Message of Luz Bolong

Important occasions in life call for a celebration. Today is one such event when we gather as a family to honor our children for doing a job well done and to send them off to the world. With you, friends, we, parents of these family gems, would like to share our happiness because the long years of hard toil and sacrifice, of diligence and discipline, has found fruition.

Evarose Flor is the only child of Arch. Gerry and Flor Ocampo to whom this graduation party is specially dedicated.

Paolo Evaristo is the only son of Engr. Evaristo and Menchu Ortega.

Pacifico Argel is the eldest son of Chicoy and Nila Argel of Vigan.

Luz Danielle is our youngest daughter with Danny Bolong.

To Lelay, Paolo, PJ and Ludi your graduation is music to our ears. You metamorphosed from that single tune to a life’s orchestra. We are proud of your achievements. You entailed your education as to its true essence, that of humility and dedication in your academic journey.

To all of you, 2007 graduates and to you also, ates and kuyas of this year’s graduates may we, you parents, say, do not dream beneath the sky. Instead, dream beyond the sky. Keep your dream alive. Work smart towards your vision, yet do not close your eyes through your rides. You have us, your family; to calm your fears and help you put on the brakes in your journey. We will always be with you each and everyway of it then. With your lives swathed in the strength and love of the Almighty Father in your life, the fruits will never be far from realization. Never give up. Go out and shake the world. You are a blessing to everybody and as we all know, you will always be. Congratulations.

Emcee/Nila: Let us rise to offer our prayers to the Lord. We especially remember Tita Connie on her 3rd death anniversary last April 4. This hall named after her reminds us of her unselfishness. She shared a part of her life to all of us _ her time, concern and thoughtfulness. May I call on Paolo to lead us in prayer?

The Holy Spirit raised the body of Christ to life and made it the source of life. With joy in our hearts and filled with confidence we ask him to save his people, living and dead.

We pray for our deceased relatives specially lolo Bisting, lolo Marcelino and lola Mary Martinez, lolo Amboy Reyes, lola Pepita Bolong. May God welcome them into the radiant light of His presence.

We pray for all who have gathered here for the graduation celebration. May we all be one in your kingdom?

We pray for the Church, for peace in the world, for clean, honest and orderly elections, and for ourselves. May Your Will be done in all things?

For all these intentions, we say: Lord, make all things new and fill them with life.

Bless us O Lord in this thy gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

After the lunch, program followed.

Nila: Communication is the sharing of words, feelings and even long silences. After partaking of the food, the guests listened to messages from the audience.

Former Mayor, Mary Jane Ortega had a very nice message to the graduates. She congratulated Ludi and Lelay, our cum laude graduates .And to the boys, Paolo and PJ, he told them never mind if you did not graduate cum laude, but become cum laudes in life.

Nila: There is a time for everything. And now before we close the program, let us hear from the graduates? May I call on my son, Pacifico Argel, Jr. to do the honors?

In behalf of my cousin graduates, we thank our dear parents for recognizing our efforts in living up to their expectations of attaining a college degree. Although we do not seek for this grant party, the outward sign of appreciation makes us feel good. God bless our parents for their great love for us! It made us realize our efforts had not gone unnoticed.

I have always been blessed with mentors. First are my parents, papa Chicoy and mama Nila. I remember when I was still in the elementary grades, my mother wrote in a Manila Paper these words and posted it in our study room _ “Papa may have, mama may have, but God bless the child who studies well so he will have something to provide for himself and others in the future. Keep studying, and keep trying, always believe you can learn to do better.”

The spirit world put other mentors in my life. The sisters of St. Paul College of Ilocos Sur, the priests at the Immaculate Conception Minor Seminaryh and the Benedictine priests at the San Beda College.

My cousins are blessed too! As you can see in the invitation my cousins had our lolas in San Fernando, the late lola Connie and lola Rose who were administrators at St. William’s Parish Nursery Kindergarten School, the school they went to for their early childhood education.

Lola Rose who can not be physically present today to witness our successes I am sure is happy that we have grown in wisdom and grace before God and men. Our diplomas now hung in our homes for others to see. Let it not be to flaunt our achievements but be a subtle reminder that as graduates we move on to render service to the community and inspire others who are still studying to do their best to get the prized degree.

We the graduates have different fields of education that will bring us to different work (when we find one). But we have something in common. We decide to do what God wants to be done. My fellow graduates, let us be full of life and enthusiasm.

As a graduate of AB Philosophy, I would like to end by sharing you this point, on which philosophers in every age agree.

True happiness stems from a quality within ourselves, from a way of thinking of life.
Of all the millions of words written on happiness, this is the oldest and most enduring truth.

If the principles of contentment are not within us, no material success, no pleasures, or possession, can make us happy.”

To you, our family, our friends, the community, thanks for your presence. This is our Easter joy: We are all daughters and sons of the Resurrection!”

Graduation Thoughts Year 2008

What makes good mothers? This question comes to mind as I reflect on the graduation of my second son, Evaristo from college.

My husband texted me that our son received a letter from CEU that he will be given an award on March 29, 2008. I immediately went to Manila and when I was reading the letter written by Mr. Ed A. Villarante, Mass Com Coordinator and noted by Dean Dr. Paz I. Lucido of the School of Education-Liberation Arts-Music-Seocial Work (SELAMS) my heart leapt with gratitude to God and CEU.

The letter reads:

On the occasion of the Centennial Celebration of the Centro Escolar University, the School of Education-Liberal Arts-Music-Social Work has deemed it fitting to present you a Certificate of Recognition for having distinguished yourself as an Exemplary Awardee in School Activity Involvement this academic year 2007-2008.

We would appreciate it if your parents or guardian could be with you on the above-mentioned occasion.

My son was reluctant that we attend the awarding ceremony reasoning out that only a few parents might be around, but we were determined to go. We were proud parents going up the stage with our son Resty during the CEU Preparatory Graduation Awards Ceremony held on April 3, 2008 at the 2nd Floor Student Activity Center.

We had picture with the dean, Dr. Lucido and Mr. Villarante. The dean’s words, “Your son is okay” reinforced the award my son just received.

I may have unintentionally hurt my son deeply four years ago, but his sweet smiles during the CEU Ninety-Eighth Commencement Exercises at the Fiesta Pavilion, Manila Hotel is an assurance that everything is fine.

Below is the email I sent to my cousin, Dina. May it serve as a lesson that there are times when we hurt someone, most especially members of our family but, healing is possible through understanding and forgiveness?

Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2006 16:17:47 -0800 (PST)
From: "Ma. Luz Bolong" <> Add to Address Book Add Mobile Alert
Subject: Am touched by my son's graduation paper
To: "Cantorna, Dinah (GE Supply)" <>

Dear Dinah,

While cleaning the drawers of my sons I came across the paper written by my second son Evaristo entitled GRADUATION and a drawing of a basketball court with three balls. It was a requirement in class.

Resty as he is fondly called is my second of three sons. Since nursery he was the slowest among the three. My eldest and youngest entered the seminary. I did not send him to the seminary for he did not meet the average to qualify.

When he passed the entrance exam at CEU I did not let him take the entrance text at San Beda where my eldest is studying. Now, he is second year taking up Communication Arts at CEU.

What makes me cry when I saw his paper is that he had made plans for his life: He said I am studying hard so I will be able to study in a good school; 4 years from now I will graduate; and then be employed so I become a good citizen. He even mentioned what was written in the study room, "Pa may have, ma may have but God bless the child who has something to be able to provide for himself and others someday. So keep studying, keep trying..."

I am so proud of him for the child I was worried about has grown to be good and responsible. I couldn't imagine he is even the class president. I immediately went to the shop to have his diploma framed. If I did not see his papers, I would not have thought of having it framed and so I believe God wanted me to see it so I can make up for my shortcomings.

Below his diploma were his graduation paper and his drawing - which I will treasure for the rest of my life. So we also learn from our children.

God bless!

Nila and Luz

P.S. Luz mentioned I was about to write Dinah but then meron na naman akong ginawa. Hahaha She's really busy as a bee.

Subject: RE: Am touched by my son's graduation paper
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2006 19:37:37 -0500
From: "Cantorna, Dinah (GE Supply)" <> View Contact Details Add Mobile Alert
To: "Ma. Luz Bolong" <>

You are right. We learn from our children, too.
Your anecdote is so touching, Resty is so sweet and responsible.
I am so happy for you that all three of your sons are good. Kudos to you and Chicoy.
Give yourselves a pat in the back.

I don't remember if I had forwarded this to you or not.

"The best gift anyone can give me at Christmas is a planner. I like planners because I am a planner. I like thinking ahead. I like being prepared. I get a high from being on top of things. But some things are beyond planning. And life doesn't always turn out as planned.

You don't plan for a broken heart. You don't plan for a failed marriage. You don't plan for an adulterous husband. You don't plan for an autistic child. You don't plan for spinsterhood. You
don't plan for a lump in your breast.

You plan to be young forever. You plan to climb the corporate ladder. You plan to be rich and powerful. You plan to be acclaimed and successful. You plan to conquer the universe. You plan to fall in love - and be loved forever.

You don't plan to be sad. You don't plan to be hurt. You don't plan to be broke. You don't plan to be betrayed. You don't plan to be alone in this world.

You plan to be happy. I You don't plan to be shattered.

Sometimes if you work hard enough, you can get what you want. But most times, what you want and what you get are two different things. We, mortals, plan. But so does God in the heavens.

Sometimes, it is difficult to understand God's plans - especially when His plans are not in consonance with ours. Often, when God sends us crisis, we turn to Him in anger. True, we cannot choose the cross that God wishes us to carry but we can carry that cross with courage
knowing that God will never abandon us nor send something we cannot cope with.

Sometimes, God breaks our spirit to save our soul. Sometimes, He breaks our heart to make us whole. Sometimes, God sends us pain so we can be stronger. Sometimes, God sends us failure so we can be humble. Sometimes God sends us illness so we can take better care of ourselves. Sometimes, God takes everything away from us so we can learn the value of everything He gave us.

Make plans but understand that we live by God's grace.

Growing up we get dismayed by the realization that we could not get everything we want. Growing old, I am delighted by the realization that although I can't have everything I want, I can want everything I have."

Regards to all.

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