The end of education is CHARACTER 

Last Saturday (08 April), I spoke at my alma mater during their moving up ceremony for Junior High and Recognition for Senior High and it was one of the happiest days of my life! I never imagined, not even in my wildest dreams that I will be invited to be a keynote speaker in any of my former schools. It was really fun to see familiar faces, most especially when I saw them listening carefully while I am standing in the podium. Due to my friends’ demands, I am publishing my speech here. Let me know what you think!

Thank you sir Chris for that warm and kind introduction.

The President and founder of Casa Del Nino Montessori Schools System Incorporated, Dr. Rosario G. Acierto. Ma’am

The Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Jose C. Acierto, Supervising Consultant, Dr. Corazon R. Asuncion, Administrators from Elementary and Junior High School, Ma’am Leigh Paguiligan and Sir Mel Bauit, The enthusiastic members of the teaching force and staff, The ever supportive parents, candidates for Junior High School completers, awardees, friends, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon!

I’m very pleased to have been invited to speak here today at my Alma Mater, Casa Del Niño Montessori School. Today is a very special day for the Junior High School Completers, it’s also a very special day for the proud parents and grandparents, and also for the relieved teachers. Just wait until these students are graduating college. Then their parents will be therelieved ones.

Junior High School completers, you should know that your moms and dads are very proud of you today. They have high hopes for you, and they believe in you, and you are making them proud by showing what you can achieve.

Take a look at them now, and you can see them smiling and snapping photos so they can record this moment forever. Today is an important day for you and for them. Today they are very, very proud of you.

Today would be a good day to hug them and thank them for supporting you, because as much as this is your achievement, this is also the achievement of the people who care about you. That means your mom, your dad, your grandparents, your sisters and brothers, and all the other people who care about you. They want you to be at your best and to live up to your potential.

To all of today’s completers, I can’t imagine what’s going through your minds right now. Yet here I stand before you at this amazing crossroads of your life. So the question of the hour is what can I impart? How can I help you even in the slightest way to be ready for whatever comes next?

So I asked myself, how did I get here? After a lot of thought, I realized there have been two life lessons that changed everything about me. These were moments that shook me, scared me and humbled me. In the end, these moments are two big reasons I am here today. 

So let’s start with something I learned when I was at your age, noong highschool pa ako, noong nasa Casa Del Niño Montessori School pa ako, isang bagay na meron sa CASA na hindi ko makakalimutan at binitbit ko hanggang sa ako’y nag college, naging degree holder, naging professional, naging sa kung sino ako ngayon ang heartbeat ng eskwelahang ito:

The end of education is CHARACTER.

Who we are is more important than what we know. 

Martin Luther King Jr. once quoted about Character and education, he said that “ Intelligence plus Character – that is the goal of true education”.

Unfortunately, in our generation we oftentimes measure success in shallow and material ways: How much money do you have? How powerful are you? Are you famous? How big is your house? What kind of car do you drive? All these questions reinforce the misguided belief that success is somehow tied to material things that benefit the self. I have, I do, I am.

As a Casan, are we distinguished by our intelligence, looks, status or skills? No. I hope we casans are distinguished by our character, our hope, our faith, and our values. In the next chapter of your lives and in your future careers, how will you be distinguished? How will you be defined?

The same facts that are taught here at CDNMS are taught at other schools. Ag is the element symbol for Silver here as it is at INHS. Valentine’s Day still is recognized as happening on February 14, here at CDNMS as it is at SFC. If the facts are the same, what is it that makes you unique as Casan students?

Let me give you a glimpse of my High schoolYears, isa po kami sa batch na pinakamabait, db Tr. Mel. Isa kami sa batch na paborito ni Tr. Mel. Hahaha. Pero sino nga ba si Charmie nung high school siya, nung nasa Casa Del pa siya. isa po ako sa mga estudyante na tumatambay sa CR kapag inaantok sa klase, isa po ako sa estudyante na napatawag na sa principals office at isa po ako sa estudyanteng napalabas ng classroom dahil hindi gumawa ng assignment. Ngunit sa kabila po ng aming kalokohan, hindi ko po hinayaang mawala sa isip ko at sa puso ko ang katagang “The end of education is CHARACTER”.

Why did you come to CDNMS in the first place? Maybe because you wanted to be good in speech that taught by Tr. Melchor Bauit. Maybe because your friends are enrolled here or maybe because of the school facilities and a quality education that this school has to offer.

Whatever the reasons, I hope that you now know why you are a Casan and that you have been changed because of it.

I hope that you now know that secular knowledge does not clash with religious knowledge but rather enhances it. That our knowledge becomes a Wisdom when applied.

Today, I want to extend my deepest gratitude to my Alma Mater, CDNMS for teaching me that one of the heartbeat of success is CHARACTER. You can become the world’s most influential engineers and scientists yet also be the most humble. You can become the world’s most innovative artists, teachers, and lawyers yet also be the most kind. You can become the world’s most successful authors, businessmen, and doctors yet also be the most family oriented.

To become successful, you must be notable by your character, leadership, charity, kindness, honesty, and integrity. 

As Casans you have the unique responsibility and opportunity to be lights on a hill in this darkening world.

My second pivotal life lesson is, to become successful, you must have a vision. You have to DREAM BIG but START SMALL. 

Today, I want you to think about what you can do rather than what you cannot do. Think about the things you have as opposed to what you do not have.

What is in your hand right now is your diploma. You have to ask yourself, how will I use it to achieve my goals? And the answer to that depends on how far you can see.

You must have a vision for your future. You must pair that vision with a plan.

Create a vision based on your specific gifts, talents and tools. There is greatness in simply being you and using your skill to do something with your vision — and to put your personal plan in motion.

After having my Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing, I immediately took the Board Exam, as I’ve said earlier “YOU HAVE TO DREAM BIG”, and so my goal when I took my Board Exam is to top the Board, unfortunately I did not make it but thank God, I passed my board. And finally, I became a full-Pledged nurse, my mom and dad wants me to go abroad, well it was also my dream to work abroad but things didn’t go as planned.

After working at the Hospital and after being a Community Health Nurse, I didn’t feel the sense of fulfillment. I was searching for something that I knew I was created for. I was searching for things that I’m passionate about. And guess what, I chose to be in the business industry, not that because this is what I’m passionate about or because I want to earn money but because I used this as an excuse to my parents para po hindi sila magalit sa akin, an excuse to fulfill the calling God has for me. 

I found my calling. I found something that really satisfies my soul. And this is what I’m passionate about. For me, having God and serving God is much more than the diploma, the license, the wealth, and the things I have now. I may not be in the Hospital curing physical illness and diseases but I’m called to heal what’s inside, THE HEART! To inspire, to touch the lives of people by sharing my life testimony on how God changed my life, by telling them that God loves them and that God has a greater plan for them. For me this is LIFE all about, this is how I view SUCCESS, and for me this is worth to die for.

Even if our plans and goals do not pan out exactly how we have envisioned them, we will still benefit from having that vision.

As you go forth to the next chapter of your lives, para sa sabay-sabay na hakbang tungo sa maunlad na kinabukasan, guys, huwag niyong kalimutang bitbitin ang heartbeat ng eskwelahang ito, that “THE END OF EDUCATION IS CHARACTER, remember that who we are is more important than what we know; second, you must have a vision, you’ve got to dream big and start small, you’ve got to find your PASSION.

I’ll leave you with this final word, from a great author with whom I imagine you are all familar, by the name of our Father in Heaven, God

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. “Plans to proper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

So congratulations to all of the Junior High School completers and achievers, congratulations to the parents, and finally, congrats to the teachers and everyone else who helped our graduates reach here today.

Now I know why I got invited here. Because I am a proud product of this SCHOOL. It’s good to be back home. I am proud to say “TATAK CASAN AKO”. 

Wherever every Casan will go and reach, whatever endeavor we might pursue, achievement and success we will attain, let me say that CDNMS will always be a very special part of our being. We are after all CASAN in heart.

Congratulations again, and thank you for your attention.


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