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

June 15, 2023 | Information Office


Joseph Kyle Ng delivered this speech during the 23rd Commencement Rites held at the LH Foundation Gymnasium of PAREF Springdale School last June 10, 2023. Joseph was awarded the Gold Medallion for Academic Excellence and the Student Award for their batch.

To the Chair of the School Board, Dr. Vicente Verallo, our school director, Dr. Renante Payod, distinguished members of School Board, faculty and staff, parents, relatives, and friends, good evening.

And to the Grade 12 Batch of 2023 congratulations! We have finally done it. Don’t get me wrong, to culminate all our learnings and experiences into this speech has been a very heavy responsibility. So, when I was given the task to be the speaker last week, I decided to tackle the challenge just as any Springdale student would do. Thus, I began writing and cramming this last night. Two cups of coffee, a few games of Valorant, ChatGPT, and here we are now. Well, having mastered the art of procrastination, just like most, if not all of my batchmates, I stand before you today, giving this speech from the bottom of my heart.

Personally, I have learned so much from my 12 years in Springdale. Obviously, academics, along with personal character formation, are the core essentials that make me who I am today. Allow me to share some important advice and realizations with my fellow classmates who will be entering college. First, adult acne lasts longer than you think. I had thought that this would be over, but apparently not. Why do you think I am the only one left wearing a mask in the classroom? Second, when it comes to all-nighters, choose your battles wisely. Pulling an all-nighter to binge-watch your favorite TV series or play games are a must to keep your sanity alive.

But seriously, I am truly proud of what our batch has accomplished. From the sleepless nights of research, the camping trip, desperately begging for extensions, and dreading exams, I can confidently say we have gone through it all. We’ve endured the pandemic. And just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, Typhoon Odette devastated Cebu. And to top it all off, when we thought it was already over, we were given another Filipino subject in Grade 12. Even until this day, I’m still wondering how we survived that 7-km of a trek that was called “camping.” And I’m sure we will never forget what values and virtues we learned from these experiences growing up in Springdale. The hard work we put in, our perseverance, diligence, and resilience are just a few of the things I’m certain we will bring to college. We have grown so much over the years, and as true Springdale gentlemen, we move forward, bringing with us, whichever path we choose to go, the values instilled by our parents and the school. Alongside our strong character formation and guidance from our mentors, teachers, and parents, we are now prepared for the next chapter of our lives.

So, as we take on this new, unfamiliar path, I encourage my fellow graduates to embrace the challenges that come our way. I know that it’s very cliché, but it is true. Grade 1-me always thought that the person I am now would be the world’s greatest astronaut. Grade 6-me saw those expectations and thought a doctor would be more realistic. Now, Grade 12-me just hopes that in the future I won’t become bald (sorry Dad). But, that’s part of life. Our dreams are constantly changing, evolving as we go. In the next four years, we will strive to achieve a good diploma or a wonderful career, but in 10 years or so, our goals could focus shift toward our families. What Springdale has taught me is to accept these changes. From the moment we entered high school, we experienced change in various forms. We made new friends, adapted to new curricula, and faced adversities. Each step brought uncertainties, but it also opened doors to opportunities we never thought possible. It may seem daunting, but we must remember that change is the catalyst for growth.

Allow me to thank once again the people who have molded us into the persons we are today. To our parents, especially to my Dad and Mom, thank you for all the unending love and support. You can finally breathe a sigh of relief, after all, you are graduating as Parent Coordinators too. To our teachers, mentors, and Springdale staff, we appreciate the dedication and hard work you put everyday, to nurture our intellectual needs, create an enriching environment to learn, and assist us in our extracurricular activities. And most of all, thank you God Almighty, for the gift of life, and for all the blessings we have received.

And to my fellow graduates, thank you for all the wonderful memories and years of genuine friendships. Let us remember that behind all the medals, achievements, and diplomas we have today are persons instilled with values and virtues from the school. Students who know the importance of family, faith, and character. Students who endured the hardships and challenges of high school. Students who have created life-lasting relationships and memories. And students who will always act like true Springdale gentleman. This next path of ours may be scary, but all things will eventually work out in the end. What is certain is that I will forever cherish and be grateful for everything these past twelve years.

And with that, Congratulations and thank you Batch 2023!