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Dean Kathleen Lourdes Obille, College Secretary Benedict Olgado, Mr Quintin Pastrana, distinguished faculty, alumni, families, friends, and fellow graduates, good afternoon. 

My name is Roy Necesario, and after 2 failed thesis presentations, roughly 5 rejected topics, and about half a dozen thesis topic changes, I am proud to stand before you to represent one of the many voices of the graduating class of UP Diliman’s School of Library and Information Studies for 2016.

Allow me to start with a summary, or in the parlance of our discipline, an abstract. As a new student from the University of Santo Tomas, I entered UP clueless of the life waiting for me: I only wanted to attend classes, submit all requirements and hopefully just graduate. Along the way, things changed: I discovered more about myself through the different experiences in college. I strived to be the best by putting a lot of effort in studying and in other requirements. 

Pero po, kung tatanungin po ninyo ako kung anong grade ang nakuha ko sa ganyang subject, o kung anong score ang nakuha ko sa ganyang test, hindi ko po kayo masasagot. Dahil hindi ko na po naaalala.

Ang naalala at masasagot ko sa inyo ay kung ilang gabi akong walang tulog kakaaral para sa ganyang subject. Kung ilang galyon  ng kape ang nilaklak ko kaka-review para sa ganyang pagsusulit at pagsusulat ng tesis. At higit sa lahat, ang masasabi at maalala ko lamang ay kung bakit ko ginawa lahat ng mga ito. 

Sa tingin ko po, maaari akong makapagsalita para sa lahat ng estudyante dito sa silid na ito, kapag sinabi ko nagpursige kaming lahat para sa mga pangarap namin. Pangarap na magkaroon ng magandang buhay para sa sarili. Pangarap na gawing maginhawa ang buhay ng sariling pamilya. At pangarap na makapaglingkod sa mamamayang Pilipino. Itong mga pangarap na ito ang nagudyok sa amin para marating ang destinasyong ito na makapagtapos.

Kaya naman marapat na pasalamatan naming lahat ang mga taong nasa likod ng tagumpay na ito. Para sa ating pamilya, na laging nandyan sa ating tabi at alam nating puno ng suporta sa bawat desisyon natin sa buhay. 

Para sa ating mga kaibigan sa loob at labas ng kolehiyo na na naging karamay at kasama natin sa parehong paghihirap at selebrasyon. 

At syempre para sa ating mga guro at propesor sa UP, na nakita ang bawat paghihirap at pagasasakripisyong ginawa natin para lamang makarating sa puntong ito. 

Marapat po natin silang pasalamatan. 

Batch 2016, this recognition day is supposed to be about our achievement. It marks the culmination of our college experience and celebrates the beginning of very promising futures, of finally attaining success. We are expected to celebrate.

However, I think it is equally important to recognize and look back on what happened before we reached this point. Before the cheers and accolades, I think it is as essential that we take a step back and recognize our own follies and mistakes, every single one which led us to this point.

One of the many lessons we would all come to realize is that we will experience failure - numerous times, in fact. If you thought at this point in your life, you have committed enough errors and have disappointed enough people, then you are mistaken. Because no matter what The Secret or the stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul tell you, you are NOT entitled to succeed. The universe does not just conspire to let you win in life just because you want to achieve something. 

You, however, should not feel bad about these small defeats, because you have to remember that failure is always an option. We are told numerous times that we must uphold a culture of honor and excellence in this university, but there is little emphasis on the fact that in the road to achieving both honor and excellence, there may come roadblocks and pitfalls. Education in this college then not just becomes a four-year journey but some six, seven, or even nine years for others, but this should not diminish our drive to still achieve our goals. This is how we learn, how we grow as a person. We learn more not through every test passed, but for every mistake committed.

I look around this room and I see people who embrace this philosophy of accepting failures, and I want to commend you I don’t think there’s any other college within this university whose students know the value of getting their education, of finally attaining a diploma, no matter how tedious, tiring, and long it takes. Maybe five or six years ago, you did not think you would end up at this building, with the same peers, and getting a diploma in this discipline, yet here you are. Finally after whatever some years, you will not just be an iskolar ng bayan but a gradweyt ng bayan as well. You achieved and learned much more than what is required of a typical student. This is because you realize that the question after falling down is never why you failed. The question was, is, and will always be: how do you move forward and learn.  

Mga guro at magulang sa silid na ito, bayaan po ninyo kaming magkamali. Dahil wala ni isa sa amin ang nakarating sa puntong ito nang walang paghihirap at pagbagsak. Kapag pinayagan ninyo kaming bumagsak paminsan minsan, pinapayagan din ninyo kaming tumayo at matutuo. Mas matatandaan pa naming ang mga pagkakataong kami’y nabigo, natuto, at tumayo, kaysa sa pagkakataon na naging madali ang buhay naming. Ang karakter ng isang tao ay hindi nabubuo sa kung gaano kadaming medal o tagumpay ang nakakamit, kundi sa bawat aral na natutunan sa bawat pagbagsak.

Batch 2016, as we leave this room and this university, I want you to remember only one nugget of wisdom – you are not defined by your failures, but how you overcome these on the road to your own success.

Thank you and congratulations, UP SLIS Batch 2016!