Members of CITE Board, Chairman Mr. Jose Soberano III, President Oscar Rodriguez, Apex President Dr. Walter Brown, Engr. Ruben Laraya, scholarship grantors, industry partners, faculty and staff, dear parents, and fellow scholars, a pleasant morning to all of you.
It is no surprise to all of you that most of the APEX scholars are small-scale miners back home in Compostela Valley. We spend hours in rivers and streams looking for the yellow thing. And I’m not talking about catching Pokemon here. We sift through the sands and gravels that settle at the bottom of the river to separate quartz or nuggets of gold from other rock forms. This is called placer mining.
You all know that all gold deposits started as hardrock formations and stayed that way until there were earthquakes, rivers and earth movement which eroded mountains and ground down the rock into its smallest form which is
dust. But another way to reach this heavy mineral is to go deep into the bedrock zones and caving in into tunnels that may sometimes put your life in danger. I know the feeling of being trapped in small crawling places under the
bedrock afraid to be barred down anytime. It was during those times that I have come to realize how important my life is and how you far I am willing to go to provide a better life for my family.
It turned out that it was not the only way to extract some gold. When I learned about the scholarship opportunity offered by Apex Mining Company Inc., I realized that you don’t have to dig deeper to look for this goldmine. First, the people behind the scholarships, especially Dr. Walter Brown, have continually reached out to both Indigenous People like us and other settlers to make our lives more productive and forward-looking. The scholarship has put me and other 44 scholars to an endless possibility to make our lives better.
Dr. Brown, you have touched our lives more than you know and we can never thank you enough for this opportunity.
To CITE, the education we have received from you is worth more than any gold. I’m sure that the other scholars could relate how we are molded here to become responsible individuals teaching us the simplest value of hardwork from writing an LAS to perseverance in making our projects. You taught us independence by living within our means. You taught us the value of friendship by looking after each other. How could we forget the first time we took turns at North General Hospital during the dengue outbreak exclusive among 45 scholars. You also showed us the truth when some of the scholars have thought deeply about their spiritual formation. No amount of gold can hold equal to those experiences. You are truly a school who values the poor by showing us how rich we are in terms of potentials and talents.
To the grantors, you are always a beacon of hope by sharing your resources and time and await nothing in return. By staying in the sidelights, you have immensely become great at your own right. To the industry partners, the training you have extended to our schoolmates will always be appreciated. We hope that at the turn of time, your doors will always be open to CITE students who look forward to their in-plant training.
To our dear instructors, allow me on behalf of the APEX scholars to thank you for your guidance and show us the value of education. We will soon go back to COMVAL for our training. Rest assured that we will always take the lessons and advice with us.
To our dear parents, thank you for the support that you have extended to all of us. You, fellow scholars of CITE, should value them while they are still with you. Listen to their advice. Show them how much you value their presence and love. Your parents are your stronghold. When we came to Cebu, we were homesick for months. Some of us cried at night because we miss our parents and some miss their (you know). It was unbearable at first. But we had to endure because this opportunity is the only way we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
To the scholars, I may not enough words to leave you nuggets of wisdom but to the wise among you I would say: “LIVE as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever.” Thank you very much and good morning. – Jerry Glenn Malig-on