Graduation namin ng Elementary and being the Valedictorian, I was tasked to deliver a Valedictory Speech. Hagilap si Tatay ng susulat ng aking speech, but I decided to write one in English as what our adviser suggested. Para raw may dating. I finished my speech a week before graduation and Tatay asked my Tito Narding Cagawan to check it and revise if there was a need to.
I had it memorized and our adviser coached me on how to deliver it on stage. Memoryado ko pa nga hanggang ngayon e “…. after six years of hard work, burning the night’s candles, the most awaited day has come, through this years we have labored day in and day out to pursue higher levels of learning.. atsutsutsu..” Siguro dahil nga ako ang initially ay nagcompose kaya ang dali kong namemorized.
But before the graduation, nag-usap kami ng Tatay ko. Sabi niya, pagpasok ko raw ng High School ay talagang tipid kaming mag-anak dahil siyempre me mga gastusin na madadagdag. Sayang daw naman kung di ako makapag-aral, kasi modesty aside, from Grade 1 ay First Honor na ako. Natanim iyon sa isip ko at sa tuwing pinagmamasdan ko ang kapaligiran, ang aking mahal na nayon, lalo sumisidhi ang aking pagnanasan na makapag-aral.
Graduation day came and I was so confident when I was called for the Valedictory Address. Tinignan ko ang mga nasa audience, sina Mang Poroy, Ondes, Nanang Kandray, mga kabataan, mga matatanda na sa simpleng okasyong ganito ay halos buong barangay na ang naroon. Then, our Guest of Honor smiled at me, as if telling me to take it easy, be cool and deliver your speech comfortably. That was the cue. That was the moment an idea flashed in my mind. Our GOH was Mr. Gil Puyat Jr, the owner of the Flour Mills sa aming lugar and I know he is a very kind and generous man. He was running as a Constitutional Convention delegate that time, and part of gaining support was to attend such gathering.
So, after the usual blah-blah-blah of an intro ng aking speech, I blurted out “I have a memorized speech, but I have set that aside and what I want to stress now is the big dream. The big dream of a poor student like me, my dream of finishing my studies.” Tapos sinabi ko na marami kaming mga nagsisikap na mag-aral, nangangarap na umunlad, nangangarap na maging isang halimbawa ng pagsisikap, nangangarap na makatulong sa kapuwa, instead of maging pabigat.”
Tapos itinuro ko siya at sinabi ko na I challenge our GOH kung willing siya suportahan ang pangarap ng isang batang katulad ko. E di natural, nasa gitna ka ng maraming tao, may-ari ka ng Pabrika, mayaman ka, Con Con delegate to be ka, hindi mo hihiyain ang isang kahilingan na magkano lang naman mababawas from the representation or marketing budget ng kompanya?
A week after graduation, kinausap si Tatay ng sekretaryo ni Mr. Puyat para magsign ng kasunduan sa scholarship.
Apat kaming nabiyayaan ng libreng pag-aaral sa High School.
If we dream, it’s is not enough that we act. It is also a must that we ask.
By the way, nakatapos din ako ng College through an Scholarship. But that is another story.
(Matthew 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.)
“But every now and then I feel so insecure. I know that I just need you like I’ve never done before. Help me if you can, I’m feeling down And I do appreciate you being ’round Help me get my feet back on the ground Won’t you please, please help me?” – The Beatles