Rock Ed Iloilo – Tribute to the Valedictorians
Iloilo City, 03.2006

Note: March is the end of the school year. Rock Ed Philippines together with Rotary Metro-Iloilo and Rotary-Itako, Japan paid tribute to the young people who graduated on top of their classes. It was a day of fellowship, honor, and hope. Noel Cabangon and I had the opportunity to address the group. I have no words to describe the renewed optimism I feel after meeting them. Instead of writing an article, let me just share with you quotes from some of the valedictorians of Iloilo:

Hold on to your ideals. This world lacks idealism. This world exists without a vision. Help change that reality.
Never be afraid to dream of change. No matter how impossible it may seem, pursue it. Who knows, everyone else might just be as afraid as you are. Thus, ignite them! Start the revolution. Only then can you truly say that you have contributed something to what the world COULD BE someday.

Maria Jilyn C. Almendros
Colegio de las Hijas de Jesus

As we all know, there are a lot of out-of-school youths out there who want to go to school but they cannot. My message goes to those students who can go to school but don’t value education --- so I say to them make use of the opportunity given to you, you are blessed. Make yourself productive.

Serren Lor Gallinero
University of San Agustin Iloilo

The Youth should not be afraid to dream big and aim high. The dreams and goals we have will always help us in the future. We should also just enjoy what we do and continue to explore the world for the world will always help us and give us something we will benefit in the future.

Jennifer G. Gallego
Colegio de Sagrado Corazon de Jesus

If I will be President, I will first control illiteracy so that if all people will be educated, they will have a job to earn a living and hunger will be controlled.

Kathrina Joyce B. Lozano
Hope Baptist Academy

If I were President, my first project is to have an intensive law making that would fight poverty and promote peace in our nation.

Jay Ann F. Magnipis
Ramon Avanceña National High School

If I were the President of the Philippines, the first thing that I would do is to give proper education to the people, especially to the youth.

Aelar Mat D. Laspiñas
University of Iloilo, HS Department

As witness of the countless impediments that stain education, it would be my top priority as president to improve the education system of the country through increasing the budget program that would cater to competent teachers and add school facilities.

Henry Gomez Jr.
Western Visayas College of Science and Technology

If I were president of the country, the first thing that I would do is hold a reconciliation activity for the sectoral and non-sectoral groups in our country. Where there is peace, there is progress.

Ada Marie Kristina P. Gabanes

If I became President of the Philippines, the first thing I would do is to have a love and peace program in our nation. Because Filipinos now, especially the youth, are not united. We should stop rallies, war etc. We could spend our time better than that. We must develop our unity and love for the purpose of our country building.

Ryan T. Magbawa
Manchurriao National High School

I will do my best to lessen poverty by constructing projects that will be a big help to oppressed people. I would educate people so they will have the chance to pursue their dreams. In short, I will help in fulfilling their dreams.

Kaye S. Young
Buntatala National High School.

Our gratitude to the gentlemen of Metro Iloilo’s Rotary. Especially to Paul Francia, MD who single-handedly coordinated Rock Ed’s participation in this historic event. Watch out for Rock Ed Iloilo’s upcoming projects.

Text: Gang Badoy
Photo Credit: Jake Verzosa © 2006