You can’t imagine how proud I was attending your graduation in Xavier School with your Tita Miggie and your father. Your Lolo, Nana and your whole family, everyone is so proud of you. None of us your uncles attended Xavier, your uncles Tim, Noel graduated from St Jude, George and I from St Peter. Your father attended St Jude and later graduated from LSGH. They are all good, reputable schools none of them have the prestige and exclusivity of Xavier in terms of size and tuition.
As I entered the sports complex I saw the array of classy vehicles from the well to do families that have their children graduating in Xavier. It reminded me of the many alumni who have become prominent in politics, industry and even sports. For someone of your age who is surrounded by success, wealth and people who can afford luxurious lives, however it’s easy to get lost.
This is just a gentle reminder to ask yourself especially at your age; what is Xavier really about? Now that I’ve graduated are wealth, fame, luxury really the values they’re teaching? Are these my own goals?
The only person who can answer these questions is you.
I’m just a humble writer all I can give you are words. I’m just a photographer all I can give you are pictures. Words for me come and go they only become important when we as people give them power. We read them, believe in them and then put them to action. That’s when mere words become transformative and change our lives for the better. I’ll tell you now words I’ve written myself are not important enough for YOU to live by.
But then just before all of you threw your caps to the air, all of you recited a pledge. When I heard them, I read them from the screen that’s when I realized what Xavier is supposed to be about. The pledge seems to be at odds with what you’re surrounded with. Surely following it is difficult, impossible and most of all self-sacrificial. The more I THOUGHT of them reflected on them I realized the pledge is not for God, for country or for others, it’s a path for YOUR own happiness.
As far as I’m concerned you can forget all the academics. The one thing you can and should hold on to is your Xavier pledge. They are not my words, they were written long before you and I were born. They will help you find the answer on your own, the all-important question of WHY. So read them again, think about them, look around you. Not everything that shines is gold. You will find that just striving to follow the pledge you made will give you fulfillment.
Grateful for my Xavier Education,
do solemnly pledge to live faithfully
according to the ideals of Xavier School.
I shall value the heritage of my forefathers
and fulfill my duties
as a responsible Filipino citizen.
I pledge to uphold my humanity
and the dignity of every person.
In the spirit of Magis,
I promise to develop my God-given talents
and to share them with those most in need.
I shall work with others
to build a more just, humane, and Christian society.
I choose to follow Christ, our Lord,
as my Leader and Model.
It is He, the Light of the World,
who will make my light shine.
May I live as a “man for others,”
one who is “fully alive,
endowed with a passion for justice,
and the skills for development.”
In making this Xavier Pledge,
I ask only for this:
that I find greater meaning in my life,
and that I make a difference in the lives of others.
This I pledge before my school,
my family, and my God.