The following is an edited excerpt from the valedictory speech of Martin Victor S. Melchor to the Class of 2023.
I am blessed and grateful for this chance to speak on behalf of my batchmates.
As a student-athlete, one of the hardest challenges that I had to face was the stereotype that I have long carried as a student-athlete. That is, we are meant to be good at sports but not at academics. There’s a good reason why people think this way. But the truth is, we are still expected to give our all during games and matches despite the exhausting after-class workouts and sleepless nights. Student-athletes are expected to perform well enough academically to maintain eligibility. And I am sure this situation is true to you, too. You have lived multifaceted lives too. Perhaps you were a working student, a student parent, a student athlete like me and our class salutatorian, or a regular student who had to juggle other priorities in life, too. After all, we are young adults with various responsibilities and roles, but allowed with occasional chances to have fun and be silly.
Fulfilling these responsibilities and overcoming these struggles would not be possible if it weren’t for the people who believed in us. I would like to extend my sincerest appreciation to the School President, Dr. Brian Vincent L. Belen, the FAITH Administration, the Sports Development Office, and our coaches for molding us into the persons we are today. To the consistently encouraging home of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Education, my sincere thank you.
To the FAITH College of Education Faculty, you have witnessed my beginning, it wasn’t a smooth sailing encounter, but, you have done such an incredible work teaching me how to surf with the waves.
I thank my batchmates especially to my teammates, friends, and classmates. You are more than just friends; you were home to me for the past five years. It has been such an incredible game – we won, we lost, we cried, we laughed, and we loved, all while being together. Thank you for the memories.
On behalf of my fellow graduates, I send our profuse gratitude to all the parents—you have provided us with the chance to enjoy the wonders of life, and without all of your hard work and sacrifices would not have been possible.
Lastly, dear God, this recognition is an offering to You. Thank You for all that You have made me become, and what You are preparing me to be.
Our institution’s teachings of competence, commitment, and compassion have enabled us to survive the worst, there is in this game called life. May we all take from them what is beautiful and worth remembering. The time we spent at this beloved institution served as a strong foundation so that we can enjoy a brighter future, not only for us, but also for our community.
To my fellow graduates do put a finger down if:
- You will offer every success you’ll have in the service of the institution;
- You will raise and hold the orange and blue banner in everything you will do;
- You will remain competent, committed, and compassionate to the work that you
- You will pass on the kindness exhibited by the FAITH colleges family to our community
and to the world; and lastly
- You are ready to face and brave the bright future built on strong foundations.
Always remember: Whatever it is that you do, may you be motivated to share all your victories to the community and to the world. Ad Astra First Asia!