A [sample of a] VALEDICTORY ADDRESS
by JVLabagnoy, Division of Nueva Ecija
What is my purpose in life? What sorts of things are ahead of me? Shall I become what I ever dreamed of? Or, how will I figure out my future?
Perhaps, these are some of the questions wandering profoundly inside our heads as graduates. Not all of us are certain about what lies next after this graduation. But I am glad that you are all here to witness this once-in-a-lifetime accomplishment conspired by fate at this very moment. And with that joy in my heart, allow me to greet you a pleasant day/evening.
Let me begin my words with Robert Frost eminent line from the poem, The Road Not Taken. He said, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
Young as we are, we tend to go along the common day to day chores like grown-ups following a certain pattern of living: We wake up each morning sometimes with an alarm naturally produced by our mothers yelling at us, “Gumising ka na tanghali na”; We dig our breakfast, take a bath, wear uniform and head towards school. For the whole day, we usually set our minds to studying and learning new things. Not once we experienced the horror of going to school without assignments and teachers seem very much unforgiving. We rush our research projects to compensate with our volatile grades or at least give a little push for a satisfying report cards. In the afternoon we battle the sleepy moments of “Oras de peligro” as we yawn our lessons about Kopong-kopong, Lapu-lapu and Kudarat during HEKASI; the comparable Sugnay na makag-iisa at di makap-iisa during FILIPINO; and the do,re,mi during MSEP. Who would dare to forget the heart thumping, mind-blowing announcements of passers after each periodical test?
All of these were the usual scenarios we experienced for the past six years. It was not an easy path of life. In fact, there are some that we could even classify as the worst or even as the hardest. Apparently, with these struggles, we were able to establish acquaintances and companions who took our daily, boring cadence into a halt of laughter and unforgettable friendships. Each step we took during our school days is what manufactured ourselves to become what we are today. Without such, we could never have had the chance to grow into who we are right now. I would certainly miss all of these. The tough trails we used to take and lessons we learned thereafter is the hard road Robert Frost was talking about. In between our trials are the challenges that took us to a pedestal we only used to dream of. When we were born, life fazed us with two distinct paths: The easy and the hard road. The easy road is the life at which we seldom experience hardships. It is a wide road of effortlessness; no hard work is needed to traverse the passage. But the other road is a hard one. There, we trod on to a narrow path. It is a horse-trail of danger and uncertainty, a dark and treacherous path with fearsome obstacles hampering our dreams in reaching reality.
But after all I am glad to recall how my parents, teachers and friends guided me, even joined me in this wonderful journey. They wished for my success and prayed for my pleasant voyage during my most uncertain moments. Now, I am honored to receive this award being a VALEDICTORIAN. To them I offer my highest gratitude. No one could ever capture my utmost intentions to pay respect to you as I receive my honor tonight. I could never forget all the people who took part of my life, one way or another, here at [Name of the school]. I could never reach my dream, no, not without you. I know that all your works, love and concerns for me are what made me to follow an example enough to guide me to a bright future ahead. What I promise is that all your labors for me will never vanish into the thin air; That all your efforts will never be in vain.
To all my fellow graduates, this is a very wonderful opportunity to give our parents reason to be proud of. Our graduation in the elementary is a proof that we worked very hard for an achievement. This is a concrete example of a process to become successful. But this graduation in not the end, in fact, this is just a beginning of a greater life and greater experiences to come. Our lessons here will become our guiding light for the realization of our ultimate dream. Those six years of elementary schooling are the basics that we cross over to transcend from a simple learning to a wonderful living.
Again, like what Robert Frost once did, I took the road less traveled by. I walked into the hard, narrow and dangerous path that has made all the difference.
Courtesy: Jerwyn Villanueva Labagnoy