I had every reason not to attend this year's graduation. We already finished our thesis last October, finally had our manuscript bound, finished our clearance and I already had my diploma, TOR and other important documents with me a month or two ago. I could have applied already, could have gone to Manila to pursue my dreams of becoming an IT professional, but I decided to lie low in applying and patiently waited for March 31 although I had every reason not to.
All of those reasons were overpowered with my desire to come up the stage not only for myself but for my parents. It was my way of giving back. It was my way of letting my parents reap what they have sown with blood, sweat and tears, in striving hard to help me get through college. It wasn't all me, it was all for them.
Allow me to put into words and express my gratitude to the people who have been a part of my years in college.
To my family, Dada, Mum and Ting (and yes, even Tutty included). Thank you for EVERYTHING. Thank you for all the support, acceptance and for making me strong. In my four (and a half) years in college, our family went through the toughest of trials - pain and tears included - but these tests made me stronger and motivated me to do better in school (although there were times it dragged me, too). You were always at the receiving end of my tantrums and mood swings yet you loved me for who I am. I may not be a perfect daughter and sister, I may have disobeyed you, tampered the trust you have given me, I may have even hurt you beyond my knowledge. But you stood by me in my best and worst times. Ours is not a perfect family. We're not even rich, but I trust God's plan for us to be a family and that itself assures me that I am in a family where I am best suited to belong.
To Bhe and the Redillas family, thank you for all the trust and patience you have given me. As I have said in my previous post, I owe you my college education. Not everyone knows how much part you have in my college life. Sorry I wasn't able to graduate on time. But I think what's important is that I still did. In time, I will be able to give back all the help you have given me for the past years.
To the Ibon family, for the spiritual guidance and the moral support. Pastor Jun, for always looking out for me and praying for me, for entrusting me with duties and responsibilities and allowing me to be a blessing in the church in ways that are in line with my course. Tita Tess, for inspiring me to pursue my passion for music even in the most hectic of classes, for your incomparable and unconditional patience in teaching all of us. You are one of the godly women I admire for your humility and love for the Lord. Kiel, Bie and Bok, for always brightening my Sunday mornings with your lovely smiles and always giving me a fun time during Sunday School and practice time.
To my GGBC family, Pastor Joseph, Kuya Angel, Maan, Aira, Ate Lilia, Ate Tonet, Ate Kat, Aaron, Anton, Lea, Ate Dina, Ate Beth, Kuya Teddy, Ate Janet, Kuya Nido, Janrie, Kuya Glen, Ate Joy, Ate Lyn, Angela, Jem, Jomel, Ate Ems, Ate Lala, Ate Amy, Ate Aida, Ate Grace, Merari, and Joben, thank you for finding time to pray for me and my family. In the span of my college years, three dear brothers and sisters in Christ have already been united with our Lord yet they still contributed to my years in college: Kuya Tony, Ate Melody and Ate Pina. Thank you for the warm smiles every Sunday and for always noticing whenever I do something for the Lord. Thank you for the moral and spiritual support you have given me since day one. My Junior Sunday School Class students, Jillanne, Angela, Regine and my Beginners Sunday School Class Students, Mico, Bok, Jerico, Girlyn, Cristine Joy, Oliver and Carl, thank you for listening to me when I teach Bible stories, for singing your hearts out, for the cutest laughters during playtime, and for always thanking me whenever I give out prizes as rewards for winning games or reciting memory verses. Thank you for letting me feel how happy you are whenever it's my turn to teach you guys during Sunday School. You don't know how teaching you kids helped me a lot especially during the times I was downtrodden with problems. You may not know it but you teach me every Sunday to have a heart so genuine for the Lord as a child has.
To Big-O, who never failed to pray for me even after I graduated in highschool and never failed to remember even when he was in Rome. Thank you for taking time to send me letters and postcards. Thank you for being the big brother I never had. Thank you for all the wise advice and for taking time to always check up on my well-being as a student and as a person. I may not always get to text you or talk to you anymore but know that your part in my college life is highly appreciated up until now.
To my highschool girlfriends, Kayesha, Therese and Mirze, thank you for the gift of friendship that has defied time and distance. There may have been years of absence we have failed to utilize to catch up with each other but I love you girls so much, you know that. We may have never been complete after highschool graduation, but I trust that one of these days, we will find time to sit around at a cafe and talk about more mature stuff this time. See you soon girls. Let's get together, the four of us, some time. x
To my highschool close friends who still became a part of my college life, Bea, for the heart to heart talks and always making me laugh. I love the fact that our colleges are neighbors and how we talk . Laisa, for being the best hugot partner I can ever find. We may never be always updated but I trust that there's just more to our friendship than constant conversations. Barbs, for being there for me throughout college. I know we have had our own indifferences, but thank you for being someone I can rely on, someone who always looks out for me.
To my Christian friends, Geline, Lael, Hannahbebs, Jemimah, Vince and others both in Manila and here in Bicol. Kuya Ronald, for the constant encouragement and prayers; Kuya Kakak, for the most mind-boggling questions in the wee hours of the morning and for praying with me; Dabs, for the constant prayers; Ate Nikki, for taking time to pray for me despite your very busy schedule, I haven't told you yet how blessed I was you were our group devotion leader during that 2011 camp and I am so thankful that we haven't lost contact since; and Albert, who has been so much of a prayer warrior for me especially during our ordeal with our thesis, for your corny punchlines in the most unexpected times, for the encouragement, for always believing in me and for always checking up on me.
To my blockmates, BSIT 1-4A, thank you for everything. I know I have a lot of shortcomings yet you still showed me how much you believed in me as a leader. You witnessed my mood swings in our first two years, I may have scolded a few of you during our SADxDBMS project, may have had pissed off a few, but I want you to know that I will remember you all. We have taken different paths, a lot of us have jobs now and I will follow you guys soon. But know that despite the busy, working, grown-up skeds, a huge part of me owes you a lot. Soon we'll be reunited and we'll have better stories to tell. Cheers to the working class! x
To my CircUITS AY 2011-2012 family, Pete, Marivic, Ronel, Myles, Pat, Maica, Van, Carmz, thank you for one awesome year with you guys. We had a lot of issues in and out of the organization but I'm glad we parted ways happily. I will never forget that awesome afternoon with you guys in Albay Wildlife Park. We may not have been complete that time, but I felt closure. We're all graduates now, and if there's one thing I hope for each of us is that we be able to apply what we have learned as IT students and as CircUITS officers.
To my Buklod, BU UNESCO family and my BUCS CSC family, JC Sta. Ana, JC Yee, Reygel, Edric, Erwin, Tat, Cai, Van, Eugene, Justin, Mumaii, Dick, Darlene, Joco Sophia, Xyra, Tiray, Katya, Jaesam, Donna, Mellie, Bolen, Lester, and most of all Jervie and Mhelj, etc. (hello guys, please don't make tampo if I wasn't able to mention you, there's just too many!!! Basta, as long as you're a part of the three mentioned B groups, you're included here!!!) grabe, you guys changed my life! I am so glad that on my last official year in college, I chose the right decision by being active (although to some, it may have been otherwise). Thank you for believing in me, for always seeing out the best in me, for boosting my confidence and for calling me beautiful. Thank you for letting me be your Ate and the Mother of the party. Thank you for always consulting me regarding your speeches, essays and formal letters, and for putting up with me being a Grammar Nazi. Thank you for letting me help every now and then although I am not enrolled anymore. Continue the legacy, guys and girls! Aim for the extraordinary!
To Kuya Jaime Guerrero, I know you insisted on my birthday that I call you Kuya, but I still keep calling you Sir out of the high respect I have for you! You know how much impact you have made in my last year in college, and I am blessed that I am one of only a few people to experience the friendship you have to offer. Thank you for always believing in my skills and my abilities and for being a great encouragement. Thank you for introducing me to different advocacies, for opening my eyes to different issues. You truly are a life mentor.
To all our Professors in and out of the College of Science: Sir Naz, Mam Lany, Sir BB, Mam Jen, Sir Sy, Mam Vibar, Sir Jaggy, Sir Penetrante, Sir Paje. I believe you taught us well in the different subjects and fields you offered us. Thank you for teaching us lessons in and out of the industry and the classroom as well. Special mention to Mam Lea, who is now a proud mother of a cute baby boy, Madam, thank you for the wonderful time during the 2012 Y4IT. I really enjoyed being roommates with you and the mere fact that we had a lot of similarities (especially about overpacking), for such a short period of time, I am so glad I was given the chance to know you and converse with you. Sir Morata, your wonderful stories about real life experiences during our Philippine History subject and insights during our Philosophy of Man subject contributed a lot to my way of thinking, especially about the government. Thank you for trusting me with raising the time check paper everytime class was almost up. Most of all to Sir RR, who offered the wisest of advices, both solicited and unsolicited, and for being the best adviser of CircUITS the org could ever ask for. Thank you for believing in us (Pete and I) since we started in CS, and for continuing to look out for us even with our careers.
To my BUCS OJT family, Pete, Johan, Ron, Bon, Che and Sean, I LOVE TO BE WITH YOU GUYS! I miss our OJT days, the "enchanted chair" and our chikka moments during OJT hours. We may have been different people, but I'm glad our OJT paved the way for us to click despite our differences. Let's catch up some time soon! Maybe over pizza and shakes again?
To my Y4ITkada, Chups, Genaro, Barbs and Pete, utang na loob lang please, let's go to Fort Santiago and this time dapat makapasok na tayo!!! Our unexpected group adventures are what made my Y4IT experience unforgettable. I miss us as a complete group. Barbs, Pete, Chups, Nar and I are on our way to Manila. Kami na lang kasi ang unemployed, nakakahiya naman sa inyong tatlo! Lol.
To Paqx, my closest college girl friend. I have no plans of misplacing the yellow ribbon you gave me during our kick-off party last year. Thank you for being my number 1, my number 1 support system, my "venting machine", my adviser, my partner-in-crime, my shock absorber, my tear-drencher, for being you. It still amazes me how we were never blockmates and yet our friendship endured the whole of college, unlike others who drifted apart. I miss you to bits. Let's catch up with each other soon (and I hope this soon is soon enough).
To Pete, for being a good friend to me for eight years, for sticking with me since highschool. Your part in my highschool and college life is immeasurable. Thank you for introducing Buklod to me and for encouraging me when I feel down. Thank you for always listening and for letting me be myself always, for lifting my spirits up whenever people try to trample on it. Thank you for being one of the best thesismates ever. Grabe, the list just goes on. I can't thank you enough for being one of the best guy friends a girl could ever ask for.
To all those who uttered wretched words behind my back, thank you. I am thanking you for always alloting time in trying to bring me down. I must be that special. Thank you for encouraging me to be better and to prove to you that your judgmental eyes and your faultfinding minds will never understand me. You will always know my name, yet you will never understand my story. You can say all the worst things you want, fabricate the most despicable issues, but that won't change the person I know I am. Sit back, relax, and watch me. I'm out to prove you all wrong.
To all those who silently and loudly supported me even though I have not known you personally, thank you. Thank you for my avid blog readers, for painstakingly reading through all my lenghty posts and for finding sense in it. Thank you to all those who see something good in me even though I'm not perfect. The simplest compliments and the minutest gestures meant and still means a lot to me.
Most of all, to my Loving and Forgiving, Most Gracious Father in Heaven. *sigh* I don't even know how I can ever thank You enough for all the grace and love you showered me with even though I wasn't faithful all the time. Thank you for always reminding me that I can do everything because you continue to strengthen me (Philippians 4:13) and for teaching me well what Romans 8:28 actually means during our ordeal with our thesis. Thank You for giving me the countless chances I never deserved. Thank You for the answered prayers and the chastening. This is all You, Father. The credit is not mine to take. I pray for a deeper relationship with You as I continue through life's journey.
There are people I didn't mention who deserve so much more thanksgiving and then there are those who I have failed to mention, but please bear with me. I may have forgotten to include you in this list, but as long as I met you and you've been in my life for the past five years, then I thank you. You may have brought joy or pain, either way, that contributed a lot to my being. I'm glad that I have learned to let go of people who don't really deserve a place in my future, and I'm more than content that I have chosen the best ones to stay.
It took me almost a week after graduation day to finish this post because I had important matters to attend to and I can't really organize my thoughts well. This post is the least I could do for the people who have contributed so much to my life.
I am proud to say that I have learned a lot in college. I may not be the best programmer, not the best analyst, not the best IT student, not the best CSiannot the best BUena, but I gained the best (and worst) experiences and met the best (and worst) people one could possibly ask for. I made a lot of mistakes in the past. Decisions I can never undo, choices I should have taken but was too afraid to. I've learned that our shortcomings should never define us. I've understood what genuine love is. I've proven God's wonderful love and mercy, His infinite grace. I've seen wonderful places with awesome people. I heard the most unfeigned laughter. I wiped the saddest of tears. I laughed. I cried. I succeeded. I tripped. I felt depressed. I felt surprised. All the rollercoaster of emotions, I have experienced during my college years. All the pain proved that it was all real. If there is one prayer I have as of this moment it is for an avenue to apply all that I have learned. To let my professors know that even when it seemed differently, I learned a lot from them. To let my parents experience the things they have never experienced, provide a better life for them. To let myself grow, mature and live the life God has planned for me.
People may judge me for not graduating on time, for being an Octoberian. What can I say? It's better late than never. Just tonight, I realized that I graduated on time - I graduated in God's time. And God's time will always be the best.