Theme: “Living the 5C’s: Achieve, Lead, Make an Amazing Difference” -

Theme: “Living the 5C’s: Achieve, Lead, Make an Amazing Difference”


Theme: “Living the 5C’s: Achieve, Lead, Make an Amazing Difference” High School Recognition Day
Southville International School and Colleges
June 20, 2015
Luxembourg Campus

By: Cherylette P. Lingao

Good Afternoon to our School President, Dr. Marl V. Ferenal, Ms. Marie Vic F. Suarez, Principal, Ms. Gladys Mintu and Ms. Nessie Lumbres, Deputy Principals, Ms. Judy Arguelles, School Registrar, Administrators, Faculty, Parents, Guests, and Students.

It is an honor to be invited as a guest speaker in my beloved alma mater.

I spent more time in the halls of this school more than my home when I was a student here, thus, I call Southville as my second home. Thank you for inviting me back.

I am here to speak about the theme: “Living the 5C’s, Achieve, Lead, and Make an Amazing Difference”.

The ceremony today is a manifestation of the school’s commitment to its mission, to produce extraordinary students through its core values, the 5C’s, namely: Competence, Character, Collaboration, Creativity, and Commitment to Achieve.

As a product of the Southville education, I wish to impart with you, young achievers the importance of the 5C’s, and the reason why they should be lived and become a way of life in the school community.

Let me begin with the first C: Competence.

In the vocabulary of lawyers, the word means that “having sufficient ability or authority.”

While in the English dictionary, the word, competence means the “ability to do something well”

I congratulate each one of you because you finished the school year with flying colors and that is competence in itself!

I am sure you persevered in your own ways to achieve your goals as a student. Many may have stayed until late at night studying, choosing their books over online games, and making other sacrifices so that they can make their parents proud today.

As someone who studied for twenty years, I believe that to maintain one’s competence, consistency plays an important role. We have to be always hungry for learning to stay competent in this globally competitive environment. Be consistent because your discipline and good study habits will bring you closer to your dreams.

Always do your best because that will set you apart from the rest.

This brings us to the second C: Character.

I admire you for your academic and values excellence because it shows that you have the character of a good student.

Allow me to remind you to always maintain respect towards your parents and teachers regardless of your achievements today and in the future, because they value you, not based on your competence alone, but also on your character. There is a thin line between arrogance and confidence, and this is where character becomes important. An achiever must add humility in his life so that he may know the difference between arrogance and confidence.

There is also another aspect wherein character is important to me personally. Character will define how we will respond to life’s successes, and failures. Nobody wants to fail but we should accept that it is a part of life. I would not probably be standing before you today if I had understood what it would take to succeed because I have no answer for it. But I am standing here because my success in the Bar Exams grew from my own set of failure. Simply put, success grows from failure.

So when failure comes your way, do not be discouraged, do not doubt yourself. Rather, use that failure, that doubt, and other negative emotions to motivate you because that, dear students, is character, which I believe is a key to success.

We go to the third and fourth C’s: Creativity and Collaboration.

Creativity is intelligence having fun so use it to jumpstart innovations. The beauty in our generation is that, we adapt to change easily! We even look forward to change! To illustrate, we are excited for new software updates, for the next Star Wars movie, the third Despicable Me movie, and the new iPhone this year. We are the generation that welcomes change.

As young and creative achievers, I urge you to start your own change and make a difference to our society and country.

It took me five years before I became a lawyer and made a difference to my self, my family, and to the Southville community. So students, regardless of how long it takes, aim to make a difference.

To be more concrete, in this digital age, I hope that you will use social media to make you a leader now and in the future.

Use it well and use it properly to embrace diversity, and to promote collaboration rather than a culture of isolation and reliance on the Internet. Remember that you need the help of others. The medal you will receive today is not based on your hard work alone. It was a collective effort of the parents, teachers, and students. Your parents and teachers deserve to be recognized too!

Lastly, the 5th C: Commitment to Achieve.

When I was a student here, my brother, Joseph, was two batches lower than me. He would get a purple certificate when he was feeling lazy, but he knew when to aim for the green certificate. We always finished the school year with an award. But I am no genius compared to my brother so I always got Bronze while he got Silver or Gold despite him always watching Dexter’s Lab, Disney and Anime.

He is currently on his 4th year of Medicine in the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health, and still has time to watch his favorite TV shows while I never got to watch an episode of the Game of Thrones while in law school.

The point is I still finished my entire stay in the upper school successfully because I studied hard. I realized early that success is 1percent genius and 99percent perseverance. I always had a goal, that when my parents would come to school as they had a busy life when we were growing up, that they should come up the stage twice on Recognition Day, once for me and the second for my brother.

I was committed to be an achiever because it brings real joy to my parents and I saw that as a way to reward them for the sacrifices they have made for me.

I hope that the awardees will be committed to achieve again in the upcoming school year because today, the universe conspired to give you a very beautiful gift, a medal with your name engraved on it. Keep up the good work, and always be grateful and humble! Again, my congratulations to the parents, students, and teachers! Your collective effort is recognized today.

Thank you very much.

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