Graduates, Let's Level Up!

11 April 2011

Speech-Navarcan-National-Central-HighschoolCommencement Address of Senator Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.
65th Commencement Exercises, Narvacan National Central High School
April 11, 2011

The graduates: a partner towards transformational society, an answer to societal change” (ang mga magtatapos: kaagapay tungo sa pagbabagong anyo ng lipunan, tugon sa hamon ng sambayanan)

Madame Aurora A. Peralta, the school principal, Distinguished faculty and mentors, Beloved parents, Members of graduating class of 2011, as well as the completers of the balik-paaralan for out-of-schooll adults of our alternative learning system;

Ladies, and gentlemen;

Kakabsat, kailian ditoy ilocandia! Naimbag a bigat yo amin!

I am deeply honored by your invitation to address this 65th commencement exercises of our Narvacan National Central High School.

I would like to express my warmest congratulations to the 489 graduates and to the 200 completers of the alternative learning system for out of school adults.

To the parents, I would like to take this occasion to commend you for your perseverance and fortitude in seeing your children finish their secondary level studies here in this famous high school of Narvacan.

Graduates, may I ask you to stand up—applaud and clap your hands for your parents and teachers—they have supported and guided you and certainly they deserve a big applause of thanks!!!

Today also represents a historic milestone and i am very proud to be a humble part in this 65th commencement ceremony.
I am very certain that your parents and teachers are just as nervous and as excited as you are for today is a very special occasion and we cannot imagine what the next 50 or 100 years would bring to narvacan national central high school, to our nation, to the world—and to ourselves!

In the middle of 1970’s when I was where you are today, there were the Beatles. I remember watching the Muhammad Ali vs Joe Frazier world heavyweight boxing match; and witnessing astronaut Neil Armstrong making the first walk of man on the moon.

The Vietnam war, just a few kilometers from our shores in the Ilocos region; the middle east oil crisis and the man’s first walk on the moon—these were exciting challenges and occurrences during those days of my generation.

But your generation today is being challenged in a way by what we could never have imagined back in early’ 70’s-- by globalization and cyber technology.

Globalization simply means that we’re more connected to the rest of the world and cyber technology gives us the luxury of modern inventions and innovations.

You were born into a generation of technology that you are now aware of through innovations such as blogging, twitter, chatting, text messaging, facebook, chatting, and texting on your very own cellphones.

You can now order a dvd over the internet; you can download movies and music into your personal computer; you can watch, talk and communicate with your loved ones even he/she is in another part of the world thru your ym’s.

And I know that some of you, if not all of you and—that includes your teachers, have been engrossed on facebook games as you enjoy the interesting moments in your life—while not in school.

However, at this point, I am sorry to tell you, that although I am the Senate Committee chairman on Local Governments, I cannot allocate millions for your—“farmville”, nor feed your animals in your –“petville”.

Furthermore, although I am also the Senate committee chairman on Urban Planning, Housing and Resettlement, I too cannot help you upgrade your ----cityville; and if you want to be an instant millionaire, I cannot provide you some tips in your— “treasure islands” and –“poker game.”

I have mentioned all these technological developments dear graduates because each generation is put to test when faced with challenges or threats-- threat from the so-called climate change, threat from disasters and calamities; and of course threat from emerging technologies.

Computer games tend to influence the mind of the youth, and we must try to avoid being too engrossed with these fake realities; we must try to transform the negatives into a more positive way of learning from the game of real life situations.

This high school graduation marks more than an academic achievement. Your school and your families have spent years dreaming about the freedoms and privileges of adulthood for you and your education will launch you wherever you want to go or whatever you choose to do.

In zynga’s cityville, you have to reach the maximum level of 100! In real life, you have to reach your goals as professionals in an environment of a happy family life.

Dear graduates, in real life, diplomas, titles and honors, have no use and meaning, if you have no goals to aim for and if your future is not directed to a more meaningful life—and that is helping your own families, sharing your fortunes with others and taking part in nation building.

But, we must continue aspiring for a “level up!”

Wealth was once measured in gold. Now it’s better measured in what we know, or how much we know.

This means that you have to keep learning more on what’s happening in your field and what’s taking place in the real world around you.

Don’t let your education end today. Think of education as a lifelong learning -- in a world as connected as ours, you must!
Let me tell you that I am very thankful to my late father, President Ferdinand Marcos and of course my mother, now the representative of the second district of Ilocos Norte, Rep. Imelda Marcos, who is also my “one-peso-a-year” consultant!

My parents always believed that education would be the key to my future. They made sure i finished my homework and worried if i came home late. They cheered me on when i worked hard on my favorite sports. They were very proud of me, especially in the day i graduated from high school.

We, Filipinos, need to get every bit of education that we can so that we can be prepared to compete with the rest of the world.

Para sa ating magtatapos ngayon, importante na ituloy natin ang ating pag-aaral.

Ang edukasyon ay parang patak ng tubig. Sa tingin natin ay baliwala lang. Pero ang isang patak kapag paulit-ulit, nakakadurog ng bato at gumuguho ang bundok.

Ang maraming patak ng tubig ay kayang bumuo ng ilog at karagatan at ang epekto at puwersa nito ay pambihira-- - kayang magwasak ng siyudad tulad sa tsunami saJapan kung saan, kahit mukang imposible, sinira ang anim na nuclear reactors kamakailan.

Pero, ang edukasyon na nagpapalakas sa ating isip at kaalaman, gaano man kalawak—ay dapat pa rin nating ingatan.
Tulad sa epekto ng radiation sa Pacific ocean, huwag nating hayaan na ma-kontamina ang ating isipan ng mga modernong teknolohiya na hindi nagdudulot ng kabutihan.

Mga graduates sa araw na ito, just try to continue learning, you may go on to pursue a bachelor’s degree, or a medical or law degree; or a certificate program; a trade apprenticeship or a training in a military.

Whatever form it may take, the education you will continue to receive will surely propel you higher to anywhere you want to go.

Dear graduates, upgrade and gain more points –and hope for a great harvest in our own real life “ville”—just level up!

Malay natin, balang-araw isang graduate ng narvacan national central high school o isang ilocano ay maging senador ulit o maging presidente ng pilipinas!

Parents, teachers, graduates, congratulations.

Dios ti angina and more power. Mabuhay.