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By Pearl Joy L. Suficiencia, BS Accty, Summa Cum Laude

Delivered during the 94th Graduation of University Colleges, CPU on July 24, 2022 (first batch) at the Rose Memorial Auditorium.

Pearl Joy L. Suficiencia, BS Accty, Summa Cum Laude, delivers the response on behalf of the graduates – first batch.

To the members of the CPU Board of Trustees and Corporation led by the Chairman, Dr. Elmer Q. Pedregosa; To our university president, Dr. Teodoro C. Robles; To our faculty and staff; To our commencement speaker, (insert name of speaker); Our parents, loved ones, my fellow graduates, a pleasant afternoon.

Looking back through my college years, I have lost count of how many times I encountered these questions. “Ngaa kahapos lang ya sa imo, pero kami ya gaka budlayan?”,”Ano ang may ara sa inyo nga wala sakon man, ngaa muni lang ko ya?” Others really think I had it easier. Well, of course, not. I had my doubts and insecurities, to be honest. Ironic how these people who asked me, are the same people who are good at public speaking, great student leaders, excellent in interpersonal skills, and so on. And I am not like them; I am not even good in things they do best.

Like everybody else, I compared and measured myself too. When I was in my first-year summer class, I experienced a mental block for almost half an hour. I was just looking up at the front, not knowing how to analyze and solve the problems. I ended up merely answering 20 questions using the letter C, as I thought of C for Christ. While exiting the room, I was thinking, “Ngaa nakasabat sila ya, ako wala, ano pa pulos ka pag dean’s list ko kung hapos nalang gid nga pamangkot indi ko pa ya masabtan?” I even doubted I could pass my 1.75 cut-off grade, so I was just holding on to Jeremiah 29:11, which says, that God has a plan for us that will give us hope and a future. I was overjoyed when I was given a mark of 1.75, which was later on adjusted to 1.5 when corrections were made. It was overwhelming, wasn’t it? “Nakapasar na, nag taas pa!” I again claimed that I have everything because I have Christ who provides.

Then came the shift from face-to-face classes to an online setup where I felt more lost, and probably you too. Have I learned something? I even heard some remarks: “Daw natapos lang ya ang online class, ambag ko lang is good morning maam/good bye maam/yes sir bation ka.” And have you also been told that “online classes gid lang na, budlayan ka pa?” Because in reality, yes it was. It seems like the efforts have been doubled. Staying up late at night to get a bearable internet connection; listening to classes where chickens and dogs were louder than the audio; juggling backlogs due to fast-paced lessons and limited time; pulling an all-nighter and being greeted with a below-the-mean grade; and having an extended class than the usual class hours during face-to-face were just some of the norms this new setup brought to our batch.

Just like everybody else, I had also doubted my worth when F2F comprehensive exams ware given after we have been used to online classes. Could I make it knowing that I was not performing well in online classes? I was super anxious that people might judge me if I failed, and I even questioned whether I deserved my grades or not. I even cried in one of my subjects when I hadn’t finished answering the test. The passing score at that time was 49, and my score for that subject? It was merely 50/70. That 1-point margin made me realize how mysterious and powerful faith could be. That 1-point margin made me realize I am not knowledgeable because of myself alone. It was Him who reminded me that, “who am I to say what the future holds?”

It was all faith that made the journey easy to go through. It was faith in God and faith in yourself. How many times have you said, “Kakapoy na gid ya, indi na ko?” But look at where you are right now, sitting in front of this stage and reaching this line just in time like everybody else. It is during those times when you brace yourself with the possibility of failing, when you are not as good as the achievers in your class, but that would make you realize that you can do well, too.

We may always have doubts about what we can do, but we should not forget the potential we have in us. When you want to become someone else, there is another person out there who also wants to become what and who you are. I may be standing here as your batch valedictorian, but remember that success is boundless. It’s not just about being academically superior but also possessing and developing the necessary skills to excel in the workplace. You are more than what you are afraid of.

As we close this chapter of our lives, let us take a moment to thank everyone who has helped us succeed: Our university, which has expanded greater academic opportunities; Our professors, who had passionately and competently taught us a large portion of our chosen profession; Our parents, guardians, and loved ones, who were there to listen to all our breakdowns, to cheer us up when we accomplished something, to be the pillar of our dreams, and who supported us with love, care, and financial assistance; our friends and classmates, who made college a bearable journey and served as our open diaries and our support system; and, most importantly, above and above all, to God, the Most High, who is more than sufficient. Our utmost gratitude to Him and his divine providence!

As we leave these corners, may we never forget where our dreams began, our university. On behalf of all the graduates, we promise to uphold the Centralian values that have been inculcated in us and to be the epitome of what a Centralian should be. As we go on to our chosen career, we assure you that we will be persons of character and substance who promotes success, integrity, and excellence in all ways.

To God be all the glory!


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