Inspirational Speech of Ms. Marilou Tabije-Halls of Batch 1973

December 3, 2009 at 4:38 am 1 comment

I stand here before you to acknowledge and express my heartfelt gratitude to our Alma Mater-the Divine Word Academy of Dagupan City,who has been the pillar and beacon, not only of my academic achievements but more importantly of my spiritual journey on earth.

It was thirty six years ago in March 1973 when I left the portals of our dear Alma Mater to pursue higher education here and overseas;and experience life with its trimmings of fleeting success,evanescent joys,poignant sorrows and seemingly insurmountable challenges.
Today, we have all come together again to reminisce our nostalgic past;rejoice and celebrate our mid -life years;and unconditionally share our skills, our time and our modest resources to our Alma Mater.In short , this Re-union”is the most apt occasion to practise the very foundation of our Roman Catholicism-the 3 theological virtues of Faith,Hope and most importantly-charity- the unconditional, unselfish and altruistic love-the love that Mother Teresa exemplified whilst on earth where she would always say that “true charity means giving one’s love or help or time to anyone until it hurts.”

Allow me to share with you the untold story of my family.

My three sisters and I (we are the last four girls from a family of six girls and one boy) finished our education here through the indefatigable efforts of my mother who toiled as a very humble and lowly gardener,cleaner and altar decorator of St. Therese Church.In return for my mother’s untiring labor, and with the condition that we maintain excellent school marks,Fr. Henry Schmitz, the then Director of the school allowed us to gain Catholic education which will become the bulwark and cornerstone of our future and of our life.My parents have given us the best gift- that is the “Gift of Going Without’- the gift of going through life with very little or no material wealth at all, yet have immense abundance of faith and providence from God,Our Father.My parents especially my beloved Mother,had left an indelible impression upon us for their natural and unpretentious simplicity in life;their unspeakable virtue of humility and love for lowly and manual work;their stoic and unruffled, yet cheerful and buoyantly optimistic disposition to live in material poverty;and their staunch and sublime faith in God who is their Provider and Protector.St Therese of the Little Flower, the patron saint of DWAD, who lived a simple,humble and short life of 24 years,was my parents’ intercessor in their august life on earth. I owe my life to my parents and I thank God for giving me a loving and God-fearing mother and father.

My sisters,Benedicta,Bella,Maria Consuelo and I were very shy,timid and unassuming pupils in our student years at DWAD. However, through the wonderful encouragement and support of Ms. Vilma Masadao Crisologo, our English Grammar and Literature Teacher,we modestly excelled academically-gaining scholastic award;and upholding and bequeathing in our respective Class will and Testament, the legacy of “Fluency and Facility of the English Language” from Benedicta graduating in 1971, down to me in 1973 and then to Bella in 1975.Unfortunately,Maria Consuelo became blind in Year Four;consequently,she was not able to continue her education in this scholl as there were no Special Education resources like Braille books, tlaking computers,etc. for the totally and partially blind students.

From the bottom of our hearts, my sisters and I gracioulsy thank Ms. Masadao for believing in us; recognizing our skills,talents and capabilities;and for advocating social justice-that is promoting equal opportunity for everyone regardless of color,race , creed and status in life.Indeed, Ms. Masadao, has done the rel,actual and pure task of a mentor in us.

Also, I shall always remember and be eternally grateful to my mother’s dearest friend and “brother-cum-confidante”- Mr. Toribio Cervantes, one of the longest serving foreman and carpenter of the school, who is now happily retired with contentment and peace with his family here in Dagupan City.Manong Toribio, as we fondly call him, has been a stalwart proponent of integrity and love of manual labor.During his time, he took pride in his projects of building St. Therese Church and its surroundings,constructing the grotto of Our Lady in the school and doing carpentry,painting,cleaning,etc , in the school and church grounds with such vigor and vitality,honesty and humility.He is the unsung hero of the school and St. Therese Church.

Let us now then reflect on our personal and individual achievements in life and give back to our school and to our fellow alumni a part of our modest resources, ample skills and time and whatever we can give or do as an act of appreciation and gratitude to our Alma Mater.I sincerly hope and pray that we may be able to inspire and encourage one another and enkindle in the minds of our children the cardinal values of justice,prudence,temperance and fortitude.We, the alumni of DWAD, must stand firm and resolute to be responsible parents and mentors to our offspring;to be morally upright citizens of our nation;and to be true and good practicing Catholics in words and in deed.
Long live the Divine Word Academy of Dagupan!

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The Opening Prayer bt Artemio Cheng,Jr. WELCOME REMARKS DWAD Alumni Homecoming November 21, 2009

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Ed Gagnon  |  December 12, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    Good and meaningful values that are established in childhood and held true as an adult are the keys to preventing the many social and political ills of society.
    The Value of Values
    http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/thevalueofvalues.html

    An individual’s values are established in childhood and serve as filters when determining right from wrong throughout the person’s life. In today’s society, the process of establishing values within children is given little concern. People place greater emphasis on day to day activities and personal ambitions, than they do on the establishment of values within their children. By default, parents are teaching their children that values such as integrity, respect for life, courage of conviction, a purposeful life and generosity, are secondary to making a living.

    In truth, there is nothing preventing us from being true to good and meaningful values, nor is anything preventing us from teaching our values to our children. It is a matter of priorities; a matter of choice.

    In the “The Value of Values” you will learn why a transition to a more values-conscious society is important. You will learn exactly what is needed from each individual and the activities that will sustain the drive. “The Value of Values” is a must read for every parent that is concerned about our society and the challenges our children will be facing.

    We have three possible choices:
    1) Do nothing different than that which we have been doing. Complacently accept things as they are and will be.
    2) Hope that someone else will make the needed changes within our society, despite the fact it has yet to be done, and no one displays the integrity needed to influence an entire society.
    3) Accept our personal responsibility to our children. Accept that real change is not passed down from leaders, but rather, it is driven up from the people. Accept the fact that we each have within us the ability and incentive to make things different for our children and grand children.

    The choice we make today will determine the society of tomorrow.

    Reply

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