This speech was given last May 1, 2005 at our graduation ceremony. Ms. Kathy Ponce was chosen to render the speech in behalf of our class. I am proud of her, she has always been a good speaker, a writer who pulls words deep from her heart, and a loving person to all of us. The speech encompassess everybody's sentiments on our journey in AIM.
I’m not the top notcher of the batch if a lot you are wondering. Neither am I a class officer or an informal leader. I am just someone who remembers. Remembers seventy-five lives that have come across each other 2 years ago.
Where were we all then? As far as I can remember we were all itching to get into our respective seats. Quite irritated that we were such a humungous class. We all managed to fit in one classroom and give each other enough talk time until we discussed the case dry. We all wanted to edge each other on but at the same time we didn’t want to turn up the heat, so instead, we just turned up the volume as we battled our way through cases and presentations as amicably as we could. Some of us worried about how we were going to get air time with 75 hands flailing in the air. Some of us worried about how we’ll make it to the dean’s list. Some of us worried about how we will ever survive at all. Little did we really wonder about where the whole journey will take us. How our lives will be changed because of this boot camp.
Then we stopped worrying and just started living each day. We stopped counting how many times we CP-ed and how many times others challenged what we had to say. We stopped hanging out the classroom to flock around the professor thinking what we say outside the classroom will just be as valuable to him and maybe influence our grades a little. We stopped judging and complaining about our can groups and started working. Doing. We stopped criticizing others’ opinions and just started listening.
The tensions that were borne from pressures to excel and survive eased as we succumbed to it. To the stretching. To the bending. We no longer resisted. We had no choice. We were stuck with each for this 2 year journey.
When you are stuck with people for a long time, you find it difficult at first. You find it tedious. You find it such a task. Even more of task than all the pages you had to read till the wee hours of morning. But suddenly, something happens. Throughout all the rigor of work. Throughout all the beating and pounding of academic discipline. Something happens. Professor Manikan might call it grace. Grace coming from the power of the Universe that I call God. Professor Morato might call it a heuristic moment. The Moment when we allow ourselves to be lost in a situation so we can find out what it means. MBA gives many terms to define experiences, scenarios, problems. One thing I learned from Professor Gavino was to define something with just one word. So what happened? What happened to us? I’d call it rebirth.
Kept in a womb longer than needed…but somehow necessary. Necessary so that we come out the way we have been destined to be. Inside this womb we have been stretched and bent not only academically but also physically, mentally, a few can attest even psychologically…and for myself…spiritually. Little did we know that all the stretching and the bending and the pressing were actually what nurtured us and brought us where we are today.
I have seen each person in our class grow. I have seen some of you cry. Seen some of you in a fit. Seen most of you drunk. And just the same way I saw all of you then, sitting by the Zen or hurriedly rushing to class…I see all of you now. From up here. Different. Beaming. Accomplished. Proud.Like a troop of soldiers that have just won victory. But it’s not a victory of grades or any academic feat. It’s a victory we have won against the limits we have set for ourselves.
And that is what AIM, has done. We may have had a lot of issues. A lot of politics. A lot of debates about what makes our stay here good or even worth the money. But, we cannot deny, that we leave this place changed. Because of how hard we have been pressed. How hard we have been pruned. How hard we have been purged. How hard we have been polished. And for this we have our professors to be thankful for. Who have taught us that the strategy in life is not simply about our ideals, our thoughts or dreams. It’s how we implement them, how we carry them out, how we make them real.
And we cannot deny that we leave this place changed because of each other. Most of us have left and are not able to join us today. It is sad. But like we all got into this together. We may not end this together…but we remember it together. That’s why we have this moment today to remember everything we have gone through. To be grateful for each one around us before our memories fade into gray.
And so, I end this with an act of remembrance…to MBA Batch 2005.
We made it. For those who are not with us, we chant for you the last hurrah. Through it all we have lost and we have gained. But most of all we have changed. We had our fights. We had our misfortunes. But we also had our victories and our parties that got our hearts pumping and our feet thumping until all lines drawn around each other in the case room and the halls are gone. This is what we are. This is what we do. We dance.
We dance to the rhythm of the clock in the dorm. Or the sound of our can groups beckoning. We dance to the patter of the keyboard. Or the footsteps rushing down the stairs. We dance to the chug-a-lug of the bottle. Or the puffs of smoke that wade through the garden of Zen. We dance through a streamline of thoughts in a discussion. Or the blinking of the cursor on the screen. We have danced to the same rhythm of this journey. Always catching up in time. Saving quick side steps here and there but never missing a beat.
Now, we have reached the end and there is no rewind nor replay. There is only forward. We have kept up with the count and our steps are almost in sync. Now as we do this last dance of marching out to claim our destinies, let’s always keep the beat in mind, our feet in step, our hearts in harmony, to the same rhythm that kept us going. The same rhythm that has carried us through the hallowed halls of AIM will carry us through the rest of our lives.
And when the patterns of life changes the beat, let us not fall short, let us not give up, let us always remember that after every pounding, every pressing, that has gone through our brains and our bodies…the spirit of this boot camp will whisper a thumping and we’ll hear the clicking of footsteps in our memories…and we’ll remember that at the end of every endeavor is another victory, another party, another dance, where we will all celebrate the making of our lives…simply waiting for us in another Zen.