Honored and privileged. If there are words that could best describe how I felt upon having the chance to speak in front of hundreds of people in an annual event, that would be honored and privileged. Honored that I felt so valued when they chose me as the person to deliver the testimonial speech. And privileged because this opportunity knocks only once.
To put it into context, let me lend to you the whole thing.. SCG Mariwasa in partnership with Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) is implementing their scholarship program for nine years already now. Hundreds of Junior and Senior high students across Batangas, Bulacan, Taguig and Tondo are benefiting from them. This program is the way of the company in giving back to the community. I was one of the pioneer batch; which could most probably be the reason why I was invited to talk during the event. And another, I am taking my internship at Mariwasa these days. I was designated to do the testimonial speech. I was glad yet so terrified to accept the invitation. Ayyy, lemme correct. It’s not an invitation technically. Sir Gilbert (one of my bosses) has just pushed me to do so since Winchelle (a friend of mine) has a very tight schedule to confirm on the event. I know I’m gonna feel bad if I will be denying the invitation, but I still accepted it.. with open arms.
It was just last Monday when my bosses enjoined me in n official business meeting in Fort Bonifacio. The managers, organizers and staff of the program had to make sure that the entire ceremony will be organized. They were paying attention to the smallest detail of the event which made me see the team more alluring. They’re really excellent!
The event will be at GT Toyota Asian Center Auditorium at UP Diliman. It was actually my first time to UP Diliman. Yes, shame on me… Shame on this UP student. I was so glad to be here. Gaaaaad! Malupit na pangarap. Thank you to the whole team of Mariwasa for giving this rare opportunity to me before I even graduate (hopefully syempre!). I was about to kiss the soil to show how flattered was I. Hahaha. Kidding, it was really good to see a parcel of the university campus I’ve been seeing in pictures before.
Let me give you a little background back then. *flashback* (naka-grayscale)
I got rejected when I applied on the very first time Mariwasa has offered this scholarship program in the school. For some odd reason, I was not qualified. It terribly broke my heart. It felt so sad to see your friends cheering for their success and me, I was left behind. But when a classmate of mine made a huge mistake which made her lost her scholarship, I applied again for the vacant slot. I did not know if I will be considered that time but thanks God, I did. But if ever not, I will still give myself a pat on my back and say, “at least I tried”. What I am trying to imply is that, it’s not wrong to get lost and be rejected, what’s wrong is not trying at all. I failed and I accepted it still with optimism. Failures will never overtake us if our determination to succeed is strong enough.
SCG Days with batchmates.
So there! Alam nyo na. Sanay na talaga akong nire-reject.
Going back, I got to see familiar faces in the crowd. My former adviser, Mam Carpio and the different coordinators from the four public secondary schools of Santo Tomas were there. They were with those new batch of high school SCG scholars and it felt so nostalgic again. Drama! It was already nine years ago since I was one of those that Mam Carpio has pushed to get on here. And I am very very thankful to her. It was also good to be with few of my bosses in the same event I’d always love to be at.
By the way, I was also invited as a speaker back in 2014 in SMX Convention Center, SM Aura where I got the chance to know more people especially these intelligent high school students. One of them would be Sheena, a friend of mine though we never had the chance to meet personally. But i’m looking forward to meet her really soon. Mind you, she’s really awesome!
Mam Carpio is more of a mother to me. She knows me since I was eleven and in my first year in high school. We still have the same mother-daughter relationship even we don’t get to see each other more often than before. She’s one of a kind.
But there’s a gist. I don’t know how to say this. But let me start from accepting the fact that I made something wrong. I felt like I sabotaged my own speech. I admit, I didn’t had enough time to prepare for it and more so, to practice. But I know, that was never an excuse. It just.. ahhh! (I really feel so shy to admit) I forgot some of the lines and it took me to empower these restless brain cells to make adlibs. And I was buckling up. I felt like I do not know what I was saying that time and it’s only ME who can understand the whole thing. But I am really hoping that they [specially the students] were able to catch my drift. I was purely intimidated by the BIG BOSSES in front of the stage and the crowd of intelligent minds, staring at me the whole time. Yeap, they are Thai’s and admit it, they are not that fluent in the English language (judgmental). But I felt much pressured and I failed to deliver my words most of the moments. With all those adlibs I have said, I did not even know if I was still making sense. I was looking at them and I felt that they did not know what I was damn saying to them that time. It’s horrible to see the reactions on their faces. But when I see the reactions coming from the students, I felt the feeling that I should continue and go on with my purpose.
I asked Sir AJ to take video of me and he did. I let 24hours to pass before I even watch the video of myself. I was just so afraid of the outcome and I felt that it’ll gonna chill me to the spine. Pathetic self-esteem! But when I finally got the courage to watch it, tadaaaa!
Honestly, I was contemplating if I’m gonna post this video on my social media accounts. I was afraid what people might think of me. But I did. I want to look back to it after some years. I need to say that I have grown up and I’ve learned more things in life. I’m gonna see someone gone far, far better than today.
Did you already judge me? Fine, though. I understand. I was not able to say all that I wanted to say– basically everything I have drafted in my speech. I skipped sentences and most of the things I said came from my words alone. I mean–impromptu. But I was saying the same thought, I believe. It’s just, I was not able to use the best words that I have written on a piece of paper and I’ve just used the words–THE MOST RANDOM WORDS– coming directly from my mouth. It felt so melancholic to think that I prepared a speech (kahit papano) and yet I came up not saying the same exact words. PATAWARIN NYO AKO!!!
I felt so disappointed with myself. And what’s worse is that, I felt that my bosses were so disappointed on me too. *tears* I held on Sir AJ’s (one of my bosses) arms as I get back to my designated seat near the VIPs. My hands were still shaking, my knees were trembling.
I was like: “OMYGOD, WALA AKONG KWENTA!” “I AM A LOSER”.. “I AM SUCH A FAILURE.” “WALANG TORYA YUNG SINABI KO KANINA.” “BAKIT AKO NAGKAMALI, ANG GAGA KO!” “I MADE A MESS.” “I AM A BIG MESS.” “I BELONG TO TRASH.” “WALA TALAGANG KWENTA.” “KAINIS!” “SHAME ON ME, BAD ASS”. “NGAWA AKO NANG NGAWA KANINA.” “SINAYANG KO LIMANG MINUTO NG BUHAY NILA!” “NAG-AKSAYA AKO NG KURYENTE”. Ako ay isang…………. oo, basically yun na nga.
Verbatim yan lahat ha!? Haha. Chosss!
Going back from the stage, I did not seat on the same seat I was sitting at the start of the program. Instead, I went to the last row (near the hall’s front door) where some of my bosses were comfortably sitting (Sir Gilbert, Mam Eva, Mam Angel, Sir AJ and Sir Radmar.) I said “Sorry” to them. They asked me why. I said that I was not this good public speaker anymore (if I used to be). They said that it’s okay cause I have delivered a good speech after all. But I still felt this strange feeling that they were just saying this to me to make me feel better. Sir Radmar (the manager) even said, “okay nga yun, spontaneous tsaka galing talaga sa puso mo”. Mam Eva even said the same thing. I was seated beside Sir Gilbert and I whispered, “Sir, hindi ka na ba proud sa’kin?” He said, “Bakit naman? Okay na okay naman ginawa mo ah”. I replied, “Kasi, Sir, baka na-disappoint kita.” And he said that he is proud of me no matter what happen and he’s supportive of me whatever it takes. I was so touched which added to the ounce of tears I was keeping after having my speech making it burst. I cried. Seriously. I did not manage to still contain my emotions and I cried in front of my bosses and manager. I hid my face on Sir Gilbert’s upper arms cause I cannot carry the tears I’ve been keeping for minutes. He joked that I am even better than the President and CEO since they had read their speeches written on a piece of paper. I laughed very lightly. He told me, “ika’y wag pinanghihinaan ng loob pagka ganun..” Mam Eva even said that this is part of life and much more frustrations are about to come when I started working in the corporate world. Mam Angel and Sir Radmar, who were sitting next to each other, were also telling me the similar thoughts. And they keep on telling me that everything turned out so well.
Hearing these words made me burst into tears even more. Tears went rolling down my face and I cannot stop them from falling down. Kapal ng mukha kong magdrama sa harap ng mga bosses ko noh? Dramarama sa hapon ang peg ko talaga! Literally.
Have you ever seen someone crying while watching children enthusiastically whirling their arses as they dance Trumpets? That person is none other than ME, MYSELF and I. Ano ba kasing nakakaiyak sa Trumpets? Hindi kasi nila ako sinali e, kaya ako naiyak. Haha. I don’t know why I felt so emotional upon delivering my testimonial speech. I just felt unsatisfied or nahhh.. I don’t know.
I was also crying when Mam Eva called my attention. Rapidly, I wiped my tears. She introduced me to the President of Mariwasa, Pres. Phaskorn Buranawit. Mam Eva told him that I am their intern for weeks now in the CHR (Corporate Human Resource). The President told me that I have shared beautiful insights and he thanked me for all of those. And I did the same. By the way, he was also in the office on the first day of my internship.
Mam Carpio, my high school adviser, approached me and asked something about the program, performance from SJNHS kiddos. I answered her but I still suggested that she consult that matter to Sir Gilbert so it’ll be more verifiable. I asked her before she left, “Mam, nabawasan na ba yung pagka-proud mo sa’kin?” She answered me with, “neng, kahit anong mangyari, hindi.”. And my heart melted.
Sir AJ, who has been my closest buddy during the event told me (frankly) that I was good that moment though. And it’s just me being so pessimistic over and over again. He said, he doesn’t sugar coat words and he’ll brutally tell me if I made it so horribly. But he said I didn’t. He just suggested that the next time I deliver speeches, I must make sure that I put more emotions on it so it’ll be more factual. This is something I would surely remember the next time I do so (if ever). I was also crying to Sir AJ that time. I felt really bad, really guilty and all the negative feelings in the world. This is my pessimistic side. I am afraid of committing mistakes especially when it involves somebody’s reputation. It’s like getting the mighty sword and eventually getting yourself killed. Sir AJ, who is also a very good Christian and a leader also has told me that maybe God has a deep reason why this happened. And maybe, it’s for me to learn something new in life. He said, “Tahan na, baka mamaya luha na yung sabaw mo”. Sir Gilbert and Mam Eva just told us to eat outside so we’ll get prepared for the icebreaker (a personality test) on the afternoon session. So we went to eat our early-pero-late-na-rin lunch, few minutes before 1pm.
A teacher (I guess from Bulacan) approached me while eating,
T: Neng, ikaw yung nag-speech kanina di ba? Congratulations! Ganda ng sinabi mo.
Me: (Really shocked, parang ganito O_O ) Mam, thank you po. Pero hindi ko po na-perfect kasi madami na po ako in-adlib dun. Hindi ko po kasi na-memorize. Sorry po ha?
T: Ayy binasa mo ba yung speech mo? Hindi naman di ba?
Me: Ayy hindi naman po.. madami lang po talaga akong naging mali kanina.
T: Talaga? hindi halata ha. Ang galing mo. Congrats neng!
Sir AJ: Oh naniwala ka na?
Mam Leah, who just joined us in the table, also told me that I did a good job and it was not obvious that I made too many mistakes. She was the emcee of the program (along with Sir Kyle) and the persons who can see the reactions of the people in the crowd. This has made me believe that the result was somehow good.
It was already 1pm and it’s time for us to go back to the auditorium and the students were all getting outside for their prolonged lunch. When we got back, I and Sir AJ along with other staffs organized the materials for the icebreaker. Then two students asked me if I can have a photo with them. “Ate, pwede po magpa-picture? Sobra po ako na-inspire sa mga sinabi nyo kanina.” I said, “Sorry ha, halata nyo yata na nagkamali ako. Sorry talaga.” One of them said, “Talaga po? Parang hindi naman po.” *Selfiessss* There! I thanked them, asked them to add me on Facebook and tag me the photos. I was so flattered upon hearing those words. And they made me feel better.
Coming from the perspectives of each of the various stakeholders of the event, I somehow felt good. I am gradually believing that what I did was worthy and I made it good. It’s just me who keep on wallowing on the negative thoughts in the world where in fact there are too many positive things people can see from me. I must start believing in myself so that others can believe on me too … even more.
Ah, the personality test! The icebreaker, yes. I was assessed under the Corrective type of personality. Under this category, a person who has this personality is somehow who is near to be considered as “genius”. Ohha! Yan ang sinasabi sa hula e. Haha! They think critically and plan things efficiently. However, they are afraid of criticisms. EXACTLY. These hold true to me. Sir AJ, by the way, also fall on the same category too. My boss, Sir AJ had made the icebreaker very lively. He’s one of the best public speakers I’ve known and I’m wishing to be like him someday. He’s one of those I bow my head down.
It’s time to get back to the office in Batangas. I had a good time to be here once again. This was not just an opportunity for me to get exposed again in public. This has also became a sanctuary where I learned too many things in life, as I have been mentioning in my speech. I’ve realized that I do not need to be perfect as long as I know that I am doing my best. I do not need the same exact words to express myself. I just have to be myself, always. That, my goal is not to impress but to express. Some may not believe in me, but I know, there’s my soul who firmly believe in everything that I can.
Another realization of mine is that, it’s never wrong to make mistakes and get lost along the road. What’s wrong is not getting up again. There will always be upheavals as we go on with our lives. But from all these mistakes, we learn and eventually we’ll see ourselves growing up. Mistakes are part of life and you cannot resist them from coming over. What we can always do is to accept them with optimism and move on with our lives.
In the test of committing mistakes, you would see who’s true to you and those who are not. In this phase of your life, you can filter the people surrounding you. Because only those REAL persons will stick by your side no matter how worst you become. And those who will leave upon knowing that you failed are the persons that must be put on the shredder! They are the persons who will be by your side during the best moments in your life. But during your worst, they’ll just leave you hanging. And we do not need them in our lives. Surround yourself with positive people because they will radiate the same positive aura back to you.
Last realization, ang hirap umiyak habang nakasuot ng contact lenses!
In the long run, I know I made it well.
If you’re still a student and is reading this (malamang), continue soaring up high! Soar the boundless horizon. Follow your dreams and keep aspiring for what is best. Value your education with all your heart. Because education will inch you closer to a better tomorrow promised to you. And when you have already established your dreams and is prepared enough to be part of the labor force, I advise you not to choose the best job. Choose the best boss. In the industrial world, it’s not your work per se that help you grow. It’s the life lessons you learn from your mentors. And I am so grateful that I had the best bosses in my practicum at Mariwasa.
On August, I will be getting back to UP once more. And I am hoping to finally graduate on December. As I go back, I will forever keep this moment to my heart which undoubtedly add much more beautiful colors during my internship. I will forever be thankful to this scholarship program I once had in my life.
To the newest batch of SCG scholars, CONGRATULATIONS! Salute on you! May you continue paving the best ways of your life. To the teachers and coordinators, thank you for inching us towards this kind of peculiar opportunities. Thank you for all the sacrifices and the trust you bestowed upon us.
SHARING THE DREAM.
To SCG, Mariwasa, PBSP and the rest of the organizers and staff, thank you for that very wonderful moment. To my bosses, thank you for never giving up on me and continuously training me the things I need to know in life. To my high school teachers and college professors, thank you for the strong foundation I had. Everything I learned has really been purposeful through these years. To my family, you are my strongest support and I owe everything to you. And to God, thank you for all these things–from the smallest to the biggest–they made me who am I today. And to everyone who keep believing in my capabilities and strength, still proud of me no matter what it takes, and continuously accept tje person I am incrementally becoming, thank you for staying with me. *flying kiss*
To you all, THANK YOU SO MUCH from the bottom of my heart!
I got back home not anymore with a heavy heart.. but with a happy heart this time.