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Joseph P. Lingao

Magna Cum Laude,

BS in Health Sciences,

Ateneo de Manila University

Southville High School Class 2007

"A drive for excellence is something that can be honed and developed, and it is precisely that which has brought me to where I am today. Southville sparked in me that burning desire to achieve something greater. Fortunately... "read more>>


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Believe…Achieve…Make a Difference: Class 2016 Grade 6 Valedictory Speech



Dr. Genevieve Ledesma - Tan, our Founder and Chief Executive Mentor, Dr. Marl V. Ferenal, our President, Ms. Jocelyn P. Tizon, our Vice President for Administration, Ms. Avic F. Suarez, our Principal, Ms. Gladys F. Mintu, our Deputy Principal, dearest 2nd moms and dads (a.k.a. our advisers), teachers, parents, grandparents, guests, and my batch mates… AMAZING MORNING!!!

I’ve thought about what I would say here today. It is hard to think of things to say, to organize my thoughts, memories down the lane. We are barely in our teens. We have not yet outgrown anime, NERF, video games (who gets tired of them anyway?), boy bands (One Direction, The Vamps), and we have no definite idea what we will do in the future. As of the moment, I would like to be an actuarial mathematician, in a few months, I might want to PURSUE marine biology, biochemical engineering or criminology (might work for Duterte).

I struggled because I wanted to say something helpful or meaningful, that people would remember, and then I recalled something that I got from my favorite YOUTUBER, Markiplier, ‘What we do is temporary, but what we leave BEHIND is forever.’ As a batch, what did we leave BEHIND?

• Grade 6 PERSEVERANCE left a mark being the HIGHEST POUCH DONOR, BEST in Cheering and Dance during our CGS in PHINMA, Tagaytay and Araw ng Wika Sabayang Pagbigkas Champion.
• Grade 6 COURAGE left a mark by being the MOST COLLABORATIVE CLASS during CGS and MOST PARTICIPATIVE CLASS
during English Week. Courage, you indeed are models of teamwork and active participation!
• Grade 6 COLLABORATION – left a mark in the creative and performing arts for bagging MOST CREATIVE and BEST PERFORMANCE and OVER ALL WINNER during CGS. Collaboration, you have shown creativity at its best!
• For those graduating with medals, special awards, our GOALS have been achieved. We have been recognized for our special efforts once more.

I guess it’s because we all want to believe that what we do is very important. Grade school is this quite weird time that people say you will expand your world, learn the basic things you need to know, and even discover your interests. We want to believe that our time here meant something, that what we did here mattered. We have all ended up here, at this time, in this place, to get a parchment paper that we have SUCCESSFULLY completed Grade School. Today is the culmination of the past 9 or less years. For different students, it could have been challenging, difficult, so-so, or easy. Regardless, we have been SUPPORTED, TUTORED, ADVISED, GUIDED, NAGGED, LOVED, PRAYED for all these years to be able to reach today, April 4, our Graduation day.

Because of this, today is THANKSGIVING DAY too. We need to THANK so many and the basic list includes: Our family members who may BE one, two or ALL of these:

• Mom, Dad
• Grandmas, Grandpas
• Uncles, Aunts
• Brothers, Sisters
• Cousins
• Including our caregivers, ‘yayas’ and drivers

I would like to give my SUPER SPECIAL PERSONAL THANKS to my MAMA BETH Gutierrez, my grandmother. She was my first ever teacher in Math, Spelling and English since 3 years old. Then, Study skills, Math, English, Science from Preschool until Grade 3. She is a MEGA TEACHER. She was even the teacher of my Mom and my Uncles. My Grandpa and my Uncle who taught me higher Math for MTAP, another special Thanks.

For without the support at home, who will pay for our tuition, who will work hard for an AMAZING EDUCATION, who will teach us what we don’t understand, who will push us to excel, who will develop our study habits, who will cheer us up when we are down or when things don’t go our way? Yes, our families, in different configurations HELP us achieve these things.

Let us stand up, and turn around. Let us CLAP and show them our sign of utmost respect.

We should be thankful for our FRIENDS.

• Who are your friends?
• Give them a pat on the back, hug them, high five…
• Since Preschool, I have been classmates with Andy, Ryley, Sean, Io, Yonzie, Nathan, … We have grown up together. It is just good to know that among us, there is RESPECT… FRIENDSHIP ……ACCEPTANCE…

We should likewise be thankful for our 2nd family.

• The Ates and Kuyas who have made sure the school is clean, secure, helped us with our bags…
• Advisers, teachers, Counselors all these years….
We remember our Preschool/Grades 1 and 2 Teachers: T. Beth, T. Jenny, T. Lea, T.Sheryl, T. Jei…
Super thanks to ALL our grade school advisers for being cool, being our 2nd parents/friends/confidants/mentors/coach/: Ms. Syra, Ms. Juvy, and Sir Jayson.
• Subject area heads, trainers and coaches all these years…Special thanks to Coach Lloyd and Coach Rea for my basketball training.
• My personal thanks to Ms Syra for the Spelling Bee (CAYAD), Ms Juvy for MTAP coaching, Sir Jayson for Science Exploreum coaching with the unforgettable BONUS question), Ms. Lorie for being my sponsor whose goal this year was for me to be separated from my jacket, Ms. Mylyn for being the best ever Experimental Research Adviser, Ms. Geline, for always accompanying us in Math competitions, even if I were just the only one.
• Do you know Ms. Avic has been in our lives since we were Preschool? She would call my MOM if I would have my crying fits because she already left me in the room. She was our Deputy Principal in Munich, then she became our Principal somewhere along the way…She is one AMAZING Principal …
• To our Deputy Principals, Ms. Jan and Ms. Gladys who have the vigilance of a LIONESS and an EAGLE.
• Ms. Gladys, Ms. Jan, Ms. Avic, Ms. Jo, Dr. Marl, Dr. Tan – Thank you for making Southville what it is today and for developing the 5Cs in us. Like our parents, you as our school administrators or 2nd parents are HARD WORKING to make sure that the school provides high quality international education.
• Let us give them a BIG ROUND OF APPLAUSE.

The LAST but NOT THE LEAST to be thankful to …. We give thanks to our Almighty Father, our God for entrusting us our talents, abilities, skills; for giving us our families, opportunities, challenges, obstacles to DO MORE and BE MORE. Our invocation truly rings true for “The Lord is Our Shepherd, He give us everything we need and never lets us down through thick and thin.”

Moving on because of today, because of Graduation, we shall start our ‘real life’ soon in HIGH SCHOOL. I am sure with all the TEEN AGE anxieties and drama (which I am not part of), we will see each other again.

One thing I have learned throughout this year, also from Markiplier, is that "People will tell you that you can't, for as long as you are trying to do something, and they are wrong. But nothing could be more wrong than actually believing them.” It is okay to try, to be uncomfortable, to venture beyond comfort zones.

There will be times that you don’t know what the next step is, or you don’t know where you should go… and that is OK. Why? Because our Southville education made us ready, and it’s time to grow up and move on.

There will be another PASS research, assignments, GRASPS, and term exams in the future. We will be pushed to grow and learn in ways that we never thought possible. We will form relationships with our teachers and classmates and thrive. All these things are familiar to us. Really, going to high school is like Grade 6 all over again, only in a different uniform, more textbooks, especially 2 hours longer classes, BUT IT IS STILL US. The same students we were before, the only difference being how we’ve grown.

So it’s OK if you have questions, or that you’re scared or anxious. I’m pretty sure we all are. But we have done this before, Senior Prep Graduation 2010. If our 5-6 year-old selves could do it, how much more now?

Batchmates, do not make Grade School the best years of your life because our future can be whatever we make it to be. That’s what makes life worth living. Many things will come our way. Remember though, LET US ALL LEAVE A LEGACY BEHIND. LET US WALK THE Cs. LET US MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN BIG AND SMALL WAYS.

Congratulations BATCH 2016, and let’s go make more AMAZING memories and achievements!