Last June 22, 2016, the Grade School Department held their annual Reading of Honors at the Angelo King Multi-Purpose Center.
The following is a speech delivered by Rene Antonio Tan (XS ’16). Rene is an incoming Freshman at the University of the Philippines, Diliman. He will be taking up Biology in preparation to becoming a doctor.
Fr. Ari Dy, our School President, Mrs. Jane Cacacho, Grade School Principal, administrators, faculty and staff, fellow Xaverians, good morning!
Hello! I’m Rene Tan. I’m also known as Momay to my family, friends, and teachers here in Xavier School. Today marks the first time I come back to Xavier as an alumnus. That’s funny, a bit weird, and exciting all at the same time as just about a few weeks ago, I was exactly where all of you are sitting down today.
Last week, my friends and I went out together to watch a movie. We waited for almost 13 years for this movie to be released in theaters: Finding Dory. Funny thing is, I’m always reminded of something every time I see Dory on the screen besides kid Momay in the theater watching Finding Nemo. It is school. Specifically, Xavier School because of Dory’s blue and yellow color combination that screamed out Xavier to me.
There were moments in my adventures in Xavier when I felt like Dory. No, I don’t have short-term memory loss like Dory in the film, but rather, there were some moments in my Xavier journey that I felt I was lost and had no idea where I was going.
I tried many sports, yes, I really did despite that fact not being that obvious. I tried basketball and football, and I even became a varsity member of the School’s bowling team. I tried out for many clubs and committees in Grade School and High School, where there were times I didn’t end up getting in. And before I even became SC President last year, I lost running as SC President in Grade School and Batch Rep later on in High 1. Was I meant to lead? Or was I destined to fail? I was really unsure back then.
Sad as it may seem, I learned something really important. And that kept me going.
Getting lost doesn’t mean that it is all over; that you’ve reached the end. No matter how lost you may feel, you will always find your way back home. As Dory says in the film, “there is always a way.” And there will always be one no matter how hard things may seem. Don’t be afraid to get lost and try out everything you can. That’s how I found my way back to becoming a leader, and boy was that an adventure!
If it weren’t for me losing and getting lost, I would have never met the people who made my Xavier life memorable, and never made this adventure, one I’ll never forget. Losing doesn’t equate to an automatic failure, because in losing, you gain so much more than other people could ever tell you. You’ll learn more about yourself, what you’re good at and what you’re really not destined to do. That was one of the most meaningful takeaways I’ve learned in my entire life. (Really.)
As my Xavier journey ended a few weeks ago, yours is as fresh as it ever can be. Xavier School is full of opportunities to grow and learn. I never really realised how much Xavier moulded me into who I am today until the first time I stepped into the different universities. The different lessons and experiences I had in my journey here will always be something I will look back to and use as a safeguard to get me through another unclear yet exciting adventure ahead. So carpe diem. Seize the day boys.
One day, when we bump into each other again, I’ll be more than happy to share with you my new adventures in UP. And hopefully, you’ll all have an adventure as fun and meaningful as I had that I will really be excited to hear about. I wish you all the best, and remember, there’s always a way. Just keep swimming, and you’ll find your way back home.
Thank you and luceat lux!