To our recognition speaker, Atty. Vyva Victoria M. Aguirre; Dean, Professor Kathleen Lourdes B. Obille; College Secretary, Professor Benedict S. Olgado; SLIS Faculty and Staff, distinguished guests, alumni, relatives, families, parents, and fellow graduates, a pleasant afternoon to you.
I stand here in front of you today not because I am the most brilliant, but because I was blessed; not because I am the most exceptional, but because I gave my all to reach this very dream. A dream I would like to share with you today.

When I graduated valedictorian in elementary, I was deprived of the opportunity to deliver a speech, so was in high school when I graduated second honorable mention. That is why today I am very thankful for this chance given to me to speak in front of you; to represent the SLIS Graduating Class of 2017. I am humbled by this honor as much as I will savor it, given that only few people are given such an opportunity. And I would like to begin by briefly sharing with you my lifestory and the motivations that lead me to this day and toward this achievement.
My story is not a lazy-turned-smartass student tale, but that of a right-from-the-get-go-claim-the-trophy one. Though as much as I would like to say that the journey was smooth sailing, I experienced the opposite. I never thought that I would survive the rough waters that almost had me quit. You may ask me, “Sylvan, bakit 2.25 lang ang pinakamababa mong grade?” or “How come wala kang tres, kwatro, or singko?” to which I’d reply, “Probably because I experienced how it feels like to have a tres, an INC, and a singko in real life; that is why I promised myself I would try never get such grades, at least in my education.” Seriously.
My family has long stayed in the lower bracket of the social strata. My father used to be a merchandiser and my mother was once a cashier at Glory Supermart, a known supermarket store in the early ‘80s. However, as financial issues plagued the company, my parents were forced to resign. All of a sudden they found themselves in a world of trouble, with the needs of their growing family as their primary concern. My father ended as a shoe repairer, and my mother went from a working mom to a full-time housewife. What’s worse, we ended up sleeping at a barong-barong – if a pile of shoe sacks and a single makeshift-bed can be categorized as such. And if hearing barong-barong already sounds bad to you, that barong-barong we used to live in was under a bridge. Sa ilalim po ng tulay kami tumira, sa lugar na dapat sana ay tambakan lang ng mga ipinapagawang sapatos at paradahan ng mga jeepney.

We were contented with the three-hundred-peso daily average income of my dad. Imagine sending your sons and daughter to school with only three hundred pesos to work with. There were times we only eat once a day, and if my papa was lucky enough to have many customers, we get to eat thrice. There were numerous attempts by my parents to provide a better shelter for us, as we jumped from one house to another, 12 times to be exact, in just a span of eight years. Despite their hardwork and sacrifices, sa ilalim pa rin po ng tulay ang naging bagsak namin. Biruin nyo po, walang maayos na naging hanapbuhay ang aking mga magulang, at sobrang hindi po sapat ang kinikita nila para maitawid ang bawat araw. Ang totoo po, kung mahina ang loob namin, baka maaga pa ay sumuko na kami sa buhay, namalimos na lang, o kaya ay nabaliw, nagpabaya. Who would know our fate exactly? Pero gaya nga po ng sabi nila, “Habang maiksi ang kumot ay matutong mamaluktot”. That is why I really admire the resilience of my parents despite reaching rock bottom. Sobrang kritikal ng mga ganoong sitwasyon, dahil kung sumuko ang mga magulang ko, hindi ako makakatuntong ng high school, at wala sa hinagap ang pagtapak sa UP. Mabuti na lang ay tinuruan nila akong mangarap, at nangarap na rin ako nang mataas, tutal libre naman. The problem is, while everyone is entitled to have their craziest and almost-impossible dreams, the means toward getting those goals are a different story.
Thank God I found a bridge, a bridge that connected me to my dreams. God has instrumented Eat Bulaga to assist me financially for my high school education. All around the Philippines, 30 students were selected and were hailed as Eat Bulaga’s Excellent Student Awardees (EBESt). Because of that, I was able to continue my dream for another four years, until they decided that they would support all of us until we finished college. “A green light from heaven”, I always say. The heavens allowed me to continue aspiring, to continue dreaming for a better life.

The UP Experience
Entering UP was a dream which provided me with a set of totally new experiences. There were only three of us who passed the UPCAT in 2013 who chose to enrol in SLIS. Clueless at first, I remember asking my mom “Ma, paano yung klase kung tatlo lang kaming pumasa? Parang one-on-one yung prof samin, tapos tatlo lang kami sa isang classroom?”, which never really happened by the way. Through the years, I realized that studying in UP actually exposed us to public scrutiny. Every time there is an issue, whether local, nationwide, or international, the UP community always makes a stand. To the people outside, those acts are bayaran or dilawan. But for us, such acts show how proactive we are when it comes to society; that we actually translate into action what we learned inside the classroom.
While the taste of flat unos and near-perfect exams are so sweet, I have also had a fair share of disappointments and failures. Quite frankly, when I first entered Gonzalez Hall, there were two goals in my mind: first, to win the LIS Wizard, and second, to stand at a podium and deliver a speech. While I managed to achieve the latter, I was very frustrated I did not have the chance to represent our beloved school in that contest. Probably because of the system of selection of participants, or that contest was not really for me. Even if that is the case, I have full confidence that this developing process will soon reach maturation, and will harvest sweet fruition.
I also had a shot in a student exchange program. In the second semester of academic year 2014-2015, I applied with the Office of International Linkages for a student exchange program to Japan. Luckily, I passed the panel interview, and basically all of the necessary requirements by the program. While that may be the case, financial issues again stopped me from pursuing such a rare opportunity. The scholarship offered by the Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University would only be determined upon arriving in Oita, Japan. Technically, I would not know if the scholarship would be given to me unless I gamble to go to Japan first.
Lastly, seeing my name on the nomination for best thesis award was such a rewarding experience. However, only few of my batchmates know that my first proposal was rejected by the panel. In fact, if I am not mistaken, I am the only student who chose to rush my second proposal, just to graduate on time.
Those experiences may not be exactly the same as the hardships and the trials endured by my parents in the past years, but there are similarities between those challenges we faced – instead of giving up easily, we fought hard; instead of seeing the negative, we saw the positive.
This persevering spirit is the something I have in common with every single graduate of the UP SLIS Class of 2017 who, like me, have their own share of triumphs and failures and today stands proudly wearing their sablays.

The Class of 2017 chose the word ‘iridescent’ as our batch theme. Consulting the Oxford Dictionaries, iridescent is an adjective that means “showing luminous colors that seem to change when seen from different angles”. I could not think of a more appropriate word that fits this Class. All of these people wearing their sablay have different stories to tell. We all came from different places, yet we are bound by one common thing – UP. Through the years, UP has consistently been the the home of people across the nation, from Batanes to Jolo, from Tagalog to Maranaw, from Catholic to Muslim to Iglesia Ni Cristo. We in UP choose not to look at our differences, but appreciate the things that make us the same, while also celebrating our diversity. Instead of seeing the barriers, we choose to break them and build bridges.
Like most of you, I found a home in SLIS. Our school harbors all types of students. There are those who pass the UPCAT, those who shift from one degree program to another, and those who transfer from another university to Diliman. This college has become our home when we have all but ended our UP education. When we felt the need to transfer school, SLIS wholeheartedly welcomed us, and treated us as legit iskos and iskas. When the rest of the colleges in UP Diliman refused, the SLIS that we never knew accepted us, healed our wounds, and made us feel better. Bottomline here is, we all were once haunted by our traumatic pasts, but this very school first sympathized, and then empathized with us. We even found some of our valuable friends in SLIS, those that celebrated with us in our victories, and consoled us in failures. For all of these, we are thankful to SLIS. And the best way to repay everything the School has given us, is to live up to our calling as library and information professionals.
We are faced with the task of upholding what is written in the books, recorded in the videotapes, and falsifying uninformed opinions or trolls. But before that, there is a need to cultivate within ourselves the virtue of respect. Respect that emanates from the definition of iridescence. From that, we can draw that there are, and there will be different ways to approach a specific issue. What we need is to bring the light with us, and not just to bring it with us but to proudly hoist the torch, so that everyone stays out of the darkness where the lack of respect resides.
Fears will be in our way, definitely.  As creations of God, we are given the capacity to feel and express our emotions. There will be times when our feelings would interfere with the decision of the mind, creating a series of thesis and antithesis. Nevertheless, we are always free to seek the spiritual, where we can find definite proofs and guidance as we continue our journey.
As I said before, libre lang mangarap. I know that after this recognition rite and our commencement ceremonies on Sunday, some of you will have jobs right away. Some will choose to pursue their second degree, some will immediately take their graduate studies, and some will surely take a much-needed rest/break/hibernation. But as we go on our separate ways, we should never cease to dream for our future. As UP students, we are expected to be the forerunners of the workforce of this country, and I encourage everyone of you to be at the battlefront of the LIS field. It is never wrong to aspire for the betterment of ourselves, but we must also dream for the improvement of the field we all belong to.

To always look back
While the sight of sablays and barongs and fancy dresses makes us feel ecstatic at this moment, let us not forget all the struggles that we have been through. All the sleepless nights we endured just to review and cram our papers and projects, especially our thesis. Let us not forget all those singkos, for every time we fell, we always managed to stand back up. Let us not forget the people who rejected us, for their rejection ignited the dragon inside our hearts. UP made us resilient, that whatever hindrance we faced, we always see to it that we’ll reach the endpoint. As we end this journey, let us all be grateful to the wonderful faculty and staff of SLIS, and I think they really deserve a huge round of applause.

To our Dean, Professor Kathleen Lourdes Obille, who exerted her full effort to check our thesis not just once, but even thrice, in a span of two weeks, thank you. Thank you ma’am Kate for extending your patience to this batch, and for believing that we can make it. We know that you have other more important duties and personal obligations to attend to, yet you never left us.

To our College Secretary, sir Benedict Olgado, who have overseen all the struggles, the drama, the tears of grief and tears of joy of this batch, thank you. We thank you sir for all those efforts you have made to assure each and everyone of us will reach this day of our lives. Thank you for all the FB posts, motivations, and words of encouragements just to push us.

To my adviser, sir Mark Anthony Santos, who was not only patient but also true to his words, thank you. Thank you for nominating me for the best thesis award, and thank you for trusting in my capabilities. The thesis experience would not be so complete without your guidance. Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! :)

To the SLIS Faculty, we are always indebted to you for planting the seeds of wisdom and inspiration as we take the LIS journey. Thank you sir Mark, ma’am Rhea, ma’am Yhna, sir Igor, sir Dan, ma’am Iyra, ma’am Sonia, sir Eli, ma’am Rochelle, sir Martin, sir Jonathan, and ma’am Alana for sharing all your expertise and experiences in the field. We had a wonderful undergraduate experience in SLIS because of you, our dear professors.

To ate Oda, who always attend to our document needs and queries; who tirelessly gave her effort to secure and assure our pertinent documents, thank you. Thank you for allowing us to use the telephone to follow-up on our data gathering, or even when placing our orders in Jollibee and Mcdo.

To the SLIS staff, ate Rina, ate Shelly, ate Josie, kuya Jay, and kuya Mike, thank you for your technical support in every enrolment in our years in SLIS.

To the SLIS Library staff, ma’am Jessie, ate Geli, and ma’am Betty, we thank you for your assistance to all of the students. Thank you for your continued innovations in our library.

To my orgmates in UP Future Library and Information Professionals of the Philippines, UP FLIPP, thank you for the bond that we had, for the unlimited kwentos and the unforgettable memories we all shared together. Through UP FLIPP, I learned to organize events such as Junior LIS Wizard and LibSpeak. Thank you for the exposure you gave to me.

To the Graduating Committee and the SLIS Student Council, thank you for the logistics and the overall preparation for this graduation.

To my friends, thank you for choosing me as a friend. In one way or another, I hope I influenced you just as how you influenced me.

To Alpha, the best guys who were there for me. I hate you. Kidding aside, thank you for showing me the real meaning of iridescent. We may have differences, in fact we four have different religions, but we were bonded by the friendship we had over the years. Thank you Psalm, thank you Ally, thank you Sassy for the four great years. I will miss you.

To Eat Bulaga, who had given me all the resources that I need through their financial assitance, words such as thank you would never be enough. Thank you for the solid eight years of financing my high school and college education. If God had not used you as an instrument, I would probably be there on the streets begging for food. Thank you to Tito, Vic, and Joey, and all of the people on and off the camera. To ma’am Jenny Ferre, to ma’am Ruth Garcia, to ma’am Maricel Vinarao, to ate Naomi Vergara, and especially to ma’am Malou Choa Fagar and sir Tony Tuviera, you have shown that Eat Bulaga works even off-camera.

To my siblings, ate Dianne and kuya Andrew, who have assisted me in my education since elementary, thank you. I just want to let you know that I appreciate all your efforts, no matter how big or small those may be. Thank you for the bond that we shared through the years. Now that all of us three will be working, I hope that we put our parents in our priority, next to our duties in the Church.

To my parents, Mama Annie, and Papa Danny, I may not be expressive when it comes to how much I love you, but deep in my heart, and in my prayers, I always hoped that I would reach this point in life where I can have the opportunity to help our family. You have courageously raised this family by instilling faith in God. Thank you for teaching us how to pray and how to actively perform our duties in the Church. Salamat Ma, dahil hindi mo ako iniwan. Marami man po akong pagkukulang bilang anak, minahal nyo pa rin ako nang buong buo. Salamat Pa, dahil sa lahat ng pagsusumikap mo, mas lalo akong ginanahan na gawin ang lahat ng makakaya ko, para dumating yung panahon na kami namang tatlo yung magtatrabaho, at kayo naman ni mama yung lulutuan namin ng pagkain, bibilhan ng disenteng mga damit, at patatayuan ng magandang bahay. Hindi na ulit tayo titira sa ilalim ng tulay, hindi na magugutom, o mangungutang. Mahal na mahal ko po kayo, at patuloy ko pong pagsisikapang maging mabuting anak sa inyo.

To my aunties who are here, tita Lit, tita Beng, tita Clen, and to my cousin, ate Pierce, you have extended your help whenever we needed you. You stayed with us in good times and in bad. Thank you for all your assistance to me and to my family. I love you.

To all of the parents in this auditorium, thank you. There may be times where you just cannot understand your daughter or your son, but you have chosen to support them all the way. Nagagalit po kayo kung gabi na kami umuuwi, pero hindi naman po lahat ng mga gabing yun ay gimik, kadalasan may mga projects po talagang kailangang tapusin. Salamat po sa pagsundo sa amin sa school pag tinext po namin kayo. Salamat din po sa pagtitiwala, na kahit pa apat, lima, anim, pito, walo, o higit pang mga taon ang hinintay nyo para lang po makapagtapos kami, ay hindi kayo nainip, dahil heto na po at sasablay na kami.

This moment is also for all the people who, directly or indirectly, helped us get through this journey. We may not have the chance to personally thank you, but through this speech, we express our sincerest gratitude for your help.

To the Church of Christ (Iglesia Ni Cristo) Administration, thank you for your support to all the brethren studying in UP through UP Christian Brotherhood International. Thank you for your continued guidance for the sake of our faith, so that we may receive the promised salvation on Judgment Day.

Above all, I am most thankful to God, for hearing all my prayers. This very moment is dedicated to You, for I am never worthy. Thank You, my Lord, for all the blessings that you give. A lot of times I almost quit, but You constantly reminded me, through the Church Administration, that faith can move mountains. I promise to always uphold Your teachings and to never turn my back against You.

Indeed, this is a dream come true. As we close one chapter of our lives, we open another. That is why I encourage everyone of you to never stop dreaming. Libre lang mangarap. Kaya mangarap tayo nang mangarap. However, our dreams will remain as abstract concepts until we decide to translate those dreams into action. Dreaming requires strong faith and commitment, so that trials would not have a chance to hinder us. Let us continue the tradition of honor and excellence. Padayon UP SLIS Class of 2017!

I am Sylvan Dan Macabante Moldes, and I am proud to be a member of the Church of Christ!

To our guest speaker, Mr. Pastrana; Dean Kathleen Obille; College secretary Benedict Olgado; faculty, alumni, friends, families, and graduates of 2016, hello.

Kudos to all of us, persistent graduates. Sa wakas.

It is truly an honor to deliver a speech in front of you when all I knew back then was, hindi talaga ako makakapag-UP. I failed the UPCAT when I was in 4th year high. I enrolled in UE to only get cyber-bullied after two years. It is my parents’ suggestion that maybe I should try to transfer to Diliman and choose a different course. I was really indecisive. My dad was the one who suggested LIS when I wasn’t even sure what the course is for and what the field does. It was really a risk I had to take. I got in, thank you for believing in me sir Igor and sir Dan. Everything went well I suppose. I planned on going to law school afterwards; I already bought stuff for law school and read books.. Yun nga lang, I failed UP LAE and I thought I really failed my dad. 

Tama nga si Roy na “no matter what The Secret or the stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul tell you, you are NOT entitled to succeed”. We are not entitled to succeed. Then many of you now may ask, after all the bad things that happened to me, how did I pull myself back up again? 


We all have good and bad experiences, pero gaya nga ng sabi ni Ma’am Pia to me, “turn all your experiences, whether good or bad, into something positive. May they continue to challenge you to excel and never stop learning.” And that’s what I actually held on to and did even before noong di pa kami nagkakakilala ni Ma’am. I turned all my failures into something positive and believed in myself even more. All my bad experiences became my motivators to strive harder while my parents became my reason to be strong.

And we are all here because we did the same thing. We looked at the brighter side rather than succumb to weakness. We are all here because we believed in ourselves as much as our loved ones did and even our friends and other people. After all, like what Roy said earlier, what matters is how we moved forward. Now to add to that is: what are the things that made us move forward.


We should always remember to look back at our motivators. Let us all learn from our past mistakes and remember the people who stayed and left. Never forget the past, never forget the people that have helped us go through it all. Ngayon, mamaya, o paglabas natin sa auditorium na ito, pasalamatan natin lahat ng dahilan kung bakit tayo nandito. Let’s all humble ourselves to God, and the people around us. We owe them everything.

In acknowledging all the people behind this once far-fetched triumph, I will speak on behalf of all the graduates and will hopefully be able not to miss anything out.

Faculty and Staff

So first and foremost, we would like to thank you, Dean Kate, former Dean Igor, Ma’am Rhea, and Sir Bono for letting us in, for accepting our pleas, for the guidance and for the never ending considerations. To the staff of the UP SLIS, we thank each and everyone in the office and even outside. Graduates, let’s also thank the institutions we courted and used in our theses. Without them, we wouldn’t have a good set of data. But everything wouldn’t even be possible without OJT, so thank you UP Main Library; let us all also thank our outside institutions where we did our practicum.

Paano nga ba tayo magwa-181, magwa-199, at 200 kung wala naman tayong foundation? Paano tayo ga-graduate kung wala naman tayong 51, 55, 61, 62, 64, 151, 152, 71, 160, 161, at mga major electives? Sino ba ang nagbigay sa atin ng grades para maka-graduate? Of course, our professors and instructors. Ma’am, Sir, thank you po sa mga pangaral, sa mga discussions, lectures, quizzes, exams, activities, reports, papers, and other requirements na humubog sa aming kakayahan bilang future librarians and information professionals. We owe you eat-all-you-can treats. Faculty and Staff of the SLIS, all of you never failed in whatever you do because we all made it and we made it because of you.

Friends, Family, oneself and Almighty

To all our friends and bestfriends, sa never ending nilang pakikinig sa ating mga rants sa buhay. May you all be here or not, thank you. To the special someone in our lives, thank you for existing and thank you sa support. And of course, to the families of each of the graduates…

Mom, dad, brother, sister, tito, tita, lolo, lola, pinsan, ninong o ninang. Thank you for the never ending love and support you have given us. Kung alam nyo lang po kung gaano kami nagsisi nung mga araw at gabi na sabaw kami at nagsisisigaw, nagdadabog o nagwawala sa bahay. Kung wala man po kami sa mood at sa hulog ng mga panahong iyon, sorry po. Sana po malaman nyo na may pinagdaanan lang kami: thesis, grades, exams, terror professors, at mga di kanais-nais na events siguro that time. Mahal po namin kayo. We never meant to hurt you with our sentiments.

You never knew how much your love and support motivated us and helped us graduate right now. Sa mga pieces of advice po ninyo, sa mga baon, paghatid sundo, paghihintay sa amin umuwi, at sa mga pagkain na nakahanda na agad sa table sa tuwing uuwi kami. Sa pag-gising sa amin sa umaga sa tuwing di kami magigising sa alarm. Salamat po sa mga paghihirap na dinanas nyo sa pagtatrabaho para makatapos lang kami. This is all for you.

We wanted to graduate so that we could help you. Gaya ng paglalagay ko ng sablay sa daddy ko na parang turning it over o pag-aaward na usually ginagawa ng magulang sa anak; it actually meant na kami naman po ang babawi at magbabalik ng lahat ng pinaghirapan po ninyo. Panahon na po para kami naman ang magparamdam kung gaano namin kayo kamahal at kung gaano nyo kami kamahal.

You have done so much that we could not thank you enough for everything. Salamat po sa suportang ibinigay nyo sa courses namin at sa paniniwala sa kakayahan namin. We love you.

To Lexy, Shelly, Neil David, Ovid (mentions everyone who form part of my life), thank you for listening to me and for being true to yourselves and to me. I will forever treasure you all.

To Alec, hello. Thank you for the never ending love for three years. Roy, thank you for being my most awesome friend, a motivator, supporter, and adviser. To Neil Mark, for being my shoulder to lean on and my future office mate.

To Alfred, hello. Your presence is as special as this recognition rite so thank you for coming. Also, thank you for being my long lost soul mate na bestfriend but since you don’t do labels, thank you na lang for being there. See you sa law school sa July.

To my family, my dad, mom, and brothers: thank you for believing in me and in all that I can do. You have all been so supportive that without you, I am certain that I would not have made it this far. I hope I have made you all proud as much as how proud I am of you.

To Almighty God, thank You for giving us the privilege to wake up in the morning and for giving us purpose in life. Thank You for giving us good health, happy family, good relationship with colleagues and friends, and for this opportunity. Thank You for the blessings and guidance. We will forever humble ourselves to You.


And to conclude this emotional speech, graduates, sana palagi natin isasapuso at isip na we should always use and turn our experiences into motivation to excel and do better. Let those experiences, may they be failures or not, be the reasons why we should continue and never give up. 

It’s okay to be scared of the concept of failing but don’t be afraid to actually fail. Learn when you fail and use that failure to move on and pull yourself back up again. Turn your successes and failures into motivation and let that motivation help you stand up when you fall. After all, if we are going to give up now, it’s like letting our motivations be consigned to oblivion; and it’s like forgetting the reason why we started in the first place.

Let’s all thank the people around us for things wouldn’t go as planned if it weren’t for them. Pasalamatan at iparamdam na natin especially sa mga magulang natin na mahal natin sila dahil hindi natin masasabi kung hanggang kailan nila tayo masasamahan sa ating paglalakbay. Remember graduates, let’s love our parents. We are so busy growing up that we often forget that they are also growing old. I love you, mom and dad.

Muchisimas gracias a todos; y enhorabuena a todos los graduados del ano dos mil dieciseis. (Thank you to everyone, and congratulations, graduates of 2016)

We believed we can, so we did.

To God be the glory.