Graduation Response – Jose Miguel Daya ’15 – Xavier Awardee

Editor’s Note: The following was delivered by Jose Miguel M. Daya, a Xavier Awardee from the Xavier School Class of 2015, after the presentation of the Xavier Awardees at the 2015 High School Commencement Exercises last March 20, 2015.

The Xavier Award is given to a student, who, in the judgment of his teachers and peers, embodies to an outstanding degree the ideals of Xavier School as described in the Profile of the Xavier Graduate — open to growth, competent, self-disciplined, loving, culturally-integrated, religious and Christian, and committed to doing justice. The student is someone who has embodied Xavier School’s 6 Cs of character, competence, community, conscience, culture and compassion.

I hope you can all still see me.

My height is … nevermind. 🙂


It is with great honor, pride and joy that I speak before each and everyone of you today. However, I still choose to believe that I’m not speaking alone at this podium at this very moment. After 13 years of growing up with Batch 2015, I do not think it is possible to distinguish myself or any Trojan from each other without recognizing the entirety of the batch we all have come to know and love. So I speak tonight with 293 hopeful voices, that now face a turning point in life. Today marks the end of an era in our young lives. No more sticks, D-Forms, green slips. No more detention, no more “You’re late, go to the ODS!”. Today is that “Thank you for coming!” sign you see on the road at the end of a leg of a long journey.

But that must also mean, no more Spring Fest, no more fair and variety show, no more Guangzhou, Yunnan, Beijing, no more 3-day grace period, no more St, Sp or R, no more “cher”, no more Xavier. Today is that “Thank you for coming!” sign you see on the road at the end of a leg of a long journey, except it’s missing that all too familiar “Come again!” that greets every traveler as he leaves a place.

In a couple months’ time, we’ll be stepping into college life — a phase of self-discovery and independence that resonates with the experiences of a daring traveler and the patron saint of missionaries, St. Francis Xavier. As with any traveler, he arrived at foreign lands prepared for new opportunities that await, for the challenges he may face but most importantly, for the unexpected. Xavier School has always pushed us to follow the example of our patron saint but as we face this part of our journey, we are faced with this question: “Is what I learned from Xavier enough?” Most of us, myself included, are leaving Xavier full of doubt as to whether we have what it takes to thrive in life outside of school. I think it’s the uncertainty of whether what we know is enough for the real world that gets us all.

But this is the main point, after all, through the quality education brought about by Xavier School, we were taught by our teachers that just “enough” is not good enough. We were never taught to BE just “enough”.

Kung si Kyle Adlawan ay sa FIC, si Renzo de Guzman naman ay sa VoYC. Kung si Alfonso Bautista ay sa swimming, si Ged Poe ay sa Football. Kung si Brian De Guzman naman ay sa media production, si Sam Nisce naman ay sa paglikha ng pinakamasarap na cookies na aking natikman sa buong buhay ko. Kung ang Batch 2015 ay nakilala sa salitang passion, ang Paaralang Xavier naman ay sa Magis. Magis na ang ibig sabihin ay ang mahigitan ang mga karaniwang ekspektasyon sa paggawa ng labis pa sa inaaasahan. Ang salitang ito ay ang salitang naging bahagi na ng buhay ng isang tunay na Xaverian. Subalit, ilan ba sa atin ang makapagsasabi na alam na talaga natin ang kahulugan ng Magis? Marahil alam na natin kung papaanong masasabing Magis ang isang gawain ngunit, kung papaanong ito ay naisasabuhay ay mahirap maisakatuparan. Sa kontekstong ito, masasabing ang mga nabanggit kong pangalan pati na rin ang mga hindi ko nabanggit ay mga taong nagpahalaga at nagbigay-dangal sa kabuuang ng kanilang naging pag-aaral dito sa Xavier. Trojans, ang parangal aking nakamit ay inyo ring tagumpay! Sapagkat alam kong ang bawat isa sa atin ay naging kabahagi at representasyon ng salitang Magis. Gusto ko po sanang magkuwento pa pero ayoko naman po itong ma-feature sa TV bilang pinakamahabang episode ng Maalaala Mo Kaya. Kaya, balikan nalang po natin ang tanong, “Sapat na ba ang aking mga natutuhan sa Xavier?”

(Kyle Adlawan is to FIC then Renzo De Guzman is to VoYC. If Alfonso Bautista is to swimming then Ged Poe is to football. If Sherwin Lu is to media production then Sam Nisce is to baking the most amazing cookies I’ve ever tasted. If Batch 2015 is to passion then Xavier is to Magis. Magis – to do more than what is expected. Admittedly overused. But how many of us actually know exactly what it means to “do more”? Personally, I think it’s easier to say that one knows how it looks like. The names I mentioned, this (to batch) right here, is solid proof of Xavier education gone right. If I can mention all your names, I would because I know that some point in our stay here in high school, we all exemplified Magis in our own ways and each one of you have your story to share but if I do mention all your stories, we might be featured on TV as the longest episode of Maalala Mo Kaya ever aired. So instead, we go back to the question, “Is what I did and learned from Xavier enough?”.)

With what you’ve all accomplished for the school, I think it’s not so much a question of ampleness or self-affirmation anymore but rather how we can apply the message post-graduation. The value of having been provided with a Xavier education now turns the question around into, “Can I apply what I learned from Xavier to the outside world?” We all possess the light that has been nurtured since our Nursery days. As we look towards the unclear future, it really is now just a matter of letting our lights shine.

There’s really not much to feel but appreciation and gratefulness for how Xavier School molded us into the people that we are today. Everyone says that you should shape yourself and to not let anyone dictate what you become but I believe that there’s no shame in being a product. There’s no shame in being a masterpiece. Xavier School continues to mold its students to not just be academically competent but full, well-rounded “persons, fully alive, endowed with the passion for justice and the skills for development.” Are we ready for the future? Who else can say but the One up above but one thing’s for certain, Xavier never ceased to reach out to its students. To quote a headmaster very dear to my heart, Professor Dumbledore said, “Help will always be given in Hogwarts, to those who ask for it.” I believe the same is, was and will always be true for an institution such as Xavier School.

Ang labintatlong taong lumipas ay  isang mahabang paglalakbay na mahirap ang mga pinagdaraanan, ngunit ang mga hirap na ito ang nagbigay-daan sa atin upang tayo ay maging matatag at matagumpay, mga paghihirap na minahal naman natin at ngayo’y mahirap nang bitiwan. Marami ang dahilan kung bakit kailangan nating tumanaw ng utang na loob sa institusyong nagbigay sinag sa ating liwanag, sa institusyong ating tinuring na ating pangalawang tahanan.

(These 13 years of our lives is surely an expedition that, once started, is both difficult to finish and to let go of. Truly, we are indebted to the institution who introduced light into our young lives to shine upon the future that lies ahead, to the institution we’ve come to call home for 13 years.)

What school has… well… had a lady guard that’s probably manlier than you are but never failed to cheer you on as you tried to beat that 7:30 bell every morning? Where else do you have specially designed tables for marble rolling to knock down figurines?  As a response to 13 years of life-changing Xavier education, I’d like to ask you guys to do a simple thing as you walk down the quadrangle one last time as a Xaverian.

Trojans, mamaya, habang tayo’y naglalakad palabas ng Sports Center, tingnan niyo nang mabuti ang inyong paligid. Ang mga klasrum, ang quadrangle, ang paaralan at alalahanin ninyo ang kabuuan ng pananatili natin sa Paaralang Xavier. Alalahanin ninyo ang lahat ng ibinigay ng ating minamahal na paaralan para sa ating lahat at tanungin natin ang ating mga sarili: “Paano natin masusuklian ang mga bagay na ibinigay sa atin ng Paaralang Xavier?”

(As you walk down that aisle, take a good look at the classrooms, the quadrangle, the school and recall everything. Everything that the school has done and given to each one of us. And then ask yourself this: “How can I give back?”)

To end, I’d like to quote the great and inspiring philosopher, Drake. And I quote, “Started from the bottom, now we here. Started from the bottom, now the whole team here. Started from the bottom now we here.” End of quote. Deep. Very deep. But keep these words of wisdom in mind as I close with one final exercise. My brothers, Batch 2015, I’d like to ask you all to go back with me. Journey through time and let’s climb Xavier mountain again. Disclaimer: I patterned this after the Examen so please, try to not to make this nap time.

Hindi ko na kayo papipikitin ng inyong mga mata kasi alam kong magiging mas malakas pa ang mga hilik ninyo kaysa sa boses ko ngayon. Bilang isang mag-aaral, pasulong dapat tayong kung maglakbay at alam na natin ito, kaya ngayong tayo’y nasa ating huling destinasyon bilang mga mag-aaral ng paaralang Xavier, maglakbay ulit tayo sa nakaraan.

Just focus on a single spot in front of you. As you journey back with me, remember the 2 questions raised, in English this time, “How can I apply what I learned from Xavier?” and “How can I give back?” Imagine. Savor. Relive.

All aboard.

“Make sure you have your HSCN ha!” Stop don’t eat that crayon, that’s not food! Good morning, teacher!

“The land is flat.”

Mr. Avanzado whistles, tapos sigawan lahat ng EED students. “Back to class, boys! Play time is over for now!” Teacher, I think I made a poopoo in my pants. No, 1+1 is not 3. Ni jiao shen me ming zi? Good morning, miss.”

“The land starts to incline an imposing mountain now lies ahead.”

“Boys, quiet or I’ll give you all a stick!” Kooshball, in kami! I wonder what club I’ll be joining. Mooom, I need to buy diskettes for SocSci reporting! Noooo, teleport kills mini-homing. They’re adding letters to Math now?

“The incline gets steeper here. You start to fight against gravity. You stumble once.”

I bought you QQ from China! “Wo gei ni greenis!” Dude, we have to win intrams ah. Gentlemen, you are not boys anymore. You will be leaving the grade school so I expect you all to be in your best behavior during our practices.

“You arrive at the base of the mountain. Lush foliage makes it hard to see your path. You begin your ascent.”

Guys, so our soiree’s tomorrow with 1-*insert Gift of the Holy Spirit*. Imemorize niyo na yung tula niyo. Gagawa kayo ng actions para sa pagtatanghal sa Lecture Hall, okay? I really can’t understand anything in Math. Add me on YM! lazyboy_4562  Gosh, detention for leaving my book in the locker? Cher, may I go to the infirmary?

“You approach the middle of the mountain as you overcome detours yet the mountain seems to get steeper. You stumble again.

Ask your parents to get your cellphone from me along with a corresponding reprimand ah.” Excited for Yunnan tomorrow! So, wait do I go IB or not? Are you going abroad? I don’t know yet but I might? Hay, Romeo and Juliet and investigatory project pa plus, Math test tomorrow. Cher, may I go the infirmary?


“The trail now seems to be as difficult as ever. You approach the upper half of the mountain. The air is getting thinner. Gravity seems to be working full force against you now.”

Business or architecture? Humanda ka sa Days. Oh no, 2 meetings during lunch, where do I go? I shouldn’t have gone IB. I should have gone IB. “Hey, so have you asked her yet?” “Not yet, I don’t know how to do it. Should I just hold up a sign?” Cher, may I go to the infirmary?


“Your trail tapers off into different directions. The mountain becomes ruthless now. Heavy winds and a dangerous incline impede your climbing. But the end is in sight. Just a little more.”

Hey, congrats on staffing! “At your service, yes!” Okay, one last signature for clearance and I’m done! Gentlemen, you’ve done this before, it’s not that hard. Stand up altogether, remember your cues! Cher, may I go to the infirmary? Ladies and gentlemen, Xavier School, Class of 2015.”

“And just like that everything dies down. As the sunlight starts to shine on your tired body, you emerge from the foliage and a gentle hush envelops you. From where you are, you overlook the whole land and the mountain you just climbed.”


The Xavier School experience was a mountain we’re all proud to have climbed. Now, you are at the peak of it all. But, what you see at that summit makes everything worth it. Relish the moment of being at the end of the journey and after receiving the kind of education Xavier wishes to instill in its students, you feel proud to face the future with your 293 brothers. As we end, keep that feeling of reaching the peak and hold onto it. And at the count of 3, I’d like you all to drift back to reality. 1, 2, 3 Now, quietly, with a BIG SMILE, look around you.


Look around and smile, Batch 2015. Because you’re looking at a wonderful view.


Thank you, Xavier School administrators, faculty and staff and beloved parents for keeping our lights shining. Whether Red, Green, Yellow, Blue, Maroon, Canada, Australia, USA whatever and wherever, remember, Blue and Gold always.

Jesu lux mundi, luceat lux nostra.

We made it. Congratulations, Batch 2015!

Thank and have a good evening, everyone.

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