One of the most awaited and memorable occasions for our students — graduation and end-of-school-year rites — will happen in a few months.
We can no longer wait to see them march up on stage, receive their diplomas and recognitions, and reap the fruits of their academic labor.
Being a student these days is not easy. Digital technologies have afforded convenient access to unimaginable learning resources and opportunities, but have also caused distractions and overdependence, among others.
The coronavirus pandemic and the post-pandemic recovery and transition have also served as a testament to the resilience of every Filipino learner and the Philippine educational system.
We, Filipinos, are indeed warriors, survivors, and victors. Mabuhay!
DepEd Graduation Theme 2023
The Philippine Department of Education (DepEd) has released the official theme for the 2023 graduation and end-of-school-year (EOSY), and it is:
Gradweyt ng K to 12: Hinubog ng Matatag na Edukasyon (K to 12 Graduates: Molded through a Resilient Educational Foundation)
The theme, accordingly, emphasizes that graduation is not only a celebratory milestone but also a symbol of resilience, agency, and grit of Filipino learners honed by a solid basic education system that is responsive to the changing needs of time.
Further, it highlights that every learner’s achievement mirrors an education that succeeds amid all difficulties.
In the annual conduct of full in-person EOSY rites which may happen not earlier than July 10 and not later than July 14, 2023, observance of physical distancing and wearing of face mask shall not be mandatory. Read full DepEd Order No. 009, s.2023 here.
Resilience, Agency, and Grit (Sample Graduation Speech)
To emphasize, the theme communicates three (3) important attributes — resilience, agency, and grit — that Filipino learners and graduates may always use as they navigate through the post-pandemic and uncertain times.
As my congratulatory token to the graduating class of 2023, I have penned a short sample graduation speech based on the official DepEd graduation theme, “K to 12 Graduates: Molded through a Resilient Educational Foundation.”
With powerful AI technologies these days, e.g., the ChatGPT, you can instantly generate a good speech in less than a minute, but one that comes from your heart and mind always leaves a lasting impact on you and your audience.
You are free to use this sample speech as your guide and model upon writing your own. You may also check our archive of student speeches from previous graduation ceremonies here — acadSHARE: Speeches and Essays.
To you all who have gathered and who have been gathered here today by will and interest, by duty and responsibility, and by invitation and tradition, good morning.
When you get a chance to take a peek at a master script of a graduation ceremony, you will see an important note that calls for compliance, a note that the master of ceremony and all organizers are well briefed about, and a note that reads and so brings our index fingers close to our lips — keep it formal and solemn.
Keeping this ceremony formal and solemn freezes the precious moment in time, brings us back the memories of yesterday when we had all the big and small sacrifices and when we were about to give up but we didn’t, and then allows us a glimpse of the reality that awaits us after we take off our ceremonial robes. And this may happen just once, just today.
More than honored and dignified, I stand here before you to represent the graduating class, every warrior and every victor, who has won the battles for quality education and for a better life, and so are deserving today of the highest recognitions and resounding greetings of congratulations.
I am also bound by will and by tradition to give a powerful and lasting speech to all, and there are just three things I believe are worth sharing, three things that doubtlessly define and describe this year’s graduates, and three things that we did and so we always do to win school and soon life — we rise up, we reach out our arms farther, and we move forward.
[Resilience] We rise up. We rise up from every stumble and fall. We rise up and adapt. Yes, we are resilient, but time and again, this resilience is tested.
In our gradual transition from the onslaught of the coronavirus to the post-pandemic new normal amidst the heavy emotional baggage of losses, sufferings, and missed opportunities, the Filipino brand of resilience takes centerstage.
In classrooms filled with lukewarm air of academic tension and pressure, it is resilience that makes us breathe courage and confidence, stand, and talk once more every after a bad experience. We know deep inside us and in the mutters of our ego that bad experience is an understatement, but surrender is never ever an option.
It is also resilience that makes the family’s catering or RTW shop creep back to business operations and profitability after months of sudden closure and incurred losses. It is resilience that makes many schools, cafés, and recreational hubs open their doors again.
Yes, we Filipinos are branded with a distinct capability to recover quickly from calamities and disasters. We are capable of bouncing back and adapting in the face of these challenging circumstances while maintaining stable mental well-being.
That is no doubt resilience. But resilience alone is not enough, and glorifying it with just sorry admission of our weaknesses and vulnerabilities as a developing country, as human beings, and as mediocre students, is even worse.
[Agency] So, we also reach out our arms farther. We reach out and take control over our volitional actions and their consequences. We reach out to develop our sense of agency.
Filipino resilience is sometimes questioned and doubted because we tend to just accept and get used to the vicious cycle of loss and suffering. We fail to turn this resilience into viable systems and mechanisms of mitigation and prevention.
On many occasions, it is not a matter of if, but when. So, there is no such thing as a surprise quiz or a surprise recitation for a student who reviews his lessons after a thorough lecture.
Life is predictably unpredictable, but it does not always happen just by accident. We also make it out of our choices. We’re here not by accident, and not because we don’t have any other choice. We, graduates, won’t be wearing these robes and caps without choosing hard work and dedication.
I won’t be here speaking before you without accepting the personal challenge, going through sleepless nights, and complying with nearly impossible academic requirements. I just did it. I did it by making good choices and doing a lot of work for such choices.
When we voluntarily take actions and take a sense of agency, we don’t feel as though they simply happen to us, instead, we feel as though we are in charge of them and so our life.
[Grit] Then, we move forward. We move forward toward the achievement of our short-term goals, the puzzle pieces of one big and ultimate goal. We move forward with physical, mental, and emotional stamina.
People call it grit, and it comes with a simple two-ingredient formula: passion plus perseverance. Without passion, perseverance leads to burnout. Without perseverance, we give up.
The la crème de la crème or the cream of the crop just received the top recognitions and maybe the loudest applause. I also got this medal. Today, I let it hang around my neck and make myself proud of it. Tomorrow, I might spend a day staring at it. The next day, I’ll keep it somewhere safe. In the next months and years, I hope it’ll still matter.
Many say, and so the theory gets more real that the best and strongest performers in their respective fields are not always those with the highest IQs, but those with the most grit — the ones who are passionate, the ones who keep pushing themselves until achieving their ultimate goals. So, we should be rooting for not just the top students among the graduates but for all.
Grit grounded on ethical principles will feed the hunger of the world for innovation and change. Grit with a noble purpose will quench the thirst for social development. And grit with conscience and compassion will heal conflicts and build better communities. For now, this four-letter word – grit – will make these graduates take their first step and keep them moving forward.
Once again, my fellow graduates, let us rise up from every stumble and fall, reach out our arms farther, and keep moving forward. Congratulations!
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AcadSHARE Speeches and Essays. It is our compendium of benchmark academic and professional essays and speeches in various development formats and topics and for various occasions.