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4th Moving Up Speech

Thank you, Ms. Hora for such a generous introduction.

To the … (Guest, School Principal, PTA President and company) … colleagues, parents, Junior High School
Completers, ladies and gentlemen, good morning!

Since I started working in the Department of Education, it has always been part of my bucket list to deliver
inspirational speeches. I had been to a lot, and most of the time it is always associated with DOST SA Bohol
but never I have done one in a graduation or a completion ceremony. This is to me, my first then, so I was
happy, excited but I was also tensed knowing that I am neither an Alumni from this institution nor a great
motivational speaker, but I am hoping that I can equal your expectations. My talk will just be so short, so
I hope you will bear with me. It will only run for 10 minutes and 1 hour. Nah, I am just kidding.

Anyhow, I was kind of apprehensive to do this task as I was running out of inviting and inspiring lines to
get your attention, but I realized that what a better way to deliver this task is for me to just share my
story. I am not expecting you all though, to follow my path but I hope my opening-up will inspire you.

1998 – was the year I got into high school and my parents decided to send me to St. Augustine Institute.
Though I graduated with flying colors in my elementary, I did not enjoy a scholarship in high school since
the Educational Service Contracting aka ESC Scholarship before was only provided to one child every
family and my sister enjoyed it already. Since we were not well-off, I had to make promissory notes in
multiple instances to be able to take examinations. Not to mention that during this time, my only itinerary
is home and school as I had to watch over my nephew, so I never had a much fun-filled youth. Sad, right?
But it didn’t stop me to end up delivering the valedictory address in 2002 during our graduation.

2002- was the year I got into college. I was originally a 2002 DOST Scholarship awardee, but I deferred
since I was only awarded of a diploma scholarship. I instead took education as my course and made use
of the 100% scholarship offered by Holy Name University. Unfortunately, since being a teacher is not my
inclination at that time, I was not able to maintain the 100% scholarship, not to mention the near-
impossible general weighted average requirement. Let alone, I also sensed that my parents were
struggling to send me to school. For me to pursue my studies then, I applied as part-time crew at Jollibee
Alturas but the remuneration was not enough, so I decided to avail of my deferred DOST Scholarship in
2003 and shifted to Associate in Computer Science. Thinking that my part-time remuneration from Jollibee
and the subsidy from DOST is not enough to cover for my expenses, I also applied as a working-scholar at
Holy Name University, and fortunately got accepted. So here became schedule: I had to wake up at 5AM
to get ready for my part-time shift at 6AM until 9AM. I then had to attend my classes at 9:30AM until
12:30PM. After that, I had to hurry up for my working-scholar shift at 1PM until 5PM and get on with my
other remaining classes from 5:45PM until 7:45PM and hurry back again to Jollibee for my part-time shift
at 8:30PM to 11PM. Most of the time, I arrived at my boarding house around 12MN, wash my laundry
before I get to sleep at 1AM until the 5AM alarm- and it has become a cycle for the remaining years.

But issues and challenges did not stop there, as I never had enough exposure to computers in high school,
not to mention I don’t have a computer that time, I was kind of apprehensive but due to my imaginative
and abstract thinking. I was able to brave through it and I can proudly say that I excelled in my computer
programming subjects despite these odds. Not to brag but in multiple instances I finished ahead of my
4th Moving Up Speech

classmates in terms of complying curricular requirements (e.g. I was done with exercise 10 but classmates
were still struggling complying their exercise 1). I considered these instances as opportunities for me to
ask my professors to let me go out early or to be away from class for me to get some additional sleep.
Luckily, I always got their nods.

And since most of my minor subjects in Associate in Computer Science were already taken the previous
year, I had a lot of vacant periods then, and I didn’t know what came into my mind but I decided to also
enroll teaching units as well- yes, I was a double courser then and I can still recall my teachers in the
College of Education asking why a computer science student is enrolled to a teacher education subject.
With God’s grace, I finished my Associate in Computer Science course in March 2005 and thank God-
graduated with High Honors (comparable to Magna cum Laude for Bachelor Courses) despite that road
blocks I had to brave through.

Thinking that I was already ready for work, I sought employment at BQ Mall as an EDP personnel but Mr.
Fred Ong- the owner, upon knowing my credentials had to re-assign me as the Timekeeper and
Procurement Clerk in the engineering arm of the company. I was under direct supervision by the no less
than the owner himself. I thought I’d be able to get ample sleep time, but I was wrong as I had again to
wake up at 5AM for my shift at 6AM until 9PM from Mondays until Saturdays. I was always rendering
overtime work until one day, I fell ill that I cannot even stand on my own. I had to call my mom to get me
home from Tagbilaran and I was bed-ridden for 2 weeks. I lost the job since I was away for two weeks, let
alone was not a regular worker that time yet.

Two weeks before the start of the first semester in 2005, I sought my mom’s support for me to finish my
Bachelor in Secondary Education degree and fortunately got her approval. That time, my only purpose of
completing it is not to land on a teaching job, rather I had it in mind that such degree will just be my
stepping ground for a far more better job opportunities, the teaching profession was not well-
compensated at that time yet. Unfortunately, I only had my mom for support, so it was kind of difficult
financially. Driven by my desire to finish my degree, I had to buy a retailer SIM to sell cellphone loads, and
I had to cook food in my boarding house and sell it to my board mates. It went through like that for three
semesters until I graduated in October of 2006 together with Maam Develyn Canono- a good batchmate
of mine.

Since my mom had incurred so many loans sending me off to college, I decided to go to Cebu, to look for
job opportunities in the BPO industry, and luckily, got hired as a front-line customer service agent in a
travel account in November of 2006. That time, I finally understood as to why the workers in the BPO
industry were paid higher and it is because of the complexity of the job and shift schedule but I had to
endure it as I cannot afford to have a zero income then, I had my family to support. Good thing, my
patience to endure was strong and with the workarounds I have developed which resulted to a high
productivity, better customer satisfaction scores and the other key result areas (KRA), I got awarded Top
Agent in multiple instances and in 2009 I got hand-picked to lead a team functioning as a supervisor in an
OIC position. The position was kind of nice to listen to, but the job in itself was far more difficult, not to
mention that no proper training was given. The practice was, we had to prove ourselves first before we
will undergo training and probation.
4th Moving Up Speech

Part of my job was coaching my team members which is like teaching. And as you can recall, teaching was
not my inclination, so I was not really into it too. But since it was part of my job, I had to learn the art and
not just learn it but excel in it. I had to observe veteran supervisors performing it and even asking my
manager to observe me doing it for his constructive criticisms. It was not easy, and I had a lot of bumps
along the way considering the fact that my agents came from different cultures and statures so I had to
learn the art of understanding human behaviors for me to effectively connect with them and get their by
ends. Because of these accomplishments, I have been awarded Top Supervisor in multiple instances as
well. Soon thereafter, I did not realize, that I was already loving it- I started loving to teach. I started loving
to stand in front of a lot of people and just talk, that it came to a point where I was handpicked to become
a process trainer and a process trainer is like a teacher that plans the lesson and deliver it for learning to
take place.

In 2010, an opportunity to teach in a College has opened and I readily grabbed it. I applied and got the job
on a part-time basis with 6 teaching units on weekdays. So, I had to work in the BPO from 8pm to 5am,
sleep from 6am to 1pm, and teach in College from 2pm to 6pm, repeat that cycle and call it my weekday
routine. The subject loads given were easy to teach at first but as the semesters came, I was given
complicated ones- from Technical Writing, to desktop application and game programming using new high
level languages and platform, to web design and development, and computer animation to name a few-
all of which were not taught in college and the catch is, I cannot say ‘No’, so I had to learn them in between
my vacant periods just for me to study my topic and teach it. Thanks to Google and Youtube, not only did
I brave through the challenges I was in, but also excelled in it, resulting to the increase of my hourly rate
from 100Php per hour to 250Php per hour- the highest rate ever paid to a teacher in that institution.

With the confidence I got from these work experiences, I decided to apply for a teaching position at San
Agustin NHS. So I had to end my 7 years of full-time work from the BPO industry and 3 years of part-time
stint from the academe just to move back to Bohol not to mention that I also learned my mom had cancer
which has increased my desire to transfer and start teaching at San Agustin NHS in June 2013. I tell you,
the transition was not easy as the work practices and ethics in the private sector is very different from
that of the public sector and teaching in college is very different from that of teaching in the secondary
level. I did not have a smooth road to cross as there were still bumps along the way like learning how to
create lesson plans and how to teach the high school way until the one day I just realized I have been back
to my sleepless nights to learn the craft and master them and think of innovations for the betterment of
the school operations. And I think that is the reason why that despite of my being only a Teacher II, that I
am partly performing administrative functions as well. And here I am, still teaching and loving every bit of
it.

I may not have obtained a higher rank in the office and rank file but the experiences and opportunities
that were placed upon my plate is more than enough for me to feel satisfied. To compete in the National
Level and won it, is something that a higher rank can’t appease and until now, I am still reaping laurels
not only for myself but for San Agustin NHS in the process and as a whole. That’s basically how my life
was.

I am not sharing this with you guys just to boast or for you to admire me- because I am not that admirable.
But I am sharing you this, for you to get a glimpse of how I journeyed my life and how I came to be now.
4th Moving Up Speech

Indeed, sometimes we feel that life is unfair and will experience challenges along the way but it shouldn’t
stop you to continue your journey. Life is about your resilience and your ability to go through your life and
all the ups and downs with a positive attitude. These obstacles or challenges are but tests and a training
ground for you, for you to get ready for the next opportunity so that when it comes knocking at your door,
you will be ready to seize it.

And In the event of failure, do not lose hope easily and do not get easily bended. Instead, lookup for other
remedies and employ a different strategy. As Thomas Edison once stated, “I have not failed. I've just found
10,000 ways that won't work”. The school has provided you with the fundamental approaches to solving
problems, it is then your job now to translate these approaches to solve real-life problems that may come
your way.

I am not saying that you follow the same steps I have gone through for you to be successful unless you’re
in the woods and you’re lost then by all means follow the path. Kidding aside, you have better
opportunities today compared to what we had years ago. I am urging you to seize these opportunities and
enjoy the benefits set forth for you ahead. Senior High School is already implemented, so enroll and finish
it. Free tertiary education is now in effect, enroll in college after finishing the Senior High School program.

Folks, let me end my talk by saying- your certificate validates your completion to a certain stage or phase,
thinking that it is your ticket to a brighter future but I would like you to think of an alternative and that is
to use your certificates and the prestige of your being a San Agustin NHS Alumni as your ticket to change
the world and make a difference.

Congratulations everyone and I wish you all the best of luck. God bless and more power. Thank you!