Ako, ikaw, tayo ang liwanag ng Diyos (SHS GA Strand commencement 2022 speech)
08 Jun 2022 | Dr Marthony Basco
This was the speech delivered by Dr Marthony "Ato" Basco during the commencement exercises for the Senior High School class of 2022, GA Strand, last 3 June 2022.
The long wait is over, congratulations batch 2022 of the Ateneo Senior High School. Let’s take a breather to internalize.
For those students who joined us in 2020-2022, those 2 challenging years of the Ateneo spirit, resilience and discipline, the 5Cs, which one do you recall? To your parents, maraming salamat for entrusting your child’s education to the Ateneo. This batch is a product of their generation: sila 'yung tech savvy, the gadget gurus. Dati ang internet source of information and entertainment, sino ang mag akala na puede pala ang distance learning, and virtual classroom? Our children strived to maintain proper decorum, conscienciousness. Ang biggest challenge ay self-control and staying focused. Whichever the case, the internet has provided an avenue for networks and linkages with their classmates, friends and friends of friends. They were able to communicate in ways and languages that they alone understand. Ngayon, nagkita-kita na sila, reality strikes: matangkad pala yun classmate ko, payat pala siya sa personal, nakakadaya pala ang effect ng ring light sa complexion. Keep those friends in your list. You will need their advice and company. Continue using the internet: to be imaginative, creative and expressive. The internet is not bad after all, it’s simply a matter of perspective.
For those students who joined the Ateneo in junior high, 6 years of the Ateneo experience, kumusta naman kayo? Ang mga dungaw, dalaw at damay sa kapwa, naisabuhay ba at naisabahay, ibig sabihin nadala ba sa tahanan ninyo ang pagiging mabuting tao? To your parents, maraming salamat for entrusting your child’s formation sa Ateneo. During those formative years, natuto ang mga bata na makisalamuha sa iba, na ang pagiging Atenista ay hindi elitista, being a person for others is not easy. But hear my words, dear graduates: you will find yourself in the service of others. Kung sino ang may kailangan, tulungan. Yun younger sibling mo, natulungan mo ba sa assignments niya? Baka naman naiinis ka each time your kapatid asks a favor? Aminin.
Kung ano ang kulang, punuan. Kapag nagpapaturo ang iyong mga magulang kung paano mag-Facebook, mag-email, mag-YouTube, mag-selfie, mag-TikTok, mga bagay na hindi nila alam, nabibigyan mo ba sila ng sapat at tamang kaalaman? What you have learned in school, I hope you apply at home. Your home is your training ground, your safe place, your refuge, your happy place. Keep it that way.
And for those students and parents, who are like us, who joined the Ateneo journey since 2010, 12 solid years, this is our journey’s end. Doon sa grade shool kapag hinatid natin sila sa driveway, ayaw magpa-kiss dahil makikita ng classmates. Bawal natin sila ihatid, meron line at 'yung teachers na bahala sa kanila. Naalala ba ninyo yun mga school fair na kasama natin ang mga little boys? 'Yong Feast of the Guardian Angels na merong mini-procession within the school grounds. 'Yong Father and Son Night? Mga Palanca notes na nagpaiyak sa mga magulang. We have seen them grow, their transformation is no less exemplary, they have imbibed the Jesuit values, kakaiba ang inyong pag-iisip, ang inyong tindig, ang inyong kilos, ang inyong salita, ang inyong aura. Indeed, you are a child of God.
Two years, 6 years, 12 years. Una, hindi magkakakilala. Then nag-usap sila, exchanging thoughts and ideas. And finally, when they shared themselves, a communion of some sort, with their teachers, the staff, their classmates, in their studies and activities, their eyes were opened, their minds enlightened. Lux in Domino, the light of God. You are that light. Pakisabi sa graduate sa kanan, ako ang ilaw ng Panginoon. Sa katabi mo sa kaliwa, ikaw ang ilaw ng Panginoon. Sa tao sa harap mo, tayo ang ilaw ng Panginoon. Ako, ikaw, tayo ang liwanag ng Diyos. Maliwanag ba?
Dear graduates, there will be those among you who will remain under the wings of the Blue Eagle, and there are those who will fly over and beyond the premises of the University. Kapag ikaw ay makikita ng iba, Ateneo ba ang kanilang makikita? Kapag ikaw ay magsasalita, Ateneo ba ang kanilang maririnig? Mararamdaman ba nila na ikaw ay Atenista kapag ikaw ay kanilang kasama? This is my challenge to you dear graduates. But do not be dismayed, for the answer is within you, it lies within your heart. In times of stress, confusion, simply busy, find some quiet moment and reflect on the 2 years, the 6 years, the 12 years of your stay, of the Ateneo way: may you seek Christ, may you find Christ, may you love Christ. In everyone and in everything.
On a personal note, dahil ako ay teacher, here’s my advice: strive to go beyond the expectation, hindi puwede 'yong puwede na. Be creative, think within the box, think outside of the box, think without the box. Initiate, ikaw ang leader, marunong mamuno, marunong manghikayat, marunong makinig. Be patient, as long as you live, there’s always an opportunity to learn in all and every situation.
On being a doctor, take care of your physical well being, you are what you eat. Take time to exercise. Matulog ng 8 hours sa gabi. Mag-general check-up every year during your birth month. Engage in a hobby. Be cheerful. Surround yourself with positive people. When you wake up each morning, stretch your arms heavenwards and say serviam, I shall serve. You have already offered and conquered your day.
At panghuli, on being a parent. Mga magulang, panibagong chapter na po sa ating buhay, may college freshman na po tayo. Kahit young adults na ang batch 2022, still they are our children. Same worries and apprehensions: paano kaya papasok sa school ang anak ko? Commute? Car pool? Private car? Okay kaya mga friends and classmates niya? Terror kaya ang mga teachers niya sa college? Safe kaya siya sa school? Paano siya uuwi ng bahay? Ano maganda vitamins niya?
We never stop being parents: we worry because we care for them. We care for them because we love them.
Before I leave the podium, meron lang ako small request, dear graduates, please allow us to be a parent to you. Payagan po ninyo na maging magulang kami sa inyo. Kapag naghanda kami ng pagkain, sana masarapan kayo. Kapag naghanda kami ng damit, sana isuot ninyo. Kapag kumakanta kami, sana sabayan ninyo kami. When we engage in sports (golf, basketball, tennis, swimming) sana samahan ninyo kami. Kapag kailangan ninyo ng kausap, sana kami ang inyong piliin, makikinig kami. Sana bago kayo umalis ng bahay, magpaalam kayo at hayaan ninyo na kiss namin kayo. At sa inyong pag-uwi, sana yakapin ninyo kami ng mahigpit. At bago kayo matulog, ipagdasal ninyo kami habang kami ay nagdarasal para sa inyo.
And Clarence, kapag ikaw ay magsasayaw, sana kami pa rin ni nanay ang iyong isayaw, kahit minsan masakit na ang paa, ang tuhod at ang likod.
To our beloved teachers, the administration, the staff and the institution which you represent, we are totally indebted. Until we meet again.
The long wait is over. To the Ateneo Senior High School batch 2022; we pray for you, we believe in you, we love you.
The long wait is over, your time has come. Soar high, Ateneans. The world awaits. Live, laugh, love.
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