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Akiko Orui, Class Valedictorian of High School Batch 2018


Good afternoon.

Before I commence my speech,I would like to thank my parents for their extreme patience and unconditional love. I could still remember my mom quietly entering my room and serving me milk while I study late at night. To my sister who helped me at school works the most, thank you. I would also like to thank my friends of course, for not only sharing their food to me but also for helping me when I have trouble in catching up with missed lessons, for attending to my countless requests whenever I’m busy in the student council. Thank you, our dear teachers for without you, I wouldn’t be able to stand here on this platform today given the highest award. Lastly, thank you, Diliman Preparatory School, for developing me and the students before me, to become the person ready for the wider world ahead of us.

While I was making this speech, I honestly had no idea of what to say. Weeks ago my adviser ma’am Tina told me to make a speech about my message to my batchmates but all that’s stuck to my brain was the song from the commercial on tv, repeating over and over again.

Thankfully, I have managed to make an outline that ends in three important messages that I have learned and I would like to share with you.
So, let me begin. The freshmen year. All or maybe some of us entered our “high school life” in Diliman Preparatory School and I’m sure most of us were excited to showcase our new loom bands bracelet or Rubik's cube with our friends. But like me, we all had our questions about entering high school such as, “how am I going to fit in?” or “will I ever survive high school?” Freshmen year was filled with confusion and blur. We are like a leaf in a river. We fall out from the branch we are attached to and float above the water. We go with the flow with no idea what lies at the end of the river. On our journey, we notice that the stream pushes us forward. We see rocks ahead but the current is just so strong that we can’t go against the flow no matter how much we want to. We want an easy life, that is. Then we stumble on that rock. The rock represents our hardships. I’m sure most of us have encountered low scores in quizzes or even our examinations. Because of that, we tend to feel even more pressured and sometimes dispirited to continue. I, myself have felt the same way too. But as I have learned throughout our high school life, I realized that failure is an indication that we’re walking on the right path. Failures do not define who we are as I would’ve been described as a failure if so. In the end, you’ll realize that you’re stressing yourself out for nothing. It’s okay to have failures and be sad about it but do not let it hang to you. Instead, take it with you as a lesson as we move further along this rough stream of water. If we encounter another rock we just need to work harder and think smarter.

Now, the leaf continues to go forward.
We entered Grade 10 and we are more relied on than before. Underclassmen begin to look up on us. We’re now allowed to go to our school’s rave or dance night parties or go to Prom with our crushes. We have shared a lot of experiences together. Some of us were able to direct, write and produce a great movie. Some win sports, science, math, competitions. My co-student council members helped me organize events here at school. I also have significant memories like being the kulintang girl along with bamboo boy and drummer girl during buwan ng Wika, Editor for our movie 237, winning inter-school competitions and many more. I’ve never seen such diversity. Who would’ve known that we would be able to do such big things at a young age? Our talents and skills are what hold us together and, the moment you are ready to take the wheel, responsibilities lie with you.
Considering how lucky we are to have all these people around us to support our education, we all should be thankful. But I think it’s time to come to the realization that not everyone gets the benefits and support we are given. I am thankful that I was given so much opportunity by Diliman Preparatory School. For the first time, I started to understand an idea that has since made me more concerned about education. Maybe we should learn to donate our books or share our knowledge. We could also engage in social or community activities to help and take part in the society. Issues also arise here and there every day, be it in the Philippine government or international affairs but all I want to say is we should all think smart about what we should and should not believe and be mature about our decisions.
As we are about to leave junior high and enter a higher education, we must make sure we bring with us the things we learned from our teachers and the lessons we learned from the situation around us. We should grow up to be someone the society will look up to someday.
Lastly, the message I want to relay on is health is more important. A withered leaf is no longer a leaf. You’re no longer learning for yourself. No one else can take care of your mind and body but you, and it is one way of making our parents happy. Living a healthy life doesn’t only mean consuming healthy food but also taking time to rest and spending time with your family. I’m guilty of sleeping for less than 5h a day and I’m sure I’m not the only one. But this is because we spend most of our time on social media first before we do our works. The key is time management.
You see, from the small leaf we were before, we have grown to be as strong as the rocks that made us stumble. We now know we could accomplish more and we are now positive in flowing forward, flowing to the vast ocean ahead of us.
Now that it’s the end of our Junior High school days, I’m sure we’ll miss all the silly things we do inside the classroom. I’m sure for myself that I have cherished every moment with my friends and my teachers.
Tomorrow, even if you remember not a single word of mine or of those highly personal anecdotes, you remember of the three important outlines I’ve personally experienced and have shared with you in my last speech in this podium as a grade 10 student. Senior High School is still a blur for most of us, I’m sure of that, but I hope we still all strive hard and make the best out of it just like what we did in Junior High.
A few years from now, we’ll all look back at our high school years, all of your accomplishments and of the laughable things we’ve done throughout your four years of Junior High School. A lot of you may be doing it now. There’s nothing left to say besides congratulations to batch 2018 and to the people who helped us get here. I wish you all very good lives and God bless.
Thank you very much.

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