Graduates, are you R.E.A.D.Y.?

cl-atayde-2019Ang tanong ko sa ating graduates, handa na ba kayo sa pagharap nyo sa inyong kinabukasan? Are you ready to overcome any hardships that you may encounter? Ready ba kayong tanggapin na mahirap ito, pero i-oovercome nyo? Ngayon, pagdating ng panahon na kaya na ninyo, handang handa ba kayong tumulong sa pamilya?

-- Ms. Carmen Linda Atayde, Executive Director | SM Foundation, Inc.

I'm sure that our fellow guests and others who continue to support Dualtech are feeling the same way. You [Dualtech graduates] have made us very happy and I am very sure that you all will have a bright future and a brighter tomorrow. To the board and management of Dualtech Center and my friend fellow board member of PCNC, Mr. Morfe, parents of the graduates, to our honored graduates, fellow inspirers and supporters of Dualtech Center, ladies and gentlemen good morning and a very pleasant Saturday morning to all of you.


There are said to be one hundred ten (110) graduates here, who have just graduated and have a chapter of their lives who will soon pave the way for employment. In this room are 110 stories of different journeys. In my sixteen years in SM Foundation, there are thousands of stories too and I am pleased to share snapshots of just a few of my really favorite stories.


My favorite is a story of a young twelve-year-old man who left China to join his father in the Philippines. They started a small sari sari store in Binondo, Manila. The boy went to school in the morning and tended to the store when he returned home. In the evening he would remove the jars from the table which he would clean and the table became his bed. So “hindi kayo nag-iisa sa pag umpisa sa buhay, ang aming Mr. Henry Sy Sr. ay nag-umpisa sa ganoong paraan kaya makaka-identify tayo”.


At school he was the biggest and tallest in his class, as his classmates were very much younger so he requested his teacher to accelerate him to a higher level where the students were of his age and height. His teacher agreed on the condition that he would learn to speak in English. The boy studied hard and within a short time he was talking English. The teacher naturally accelerated him to his appropriate grade level.




After a few years, the second world war came and destroyed lives and structures. The sari sari store was not spared, the boy took the resources and the father returned to China. The young man decided to stay behind to pick up whatever things were left. He caught shoes from the soldiers, cleaned the shoes, and he sold them to the lowest price. With patience and perseverance he was able to make his business grew and successes followed.


He decided to make education his first flagship program “kasi naniniwala siya na ang edukasyon ang katangi-tanging paraan upang tayo ay maiangat sa kahirapan hangang maabot natin ang ating mga pangarap, na mag-cross the breach from poverty”. Ladies and gentlemen, it is the story of SM founder Mr. Henry Sy Sr. who recently passed on. And who started the SM college scholarship program and SM TechVoc scholarship program. Yun ang umpisa kung bakit nandidito tayo sakop nang scholars natin ngayon.


My second story had typhoon Yolanda as its background. In February 2014, two months after the Yolanda, our education team went to Tacloban to choose 100 scholars from over a thousand (1000) applicants. We administered exams, ininterview namin and conducted home visits. After two weeks, we announced the applicants who made it to the program. Namili kami ng 100 lang and as expected some of them who were not taken, syempre “naiyak sila”. But there was one applicant who cried, mas malakas siyang napaiyak kase nalaman niya na siya ang ika-101 candidate so hindi siya napasama doon. We advised her to keep praying and keep applying with other foundation. A month passed and one successful applicant backed out “isa lang” because she planned to take up a course which was not in our program. So we called number 101, na hanggang ngayon one hundred one ang tawag namin sa kanya. This young lady now called 101 pursued in accounting course, passed the CPA board exams and she is now an accounting professor in her Alma mater “nakakatuwa no”.


Story number three is all about a TechVoc applicant who was one of a Yolanda survivors chosen for a scholarship in a TechVoc program. For a person who never got away from home, he was battling extreme homesickness, but his determination to finish his TechVoc scholarship made him stronger. Now he is working abroad of which the car manufacturing firm found his right skills and brought him in the main office in Europe. Kaya ngayon euro dollar ang pinag uusapan namin.


So graduation is a significant event in our lives. However there is another event that the graduate looks forward to and that is reunion with family. Recently we have one in SM foundation and the graduates gathered, some from across other countries to recount their lives after graduation. The positive changes found in their entire lives, the siblings they sent to school and their own family which they are now starting to raise. In the same event that, they shared their formula of success.


I think that some of their attributes summarized it in the word “READY”. R for Reliable, the employers trusted them to carry out their assigned task. Education, they continue to hone their bright skills, like what you've been doing, you went to undergo a training of leadership and management skills. A for Accepting challenges which come your way and the ability to overcome these challenges, wala dito ang nagsasabi na madaling madali ang pagtatapos sa TechVoc. D for Dedication to their mission, alam nyo pag nagumpisa na kayo sa tunay na larangan ng paglalaban sa kahirapan, kelangan talaga dedicated kayo at mahal nyo ang profession nyo. Y for You in a positive way being flexible to people, situation and circumstances.


Ang tanong ko sa ating graduates, handa na ba kayo sa pagharap nyo sa inyong kinabukasan? Are you ready to overcome any hardships that you may encounter? Ready ba kayong tanggapin na mahirap ito, pero i-oovercome nyo? Ngayon, pagdating ng panahon na kaya na ninyo, handang handa ba kayong tumulong sa pamilya?


Goodluck graduates, Think on the good side.