan National High School, for producing another set of completers.

It is with warm heart to know that JNHS and Department of Education never stop to motivate students to create their selves and be more of what they are. I could not be more happier to see the effective implementation of K to 12 Basic Education Program that advocates to produce college-ready and career-ready graduates, who in the long run, would be competitive individuals, shining even in the global arena.

I congratulate you all, dear students, for being so brave, patient and courageous to complete your Junior High race and live the dream you started to realize the moment you decided to enter this institution. The moment we are celebrating right now is another milestone, another step of your journey to a brighter future.

Further, I salute you, all, for giving value to your learning. The world we are living right now is different from years back. You see it in the news, the world has so much to suffer and one thing that made it worse is the indifference of our fellow people. This is the reason Education is strengthened. And you all here – individuals striving hard to finish  education, you are the solution.

Thank you for believing in the power of Education, for being an epitome that would inspire the next generation that you can attain greater knowledge even with the test of time. Thank you for being one with your school, Department of Education, our government and to entities who wished nothing but for everyone to champion Education.

Four years passed, that fast, but I know it was never easy. I know, I cannot spell every single thing you have been through – the candles burned because nights became day just to understand every bit of your lessons, all the equations that you have to familiarize with even it will cause headache just to answer tomorrow’s periodical exams, the lunch you have to forget and skip just to buy materials for your projects. All of those sacrifices you have to go through just to reach this day – this day of success of each one of you Junior High students. Ergo, at this very moment, be glad for you completed the long four years of your Junior High School.

Parents, you are living heroes behind this success of your children. More than them, this Completion Ceremony is for all of you, loving parents. I know, I know there are moments you only keep for yourselves. There are nights you dream of your children walking in a stage to graduate, but inside you, you do not know how could you make it possible. I know, there are harder times in your life that you keep secret, especially from the knowledge of your children. Months or weeks ago, or maybe days ago, you failed to eat three times a day just to comply your children’s requirements. Those times nga mangayu ug balon ang anak, ug bisan pa makulangan ang ipalit sa bugas, ihatag na lang.

I truly know it because my parents were once there, and unbelievable as it may sound, most of my parents’ journey were only disclosed to me after I completed college. I then pondered those hard times did not just happen twice or even thrice, but happened countless times.

I found out about it, not from them but from those people who helped me, who helped us go through my high school and college education. And this, does not just come off financially but also mentally and emotionally. I more realized that it is indeed true – it takes a community to raise a child. My existence in this very moment is proof to that. It takes one village to inculcate values, develop skills, integrate positive mindset and mold a strong person ready to face the realities of life.

Today, let me take this opportunity to thank my parents, to my Nanay and Tatay, and to my Mama Ding and Lola who lived through the hardships and pain just to make my journey for over 24 years less tough. To our generous friends, church mates and some of my relatives who looked beyond me and believed in me and my dreams. I may not achieve everything in this lifetime, but all I do now and all that I have become are because of your faith on what I can achieve, no matter how big or small it is.

Children, we all have tough years and most of it is experienced while we’re growing to be the person we are ought to be. We are like seeds. It is a struggle to grow in a very inconsistent and challenging environment, but with enough sunlight and enough rain, day will come, a seed will no longer be a plain seed but a plant, a fruit-bearing plant. Yes, the harvest is always greater than what has been planted, as long as it is nurtured properly.

This is like everyone here at this moment. Today, you, guys, harvest more than what you have planted.

To all the teachers who nurtured these seeds, we always remember your love to your profession and much more to these children you considered as your own. I know you have your own burden behind those welcoming smile. In fact, in my experience as government worker mostly assigned on-field, I know some teachers who are away from their families, those who served even in the midst of Marawi Siege. I know some teachers who are assigned to remote, dangerous areas and they are fearless just to serve their duties.

You are modern day heroes who turn every ordinary child to be someone this nation could be proud of. This world become more meaningful because you exist.

Someday, you will see these students holding a book, because they are already great teachers like you. In the future, you will see these students of yours – already engineers, doctors, accountants and officers, and you will be proud because they are your students back Junior High, turned into people you have always wished them to be.

Let me take this chance once again to express my gratitude to all my patient teachers. To my advisers – Madam Alma Timario, Mister Arnold Deluna, Sir Ernesto Seco, Sir Jeffry Francis Mercado, to my Siklab moderator, Madam Gina Barcenal and to all my patient teachers from first to fourth year. Exactly ten years ago, I left JNHS with big dreams that you pushed me to create. I thank you for all your life lessons that I always bring with me all these years.

And to our dear Alma Mater, for helping us create our future. More than the knowledge and wisdom that we gained in this school are goals that were implanted into our minds – goals that made us.

Once again, to you, Junior Completers, there are still numerous challenges ahead of you, in your Senior High School, college years and even in real world, but always remember that every experience on the way is your tool in achieving your goals in life. Just keep the faith and keep praying. Believe that you will be there, and you are already halfway there.

So, dream on and soar higher! Once you achieve your dreams, come back home to this school, where you first draw your big plans and you will realize how worthwhile and beautiful the journey is.

Thank you and may God bless us all. (End)

Irene is a lifestyle and travel blogger from Cagayan de Oro City, Philippines. She is just one of your typical storytellers who appreciate the wonders of life. Most of the time, she seeks for a beautiful place and get lost in it.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *