Engineering Valedictory Message
Mr. Ben Eusebio, Executive Director of the La Salle Institute for the Environment, Dr. Pag-Asa Gaspillo, Dean of the College of Engineering, Dr. Bernardo Lejano, Vice Dean, our beloved department chairs, directors and school administrators, University faculty and staff, parents, fellow candidates for graduation and friends, good morning.
Allow me first to congratulate my fellow candidates for successfully finishing their respective degree programs. After all, graduating with an engineering degree is not an easy task. It required from us not only the right combination of knowledge and skills, but also a good mix of proper attitude and luck.
And honestly speaking, the knowledge, skills and attitudes that we have have changed ever since we first entered the University. Thanks to the system that the University has, we have learned how to work under pressure, to manage our time well and to be patient and determined. Thanks to the University’s administrators and faculty members, we have learned different ways of studying and learning what we need to learn. And thanks to our classmates and friends, we did not lose hope no matter how poor we seemed to perform in a given examination.
All of these and everything that we have encountered during our stay in the University—from the drawing board to AutoCAD or CATIA, from our lecture classes to our laboratory sessions, from the gruelling three-hour all-or-nothing problem-solving examinations to the challenging take-your-time open-books and sometimes, even take-home, examinations which despite these are still not readily answerable, from our all-important professional or major subjects to the general education subjects whose faculty in-charge require so much, and from the huge extra- and co-curricular activities our student organizations offer to the smaller extra-curricular activities we have with our small barkadas—all these have helped us become who we are right now—graduates of the College of Engineering ready to take on what comes next.
Yes, fellow graduates, even if not all our teachers were what we wanted them to be, perhaps due to the shortage of faculty members, the non-compatibility of schedules or even the politics that exists, the College still succeeded in preparing us to be among the best engineering graduates the country has ever seen.
For this, let us not forget to thank all of them—the University, our school administrators, faculty members, department secretaries, laboratory technicians, friends and even the University staff. And so, to those of you who are here right now, I thank you on behalf of my fellow graduates for helping us reach this significant point in our lives.
Fellow graduates, in a few years’ time, some of us will become achievers in different ways. Yet, the essence of studying in a Lasallian institution goes beyond simply being an achiever. It is for this reason that in a rectangular frame we see in every classroom, before the word achiever is a proper adjective, and after that word is the adjectival phrase, “for God and Country”.
To elaborate, let me share with you a quote by the deaf-blind author Helen Keller, “As the eagle was killed by the arrow winged with his own feather, so the hand of the world is wounded by its own skill.” I do not know for what reason the said author chose an eagle killed by an arrow to illustrate her point, but I believe that in the same way, we, green archers, are also wounded by the very arrows that leave our bows. Indeed, we are the hand of the world—the force that brings our country and the world forward.
Yet as strong as we are to move this nation when we join our country’s workforce, we remain as the biggest threat to our own planet and to our own selves for in our efforts to make life easier and more comfortable, we exploit the nation’s natural resources and use up the fruits of the world’s environment; for in giving in to our own personal wants, we rob others of their real needs, and for being overconfident and self-reliant, we forget the existence of a greater Being, the Creator of all.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is a challenge for all of us here to make sure that our being achievers is not just for ourselves but is, most of all, for God and country. It is a challenge for all of us, graduates, as we try to find solutions, not to forget the world our children will inherit from us. Most of all, it is a challenge for all of us to fulfil our mission as Lasallians as summarized from the lines of this prayer: Lord, in spite of our own problems and struggles in life, may we still be a source of strength and encouragement for others so that we may become the light of the world that you called us to be.
To end, let me share with you a quote from a fellow Lasallian, Pepe Diokno, “There is one dream that Filipinos share: that our children may have a better life than we have. So there is one vision that is distinctly Filipino: the vision to make this country, our country, a nation for our children.”
Holding to this dream we share, let us all strive to be true Lasallian Engineers for God and Country.
Congratulations and live Jesus in our hearts forever!