Benjie P. Acero
(This is the commencement speech delivered by Dr. Jed P. Acero, a.k.a. Benjie on the 34th Commencement Joint Graduation, of BEC and Science and Engineering Curriculum, Barobo National High School, Barobo, Surigao del Sur. Delivered without Cut)
Ma Read more ...
rch 27, 2014
Dear Graduates :
Ang hindi marunong lumingon sa pinangalingan ay hindi makakarating sa paroroonan ako ay lumingon sa aking pinangalingan sapagkat ako ay galing dito. Pansinin pakinggan nyo naman ako. Sa aking paglingon ngayon ay ang takda sa aking pagbabalik mula sa aking paglalakbay . dala ko sa paaralang ito ay ang aking pangako at pangarap na donasyon. Ito ay ang isang kapirasong kahoy at isang lata ng pintura at isang kilong pako. Kung hindi ko naibibigay ang mga material na bagay na ito, sa aking pagsasalita ngayon ay tutumbasan ko ng haligi ng buhay, na magsisilibing pondasyon, at ang pintura upang magkakaroon ng kulay; ang mga pako upang kumapit kayo sa inyong mga prinsipyo at pangarap. Ang kapirasong kahoy, ang pintura at ang mga pako na ito ay kasama ninyo ako sa pagpapanday ng inyong buhay.
Hindi natitinag ang pusong Filipino ay ang tema sa taong ito.
KAHIT GUMUHO AT NAGKABITAK-BITAK ANG LUPA SA BOHOL AT NAWASAK HALOS ANG BUONG LUNGSOD NG TACLOBAN LEYTE AT NASUNOG HALOS ANG BUONG LUNGSOD NG ZAMBOANGA AY TULOY PA RIN ANG BUHAY NG MGA PILIPINO KAILANGAN LANG MAGIGING MATATAG. KAILANGAN LANG NATIN UMASA KALAKIP ANG PANINIWALA NA ANG LAHAT NG MGA PAGSUBOK NA TUMAMA SA ATING BANSA at SA ATING BUHAY AT ATING MAPAGTAGUMPAYAN.
Ngayon may sasabihin aking tatlong kwento. Yong ang totoo. Tatlong kwento LANG.
Ang unang kwento ay ang motorsiklo:
Nag-umpisa ito sa isang sayawan sa isang karating bayan ng aking ama. Dala ng aking ama ang kanyang motorsiklo . Isa siya sa mga binata noon sa kanilang lugar na may motorsiklo.
May nakita ang aking ama ng napakagandang dilag at ito ay gusto sana niyang lapitan at aanyahang makaparehang sumayaw . Ang magandang dalaga ay ang aking ina. Subalit hindi basta makalapit lapit ang aking ama dahil marami ring ang nagtatangkang isayaw ang magandang dilag. Upang hindi tuluyan makalapit ang mga kaibigan ng aking ama ay tinakot na nya ang kanyang mga kaibigan .
Hanggang sa nakapareha rin ng aking ama ang dilag na ito . Ng walang patumpik tumpik ay sinabi ng aking ama ay pupunta raw siya sa bahay ng magandang dilag na ito upang mamamanhikan agad.
Sa loob ng 3 araw na paghahanda ng pamilya ng aking ama tumungo sila sa bayan ng aking ina. Nauna na ang mga magulang ng aking ama at kapatid nya subalit siya ay sakay ng kanyang motorsiklo. Pinagusapan ang tungkol sa kasal at sila ay kinasal sa loob ng 2 araw mula ng namamanhikan ang aking ama.
Ang magandang dilag ay pumayag na magpakasal na may mga kondisyon.
Ang maganding dilag ay bago pa nakapag-graduate ng high school. Siya raw ay magpapatuloy sa pag-aaral na ang gagastos ay ang pamilya ng aking ama.
At ganon din ang aking ama ay magpapatuloy sa kanyang pag-aaral .
Pagkatapos nilang ikinasal, kinaumagahan ay tumungo sila sa bayan ng aking ama. Ito ay sa kabilang probinsya.
Lumipas ang isang taon ako ay pinanganak . Nagpapatuloy sa pag-aaral ang aking ina sa kolehiyo at aking ama sa hayskul.
Dumaan sa hirap ang aking mga magulang. Sila ay sabay sabay na pinag-aral ng aking lolo kasama pa ang dalawang kapatid na babae ng aking ama. Minsan kulang kulang ang bigas na ipinapadala sa aking mga magulang ng aking ama. Minsan ito ang pinanggalingan ng gulo ng mga kapatid ng aking ama sapagkat nagseselos ang mga kapatid ng aking ama sa aking mga magulang dahil sila ay pinapaaral ng sabay ng aking lolo. Walay gi sullti bahin sa gatas. Basin wala ko gatas, diretso bugas. Hindi po. Ako ay batang breast feed, kaya walang sira ang aking mga ngipin.
Sa loob ng apat na taon ang aking ina ay nakapagtapos bilang guro . Siya ay umuwi sa kanyang bayan at pinilit nya akong isama ayong sa kwento.
Ang aking ina ay nakapagturo na rin; subalit patuloy pa rin ang aking ama sa pag-aaral . Sa lob ng pitong taon ako ay nagsimula ng pumasok sa eskuyla.
Noong ako ay nasa Grade 1, tuwing hapon ay inaabangan ko ang aking ina sa kanyang pagdating mula sa baryo ng munisipyo ito. Hindi alam ng ng aking ina ay kung gaano kabilis ang pintig ng aking puso kasama ang aking maliit na kapatid habang naghihintay ng paghinto ng dyip sa tapat ng aming bahay. Sa bawat pagkakataon ng kanyang pagdating kapag gumagabi na, ay tila ba napapawi ang lahat ng takot at pangamba .
Sumunod na taon ay guro na rin ang aking ama. Dahil sa kanyang hilig sa motorsiklo ay nagkaroon siya ng isang motosiklo na nabili nya sa kanyang kamag-anak. Halata na ang kalumaan nito subalit matibay pa ito at kaya pa niyang lakbayin ang mabatong daan na lasak na lasak pa ng kakahuyan at kabundukan . Medyo matarik ang lugar at doon ay naging guro ang aking ama.
Minsay, may pagkakataon na ako ay napasama niya sa paaralan .Lulan ng kanyang motorsiklo, kumapit ako ng mahigpit sa aking ama dahil may kabilisan siyang magmaneho. Alam ng aking ama ang kanyang ginagawa.
Napakasaya ng mga bata ng nadatnan namin sila, kahit sa alam ko sila ay nasa liblib na lugar. ang mga batang Polancos, Barituas ay ang mga batang ito. Sila ay ang mga batang naglalaro sa napakalaking “plaza” nila. Pagsapit ng gabi isinama ako ng aking ama sa isang sayawan o baylihan . ang aking ama ay nag isponsor pala ng isang sayawan. Siguro para sa proyekto ng paaralan ng kanyang tinuturuan.
Ako ay umupo sa isang tabi at pinanoood ang mga tao sa kanilang mga ginagawa Ang musika ay gamit ang maliit na pono at may malaking trumpa upang lumakas ang tugtog nito. Kaalinsabay ng pagyakap ng kapareha, sila ay bumubulong sa pagitan ng kanilang mga tainga at hindi ko mauulanigan ang kanilang pinag-uusapan . Sa aking tanto ito ay uri ng folk dance na nakita ko sa aming paaralan ni tinuro ni Mam Villamor.
Kinaumagahan sinama ako ng aking ama sakay sa kanyang motorsiklo na may hawak na sako. Sa bawat pagdaan naming sa kalye ay kumakaway ang mga tao sa aking ama na tila ba ay isa siyang artista. o politiko. Sa isip ko hindi lang pala guro ang aking ama ngunit isa rin siyang “politiko.”Siguro ganyan ang guro sa isip ko. Patuloy kami sa pagbibiyahe at humihinto sa mga bahaybahay upang bilhin ang mga bakanteng bote nila. Ako ang tagasilid sa sako nito. Sa aking isipan, ang galing ng aking ama, siya ay hindi lang pala guro ngunit isa ring dakilang mambobote.
Pagsapit minsan ng Linggo, ako ay madalas niyang sinasama sa aming bukirin. Lulan ako ng kanyang lumang motorsiklo patungo sa aming bukirin ito rin ay nasa bahagi ng pinagtuturuan ng aking ama.
Tinuruan niya ako kung paano magtanim ng punong ng niyog, mais o kaya kape, pagsapit ng tanghali, naglalaro kami ng larong pangwika sabi pa niya at the middle of the sea what can you see at ang pagbabaybay ng salitang furniture ano daw. Sa isip ko ay hindi lang pala guro ang aking ama, siya rin ay magsasaka. Ito ay bahagi ng aking pagiging bata na iminulat na nya ako sa tunay na kahalagahan ng ng pagsaka at pagiging guro. Hindi ko alam na ako ay magiging guro rin .
(The second story): THE AVOCADO TREE
Once upon a time there was a little boy whose grand father’s house took him less than 30 minutes from the little boy’s house to arrive to his grandfather house. The little boy passed to a line of tall coconut trees on both sides. It was a valley and hilly in both sides before reaching his grandfather’s old wood and “veneer” house. The birds were chirping and singing. They were very happy while the little boy was passing to each tree and was approaching to another tree. Suddenly, he wondered why they were in a festive mood. Slowly, he crawled to a certain Guava tree. He stood-up and climbed the tree, in a moment, he peeped on this tree. “What a little bird that the little boy saw between his eyes; crying and singing altogether,” the little boy commented. Deep inside, he whispered, “as if somebody was really teaching these small beautiful creatures on their behaviors.” The bird’s nest lay above between its tree’s branches; where mother bird built their wonderful home without thinking of what happened outside. The little boy intruded into the bird’s family privacy. At first, the little boy was unnoticed by the mother bird; but, suddenly the mother bird flew in the air leaving only the little birds. The little boy was tempted to bring them while in his way to his grandfather’s house. They were all crying in a very little voices but they were almost a dozen thus, their voices seemed louder and turned melancholic to little boy’s ears. They were helpless and felt neglected and abandoned. The little boy then finally decided to leave the little birds because he believed that mother bird would return back to her children. They needed her care and attention. The little boy then proceeded to his destination. He continued walking. It was a lowland.
The little boy now starting to climb a hill-not so stiff, but, he was really running after his breath before reaching the top of the hill. He sat on a big rock for minutes then started walking for a kilometer to his grand father house. He went down slowly from the hilltop. Along the hillsides were trees that were cut into pieces, the little boy thought, “Maybe, it was used for firewood.” The children tight the bundle of firewood and ready to be carried on their shoulders to be brought to their respective houses because there was no electricity during those times and a liquefied petroleum gas was not yet available in the little boy’s town. He didn’t know if there was, or maybe he has no idea of what an LPG was?
The little boy continued walking down the hill. He stumbled and rolled down from the hill and stood-up again with the chirping birds singing altogether as if they were also clapping their hands the moment the little boy fixed himself and ready to continue. There were empty shells along the way, ferns, stones of different sizes and colors. The little boy was surprised why there were empty sea shells on his way. He asked his mother, and the little boy’s mother said, “Because the sea shore was just a distance from their house.” She added that “after a long walked from the seashore, in returning to their respective homes, they usually relaxed; and when reaching the top of the hill, they ate some raw sea shells that they have in their basket.” The little boy planned in the future that he will search for that seashore as told by his mother.
The little boy again climbed another hill and went down. This time, was the last hill that he would cross before finally reaching his grand father’s house. When he stepped into the lowland, beyond his eyes was a very tall coconut trees where there were no sunlight that can penetrate on the ground. He looked around and saw a pair of old coconut fruits on the ground. He picked- up them, and brought the coconut fruit to his grand father’s house without knowing that the care taker was steering at him.
The little boy grand father’s house was located at the flat surface of a hill with a “Tambis tree in front of the “azotea” There were three avocado trees: one was at the front of the house and the others were at the right side of the house. The ground was filled with a very green thick “Bermuda” grass. The little boy’s first cousins were also there and they came ahead before the little boy. The little boy older cousin was already at the top of the “Avocado” tree enjoying to harvest its fruit. The older sister of little boy’s cousin was very expert in moving from one branch to the other branches of the tree and every time she caught a fruit with her bare hands she immediately threw it to the ground and caught by her younger brother using his hand or direct to the sack. The little boy has just arrived and he could not compete to his older cousins. The little boy was very thirsty then, so he went inside to his grandfather’s house to drink some water. Little boys grandfather’s house was made of wood and the roof was from a veneer wood. It was very warmed inside and the floor was red and shiny. The little boy went to the kitchen to drink some water from an antique, big jar using a satin glass. Afterward, the little boy tried to open some left-over food covered by a big satin basin and ate some of its food. When, at least, he was finished eating, he walked again, slowly passing the living room and saw a coconut husk at the corner and rode into it. He was playing on the floor, moving towards the entrance of the living room and going back facing the entrance of the dining hall. The little boy enjoyed and made fun in his grandfather’s house.
When the little boy went down from his grandfather’s house, his cousins left him and they went home. At this time, the little boy was alone. Immediately he looked for an empty sack and then climbed the tree. He started to hum and sing while climbing the old avocado tree carefully because its branches were already weak and the stones down the tree were very sharp and pointed. The little boy put some harvested avocado fruit inside the sack and he placed it on his back; holding it with the little boy right hand; because he was left handed and his right hand was used to pull down the avocado fruit.
Before the sun set, he went home with half of a sack of avocadoes in his back and the coconuts also. Before approaching the first hill, he noticed that a middle aged-man was standing along his way back home. The little boy guessed, “Maybe he was waiting somebody.” He was holding something and hid it on his back and when the little boy was almost approaching to the estranged man; he started to tremble and his whole body was shaking. His face was wet with a cold perspiration. The man was now standing beside the little boy; as if he didn’t notice that the little boy was going to pass by him. Suddenly, the little boy ran very fast, leaving the avocado and the coconuts because the man was chasing him and running him with his sharp long bolo flying on the air. He was really dying when he arrived in his house. Slowly, he went inside as if nothing was happened. He did not tell anybody what had happened to him until his neighbor told the incident to the little boy. She said, that, “the man running after the little boy was the caretaker of the coconut that he picked up and brought it, in going to his grandfather’s house. According to the rumors, he already killed somebody and he was a drunkard. The little boy’s father, as if didn’t know of the incident. Not until that the little boy grew quite older. The father told the little boy that, he knew everything, that he was waiting for the old man to pass by to their house so that he can revenge on what the man did to little boy.
During avocado season, the little boy and I his cousins gathered together in their grandfather’s house. His cousins enjoyed eating the fruit of avocadoes, playing and singing inside the house. They were all very happy until this time that the old house and the Avocado tree were gone but the memories of the Avocado tree painted a sweet smile in their our souls. (ako po yong “little boy” na binanggit sa kwento.)
The third story line: The Camera (an Essay)
Life is not fair. God created men into his likeness, some are just born attractive and have strong appeal and undeniably some are ugly. Man is not always good. He could be bad. Being honest or dishonest; loyal or disloyal; right or wrong; being good or bad is relative. It depends upon one’s personality and culture and even history or it is hereditary. Life is a choice. It is always true that honesty is a universal policy. Man is created for his own good by the words and become bad of his works. Man is bounded by his action and behavior. This world is not ours. Man is only a guest. Man should behave. We are not animals like dogs or cats.
The mountaineers conquer the peak of the earth; the seafarers travel the world. The river is shallow and ocean is deep and has different currents and directions. The weather could be friendly or could be worst. After the heavy rains there is flood and a high tide follows a low tide; after the storm is a promise of a rainbow. The fishes and corals of the ocean accentuated the beauty beneath the earth. Birds travel the world; man destroys the planet.
There are geniuses’ inventions to make life easier so that man can breathe under the sea and open the door with a wink. The artists, politicians, and businessmen assume life with fame, power and influence. There are idiots who are weak and the poor are victims of injustices, and insecurities in life. Teachers went to classroom and doctors to its clinic; a shoemaker and bread maker to the factory where he works. At the end of the day, everyone rushes to go home and play their dogs, watered the plants and flowers and feed the fishes. Man eats different food of different prices; relax in a few hours. Nobody wants to stop breathing. No one knows if you can still wake up or not. Who knows only God knows.
It could be easy to laugh but difficult to cry; easy to remember but quite hard to forget and thinking to forgive after a day or a night. Life is unfair; but to love someone and to be loved is justice. Man is free to love because love is a wonderful gift from heaven and because it is true, that man is born out of love. Others are born out of greed, its ambition and victim of the phantom of desire. Life is unfair.
World leaders envisioned differently. Developed countries dump garbage to the developing nations; domestic helpers to the wealthy; and teachers to a driver; women and men are equal but there is always black and white; God loves mankind equal to his eyes. God wants this world to be happy. God makes this world a better place. Man makes his life miserable. Man makes it worst .Life is not certain. Life is not equal and life is not fair
Man has different views in life? It is not only because of the gift of having a good look and beautiful voice but it is how he improves it, due to its available resources while the less fortunate in life but talented are untouched. The human eye captures wonderful creation; the lens of your eyes produces a powerful picture. It is fair but the picture out of your powerful camera is not fair. It is not true. It is a lie. The driftwood and a sick cat become sophisticated due to modernity and technology. Money speaks for good or for evil. It is unfair.
Everything ends. Eagle flies very high and dies like others with life. It could be miserable or with good luck. Man is remembered; or just thrown anywhere. Turn to dust. No one cares. A thrash...
Stay Hungry. Going to college is another milestone in your life. You have dreams. I have mine too. I want to dive the ocean, I want to dive the red sea. I want that every living thing in the ocean be protected; I want to plant rice so that the poor are feed. Stay foolish in what you do, so that you will not be bored, so that you can cover-up your emotions when you are out of your family and friends, you meet new friends you leave the old ones. Drive your dreams to highest speed, but just enjoy riding into your dream, just like I enjoyed riding with my father’s motorcycle that he brought me to the real world. This word is survival. You have to work hard. Problems and trials are tests of life. Don’t lose your hope. When I went to college, I brought with me, my “banig and caldero,” I thought a university has a big building and a land. When I arrived at MSU-IIT, I was wrong with my theory. I move forward to MSU-main. I was not afraid. I went there by myself. It was dark already. I was at the center Isle. Somebody helped me. She brought me to the military police quarter. The following morning, they helped me to find a cottage. God is always good. He send me an angel to guide me. During enrolment, I almost back –out because, there were plenty of history subjects. Later I learned that it was only a sections that I will choose one. I just enjoyed my college days, with the Baldagos’ of Garden, Tambis . Toto is now a government statistician in Canada. He was my friend, just an ordinary guy son of a farmer, yet he travels very far, he was not afraid of his poverty, He dream and he succeed. I have high hopes that someday I can finish my course. I was only an average guy; but it never a hindrance to me. I even do not have an honor after my high school. My parents will turn golden of their wedding, next year. Our family is always tested with a very strong typhoon. Our mentally challenged’s brother is our inspiration.
I keep myself to be beside my brothers when they went to college. When my sister left us, my parents silently cried. If my father was only rich he didn’t allow my sister to work outside the country. The success of your parents depends on the success of their children. Hindi nyo lang alam ang unang nasasaktan ay ang inyong magulang. Hindi kayo. I dream of my life, just like my classmates, my friends, like Romenia who unfold the dreams of the thousands of children in this town, just like jonjon who bring the children to swim even outside the country, and jona with thousands of children be able to read and write, and Vivencio protecting the thousand trees, and Imelda teaching the children and omik running after the law unabiding citizens, and rosenda, Keeping books and daisy who turns the blind with beautiful eyes and Helen the unfaithful to believers and Jojie as a queen of her own family.
These were just few of my classmates whom they dreamed and experienced different challenges, and trials and problems, but they continue to drive their life, just like my father’s motorcycle. It was old, rusty but he brought me to the world of life.
Determination is the second line of the story. Determination means you set your vision, mission and goal in life. Vision is your imagination and definition of your existence in this world. Like Hitler controlled the world, the Spaniard spread Christianity or your vision is to make this world a better place. We could have different mission. It is maybe your profession or what is your ambition as very often, a question asked, when your English and Filipino teacher is tired. I am now giving you the right direction of your vision, mission and goal. After your graduation, you have to set your goals. Your goal is to earn a college diploma. It is not a joke; it takes money and efforts because you need the required skill and competencies for employment.
.So that you can survive in this competitive market, your college diploma is the surest ticket to live. In order to live, you have to work before you can have a descent work you need enough education. Employment is not the problem in our country, only that there is a mismatch of what is the demand and supply of the market of employment.
Don’t stop of dreaming. Climbed your dream just like I climbed the Avocado tree. Even though how strong was the typhoon “Nitang” that hit the province, when my parents were both a college students, still they survived; you need to be extra careful. Just like, I was very careful in moving from one branch to the other branches in climbing the avocado tree. Select you friends and decide your dream.
Trust yourself. Teresito Salarza a.k.a. Chito Salarza Grant, now the Mr. Hatman of London, The success of our classmate is unimaginable. I am sure; he moved heaven and earth to reach his goal. Because he was only determined to be out from poverty. If I did not trust my teachers, my adviser with my masters’ degree and believed on what they have said that I can really make it, I could never have a chance to see you and speak in front of you. I dream, I did not stop from dreaming. It took me more than 10 years to finish my master degree, but I really did not stop. Just like I climbed the avocado tree, that I climb my life.
.If your brain thinks positively it emits positive energy to your body and your hearts. If it is negative, it discharges negative result as well. Be sure that you are in the proper position and angle. To reach your dream is to capture a beautiful picture. Just like your camera even how branded it is, and outmoded is your camera, you can still have a beautiful picture. There is an imbalance of the result of picture from high end camera and a camera from china. But this imbalance becomes balance when you have techniques to take pictures from a cheaper camera. The rich go to exclusive school while the poor can not even go to college.
Don’t lose faith, find means to go to college. Scholarships or maybe as a working students. Some finished college yet their parents are poor. Some are rich but have not finished college. Teresita Curada our class valedictorian, find it difficult to sustain her college education, With her “diskarte,” she was able to have a good life now.
Eduation plays an important role to make this world balance. Good values are very important. Sooner you want to marry somebody else. It is a big responsibility. Your parents were taught of discipline of life by their parents also. When you become a parents you are responsible of your children the same thing to your parents. So that when you become a law unabiding Fililipino citizen, if you destroy the earth’s nature because of your bad decision and behavior , it is not yourself who failed, but your parents.
Education makes it balance. It makes you a broad minded person. You would be able to control your behavior and you could have preserved and conserved the nature as best God’s gift to mankind. This is created by God equally to all people. The inequalities are because of wrong action and behavior and decision. God has no definition of what is beautiful and ugly. What is therefore the physical characteristics of an ugly person? The white or the black? . the Filipina or the American? Why there are Americans who loves to marry a Filipina, who has a darker skin and a very small lady? Is that the standard of the Americans of what is being beautiful? Man sets the standards and we do not have a uniform standard. So that man creates peace and war in this world. The imbalance lies on the eyes of the beholder. It lies on the people.
Education brings you to your dream and places. But it does not always the case maybe. It does not mean that if you are not a doctor or a nurse or a mayor, or a teacher, does not mean that you are not a successful person. For as long as you are doing the right thing and you are a law abiding Filipino citizen, that you help your family and help person who are in need, that to me is a well - educated and a successful person. Having my doctorate is not easy. It does not mean that I am already a successful person. It is not your fame, glory and position and your education in this world that makes you a successful one, but what small things that counts; that makes you a successful and immortal person. The farmers, fishermen and teachers and doctors are just equal in the eyes of God. Life isn’t fair, your camera is not fair, but the gift of love from heaven and the gift of love from your parents are fair.
Graduates of Batch 2014, congratulations. God Bless you all.
Signed :Dr. JED PANQUICO ACERO, A.K.A. BENJIE
BNHS ALUMNUS BATCH 82