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  • Writer's pictureLeonora Lo-oy

BSU's 1st summa cum laude shares ordeals on road to success


Growing up in an economically challenged family, Benguet State University’s first Summa Cum Laude relayed that she only had her dreams and aspirations.


Breaker of 107-year-old record Vjnhyl Zam Alvendia Pondivida mentioned this when she took the stage this Friday, July 21, to deliver her valedictory address in front of BSU’s graduating class of 2023.


The 22-year-old native of Pozorrubio, Pangasinan, highlighted her valediction with three lessons she learned in her college journey, using ‘dagat’ or sea as her metaphor to mark her points.


“Sabi nga nila ang buhay raw ay parang dagat, minsan mapayapa, minsan ay puno ng naglalakihang alon. Madalas ay mahirap hulaan ngunit ang pagdaloy nito ay hindi kailanman napipigilan,” she said.

Lesson 1: ‘Pagkilala sa Sarili’


Vjnhyl shared she came from a penniless family which opened her eyes to ‘grim realities’ and hardships even at a young age.


“I was empty handed and all I have are the aspirations,” she narrated.


This financial difficulty, however, didn’t stop her from pursuing her dreams, stressing she wanted to see what will happen if she continue to ‘dive and cross the sea’.


“Kaya ako ay lumangoy. I overcome the waves of challenges, the battles, the fears, the adversities thrown upon me and I realized my greater potentials and my contributions that I will make in the society,” she added.


Lesson 2: ‘Pagtanggap sa Hamon’


The Summa Cum Laude acknowledged the obstacles faced by people when pursuing their dreams, citing the Covid-19 pandemic as an example on the part of the learners.


“Most of us fear the ocean because it has the ability to drown us. Alam ko na habang nilalangoy natin ang ating mga pangarap, nilulunod tayo ng iba’t ibang dagok,” she expressed.


Standing there clad in an academic gown is a testament to one’s success after having been challenged for at least four years by the demanding and draining university life, she pointed out.


“Napakalayo na ng narating natin at malayo pa ang tatahakin. Pero ngayon ay isang salamin ng ating pagtatagumpay,” she conveyed.


Lesson 3. ‘Hayaan at Panatilihing Dumadaloy ang Sarili sa Lipunan’


Being a community volunteer and a writer of development stories, Vjnhyl emphasized, “kasama lagi sa pag-uugat ng mga pangarap ay ang pagtulong, pagdamay, at pakikipagkapwa.”


As she urged the 1,834 graduates of BSU Class 2023 to find their ‘niche, excel, and grow’, Vjnhyl quoted a line she heard from Professor Paul Joseph Nuval who said, “you are a beautiful fish in the aquarium, but who are you in the ocean?”


“We are all adored in our college and in BSU, now as we exit the gates of our alma mater, who are we in the ocean?” she challenged.


Vjnhyl concluded her speech by enjoining her fellow to, “humayo, makipagsapalaran, maglakbay, at lumangoy ng may husay at saysay.”

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