For the past seven semesters that I am working as a lecturer of Medical-Surgical Nursing, I am not into attending graduation rites that the school conducts annually. But for the mere reason that with this year’s batch, I handled fourteen sections and most graduates with special honors are my former students, I and my wife decided to attend the event. We thought it would be a new experience for us to attend graduation ceremonies as faculty members and not as students anymore.
Two weeks before the event, we shopped for something to wear. Both of us knew that we owe it to ourselves as young professionals and educators to properly dress, especially in front of parents of our students. We have to look the part. And so I bought my blue shirt and pink tie at (wherelse but) my fave Marks & Spencer, a new suit from a common department store in makati, the same with my wife’s purple shantung blouse and to complete the look, I bought her a new pair of earrings and a brooch to match. Needless to say, I for one, became a bit excited to attend.
Then I received a text message from Astro, a former MS-N student that “he made it”. Because I was in the middle of a lecture-class at that time, I didn’t think of it as “he made it to graduate with HONORS” so I replied to him casually, as “congratz, I know you deserve it.” When he and his batchmates confirmed the good news, there were more than enough reasons to attend the ceremony. I told myself that COME HELL or HIGH WATERS, I and my wife have to be there to witness the event. And so we did.
Bearing with the delays of the event, we waited patiently. And I tell you, it’s worth the wait. I was called to attend to a mother of a graduate who became unconscious probably if not for hypoglycemia; it could be due to electrolyte imbalance. I attended to her three times going up and down the stairs of the plennary hall. After learning that the clinic of the venue was closed already and there’s no paramedic ambulance stand-by, I requested the security officers to provide the patient a wheelchair and a vehicle for I wanted her to be brought to the nearest E.R. for proper observation and management.
Then I saw AYNNE TAGUBA, RN who was last June 2007 6th placer in the Nursing Licensure Examination (as I already blogged about her before, she was also a former student.) She was invited by the school to grace the event for she was given another recognition of her achievements in boards.
After those paramedic acts and photo-op with Aynne, it was high time to listen to Astro’s address.
It was SIMPLY HEART-WARMING, very INTIMATE and personal speech. We were all sympathetic with all of his words. He mentioned about his ups and downs as a student. Truly INSPIRING not only to his fellow graduates but even to us his mentors.
I never thought i will receive such an APPLAUSE in PICC, no less, from my students of batch 2008, my colleagues, parents and guests who all listened to the cum laude’s speech. I stood up for few seconds (or a couple of minutes) to acknowledge the GRATEFULNESS of a a former student whose HUMILITY remained INTACT with his SUCCESS. IT WAS PURE GRATITUDE IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD.
It was OVERWHELMING, UNEXPLAINABLE, EUPHORIC,
Astro Silverio, a BS Nursing graduate & the very 1st Cum Laude of Southeast Asian College showed his utmost respect and gratefulness to the author of this blog.
Let him be an INSPIRATION more than a HISTORY as he wants to be remembered.
Below is Astro’s speech as I requested him to email it to me.
But before it, here are some photos of the event, including our son’s.
SACI batch 2008 graduates
with my former NCM 202 and 204 students : (L-R : Keith, Hazel, Jungie)
my wife with BSN graduates Paul Bulusan & above with Aries Buenaventura
my wie Cristina, who is also a clinical instructor of SACI and our son GABBY at home.
WITH PERMISSION , here’s a copy of the valedictory address of SACI’s 1st ever
CUM LAUDE, Astrobal Silverio delivered at PICC Plennary Hall during their grad rites.
“There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs”
MY GRADUATION SPEECH, March 13, 2008, PICC
Astrobal Joaquin Silverio, BSN 421
Southeast Asian College, Inc. Quezon City Philippines
While I was reading the biography of Dr. Dennis Waitley one day before I prepared this speech, I was inspired by one of his quotations. Dr. Dennis Waitley is one of the most sought-after keynote speakers in the world today as well as one of America’s most respected authors. The quotation says “the winners in life think constantly in terms of ‘I can, I will and I am’. Losers, on the other hand, concentrate their waking thoughts on what they should have or would have done, or what they can not do”. I myself had been a loser for several times. But through losing, I had learned that there’s always a room for trying; that I should never give up; that I should stand up again if I fall.
To our honored Guest Speaker, Mr. Nilo L. Rosas, Commissioner of the Professional Regulations Commission; to the Chairman of the Board, Mr. Peter P. Laurel; to the Vice Chairman of the Board, Mr. Rodolfo S. Ibuna; to the Executive Vice President, Mrs.Edita F. Enatsu; to the Consultant for Academic Affairs, Dr. Eduardo Gutierrez-Ong; to the Consultant for College of Nursing, Dr. Asuncion Enriquez; to the Dean of the College of Nursing and School of Midwifery, Mrs. Delia Tan; to the Administrative Officer and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Mrs. Miramar Garcia; to the Dean of the College of Radiologic Technology, Dr. Fortunato Gabon; to the Dean of Education, Dr. Mariquita Mendoza; to the School Registrar, Mrs. Minda Gnilo; to all other school officials; to the Professors and Clinical Instructors, to the members of the faculty, to the parents who are here today, my fellow graduates, Good Afternoon.
When I started my journey in Southeast Asian College 4 years ago, I never expected that I would be standing here in front of you today. It is so heart-warming to see you guys all wearing your graduation toga with your parents who, I’m sure, are very proud of you.
The road we have taken to arrive at where we are today was riddled with bumps, U-turns, road blocks, and other seemingly insurmountable obstacles. (A famous writer called this ‘the road less traveled’).But, with the constant support of our inspiring teachers, the love and patience of our beloved families, and the strength that came from the friendships we have forged at this Institution, we all survived and now stand proud this afternoon/evening. We are the graduating class of 2008. We are the survivors. We are the winners.
But how do we really measure success?
Let me tell you a story from my life when I made one of my biggest mistakes.
It was in the late 90’s. I was then a freshman at Saint Louis University Baguio City taking up AB Mass Communications. Due to my thoughtless and childish desire ‘to discover the world’, I decided to leave the school. I gave up my dreams, my parents’ dreams, and went on a purposeless adventure. I went to Manila without any plans, without prospects. In other words, with nothing in mind and worse, with an empty hand. I wandered aimlessly like a moth attracted to the bright lights of the Metro. I transferred from one flare to another, trying my best to survive and pretending that I was content with what I had achieved and become. My life then was a hopeless case. I was lost…Then I woke up one morning and realized that my life is going nowhere, that I was at a dead end. So I asked myself “What am I doing with my life? Will this storm of hopelessness end? Will the bright sun shine on me again?” I paused for a reply. I looked above and I saw the clouds’ silver lining. I realized that behind those clouds, the sun is still shining. (Did you get what I mean?) Yes, you are right…THERE IS ALWAYS HOPE…
So instead of wallowing in self-pity, I decided to take action—I stood up from where I had fallen and took the first step towards my future.
The beginning of my new life started four years ago when I enrolled at Southeast Asian College with a strong desire to achieve something. I brought with me my sense of optimism and aspiration to succeed. I broke free from the convergence of failures and frustrations. I said to myself “This time, I will be a winner.”
I must say that what I had achieved now did not come easy. It’s a product of hardwork, determination, sacrifice, discipline, and a strong faith in God. As an unknown author once wrote “There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.” What this author was trying to say is that when it comes to success, there are no shortcuts. In my four years in college, it seemed that the elevator to success was not an option; and, I had no choice but to take the twisting flights of stairs. Slowly… Step by step…
And so, here I am now, standing before you with a vision of a bright new future ahead of me…
TO the Batch of 2008, I pose a challenge. As we go about achieving our goals, perhaps likely ending up working in foreign lands, let us not forget to give back to our families, and to our country. Let us never forget our roots, where we came from. Let us always remember the true essence of Nursing—CARING, SERVICE, COMMITMENT.
As I have said, it took a lot of hard work and dedication for me to get to this point today, but I would not be sleeping well tonight if I took all the credit. So I would like to acknowledge all the important persons who contributed extensively to this achievement. First and foremost, I would like to thank the good Lord above, for giving me the gift of wisdom and for guiding me to use this wisdom rationally. To my parents, although they are not here today, thank you for your acceptance. Your unconditional love made me believe that even in the midst of darkness, there’s always a glimpse of light. That light was the light that guided me when I was lost. I know you are proud of me. To my sisters and to my little brother, who is celebrating his birthday today, thank you for dreaming with me. Today marks the beginning of the achievement of our mutual dreams. To my star (you know who you are). Thank you for your helping hand. As I traveled through the stormy seas, it was you who put up the sail on my boat. You gave me direction. I will never forget you.
To the Professors and Clinical Instructors who educated me, to the Course Audit Team, to my mentors, thank you for touching my life and empowering me to be more successful in life.
I would also like to take this opportunity to personally express my gratitude and acknowledgement to this one professor who has contributed significantly to my success. Due to his devotion to his profession, he has inspired and challenged me to study harder. Because of him, I’ve learned the real meaning of hard work and sacrifice. He taught me how to become disciplined.
I would like to acknowledge the contributions of
Dr. Angelo Nino Santos
not only to me but to all other students whom he had handled. Thank you very much, Dr. Santos….I will always look up to you, sir. Your teachings, both in Nursing and in life, will always be remembered by those students whom you had inspired.
To BSN 421 and to my closest friends- Kristel dela Paz, Nicolle Daoa, Lea Serrano, Adonis Novales, Carlo Jeffrey Juan and Aaron Alpha Ramos, thank you for making my life easier. Thank you for the laughter. Thank you for making me feel younger everytime I’m with you. I will surely miss you guys. You will always remain here… deep inside here…
To those who believed in me, thank you so much. To those who did not, believe in yourselves. It is the foundation of trust.
Last but not the least; I would like to thank my alma mater for helping me build my dreams and for assisting me to achieve those dreams as well. According to the Administration, I am the first ever Cum Laude of SACI. You might be asking why. Based on my experience, it was very difficult to obtain this Latin Honor in this Institution. It’s what they call ‘the survival of the fittest’! I survived. And because of that, I made history. However, I don’t want to be remembered for that, but rather, I want to be remembered as an inspiration to all those who know me. Through hard work, discipline, and dedication, and by the grace of God, you can reach for the stars and, though you may fall short at times, never give up on your dreams. My wish for all is for everyone to enjoy a happy and successful life, one that is made more meaningful through the use of your talents in the service of your family, your country, and those who need them the most.
Thank you very much. Good evening..