DREAM, BELIEVE, ACHIEVE; Brothers graduate with honors

John Lloyd graduated Senior High School with Highest Honors at Passi National High School on July 14.
John Lloyd graduated Senior High School with Highest Honors at Passi National High School on July 14.

Raised by hardworking parents, an express courier delivery rider and a housewife, two humble achievers emerged. Brothers John Patrick and John Lloyd were born to proud parents, Mr. Joel P. Panizales and Shanny Mar T. Panizales.

John Patrick graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science degree from the University of the Philippines Visayas. The 22-year-old was also a consistent University and College Scholar since his first year. He graduated senior high school from the same university in 2019 under the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics strand. He was the Batch 2017 Valedictorian at Passi National High School in his junior high and an alumnus of Passi I Elementary School.

John Lloyd was just as an achiever as his older brother. The 19-year-old ranked 2nd among 1,345 senior high school graduates of 2023 at Passi National High School with various accolades, including the Gerry Roxas Leadership Award. He also served as a board member of the Regional Federation of the Supreme Student Government in Region 6. A highlight among his feats so far was being the International Exchange Student and Filipino Ambassador in Japan of the Asia KAKEHASHI Project.

John Lloyd presented about Philippine culture to his classmates in Japan during his last day of school as Grade 11 exchange student.

The siblings undeniably excelled in their respective fields, and these achievements were not without obstacles.

Difficulties and challenges

JP: One of the major challenges I had to cope with was when I first entered senior high school at UP High School in Iloilo. I was immediately slapped with the realization that I wasn’t as smart as I thought. As someone used to see their name on the list of awardees, it took some time before I came to peace with it. I’m glad I had to go through this experience because it served as a wake-up call. I hadn’t realized I was being stagnant. Academically, I focused too much on what was written in textbooks and constrained myself only to what my teachers taught me. Now I know that it is also important to add my thinking into the learning process and that thought is bound to be wrong a lot of the time, but that is still okay; it’s part of learning. One major lesson I learned was to make more mistakes and learn from them. This has freed me from my perfectionist tendencies, and I’m happy to enjoy learning, thanks to this new perspective. When I entered college, I threw away that habit of lingering too much with my exam scores and focused more on what I could best get out of all the readings and notes, and I’m glad that it worked.

Lloyd: Transitioning back to face-to-face classes was no easy feat. We had to bear shifting schedules and health restrictions, limiting our programs and activities. I also dove into a different environment since I was a year behind my peers. I took an academic hiatus to pursue my dream of becoming an International Exchange Student and Filipino Ambassador in Japan in 2021, so establishing relationships with new classmates was challenging. In addition, I took up the responsibility of becoming the SSG President and a volunteer for several organizations, and at times, balancing my academics with other commitments was demanding. But with the grace of God, I soldiered through.

How to cope with these

JP: Learning to accept failure and realizing I don’t need to be perfect all the time relieved me from the usual anxieties that haunted me. If I’d failed at something, my old self would’ve probably spent hours mentally reliving that failure. But now, I’m happy to say I can cope much better. Sure, I grieved for a little while, but now I know that I can always pick up from where I last stumbled and choose to continue to move on.

Lloyd: Whenever I feel overwhelmed with tasks, I look back at the progress I made that brought me to my current successes. I try to distract myself from those responsibilities, even for a minute, to recalibrate my mind and gather my energy to continue. I also ask guidance from the Almighty and have somewhat of a “rant session” to cast all my worries to Him because I know He wouldn’t give me tasks I couldn’t handle and has better plans for me.

Message to the youth

JP: I understand it’s easier said than done, but learning how to be comfortable with making mistakes can do wonders. It stretches your perspective to become more explorative, and you get to be open to experiencing more things, so you learn more and better. I remember when one of our professors made us play a game. We were to guess a rule, and we had to do that by giving examples, and our professor would tell us whether that example followed the rule or not, and from that, we could deduce the mystery rule. The point was that to get to the truth, one must also know what’s not working apart from knowing what’s working. And so I think this aligns with the message that we should try not to be afraid of mistakes. I hope that each of us gets to experience this type of freedom.

Lloyd: Being ambitious often has negative connotations, but ambitions allow us to dream and aim high. Remember that you are capable of so much more, and you only need to believe in yourself to tap into your innermost potential and succeed. There is also no shame in asking for help, as it only shows your willingness to go beyond your horizons to achieve your goal. As long as you are dedicated and sincere to your craft, success will always follow. However, life is a process, so you should take the journey at your own pace.

To their dear parents

JP: To my Mama and Papa, thank you for the many years of love and support. I present my medal as a symbol of not just academic merit but of all of our achievements. Though we may have struggled a lot financially and emotionally, especially during the last few years, I am happy that we have coursed through these challenges and finally nakapa-graduate na kamo. Bonus na ang award, si Lloyd naman sunod. I pray to God that he continues to give us strength and fortitude as we go through another chapter of our lives. There’s still a lot to do, pero sabi nga nila: “malayo pa, pero malayo na”. I love you.

Lloyd: To my parents, I am forever grateful for the unconditional love, support, and efforts you poured into our education. Thank you for being the undying light that guided me through every step, and I am so blessed to have you as my parents. Life presents many challenges, but I promise to continue doing my best wherever I might be, and I pray to God for your good health and safety so we’ll all be together once I graduate and start giving back to provide the life you deserve. Hulat lang gid gamay ah, mauna lang anay si Kuya Patrick! I love you, Ma, Pa!/PN


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here