on the commencement ceremony

Posted: April 22, 2009 in All and Sundry


my sister Gloryrose and mom

my sister Gloryrose and mom



So my younger sister Gloryrose (one of the twins) graduated today with a BS Architecture degree and Chancellor’s Medal for Excellence in Culture and the Arts from the University of the Philippines Mindanao. (She also received a Best Thesis Award and a Dean’s Medal for Excellence in Culture and the Arts.) My mother came to Davao to attend the reconition ceremony last weekend and the commencement exercises today. All members of our family are very proud of her achievements.

To both my sisters, I wish them all the success and happiness in the world.  And I pray that they will be able to fulfill their future dreams. 

And to my thesis advisees who also graduated today, good luck.


Speaking of wishes and motivational speeches, the choice of commencement speaker for this year is in my opinion a major bore. My first major prerequisite for a good commencement speaker is someone who is an engaging and INSPIRING speaker, someone who could rally the graduates to become better individuals, someone who could motivate them to work hard in the real world outside the academic halls that they are leaving, someone who could put up a “good show” in an otherwise routinary and ritualistic cermony. His/her achievements notwithstanding, he/she must be a breath of fresh air who could offer FRESH ideas. I don’t care if he/she did not graduate from a prestigious Ivy League school abroad. With his/her own way. the commencement speaker must be able to CHALLENGE the audience to think over certain points raised.


Xer Jason Ocampo (my thesis advisee)

Xer Jason Ocampo (my thesis advisee)



However, I have to say that from the commencement speaker this year, I was given a lackluster performance. A boring one, to be blunt. And to think I was expecting a lot of inspiring messages from her given that she is an achiever who has a long list of successful endeavors in the field of science and technology under her belt! Scientists are known to be “grand inventors”, madly passionate people who are expected to have that renegade spirit. But all we got was somenone who just crouched over the podium,who didn’t even bother to stand straight up and adjust the microphone, who just read her speech in the most monotonuous way possible. The speech, the speech, oh god, was so badly written. Almost half of it consisted of a long narrative of her achievements (e.g. what she has done, where she studied, where she worked) and while listening to her, you can’t help but wait for the INSIGHT. Just a teeny weeny one would do please. And guess what she had to say in the end? The bottomline was that “you can always be what you want to become.” Talk about cliches!


Krisza Joy Kintanar

 The trick for one to be inspirational is if you can make some cliche sound fresh and new and ultimately personal yet universal. It takes a good speaker to be able to do that. I witnessed one man do that a week ago at the UP Forum in Mandaya Hotel. He was able to make us laugh, choke in tears, complain, and most of all ponder, so that when we left the halls after his closing remarks, we kept on ruminating and discussing on the points he raised. I had secretly wished he was the speaker for the commencement this year.

  1. ligs says:

    congrats ko kay gloryrose.
    congrats pud manang claire!

  2. Sheila says:

    You know, I had the same thought, too. During the whole speech, I just made mental criticisms of what the people seated near me wore just to keep myself from falling asleep.

  3. yas says:

    salamat claire. sa tanan. 😀
    (btw, touché on the commencement speech.)

  4. kiday says:

    laka uy. congrats kay rose. dapat speaker man gud ang kwaon, dili achiever.

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