Today is the 33rd Commencement Exercises of Mindanao State University – General Santos City, held at the mighty university gymnasium. MSU’s highest officials were there, such as the MSU Board of Regents, Officials of the MSU System, and Officials and Heads of MSU-General Santos. But who took the center of the graduates’, parents’, faculty’s, and guests’ attention was none other than the commencement speaker himself – Sen. Antonio “Sonny” Fuentes Trillanes IV.
Here are some information about our Honorable guest:
Date of Birth: August 6, 1971
Place of Birth: Caloocan City
Spouse: Arlene G. Orejana
- Bachelor of Science in Electronics and Communication Engineering (De La Salle University, 1991)
- Philippine Military Academy Cadet (Philippine Military Academy, Cum Laude, 1995)
- Master in Public Administration (MPA) in Public Policy and Program Management (University of the Philippines, 2002)
The Senator has chaired and currently chairs several government offices and committees.
He has co-authored and/or passed into law twenty bills including RA 10054 (Motorcycle Act of 2009), RA 10121 (Philippine Disaster Risk Reduction and Management System Act of 2010), and RA 9593 (Tourism Act).
The commencement services started around half past eight. There were at least eleven hundred graduates and after two hours of conferring diplomas, finally, Sen. Trillanes took the microphone and delivered his piece.
Impressively, he did not flavor his message with any political hints. It was partly impersonal and 100% non-political. There were three things he emphasized: integrity, determination, and loyalty. He said that “Mas mabuti nang ikaw ang malamangan, kaysa ikaw ang manglamang” (It’s better if you had been advantaged, than for you to take advantage). It was spoken out of honesty, and I believed him. Secondly, he encouraged the graduates to rise above all failures and to be determined to achieve their dreams. Lastly, he talked about giving back – to the family, to the university, and to the country – all the graces that come their way. He also urged the graduates to be inspired in all their endeavors and to find peace and enjoyment in everything. As he put, “life is about the pursuit of happiness”.
He also promised to allocate some funds for the upgrading of the university's facilities. Yesterday, baccalaureate speaker, Department of Agriculture Assistant Director Teodoro S. Solsoloy, already awarded 8 million pesos to the university, specifically to the colleges of Fisheries and Agriculture.
Sen. Trillanes’ speech was short, at most five minutes if the introduction and greetings were taken out. It was brief, but very inspiring. It was one of the sincerest things I have heard from a politician. In his speech, he did not make an example of himself or glorify his achievements. He plainly laid out his message with truthful and moving words. And for that, I look up to him.
He truly took the heart of the crowd. Even prior to his speech, everyone, especially the graduates, were fond of him. There were constant cheering and giggles every time he stood up and awarded the diplomas.
More than Sen. Trillanes, the essence of the ceremony is to celebration the fruits of labor of our dear students. For five years or more of toil on the challenging grounds of MSU, they finally earned their degree.
For me, we have produced brilliant graduates this year. I can only hope for their success in life in the competitive world of independence and adulthood.