Wednesday, March 26, 2008

CottonCandy's Graduation

My son Cotton-candy graduated from elementary school last March 24th and I am also surprised that he graduated with a scholarship award and a deserving pupil distinction.

Yes, we were all there to attend the commencement and recognition program. The school had a newly appointed principal by the name of Mrs. Luz Arguilla who took care of all the school preparations. Among the guests were the municipal mayor, Herminio Romero; Vice Mayor Jojo Surdilla's representative and my friend, Johnny Aquino; municipal coucilor Atty. Joseph Cera; the PTCA president Danilo De Vera;and the guest of honor and speaker Dr. Fel Magdalyn Tomaneng of Clinica Dermatologica.

And though it was so hot that afternoon ( we started around 1:30) it was great to be there and listen to the speeches of the distinguished guests. I was moved by the speech of Atty. Cera giving attention to thank the ordinary people that made a difference to the graduating students' lives. Here is the content of his speech:

To the Embarcadero Elementary School Graduates of 2008,

You have finished the race, you have kept the faith, you have fought the good fight. You are entering a new chapter in your life. A very interesting phase in High School.

You have done well. The shared experiences that you have with your friends and classmates would be the main fodder of your reunions that would be retold over and over even after your fiftieth anniversary as an alumnus/alumni. The chairs, the tables, the buildings would have special meaning as you would revisit your school in the coming years. As you leave the portals of your school, take time to reflect that you have a lot to thank for.

One email that is circultaing the internet universe nowadays is that pjilosophy attributed to Charles Schultz, the creator of Peanuts. I am adopting such email, shich in our case, goes like this. What follows is a list of questions. You don't need to answer them at all. Just read through.

1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world; 2. Name the last five winners of the Nobel Peace Prize; 3. Name the last five winners of Ms. Universe

Schultz said that none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. but the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

1. List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

2. Name three friends sho have helped you through a difficult time.

3. Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

4. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

5. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

It is easier indeed to think of these people. He said that the people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones who care. your teacher, your friend, your mother, your dad, your family.

Just take time to consider these. Thank your teacher who patiently taught you even when he would have thought you were beyond redemption. Thank your teacher who inspired you to do something great and worthwhile. Thank your teacher who was your number one fan and supporter when you had your contests that brought honor to your school. Even that teacher who is usually cranky and angry because despite a limited salary, they would still go to school to teach because they believe in their solemn duty to build character and mold minds in order that they would at tleast contribute to make the youth to be indeed the future of the land.

Thank your mom who gave you your allowance, who prepared your meals, who worried sick when you didn't come home. Thank your dad who has worked hard to bring food on the table. Thank your parents for believing in you that you would realize your dreams, reach for the stars and make this world a better place than you left it. Mabuhay ka, graduate. Change the world!

Wow, that speech is amazing. It echoes my thoughts that I still have plenty of hopes and dreams for Cotton-candy, and though it's still a possibility that he will enroll in a public school again next year, I am at least hoping he will pass the special science achievement test. How I hope he will learn more and improve next year, especially in chess and in painting. Actually, my kumare seated beside me, whose son also graduated, asked me why Cottoncandy was no longer on the top five list ... I jestingly replied : " Mare, pag birthday ng mga anak ko kasi di ako nag-iinvite ng mga teachers, kumbaga, kami-kami lang sa bahay" then we laughed tapos she said, "Hoy, teacher din ako dito ah, I hope di ako kasali dyan" Hint: ganun po sa amin pa-bonggahan ang mga honors

Cotton-candy's getting a deserving pupil distinction is just good enough and I know there is still much room for improvement this coming school year when he enters high school. I don't pressure my children to achieve more, although they are just studying in a public school. I simply encourage them to learn as much as they can and read more about their interests and hone their skills. Thanks that we, as parents, somehow survive and make ends meet in putting them through school.

Ayy, next year, we will be having 3 high schoolers already! As I always say, it's time to put our faith into action!


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