Word of Welcome – Antonio Lorenzo Tan ’15 – Xavier Awardee

Image from Lorina Tan’s Instagram account.

Editor’s Note: The following was delivered by Antonio Lorenzo Y. Tan, a Xavier Awardee from the Xavier School Class of 2015, 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.

Xavier School President, Fr. Aristotle Dy S.J., Esteemed guest speaker for today, Congressman Dakila Cua, Xavier High School Principal, Ms. Aimee Apolinario, school administrators, guests, teachers, and fellow classmates!

Good afternoon!

It’s an honor to be able to speak in front of you. Before anything else, I’d like to formally thank the presence of school administrators, teachers that have continuously inspired us with life-long lessons, and the whole-hearted support of family and friends. We highly appreciate the time each one of you has allotted for this graduation ceremony. In the same way, I’d like to invite everyone to celebrate this joyous occasion as one community.

Although, we all come from very diverse backgrounds, we’ve been granted the Xavier education for a reason. Honestly, my first impression of Xaverians is that they are mischievous, outgoing, and most importantly approachable people. A known fact for members of the community is that the word Xaverian is spelled as “X-A-V-E-R-I-A-N.” I’ve always wondered why “I” was omitted between V and E. I’m not really sure about the spelling behind it, but I think that losing the “I” is the essence of what Xavier School has taught us over the years. It is genuine compassion and self-giving service that defines true Xaverians, a man not of his own, but truly a man for others. In that we lose ourselves, do we find our “I’s” in the larger community called “Xavier,” now spelled with an “I”

What does the “I” entail in Xavier? In that we lose our “I’s,” we find it instead in the larger community. When we helped build house in Bantayan Island for Gawad Kalinga, we separated ourselves form everything we had, and gave ourselves to others, to some extent. It was not expected that by having nothing, we were able to clarify our identity and true desires, and found that simplicity actually draws out the inner person that each one of us seeks. Separation oftentimes allows people to drift away from each other, but life’s unpredictable nature gives people a chance to cross each other’s paths. It’s the nature of this unpredictability that makes life interesting.

One would realize that the degree of effort placed on single subjects would not necessarily be equal to the degree of return. To put it simply, life is just very unpredictable. Surely, each and every person here has encountered difficulties that have immensely challenged one’s capabilities. May it be from cramming late night work for some of us, or simply looking for a suitable ball date: It is impossible to see each twist and turn beforehand. For this reason, most of us would often find that the future draws out fear more than curiosity. It’s a combination of destiny and decision in shaping our own future. Being afraid of it is natural, but take away the fear, and you have endless opportunities on your doorstep.

Ask the guy beside you about his future, and chances are he wouldn’t know. What comes next is very much uncertain. We’ll all take different paths in life, but in the end we are all Xaverians, one batch, one community, and one body. With the knowledge acquired from the halls of this very school, I believe that we are capable of making a difference in society. We are tasked to take on a greater challenge of living up to the ideals of true Xaverians in the life ahead. Education has equipped us with necessary skills to envision dream and goals that would turn into reality, if we choose to do so. To conclude, I’d like to end with a quote I found: “There are two ways of living your life. It’s either you write something worth reading, or live a life worth writing about.”

Luceat Lux!

Thank you and good afternoon!

(ORIGINAL TEXT)

尊敬的光启总校长陈孟利神父,尊敬的主讲嘉宾,Dakila Cua,尊敬的中学校长, Ms. Aimee Apolinario,以及学校的各位领导,来宾,亲爱的老師们,同学们,大家下午好!

非常荣幸能代表全体毕业生在此讲话。首先请允许我向关心我们的学校领导,幸勤教导我们的老師和支持我们的家人及朋友们至以最诚挚的问候和最衷心的感谢!感谢你们在百忙中拨冗出席今天的毕业典礼,与我们共享此刻的喜悦!

Although, we all come from very diverse backgrounds, we’ve been granted the Xavier education for a reason. Honestly, my first impression of Xaverians is that they are mischievous, outgoing, and most importantly approachable people. A known fact for members of the community is that the word Xaverian is spelled as “X-A-V-E-R-I-A-N.” I’ve always wondered why “I” was omitted between V and E. I’m not really sure about the spelling behind it, but I think that losing the “I” is the essence of what Xavier School has taught us over the years. It is genuine compassion and self-giving service that defines true Xaverians, a man not of his own, but truly a man for others. In that we lose ourselves, do we find our “I’s” in the larger community called “Xavier,” now spelled with an “I”

What does the “I” entail in Xavier? In that we lose our “I’s,” we find it instead in the larger community. When we helped build house in Bantayan Island for Gawad Kalinga, we separated ourselves form everything we had, and gave ourselves to others, to some extent. It was not expected that by having nothing, we were able to clarify our identity and true desires, and found that simplicity actually draws out the inner person that each one of us seeks. Separation oftentimes allows people to drift away from each other, but life’s unpredictable nature gives people a chance to cross each other’s paths. It’s the nature of this unpredictability that makes life interesting

总而言之,生活就像一段充满未知的旅程,我们每个人都会在这个旅程中遇见各种各样的挑战,也许是你为了学习奋战到深夜,或是你为寻找一个合适的舞伴而绞尽脑汁,但无论面对什么困境,都是对我们的考验,我们无法预料它何时出现。因此,对于未来,我们当中的大多数人是害怕多过期盼,可是我们坚信自己的人生由自己主宰,只要我们战胜了困难,勇敢接受人生的挑战,就会有无数的机会展现在我们面前,引领我们走向成功。

Ask the guy beside you about his future, and chances are he wouldn’t know. What comes next is very much uncertain. We’ll all take different paths in life, but in the end we are all Xaverians, one batch, one community, and one body. With the knowledge acquired from the halls of this very school, I believe that we are capable of making a difference in society. We are tasked to take on a greater challenge of living up to the ideals of true Xaverians in the life ahead. Education has equipped us with necessary skills to envision dream and goals that would turn into reality, if we choose to do so. To conclude, I’d like to end with a quote I found: “There are two ways of living your life. It’s either you write something worth reading, or live a life worth writing about.”

最后我衷心地祝福我最敬爱的师长们身体健康,工作顺利,同时也祝愿我最亲爱的同学们在未来的人生旅程中无惧挑战,展翅飞翔!

Luceat Lux!

Thank you and good afternoon!

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