Welcome graduates, colleagues, family and friends.  Congratulations to you all.

I’d like to begin by thanking all of the families and friends in the audience today. I understand the many sacrifices and obstacles you overcame these past years to be here.  I share your pride in the accomplishments of our graduating students and your joy at the prospects that lie ahead. At the same time, I share in the gratitude that I know our graduating students feel toward all of you.

As you all know, and as I have said before, no one makes it to graduation alone.  For that reason, I’d like to ask all of the graduates to thank all those who helped you on this journey.

Also, I would like to thank the faculty, who have served not simply as your teachers but also as your mentors.

After going through the process of learning, studying for tests and persevering in reaching this stage in your lives, congratulate yourselves, dear graduates for reaching this goal. And I sincerely congratulate you as well.

But as you may know by now, this is a journey and not just a destination.  The path to success does not end here but rather, moves to a different direction. Now that you are equipped of your well-deserved high school diploma, you are about to begin another stage in your lives. I would recommend that you avail of our Carcar City College which is offered for free to those who are determined to get a tertiary degree, or you can go on to a vocational school or internship to learn skills that will lead you to the jobs you would like to have.

Whatever you will finally decide to do after this great achievement, you have to know that learning or further education does not stop here. Even when you will already have jobs in the future, you owe it to yourselves to keep learning, whether within the walls of a classroom or in a non-traditional setting.

We will stumble along the way, but our “failures” or mistakes in the direction of our lives are meant for us to learn from and become better. And as you carve your path, keep believing in yourselves for you are capable in turning your dreams of success in life into a reality. Four years ago, when you were freshmen, becoming a high school graduate, as you are today, seemed like an unreachable dream. Day in, day out, it seemed it would never end or would never come. But today you have proven to yourselves and to your parents and friends that you can make it with perseverance and determination.

Carry on with your lives’ journey with a strong belief in yourselves, and your capacity to reach a goal that you have set for yourselves. I am proud of you and I firmly believe in your bright future. Again, congratulations dear graduates.

NICEPURO L. APURA

City Mayor