I HAD THE pleasant task of being the commencement speaker last week during the 11th Commencement Exercises of the Graduate Studies, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa. (PLMun)
It was a homecoming of sorts for me. PLMun traces its roots to a community college which I founded in 1991 while I was still Municipal Mayor of Muntinlupa.
Over the years, the school, then known as Muntinlupa Polytechnic College (MPC), grew in student population and in course offerings. In 2003, MPC upgraded itself into a university, duly recognized by the Commission on Higher Education, and was renamed Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa (PLMun). In 2006, PLMun’s Board of Regents approved the PLMun Graduate Studies program.
In this year’s commencement, 52 graduates were conferred their Master of Arts Degrees in Education, Business Administration, and Security & Correctional Administration.
Among those present during the graduation rites were Dr. Elena E. Presnedi, OIC President; Dr. Remedios B. Cunanan, OIC Vice President for Academic Affairs; Engr. Bonifacio E. Umadap, Dean of Graduate Studies; Dr. Reynaldo O. Samson, President of MPC-PLMun Alumni Association; graduates led by Ms. Richel A. Noro; Muntinlupa City Vice Mayor Artemio A. Simundac, Vice Chair of the Board of Regents; and Councilor Paty Katy Boncayao, Chair of the Committee on Education.
Part of my message to the graduates:
The life ahead will be different from what you have experienced during these last few years. The real world out there will be fraught with new and different challenges. The road ahead will not always be smooth. There will be speed bumps. There will be potholes. Some streets will be flooded. There will be heavy traffic. Occasionally, your MRTs will not work. They are all part of the game of life.
A good measure of your future success is how well you cope and overcome these challenges.
There will be times when you will be down. When this happens, do not lose heart. It happens to many, even to the best. In the end, what will really really matter is how often you get up and try to beat the odds.
While your university has prepared you well academically, you still have to keep learning. You have to keep gaining new knowledge, new skills, new insights. Our world is fast changing. We have to constantly keep up, adapt or otherwise, we will become irrelevant.
But while we strive to learn new things, we must never ever forget the fundamentals. These are the core values which are founded on our Love for God, Love for Country and Love for Family, which is the basic unit of our society. Remember: Strong families make a strong community. And strong communities make a strong country.
The late Diosdado Macapagal was a poor boy from Lubao, Pampanga. He walked hours daily to school and back. He later became President of the Philippines. He lived by this simple motto: “In everything that you do, always do your best and God will take care of the rest.”
An anonymous writer said: “Pray as if everything depended on God. But work as if everything depended on you.”
Another wrote: “There is no limit to what you can do if you keep believing in God and you keep believing in yourself.”
My dear friend, and my first boss in the corporate world, Mr. Buddy Gomez, once told me: “Toting, dapat believe ka sa sarili mo. Kasi kung hindi ka believe sa sarili mo, eh sino ang bi-believe sa iyo.”
All of these bits of advice can be put together as follows: “Believe in God. Believe in yourself. Pray Hard. Work Hard.”
Make this your own personal mantra. Believe me. It works!
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