Kristine Ann Villanueva
To our outstanding guest-speaker, Dr. Florentina R. Lizano, firm yet caring director Mr. Antonio Punzalan, ever-calm and patient directress Mrs. Angelita Punzalan, dynamic principal Mrs. Joy Mercado, kind and warm faculty and staff, ever-supportive parents, gratified fellow graduates, Good Evening!
A Chinese Proverb goes : To get through the hardest journey, we need to take only one step at a time, but we must keep on stepping.
First and foremost, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who was very helpful along this step in my journey, this step called high school life. I would like to thank ADT Montessori School, my parents, relatives, and friends, you are the reason why I am here tonight, standing in front of you with much honour and humility. I am grateful for this moment.
Second, may I share with you this step in my journey, high school life.
As the only girl and the eldest in the family and a stereotyped achiever since childhood, there were a lot of expectations from me. Being the eldest isn’t that easy. You have no ‘ate’ or ‘kuya’ to rely on and you have to handle a lot of pressure at times in school and at home. I always thought an eldest needed to be very careful with her words and actions as people expect you to be flawless. You have to perform well in all the activities given, always give your best and be competitive because that is what’s expected. I thought I was born to comply with what everyone wanted. In short, I have to please everyone almost at all times. And because of that, I have come to believe that I can stand all by myself and live only for the awards. So I missed out the chance to enjoy life with the people around me; to experience a life other than academics and competitions.
It did get kind of tiring to spend life doing those things. But when I stepped at ADT, I found the better meaning of achievement and learned the greater value of those around me. It was in the month of June 2008 that I first set foot upon this school. I was that girl still stuck with that belief and desire to just ace everything. I had a hard time dealing with others because of that. But as I spent my days being a student here, I slowly transformed. I slowly became a stronger person; open with the values that life and the people around was imparting to me. A girl ready to face another step in her journey.
Who would have known that the days would go by so fast? The next thing I knew I am already in fourth year.
I can still remember the days that we had a hard time adjusting to the new system. I can never forget the days too when all of us would have to rush for the deadline of our projects and do all the things we never expected we could do. We have learned to multi-task and do it in short periods of time with much effort and grace. Here I have learned to have grace even under pressure. There had been moments that tested my strength and almost made me want to drop to my knees and quit; times that I just wanted to throw my hands up in the air and say “I give up”, because I thought the problems would never be solved. But I was wrong; there were people around me I hadn’t expected to help who picked me up whenever I fell. I have realized the value of friendship, as we shared all the happiness and pain through the things that we went thru.
This year had all taught me that things don’t always happen the way we want them to. The times that I lost or didn’t reach the top when I knew I really gave my best shot to win but still failed. The time when I hadn’t passed at the school I was dreaming of. If we really want to, we really need to make a way and give more: 99% perspiration and 1 % inspiration as what Albert Einstein has said. Fourth year high school was the greatest part of my high school life. Not only because of the relationships built but also the changes it has brought me. I was made to realize that I cannot have...