July 18, 2024

Here is an excerpt from the graduation message of Hermie Castañeda.
“I wish to greet everyone a blessed graduation day!
To the College president, Madame Helen Fagsao and to College dean, Edarlina Fakat, who was my school principal at Saint Vincent’s High School and who persistently encouraged me to be your graduation speaker today, and to all parents and graduates, happy graduation!
I am not an eloquent speaker but madame Edarlina saw something in my humility. I was an unassuming student in the 80s. I was average students. But she saw something in my selfless service. She saw my determination, perseverance, and patience.
She saw intelligence not solely as an intellectual facet of life. She saw the spiritual and emotional quotient consistent in my life.
Honestly, I was reluctant to accept her invitation to deliver a graduation message. I even said to myself, “Who is Hermie Castañeda to become a graduation speaker at Xijen College?”
Thank you graduates and madame Edarlina for the trust that I can be God’s instrument to inspire you today.
You are here dear parents, teachers, and everyone to witness the official departure of these students from this institution.
Graduation is one of the happiest moments of departure because sweat becomes success and dreams become realities.
Graduation means you will officially depart from this institution. You depart from your teachers. You depart from your school friends. You depart from this Xijen building. You depart in order to live another kind of life.
It marks the end of a routine or a boring meeting among teachers and learners.
Graduation means you are now sufficiently loaded with learnings to efficiently live out your life to the tomorrow you will face and to the new social environment you will live and work.
But the happier and better meaning of graduation is, the victory over the test of studying and trials of learning.
Can you tap the shoulder of your friend and say, “You made it amidst the odds of learning, listening, and living.”
Graduation will declare to the world that the certificate and diploma you will receive is not your work alone. There are people behind the diploma.
Please, graduates, do not forget your mama, your dad, your family, your teachers, your sincere friends. Please thank them.
Graduation will remind each one of us that mistakes of life are necessary for human development especially when they are seen in the light of the Holy Spirit. Mistakes should not be treated as downfalls but opportunities to improve and to become the better version of oneself.
We don’t compete with others. We don’t compare ourselves with others. We simply do our best every day until it becomes our good habit. To compete and compare with others will surely end in anxiety and depression. Eventually, to meaninglessness. But if you want to compete then the healthiest way is to compete with yourself that is, to make yourself better if not best version of yourself.
I am proud to tell that I am an alumnus of Xijen College. Thank you Xijen College and the faculty. Life is not easy. To study is not easy. To pass is not easy. But when we couple our struggles with values, there is no other outcome than to reap the fruits of our sweat, of our labor and the essential fruits of our faith unseen they maybe but deeply felt.
At the workplace, being the OIC Provincial Officer of the Department of Information, Communication, and Technology, I am confident that learnings that involve the spirit and mind will make a bigger difference.
Hence, graduation is also a time to tell to the world that learning is first and foremost allowing God to bless our mind with the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
Graduation therefore is the happiest time to thank God, to thank the alma matter, the teachers, and everyone who became a part of our educational attainment.
I wish to underline the important role of the family in every endeavor especially in the field of education.
Dear graduates, you are a blessing to the family, to the school, and to the community. Congratulations!
God bless you all.
Reach me at [email protected]