Dr. Genevieve Ledesma-Tan, Dr. Marl V. Ferenal, Ms. Avic Suarez, Ms. Marie Ann Mirando, members of the management, Dr. Melva Diamante – our honorable guest speaker, mentors, parents, guests, students, and fellow graduates, a pleasant evening to all.
August 24, 2009 is one of the most meaningful days in my 20 years of existence. It was the first day of my IB Diploma Programme experience. Two years ago, I was just a young boy who had an obscure ambition to be a chemical engineer someday in the future. Although I did not have knowledge on what the International Baccalaureate was and how it worked, I had a strange feeling in my heart that IB would clearly show me the way and guide me to achieving my aspiration. After going through two years of intensive and truly international standard of education, I can proudly say that I was right. I am sure that all the graduates feel the same. IB Diploma Programme not only gave us firm conviction towards our goals, but also made us become knowledgeable and rightful citizens of the world. The curriculum and assessments including Extended Essay and Theory of Knowledge that required painstaking researches made us excel in academics. Furthermore, Creativity, Action and Service made us become mature and aware of social and global issues and develop a habit of contributing our efforts to society and the world.
Yet, in acquiring these fruitful results, IB, probably was the biggest challenge in our lives. It made us go through rigorous requirements that tested our capabilities in overcoming challenges and difficulties. From time to time, due to the endless assessments, we all felt like giving everything up. In my case, I even asked myself, ‘What is the point of studying? Will all these help me in the future?’ There were many long and sleepless nights of writing papers, finishing internal assessments and studying. There were many tiresome days of endless work, research and preparation. But whenever we were exhausted from difficult school work, there were supporting hands that pushed us towards our goals and guiding hands that urged us to continue to succeed. Those were our teachers and our parents.
The teachers imparted their knowledge to the students with commendable effort to guide us to the right way. The education provided by the teachers made the students excel in many areas not only in academics but also in values. In addition, they served as friends, brothers, and sisters providing wholesome atmosphere of warmth, learning, and fun. I thank you for being our true mentors.
Our parents have always been there for us too. We have to thank our parents for their valuable contributions. They sent us to a good school and whenever we were tired and stressed out because of difficult school work and assessments, they served as our energy drinks to encourage and empower us. They are the sources of our strength. I would like to personally thank my parents for all the care and love they have given me.
Also, we must remember our classmates and friends who have been with us to help and support us throughout these two years of journey. We have shared laughter and tears, triumphs and frustrations with them, and they have become a big part of our lives, both academically and personally. To my classmates and friends, it is an honor to have met you and have worked with you. Thank you for the many fond memories, and I hope that we will continue to stay in touch even beyond our IB years.
There is a framed poster of the words of Mahatma Gandhi on one site of IB Office, which I really love. It says, ‘A student is the most important person on our school premises. He is not dependent on us; we are dependent on him. He is not an interruption in our work; he is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider in our school; he is a part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him; he is doing us a favor by giving us an opportunity to do so’.
Southville has come a long way in its 21 years of existence. Southville enjoyed remarkable success as it developed from a single storey building to a School of the Future. Southville’s culture of excellence will continue as it continues to abide by this saying all the time: “Students are the most important people in a school; they are the reason for a school’s existence.” As Southville gives its students more support and more investment, I believe that SISC can fulfill its potential of becoming one of the best international schools in the Philippines.
Graduates! There is one task that we should always keep in mind. We are the representations of Southville’s education. While we may have met some challenges and difficulties along the way, we are still the products of this school. Hence, we must work hard and push ourselves to bring pride and glory to our alma mater. The reputation of the school is built by our own hands. Also, we must remember that making a difference and practicing a culture of excellence are the marks of true Southville students.
Fellow batch mates! The success we are enjoying this evening would have not been complete if we did not go through the IB Diploma Programme all together. We survived and reached graduation after successfully completing the IB requirements because we spent two years working hard together and sharing memories. Thank you very much for the wonderful two years.
Graduates, we deserve to be happy this evening. Tonight reflects the “true” culture of excellence we have achieved. Congratulations, we did it!
Thank you and good evening to all!