Thursday, April 22, 2010

Truly a First Honor in All Aspects

Micho Santillan, valedictorian of the 2009-2010 high school graduating class, is the eldest son of Charlito and May Santillan. During the 41st Commencement Exercises of the St. Francis of Assisi School of Silay City Foundation, Inc. last March 27, 2010, Micho also received the following awards: the St. Francis of Assisi Award, Loyalty Award, Most Industrious, Attendance Award, Leadership Award, Subject Excellence Awards in Math, Filipino, Science and English, Literary and Cultural Awards in Theater Arts and Declamation, and Best in Sports.

Valedictory Address – Micho Santillan
March 27, 2010

Ms. Mic, teachers, parents, classmates, friends and guests, a pleasant morning to you all. For twelve years, St. Francis has been a special workshop where I explored and discovered new worlds. Here I acted, sang, danced, studied, played, competed and, most important, grew into the person I am today. The road I traveled during these 12 years was rough. Every step I took demanded sacrifices, toil and sweat. But when I decided to set off on this road, I also knew that God would be my faithful companion. He equipped me with intelligence, talents, skills, supportive parents and family to help me survive the journey. Along the way, He enriched me further with teachers and friends. Like many of you here, I come from a poor family. But I never lacked for love, care, support and attention. They provided me with everything I needed although it often meant money worries and debts to pay. My parents taught me how to be responsible, humble and disciplined. They trusted me enough to allow me the freedom to try new experiences thus opening new horizons for me. Ma and Pa, how fortunate I am to be your son! To the parents of the graduating seniors and sixth graders, you deserve a thousand hugs and kisses for allowing us to be a part of St. Francis of Assisi School. Within these walls, we have had the chance to develop physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. We feel ready to face the future because our teachers have taught us how to live life fully. Their care, concern and encouragement have helped us persevere through the trials and hardships. Whatever success we might achieve in the future, they are a part of it. Classmates, during these high school years, we have dreamed and achieved, succeeded and failed, laughed and wept. Together we made sweet and sour memories. In spite of our many differences, we still managed to unite our minds, hearts and spirits to form an enduring bond. Our time together is now coming to an end. Parting is so very hard. But take heart in knowing that there will always be the One who has guided us throughout these years, the One who lifted us when we were down. He is our beloved God. He is and will always be with you. Never forget this. Had I studied in another high school, I may have turned out differently. But God gave me two people who made it possible for me to remain in St. Francis. They know me better than other people do. Their words of wisdom and encouragement have kept me growing. Ms. Ging and Sir Mike, thank you for supporting my education and boosting my self-esteem throughout the years. You have been and will continue to be my other Mom and Dad. Each of us present here is a champion. We are champions not because we have won gold medals but because we work to inspire and touch other people’s lives. To my coach Sir Matthew Ledesma, thank you for training me and others to always play like a champion. Let me part from you with these words: “The man who succeeds is not always the most intelligent nor the strongest but the man who thinks HE CAN!” Don’t let failure keep you down. Stand up again and again. Keep moving forward. Keep the fire of the Search-In spirit burning bright within your hearts and always say “yes” to life! Batch 2010, congratulations. To my family, teachers, classmates and friends, thank you for being a part of my life. May God bless us all.

Monday, April 19, 2010

SFAS is Proud of You!

Joseph Glenn Ocnila, former student (and graduated 6th grade in 2006) of St. Francis of Assisi School of Silay City, won first place at the poster-making contest sponsored by La Consolacion College last March 24, 2010. He received a medal, 1000 pesos, and a 100% scholarship in the said college. For Joseph, the experience was “memorable,” “worthwhile” and one he “will truly treasure”. In an email he wrote to Sir Mike and Ms. Ging Graham, Joseph thanked them both for sharing their knowledge and words of wisdom as well as their support.