In Filipino, though. Find a friend who can translate it for you.
(Semi-liberal translation follows after. Please don’t laugh.)
Probably De La Salle University, 2004.
Ngayong araw na ito, sa ating pagtatapos, mayroon
akong dalang Transcript of Record. Ang estudyanteng
may-ari ng transcript na ito ay nag-aral sa De La
Salle University. Sa unibersidad na ito, kapag ikaw ay
isang undergraduate, may ID number na nagsisimula sa
“94” at pataas, kung lumipas ang isang buong
schoolyear at umabot ka sa 15 units na bagsak,
masisipa ka sa paaralan.
Ang transcript na hawak ko ay mayroong 27 units ng
bagsak. 12 sa mga ito ay tinamo ng estudyante sa
iisang schoolyear lang. Ang isang subject ay
kadalasang may bigat na 3 units. Kung iisiping mabuti,
isang subject na bagsak na lang ay pwede na masipa ang
estudyanteng may-ari ng transcript na ito.
Ang speech na ito ay hindi ko ginawa para
i-acknowledge ang paghihirap n gating magulang sa
pagpapaaral natin. Hindi ko din ito ginawa para
maghayag ng political statement, o kumbinsihin kayo na
huwag umalis sa bansa at tulungan itong maka-ahon. Ang
speech na ito ay para sa mga normal na estudyante na
kagaya ng may may-ari ng transcript na hawak ko, dahil
madalas, wala talagang paki-alam ang unibersidad sa
mga achievements nila. May mga awards na gaya ng
“Summa Cum Laude”, “Best Thesis Award” at “Leadership
Award.” Pero ni minsan, hindi pa ako nakakakita ng
unibersidad na nagbigay ng “Hung on and managed to
graduate despite nearly getting kicked-out during his
academic stay” award.
Maaaring isang malaking kagaguhan ang konseptong ito
para sa karamihan. Bakit mo pararangalan ang isang
estudyanteng bulakbol, bobo, tamad o iresponsable?
Hindi ba dapat isuka ito ng unibersidad? Ito yung mga
tipo ng estudyanteng walang ia-asenso sa buhay, hindi
Ayun. Natumbok niyo.Iyun na nga ang dahilan.
Madalas, pag ang isang estudyante ay may pangit na
marka sa paaralan, lalong-lalo na sa kolehiyo,
nakakapanghina ito ng loob. Nandiyan yung tatamarin ka
mag-aral, nandyan yung iisipin mo “Ano pa kayang
trabaho ang makukuha ko? Call center na naman o
clerical? Ba’t kasi ang bobo ko. Kung matalino lang
ako, sana, sa Proctor and Gamble ako, o kung saang
sikat na kumpanya.”
Mas mahirap ang dinadaanan ng mga estudyanteng
bumabagsak. Kahit na sabihin mong kasalanan nilang
bumabagsak sila, hindi ninyo alam kung ano ang
pakiramdam ng ganun. Madaling sabihin na “Kaya mo yan,
mag-aral ka lang,” pero alam ba natin talaga ang
Kapag ang isang estudyante ay bumabagsak sa
unibersidad, nandiyan yung tatawanan niya lang yan. O
di kaya naman, ipagmamalaki niya pang “TAKE 5 NA
KO!!!” o “Pare, magpi-PhD na ako sa
Anmath3/Calculus/etc.” Pero hindi alam ng mga isang
Summa Cum Laude kung ano ang nasa isip ng isang normal
na estudyante sa tuwing matutulog ito at alam niyang
pag-gising niya, kailangan niya na naming ulitin ang
isang subject na nakuha niya na sa susunod na term.
Kahit kalian, hindi naging problema sa “Star Student”
na sabihing “Nay, bagsak ako.” at hindi kailanman
sumagi sa isip nila na “Paano kaya kung sa
walang-pangalang kumpanya lang ako makapagtrabaho?”
Dahil sigurado sila sa kinabukasan nila.
Huwag na tayong maglokohan. Grades are everything.
Kahit bali-baligtarin mo iyan, hindi magiging patas
ang mga kumpanyang kumukuha ng fresh graduates para
magtrabaho sa kanila. Minsan din naman, nadadaan sa
palakasan, pero ganun pa din. Kung hindi ka
academically good, wala kang patutunguhan. Kung hindi
man yun, mas mahirap yung dadaanan mo para lang
makaa-abot sa prestihiyosong posisyon.
Kaya ngayong graduation, ang speech na ito ay inaaalay
ko para sa mga estudyanteng lumpagpak,
muntik-muntikanan nang masipa o yung lahat ng paraang
pwede, ginawa na para lang makatapos. Gagawin kong
patas ang mundo para sa inyo kahit isang araw lang.
Kahit ano pa ang sabihin ng ibang tao, kesyo kasalanan
mo man na pangit ang marka mo o muntik ka nang
makick-out, saludo ako sa hindi mo pagtigil sa
pag-aaral. Saludo ako na may lakas ka ng loob na
harapin pa rin ang mundo kahit alam mong hindi ito
magiging patas sa iyo. Saludo ako na kahit pangit ang
transcript mo, taas-noo ka pa rin ngayong graduation
at proud na proud sa sarili mo.
Ano ngayon ang mangyayari sa mga graduates pagkatapos
nitong graduation? Ayoko nang puntahan yung pwedeng
mangyayari sa mga Cum Laude. Baduy. Alam mo namang me
patutunguhan ang buhay nila e. Pero dun sa mga
lumagpak, ano ang meron?
Maaring makakuha kayo ng mediocre na trabaho lang.
Pwede ka rin swertehin, baka makapagtrabaho ka sa
magandang kumpanya. Madami pang pwedeng mangyari.
Huwag kayong mawalan ng pag-asa. Kung nung college,
nagtiyaga kayo e ba’t titigilan niyo yung pagti-tiyaga
Pwede ring ganito: Mag-aral ka ulit. Ipakita mo sa
kanila na kung sipagin ka lang, malayo ang mararating
mo. Subukan mong patunayan sa kanila na kapag pinilit
mo, kaya mo ring abutin yung naabot nila. Na hindi ka
bobo, kundi tinamad ka lang.
Baka sabihin ninyo, drowing lang ako.
I’ve been on both sides. Naranasan ko na ring
lumagpak, at muntikan na din akong masipa. Naranasan
ko na na umulit ng 4 na beses sa iisang subject.
Naranasan ko na na masumbatan ng magulang, kapatid at
kung sino-sino pang propesor na walang pakialam sa
pakiramdam ng estuyante. Naranasan ko nang hindi
makatulog ng maraming gabi sa pagiisip kung paano ko
na naman sasabihin sa magulang ko na may bagsak na
naman ako. Kaya alam ko ang pakiramdam ninyo. Akin ang
transcript na ito.
Pagkagraduate ko ng college, ano ang ginawa ko? Eto.
Nagtrabaho muna ng konti, tapos aral ulit. Kuha ng
Masteral sa kurso ko. Hindi para sa trabaho o kung ano
man. Kundi para patunayan sa sarili ko na noong mga
panahong bumabagsak ako, tinatamad lang ako.
This is a rebellion. I raise my middle finger to every
professor, over-achiever, naysayer and detractor that
told me that I can’t make it. I raise my middle finger
to every valedictory or graduation speech that only
gratifies the university, those who were achievers in
school or those who gratify the country when it’s
supposed to be the graduate’s moment of glory. You are
supposed to acknowledge EVERYONE. Even those who
failed many times.
Kaya sa inyong mga graduates na medyo hindi maganda
ang marka, para sa inyo ito. Kung kinaya ko ito, kaya
niyo rin to. Imposibleng hindi.
On this day, during our graduation, I’ve brought a Transcript of
Record. The student who owns this transcript studied in De La Salle
University. In this university, if you are an undergraduate with an ID
number starting with 94 or higher and you reach 15 failed units in
an entire schoolyear, you will be kicked out from school.
The transcript I hold has 27 failed units. Twelve of these were in one
schoolyear alone. Subjects are usually worth 3 units each. If you
think about it, if the student who owns this transcript failed just
one more subject, he or she could have been kicked out of school.
I didn’t make this script to acknowledge the difficulties our parents
had in providing for our education. Neither did I intend to make a
political statement or convince you not to leave the country, instead
helping it recover. This speech is for the normal students like the
owner of the transcript I hold because the university frequently
doesn’t care about their achievements. There are awards like “Summa
Cum Laude”, “Best Thesis Award” and “Leadership Award.” But not once
have I seen seen a university give a “Hung on and managed to graduate
despite nearly getting kicked-out during his academic stay” award.
To most people, this concept may seem like a huge mistake. Why would
you honor students who are stupid, lazy or irresponsible? Shouldn’t
the university just spit them out? This is the type of students who
won’t make anything of their lives, isn’t it?
There. You’ve figured it out. That is indeed the reason.
Often, if a student has bad marks in school, particularly in college,
their spirit is weakened. There is the temptation to be lazy about
studying, there is the thought of “What kind of work can I get? Call
center again or clerical? Why is it that I’m so stupid… If I were
only smart, I’d be in Proctor or Gamble or some other famous company.”
Failing students take a harder path. Even if you say that it’s their
fault they’re failing, you don’t know how it feels. It’s easy to say
“You can do it, just study,” but do we really know what we are saying?
If a student is failing in university, he or she can also laugh about
it, or even proudly say “I’m already on my 5th take!” or “I’m going to
PhD in Anmath3/Calculus/etc.” But a Summa Cum Laude doesn’t know
what’s on the mind of a normal student who sleeps knowing that when he
wakes up, he will have to repeat a subject that he had already taken
during the previous term. Not once has it been a problem for a “Star
Student” to say, “Mom, I failed.” and never has a star student
wondered “What will happen if I can only work at a no-name company?”
That’s because star students are sure of their futures.
Let’s not fool ourselves. Grades are everything. Even if you look at
it from different points of views, the companies that hire fresh
graduates to work for them don’t treat people equally. Sometimes,
confidence will win the day, but it’s still the same. If you’re not
academically good, you won’t go anywhere. If it’s not that, you have
to take a harder path just to get a prestigious position.
That’s why this graduation, I offer this speech to the students who
tripped, almost got kicked out, or did everything they could just to
finish. I will make the playing field equal for you even if only for
one day. No matter what other people say, even if they say it’s your
fault your marks are ugly or you were almost kicked out, I salute you
for not stopping your studies. I salute you for facing the world with
courage even though you know the playing field isn’t even. I salute
you because you stand up straight and are proud of yourselves this
graduation even though your transcripts are bad.
What will happen to graduates after this graduation? I don’t want to
talk about what could happen to the Cum Laudes. It’s passe. You
already know they’re going somewhere. But what is there for those who
You might only be able to get a mediocre job. If you’re lucky, maybe
you can work at a good company. A lot of things can happen. Don’t lose
hope. If you persevered during college, then why would you lose your
Or you could study again. Show other people that if you just put your
mind to it, you could go far. Try to prove to them that if you worked
hard, you can also reach what they have reached. That you weren’t
stupid, but you just felt lazy.
You might say I’m just hypothesizing.
I’ve been on both sides. I’ve also experienced tripping, and I’ve also
almost been kicked out. I’ve experienced repeating one subject four
times. I’ve experienced being scolded by parents, siblings and
professors who didn’t care about students’ feelings. I’ve experienced
not being able to sleep, worrying about how to tell my parents I
failed again. That’s why I know how you feel. This transcript is mine.
When I graduated from college, what did I do? This. I worked a little
bit, then I studied again. I went for a Masteral in my course. It
wasn’t for work or anything else. It was so that I could prove to
myself that I failed only because I had felt lazy.
This is a rebellion. I raise my middle finger to every professor,
over-achiever, naysayer and detractor that told me that I can’t make
it. I raise my middle finger to every valedictory or graduation speech
that only gratifies the university, those who were achievers in school
or those who gratify the country when it’s supposed to be the
graduate’s moment of glory. You are supposed to acknowledge EVERYONE.
Even those who failed many times.
So, graduates whose marks aren’t pretty, this is for you. If I could
do it, so can you. It’s impossible for you to not be able to do so.