Speech delivered by Ferdinand Alexander Marcos at Perpetual Help College of Manila

To the Perpetual Help College Board and administration officials, the entire teaching and non-teaching staff, and the employees and personnel of the College,

To our dear graduates, most notably our awardees for academic excellence and other special honors,

Special mention goes to the other students and volunteers, who have also contributed to the successful staging of this very important affair,

Most importantly, and definitely not to be left out, to our very loving and proud parents, relatives, friends and “special someones”, who are here today,

Other guests and friends, ladies and gentlemen,

Good afternoon to everyone!

First of all, thank you very much for your kind invitation to be this year’s commencement speaker. It is truly a great honor and tremendous privilege for me to address graduates and their parents, and the educational institution itself, considering the sheer potentiality of the message at this very crucial point in the lives of our graduates. Plus, the message is very likely to take hold in the hearts and minds, since at this precise moment, you are naturally receptive to advice, filled as you are with so much joy, gratitude and appreciation.

I would have loved to be present today, but the schedule of my vice-presidential campaign is just too crazy right now. Yesterday, I came from Bohol after having wrapped the Visayas leg of the campaign. Then today, at this particular time, I am bound for Baguio for campaign sorties up north.

I told myself in frustration: “Ang hirap talaga ng pangangampanya. Tama nga ang sabi ng patalastas na sa panahong ganito, talagang ‘BAWAL MAGKASAKIT’!”

But then in a moment of inspiration, I remembered: “Buti na lang nandiyan ang aking pinakamabait at pinakamasunurin na panganay na anak na si Sandro!”

Kung sa kaguwapuhan lang naman at sa pagiging charming ay hindi naman nalalayo ang aming agwat—baka nga ako pa ang dehado sa kanya!

So now, I present to you with pride, my eldest son Sandro to relay to you my message for this afternoon.

May sikat na kasabihan ngayon, lalo na sa mga kabataan: “WALANG FOREVER!”

Really?! Is there really no “forever”? If you really think about it, parang meron naman talagang “forever”. Halimbawa, ngayon. Ang akala siguro ninyo ang “graduation” ay isang “pagtatapos”. Pero sa katunayan, ito ay isang “pagsisimula”. Which is why this occasion has been called “COMMENCEMENT exercises” in the first place! Your journey, and the hardships that come along the way, do not end yet. There are simply no goodbyes for now. In fact, there are only “HELLOs” and “WELCOME”…

HELLO AND WELCOME TO THE PHILIPPINE LABOR FORCE!

Surprise! It’s official: you are now part of the Filipino workforce. You are the future engine and drivers of our economy and our society. Through your labor and hardwork, you will help keep our economy stable and vibrant and supply the government with its lifeblood of taxes.

Of course, there are some of you who still have to conquer the Board Exams, without which your economic potential won’t be fully harvested and maximized. That means you still have no right to party the night away later—not yet—since you still have to review for your Boards. Kung si Cong. Manny Pacquiao, tapos na sa boksing pagkatapos ng kanyang huling laban noong Linggo, SA INYO, HINDI PA TAPOS ANG BOKSING!

But the point is, all of you are now deemed physically and mentally prepared to become economically productive citizens of our country. Being part of the Philippine labor force, you have to be ready to apply the skills and knowledge that you have learned in school, coupled with the street-smarts in order to keep pace with today’s highly competitive society.

You have to get out there and be confident about yourself. Psych yourself, and be prepared to compete in a clean and ethical manner—from job-hunting, job interviews, all the way to job promotions. Market yourself as truthfully and aggressively as you can, and be prepared to walk your talk as consistently as possible.

This time, you will begin to appreciate the essential importance of our basic rights under the Constitution and existing labor laws, and the reason why we cherish them so much and fight for them as citizens of the State. With such understanding and practical wisdom, exercise these rights and make sure that you fully utilize the benefits offered by existing social legislation, such as our PhilHealth, SSS or GSIS, and the Pag-IBIG Fund.

Work hard to possess and develop what the Personnel Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) calls as the necessary “functional skills”, or the skills which are not only needed but DEMANDED by today’s very competitive and aggressive industry standards: 1) critical thinking; 2) initiative; and 3) effective communication skills.

“Critical thinking” is “the ability to solve actual workplace problems usually in multi-tasking situations and priority challenges”. “Initiative” is the skill of being able to foresee situations and “not wait to be told what to do”. “Effective communication” is the “competence in the language of business”.

Sabi nga sa commercial ng Cobra Energy Drink: “Kung meron ka nito, wala kang talo!”

Eh ‘di, wow! Ikaw na!!!

However, please allow me to add and emphasize some other qualities and virtues that I believe are very essential and indispensable, but which seem nowadays quite often overlooked. In your case, these virtues are most helpful and appropriate, not only if you want to survive in today’s fast-paced world with its too much focus on mass-productivity and very aggressive profit-making, but more especially if you want to keep your sanity, dignity and self-respect intact.

I care to emphasize these qualities now, because I was reminded of their sheer importance during the recently concluded Vice-Presidential Debates at UST last Sunday. These qualities and virtues are precisely what made sure that I kept my cool and my composure, stood ground and responded truthfully and candidly, especially in the face of even the most vicious personal attacks.

Politics is the ugly head of the profession of public service. In politics, one-upping is very common. I perfectly understand that. Others will try to use you for the dual purpose of bringing you down, and gaining personal advantage for themselves.

Out there in the real world, when you begin working, you will be entrusted with funds and properties that are not yours, even sensitive information and trade secrets. You will be required to compete fairly, report your income and pay taxes, and comply with government regulations.

You will be entrusted with the delicate task of dealing with consumers and the public—the willing and unwitting ones, the informed and uninformed, the educated and uneducated. As with investment scams and “get-rich-quick” schemes, you will be tempted to take advantage of other people’s innocence and ignorance. You will also be managing people, whose careers or continued work might be in your hands.

You will be exposed to “politics” in the workplace, and you will be lured into having to “play the game”. Higher positions and better careers will be up for grabs, and soon you will feel the urge to make the necessary posturings and employ stratagems to make you qualify or even to ruin the chances of another who may be better qualified. You will be taken to task by your higher-ups; and, realizing that your career or your spotless record might be on the line, you may feel the urge to save face at the expense of another.

Soon, you will be faced with these ethical and moral conundrums, in countless forms and variations, once you get out there in the real world. Friendships, personal relations, even families, can get torn apart even by the slightest ethical mistake and indiscretion.

Honesty and integrity will make you rise above and liberate you from these moral dilemmas. Fortitude and resilience will provide you the confidence and the will to stand up for yourself and get you out of difficult situations unscathed. The impact is incredible, bringing you inner peace and contentment. You’ll come through with your principles and dignity intact.

Sincerity and friendliness will help you lighten your load as you will begin to see others not as competitors and targets to destroy and obliterate, but as potential friends and strategic partners to gain and work with.

Of course, divine intervention helps a lot and makes all the difference in our lives. Before the debate at UST, one security officer approached me and gave me a St. Benedict medallion to protect and keep me safe, and which I kept dearly in my pocket. In our novena prayers to our Lady of Perpetual Help, we supplicate to give “hope to the poor and the unemployed, heal the broken-hearted, lighten the burden of the oppressed, teach justice to their oppressors and bring back to God all those who have offended him.”

Commit all these to heart, as you head out to the real world and find your respective places in the bigger scheme of things of our society and economy.

As graduates of the Perpetual Help system, I am confident that you are fully equipped to become successful in life. Certainly, our country takes pride in its hardworking, persistent and persevering, and compassionate people—KAYO ‘YUN!

All you have to do is to gear up and level up your skills, and assiduously look for these golden opportunities available to you out there. Then, with hardwork and the qualities I mentioned, and aided by good fortune, you shall all soon land our dream jobs and careers and become productive citizens in your communities! You shall also be able to give back to our community in the form of public service and taxes, which shall then “pay forward” and further support the education of future batches of students of our country.

If I were to be entrusted by the people to lead as your Vice-President, I want to offer my help in the field of labor and employment. I want to be in the forefront of the important task of generating adequate jobs and stable employment for our countrymen, and of protecting the rights of our workers.

Malaki at marami pa po akong maitutulong sa bansa. Maganda at malinis ang aking hangarin. Meron akong sapat na kaalaman, kakayahan at karanasan. Malinis ang aking track record. Maayos ang patakbo ng aking tanggapan. Lahat ng pondo ng aking tanggapan, ibinalik ko sa taumbayan sa pamamagitan ng imprastraktura, at medical at social assistance. Marami pa po akong magagawa para sa taumbayan.

Marami ang patuloy na naninira sa akin, pero walang ibang mabanggit kundi ang nakaraan at ang aking apelyido. Nakabuklat po ang buhay ko at ang mga records ko sa publiko. Wala akong tinatago. Isa po akong mabuting tao. Hindi ako tiwali. Hindi ako mayabang. Hindi ako naninira ng kapwa. Wala akong ginawang masama. Pagkatiwalaan po ninyo sana ako. Hinding-hindi ko po kayo bibiguin. In front of you all, on the occasion of your graduation, I make this sincere promise.

I earnestly pray to God as I appeal for your trust, your belief and your support. Sana po ay tulungan din ninyo ako sa inyong mga pamilya, kamag-anak, kaibigan at iba pang mga kasamahan.

So this is not the end for you, dear graduates, but just the beginning of other challenges! This is not the time to get tired and stop. Marami pang dapat gawin. Don’t stop dreaming of better things, but make sure to timely act on those dreams. Don’t lose hope. In the face of adversities, ask your parents and elders for advice. Trust in God, and always pray.

Once again, my dear graduates, I offer you my sincerest and heartfelt congratulations for your hard-earned accomplishment! Ipagpatuloy ang paglalakbay sa buhay. Ipagpatuloy ang laban ng buhay.

The same sincere and heartfelt congratulations go out to our dear parents and guardians. Thank you for investing in the education of our youth. Now, they have the capacity to stand on their own and lead independent and self-sufficient lives. To the teachers, kudos for yet another job well done!

Mga graduates, huwag na huwag ninyong bibiguin at pababayaan ang inyong mga magulang at mga mahal sa buhay, na patuloy na nangangarap at naghahangad ng magandang kapalaran at masaganang buhay para sa inyo!

Bongbong Marcos po. Sana po ako ay inyong pagtiwalaan at suportahan sa darating na halalan ngayon Mayo 2016.

‘Ika nga po: “SA TAMANG PANAHON”.

Kaya hanggang dito na lang po. Maraming salamat po sa malaking karangalang ito. Pasensya po ulit sa aking hindi pagdalo rito. Ito po ulit ang aking anak na si Sandro Marcos. Pasensya na po kayo sa kanyang pagsasalita ng Filipino. Sinasabi ko nga po sa kanya na umuwi nang madalas dito sa Pilipinas para mabilis siyang matuto. ‘Di ba, Sandro? Sana naman po makinig siya sa akin.

Kaya hanggang sa muli! Congratulations at mabuhay ang mga graduates ng Perpetual Help College Manila!

Sana po sa Mayo 2016: “BBM for VP” tayong lahat!

Good afternoon and God bless you all!

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