Wake Me Up When Graduation Ends

“I dream of a speech that will shatter our graduates’ delusions. One that will slap them in the face: “you are not as good as you are” and perhaps, help tame their conceit long before they become monsters. One that will shatter definitions and re-imagine Iskolar ng Bayan as it must now apply to graduates: your success as iskolars are intimately tied to the success of our bayan—we fail every time this nation fails. ”


Photo by: Donald Riñon (2014 University of the Philippines L0s Baños Commencement Exercises) 

Bootleg Philosophy

Our commencement speaker sent me into comatose. From the flashes I remember, he was an important persons delivering unimportant messages. I cannot remember who he was much less what he said. What I do remember is that his speech was so dull reading a telephone directory would have been more engaging. I also recall it to be cruelly long that by the time it finished, we had already developed alzheimer’s. It was traumatizing enough to ruin the whole event for me.

In a way, it did. Because I think I’m still asleep and have yet to recover.

I am not sure if it’s a general sentiment but graduation speeches rarely work. Even with substance or depth or humor, no matter the eloquence or animation, most of them contain insights that graduates have already learned from years of schooling.  If graduation speeches were meant to serve as reminders, most of them do not capture the…

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