I am not really sure if this is the best way to start a speech but I would love to start by sharing to you all my experience at my Senior High School Graduation Day. As I entered my school for the very last time as a student there, I was smiling in awe as I saw my friends, classmates, schoolmates and their parents hastening around our campus, trying to look for the JBR Theatre where our graduation ceremony will be held. I realized, that being vigilant that time while wearing our toga and our white, slightly thick satin-like gown was a very bad idea. I kept looking around but my parents were out of sight. Panicking and perspiring is not at all the best duo but was later on the most satisfying feeling as I saw my parents walking towards me. The graduation ceremony started and the marching of the students was the longest part of the ceremony but after that, everything felt like a flash in the pan. The welcoming remarks, the awarding, the valedictory address and the singing of the graduation and alma mater song felt like it passed by like a snap. After that, a lot of “goodbye’s” and “see you’s” were coming out of our mouths, I must say that those were the kinds of “goodbye’s” and “see you’s” that I never wanted to hear in my whole studying life.
There was this moment after the graduation ceremony when my friends and I gathered around at our favorite place where we love to laugh, chat and cry together for the very last time. After taking some pictures together, there was an unexpected silence and we all sighed simultaneously – it was a deep, long and mournful kind of sigh. We were all thinking about the same thing, and that is about us starting a new chapter of our lives, moving forward or should I just say entering college life.
Our summer was all about looking for schools that would be our home for four years or more. It was definitely exhausting but at the same time exciting because surely, a new life awaits us. If you try asking students all around the Philippines, you’d hear of how a majority of them are planning to take their college in the so-called “BIG 4” universities; Ateneo De Manila University, De La Salle University, University of Sto. Tomas and last but not the least, University of the Philippines. But I, myself believe that the school you are planning to enter doesn’t have to be included in the “BIG 4”, there are lots of incredible schools out there that could inspire me and transform me to be a better student – wait, not just better, but one of the best students ever.
There was this one school where I really wanted to study. Ever since I was 12 years old I told myself that that school would be my home for the next 8 years after I graduated from junior high school or should I say, senior high school. But faith and destiny turned out to betray me so I planned to look for another school and a very close friend of mine introduced me a school that I never heard before, a school named “Kalayaan College”.
It was days and days of talking to friends and researching about it and eventually, I felt how www.kalayaan.edu.ph — Kalayaan’s website was very convincing; I’ve decided to inquire and see if I would feel the “I will study here” feeling. I went to Kalayaan the day after I saw their website and I was able to talk to Ms. Weng. I thought that there would be a lot of “What?” “When?” and “How’s?” and not to be cheesy or make you feel edgy but Ms. Weng and Sir Lazaro, the professor who interviewed me, made me feel at home immediately.
And because of the overwhelming welcome from the personnel and the school itself, here I am standing in front of you, my nth day here in Kalayaan College, I was asked to share with you my expectations for this school.
To be very honest, my first three days here in Kalayaan were all about experiencing episodes of mental and emotional breakdowns. It is undeniably tough to go through another adjustment in life but I know and we all know that life is full of adjustments and that the best view comes after the hardest climb. And the view that I am talking about is the view that I envision in my mind and in my heart of what and how Kalayaan College would be.
I have these 5 R’s that would represent my expectations here in Kalayaan College.
First R stands for RELATIONSHIP. I hope that there would be a close interaction and connection between students and the whole Kalayaan community. May the teachers and fellow students show their support with our interests, talents and goals; and that they may help us form relationships with our peers who might serve as models someday. And not just that, but in building a relationship, we, the students, will feel safe not only from physical threats but hopefully, we would also feel intellectually safe for us to learn and thrive. Despite it being one of the most difficult jobs for everybody and despite our differences, may this hope and goal of having proper relationship-building be attainable.
The second R stands for RELEVANCE. The teacher’s help in understanding how our learning contributes to the community and to the world is absolutely important. May our learning experiences be connected to real-world issues, problems and even contexts outside of school for us to be able to share and apply our skills and dispositions to our future selves and careers and most especially to be able to help our motherland, the Philippines, who is suffering from such problems that my fellow citizens can’t tolerate any more.
The third R stands for RESPONSIBILITY. To earn the word “responsible”, one must know that it is a two-way process. It is the teacher and the student’s responsibility at the same time to give us the opportunity to explore, make mistakes and learn from them without the teacher considering them as failures. Another is that the teachers must be able to engage us with sustained and profound skills that they are about to learn and have learned. It is also our responsibility as students from Kalayaan to be as open and willing as we could be to make these things work out.
The fourth R stands for REALITY. I expect Kalayaan College to help our selves awaken to the sad truths of our lives; most especially from the sad truths of the world and our country. May they provide us enough training and preparation for us to further our personal, socio-emotional, spiritual, political and cultural development that will not only develop our own selves, our families and communities but also will benefit and strengthen the entire country. As they provide these kinds of learning and training to the students, rest assured that we, students from Kalayaan College and our posterity, would replace and be the better versions of the politicians, government officials, public servants and the people of today.
The fifth and the last R stands for REMEMBRANCE. I do hope that every time the school year ends and when the time comes that I would also be leaving this school, Kalayaan College would grant us the remembrance we never had. May the holistic education that they are willing to offer, such as committing oneself to the common good, being a climate of academic freedom, being caring and conducive to the environment and to be involved and enriched in and through arts serve as a remembrance for us to never ever forget the brilliant and remarkable things that Kalayaan College taught us.
Again, the 5 Rs are; Relationship, Relevance, Responsibility, Reality and Remembrance.
And these are what I expect to see, feel and have here in Kalayaan College. I expect the college, though imperfect as crossroads will come along the way, to be our second home where peace and love will prevail.
I’m not going to lie, but I am really looking forward and excited to be a part of this community – to be one of you, to be (a) Malaya.
Once again, I am Alexis Masukat, a Malaya freshie; I hope for everyone to have a fruitful school year, and may you all have more fruitful years following this one. Also, Congratulations to the honor students of the 2nd semester for the school year 2017 to 2018.
Thank you and have a nice day!