2023 Address from a Student – 23rd Commencement Rites (Elementary Department)

June 16, 2023 | Information Office


Alfonso Martin Garcia delivered this speech during the 23rd Commencement Rites of the Elementary Department held at the LH Foundation Gymnasium of PAREF Springdale School last June 10, 2023. Alfonso was awarded the Student Award for their batch during the ceremony.

Distinguished PAREF Springdale Board of Trustees, Management Committee, Faculty and Staff, Dear Parents, Honored Guests, Relatives and Friends, My Fellow Students of the Graduating Class of 2023, Ladies and Gentlemen, a pleasant morning to you all!

I feel honored to be given this wonderful opportunity to present this speech. Wow! We are finally graduating! So, please allow me to thank God and all who have helped me for the past six (6) years to achieve this success.

First and foremost, I thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, for keeping me and my family safe and healthy. His grace has helped me make it this far. I am grateful for His love and affection.

My utmost gratitude goes to my mommy, Jima Garcia. Thank you very much, Mom, for your unconditional love and all your sacrifices. You were always there for me when I was feeling under the weather. For that, I am forever grateful. You are the best mom ever, and I love you, Mommy.

I would also like to thank my Tita Gwendolyn Garcia, Tita Farla Garcia, Tito Pablo John Garcia, and Tito Winston Garcia. Thank you for always being supportive of me. You have been a huge part of my life, and your love, support, and pieces of advice have helped me become the person I am today. Thus, I want you to know how deeply appreciative I am of your unfailing love and support and how much I treasure the memories we have made together. I appreciate everything you have done for me and for being such a big part of my life.

My Kuya John John and Ate Cat, Kuya Nolan Magallona, and Ate Tessa, thank you very much. Although we see each other not so often, you still find the time to show your love and utter your kind words to me. I love you, guys!

Next, I would like to thank Uncle Ronnie, Auntie Miriam, Auntie Vashti, and Auntie Venus. Even though you, guys, are in the States, you never fail to express your love and encouragement through text and FaceTime. I love you all!

To my daddy, Marlon, thank you. You may not be here with me today physically but you are my inspiration and my idol. I know you are watching over me now from Heaven. Daddy, I hope you are proud of me today because you are the reason why all these years I have persevered during the hard times in my life. Thank you so much Daddy Marlon for the love, wisdom, and wonderful memories. I treasure them so much and will carry them with me for the rest of my life.

My gratitude also goes to all my teachers. Thank you for always encouraging me to try new things and teaching me new virtues I can use in the future. Thank you also for all the lessons that I have learned from you. You have always inspired me to do my best.

Special mention to my advisor, Mr. Yap. You have shown that you really love the school and you truly love teaching. You’re always there to give us advice when we are confused or when we don’t know what to do. Mr. Yap, you always encourage and inspire me not to be afraid to try things that I have never done before. Hence, I am very thankful you did because I learned a lot from those experiences. So, thank you, Mr. Yap, for being a great advisor.

I thank our supportive head teacher, Mr. Edgar Allan Jabone, all the other teachers, and everyone in the PAREF Springdale School family, for the great education we have received from you. You have prepared us to move on and to take on whatever challenges that may come our way — in our high school life. You all have helped shape us into the grown-up teenagers you see today.

And last but not least, I would like to thank my classmates and schoolmates. My fellow students and friends, we have made many memories — of course, many, many good memories, and yes, some may not be so good, most of which can just be looked back upon and laughed at. Thank you for the great memories that we’ve shared. We have built such a great friendship through the years, and I will never forget it.

We went through so much during the past years — the Covid situation, online classes, virtual interactions, and many more. We often clashed over what some might call insignificant situations. And despite the differences, we never hesitated to have each other’s backs. I consider myself lucky to have met you all and to be part of the strong bond we have created.

Indeed, our parents and families are very proud of us today. Look at them now, and you can see them smiling and snapping pictures so they can record this moment forever. Today is an important day for you and me. Today, they are very proud of us; therefore, make yourself proud, as well, for we all made it!

Fellow graduates, we have known each other for a long time, and we know that each and every one of us has something special. We are all creative and smart in many different ways. Let’s promise that no matter how common it may sound — “Don’t ever aim your doubt – Laugh at yourself, but do not doubt yourself.”

Let us take this chance to dedicate ourselves to making the next years even better. Remember that we do not have to follow the crowd, but we do the right thing, even if no one is looking. There are great and exciting things coming.

And finally, do not be in too big of a hurry to grow up. These are some great times in our lives; we do not rush past them.

I would like to end my speech with a summary of the poem “If” by Rudyard Kipling. This is for all of us, my fellow graduates. We have to move through life with composure and always exercise self-control, integrity, and humility. Never let triumph or disaster events, good or bad, go to our heads. We must never give up but persevere.

We had some great times and, for sure, had some tough times, but we did it, and we succeeded! Yes, high school, here we come!