Bryan Paul L. Espinosa, magna cum laude, BSEd Major in English, encouraged his fellow graduates to excel for the Lord.

To our University President, Dr. Teodoro C. Robles, our guest speaker, Dr. Rumalie Corvera, all members of the Board of Trustees, the administrators, the deans, our professors, the staff, our parents, family, friends and most especially, my dear beautiful and handsome graduates, hello! Good afternoon! How are you?

Today is 11.11. In the field of numerology, 11.11 is an auspicious sign, a sign of enlightenment and insight, a way for the Universe to tell us that we are on the right path towards growth and development. Among the Chinese, 11.11 is that one day in a year for people who can’t find true love to celebrate being single by wallowing themselves in online shopping. But to us, midyear graduates, 11.11 means a celebration of success. Reaching this point was not easy, and I am sure that we all share common stories. We all had days when we walked like zombies towards school for lack of sleep just because we stayed up in the wee hours of the morning to comply with a requirement. We also experienced having to see our friends graduate ahead of us because we failed a subject although we tirelessly did our best. Whatever the case was, for a moment, remember what you have gone through to reach this point. Indeed, it was not easy but it was worth it.

My journey towards this point was not a walk in the park either. I had to go to school in the daytime and to avoid adding burden to my parents, I have to go to work at night as an online English teacher from 6 till around midnight. Thank God, I didn’t have 7AM classes or I’d be dead. Because of my hectic schedule, the only time I really had to study was at school. I’d go to the library or find a room in OV or NV to study during my vacant periods. I promised to do my best in my studies even if that meant being awake for 24 hours—which happened only twice. However, despite how strong my spirits always were, I could never evade exhaustion. I remember while waiting for my next class, I would go to the Half-moon field, find a bench, and ask a friend to watch over me as I nestled comfortably with my bag as my pillow.

I was also a board member of the student council in my third year, a team captain of the COED debate society for two years, and thank God, I am still alive. I was relentless and still very healthy. I had goals and I was ambitious. I worked hard and it paid off. But mind you, I didn’t accomplish what I did on my own.

You see, I have amazing, great friends who are mostly work students; they added color to my stay here in Central. I have passionate teachers who inspired, motivated, and encouraged me—the faculty of the College of Education and our dean, Prof Junsay, the faculty of the English Department, and the other departments. Outside Central, I have my ever-supportive parents, my siblings, my Uncle Leo, the Espinosa and Landar families. I also have my Chinese students who have become my friends. Definitely, I thank the heavenly Father for giving me the best opportunities and for preparing me for them by sending me these amazing people. Indeed, I didn’t reach this far on my own.

Graduates, we didn’t reach this far on our own. So, on behalf of all the graduates, dear Central Philippine University, I thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You have been our home for the past three to five years. The memories we shared will always be here in our hearts. To our parents, teachers, and friends, do know how much you all mean to us.

Dear Graduates, God sent many wondrous people who shaped us and fostered in us values and principles to live by. So, as we go on our way and dance to the hymn of life and ascend towards success, let us not forget to breathe a prayer of gratitude for those who helped us get here and there. When setbacks and failure drop by however, let us embrace them and hear their whisper. Listen to what failures have to say, and drop them to your feet as fertilizers to help your branches bear flowers and fruits. Life was never easy and it will never be, but when we plant seeds of faith and hope in our hearts, we’ll grow wings and fly. As we take flight, remember not to compare the span of your wings with others, for you will wither in vain, because there will always be someone better and lesser than yourself. Fly at your own pace and at your own time. Enjoy the view. Appreciate. Love. Live. Always affirm that as we glide through the skies, God sends the wind, both cold and warm, to prepare us for a journey farther from where we are now. We have braved many storms, but we have also witnessed many rainbows. We have been prepared for many great things like gold molded in a burning furnace into precious jewelry. Now, we emerge victorious as instruments of God’s divine will.

Dear graduates, with everything that we have gone through, and now finding ourselves here, we deserve a loud applause! Do tell yourselves and your seatmates, “You are glorious.” Remember to embrace every single person who helped you find your pedestal and who helped you stand where you now find your feet. Let us remember to keep alive and burning the spirit for learning that Central has nurtured in our hearts, and let this burning fire be like a star that reaches and guides many people. Let us fill our cup to the brim with optimism and gratitude, with love and faith in the Lord. Let us carry Central in our hearts, and wherever our wings may bring us, let us remember God.

We are here because of Him. He has always been here. Right now, He is here, celebrating and enjoying this victory with us.

Congratulations, dear Centralian graduates! Let us all spread our wings and fly!


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