An Inspirational Speech to Graduating Students


Snapshots of the Future

My alma mater called and requested that I give an inspirational speech during the graduation rites of its Grade School Department.


A week before, I made a self-assessment and determined I wanted more training / experience in public speaking.  Hmmm…  What can I say?  The universe will conspire to get you what you want, when you want it.  That is, immediately, or almost immediately.

Let me share with you the text of my speech.

Beloved director, principal and members of the faculty, proud parents, and above all, the graduates.  My congratulations.

I imagine that you are excited at graduating, a little scared of going to highschool, sad about saying goodbye to friends and teachers, and excited about the summer.  I also felt the same way when I was 12.

Looking at your faces, at this school, at the teachers, I realize that everything has changed.  And nothing has changed.

But let me tell you, tomorrow will be the beginning of one of the most wonderful, memorable, exciting part of your lives.

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Benefits of Giving and Some Stories at Sun and Moon

Sun Moon

You can read the first part here.

A friend told me about Sun and Moon Home for Children.  This is its story:

After its successful opening in London, “Miss Saigon” went on to open in other major cities in the world.  Every year since then, Claude-Michel Schonberg became a familiar face in Manila, developing friendships and most specially developing a deep sympathy for the Filipino child.

It was on one of these many trips that he started visiting orphanages and hospices and thereupon developed a strong sense of mission for those abandoned.

Soon after, he gathered some of his closest Filipino friends and form Sun and Moon Foundation, Inc.

The foundation then established the Sun and Moon Home for Children to care for severely malnourished children, who have been orphaned, abandoned, neglected or surrendered.

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Why I (Always) Want to Bring the Children

When the Sky Cries

It was midnight and my son started screaming like a banshee.

I mean, all of his 16 pounds-almost-five-month-old-body was tense, as he was screaming at the top of his lungs.  Wanting my attention.

I read today that I should expect screaming from my 4-month old baby and that I should not worry – it is normal.  That actually, screaming is harder for parents than it is for the babies.  Theirs is just an outcry, no matter how desperate and agonizing-sounding it is.  Their hearts are not broken.  They are just manifesting the need to be held.

Wanting attention.  Mine.

Because we were apart for almost 14 hours yesterday, courtesy of a Christmas party that I thought I needed to attend because I wanted to network and socialize.

My reaction to that cry was pain in my gut and unbearable guilt.

Because in the past, when he was just forming the first of his memories, he only needed to reach out his hand to me, or whimper, and I was there.

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I Thought I Was Saving with Breastmilk

The Other Half

I had full faith in it.

Twice (or even thrice) a day, on a work day, my door would close and I would be enveloped in the womb of my office, in semi-darkness, lost in my thoughts or looking at the sky (which, surprisingly, is many shades of blue), my right hand in constant motion, pumping.  My efforts would be rewarded by the gurgle of a small stream of white froth.  I would smile and continue to muster all the love that I have so that it will nourish the froth, while my eyes, although mirroring the clouds in the distance, seek the slopes of my memory for my son’s face.

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Go to (the Right) School, Be Successful

Towards the Path to Success

I look at my daughter and I see an entrepreneur.  Okay, it is all in my head, but I want it with all my heart.  Because entrepreneurs are the ones who find their passion, do something about their passion, rake in all the money and success and (have the potential to) make the world a better place.

I want that for my daughter.  So I transferred her to another school.

It was a summer and I was learning about and loving finance, and the idea of a different school for my 9-year old daughter kept growing (gnawing) in my head – an entrepreneurial school that would give her a love of finance and help her find and inflame her passion.  The next day, I started interviewing other schools.  She was, at that time, enrolled in a traditional school – rigorous daily classes, heavy assignments, a bag with wheels that would make her shoulder stoop, teachers that taught but did not really teach.  She had the burden to understand concepts that were taught to her in 30 minutes or less, and the burden to ask mother for help, yes, me, while I also tried to remember and understand concepts that I already buried in the annals of my memory.  We were a mess.  Well, me mostly.

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Baby Economics

The Sweetest Thing

I always knew that I will be having 2 children.  But child number 2 took a long time in coming. Nine years in fact.

I do not know why we waited but economics figured prominently in our decision to postpone having a second child.  How much does a child cost? More than ten million pesos or some USD$266,698That figure is daunting.  Add to this the fact that our financial planner is saying that we have to have an obscene amount for the college funds of child number 1.  Consider too that Filipino children stay in the coop for much much longer (say, forever).  Thus, for a long while, child number 2 seemed a distant possibility.

But then, every time I looked at babies, I looked at them wistfully and felt the pang of wistful.

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Memories of Richie Rich


Window to the Past

I admit.  I just recently read worldwide phenomenon Neil Gaiman and the first of his Sandman series.

I do not know if it was because I was pregnant, but my reading of it was occupied by vivid, haunted dreams.  I am not sure if I will be able to read the rest of the series (sorry, Gaiman fans).  Just wrong timing maybe.  And hubby says he (or his artist) has since has developed the graphics for it.  Because that was what made it a little horrible for me.  Okay, the ideas it germinated too.

But having that comic book in my hands made me think of the comic book that launched dreams of riches in my head.

Richie Rich.

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(Not) Growing Up Hungry

St(r)oking the Dragon

I could not believe it.

We were at a store.   I knew she needed shoes.  I knew she has been needing them every now and then because her feet are getting big at least every two days.  I led her to a store, with prices ranging from $30 to $40.  I told her, “Choose whatever you want, hon.”  She looked around, tried some on, looked at the prices and then sat down by me.  “I don’t want to, mom.  They’re too expensive.”  I looked at her aghast and wondered what I would have said if my own mother offered me a buffet of shoes.  I would probably have 5 in hand in 5 minutes.  It’s just that it never happened.  And now I have here my own daughter who can have every shoes she wanted, at any price, and then she tells me no.

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