Education and Home

Graduation speeches of preschool, grade school and pro HS valedictorians

A POINT OF AWARENESS - Preciosa S. Soliven - The Philippine Star

During graduation season, it has been the OBMC tradition that of each school level: Casa (preschool), grade school and professional high school would make a speech. But for preschool we usually ask a parent to contribute a “valedictory complement” as a witness of the transformation of their child during the preschool years.

Dr. Antonio Garcia’s nostalgic ‘Montessori Story’

“Coming back to O.B. Montessori dates me, as I have witnessed its beginnings, not too long ago. I used to bike with a high school classmate, son of a military Colonel, on a lonely road, jutting out from Highway 54 alongside tall talahib grass on one side and houses across it by the huge Camp Crame. A big house of a military general’s family was at the corner of two roads.

“Years later, our lives took diverged directions. My high school classmate, no longer lived in South Crame, as most of his neighbors. The road became the upscale Annapolis Street while Highway 54, now EDSA. The lengthy well-paved road, cutting across the four Greenhills villages is now Ortigas Avenue.

“My friend became a Doctor of Medicine. So did I. When I came back from my training in New York, I had a family. Camille Marie, my eldest daughter, needed to go to school. As I turned from Ortigas Avenue towards this familiar street, I saw the general’s house at the corner but has become a new school called O.B. Montessori Center. It exuded a near anachronism of old against all the new buildings in the block. But one look at its directress, and all doubts disappeared. She was a stark contrast to the old house, and her school was fresh, encouraging and exciting as the beginning of a new day.

“In short, we were impressed and our Camille Marie eventually graduated valedictorian from O.B. Montessori high school. She is now a senior ranked nurse at the Baylor Health Systems in Forth Worth, Texas. The younger Candice Marie finished Montessori and proceeded to the University of the Philippines, where she graduated cum laude from the College of Mass Communications in Film. She is a recipient of the Catholic Mass Media Awards for undergraduate short film story. And now, we have Glorianna Yzabel.

“When I asked my daughter, Glorianne Yzabel – what are the stages of a butterfly metamorphosis, she promptly answered: “It is the egg, the larva that eats plenty of green leaves, the pupa and the…” she gasped, then exclaimed, “the butterfly! Don’t you remember, Daddy?” She queried. “We talked about that yesternight!” She was four years old then, at Junior Advanced Casa. How many of us parents would have known that much when we were at that age? I could vaguely remember, I must have been in grade seven. Like that butterfly, Glorianna has transformed from a fairly reticent student in the classroom, unbelievably “shy”, according to her teacher, to one who now leads in almost all classroom activities.“

Macy Yvonne Abejuela’s transformation from preschool to grade school – OBMC Sta Ana

“In one of the books stacked in my small wooden shelf at home, the author – in his work entitled, “The Five People We Meet in Heaven” – said and I quote, “All endings are also beginnings, we just don’t know it at the time.” Truly, this graduation day for me is more of a ray of a new beginning than a misery of a sad ending.

“My Journey here in O.B. Montessori Center, Sta. Ana is one I can consider as “made in heaven” and it all started nine years ago. Mrs. Katherine Chua, the branch manager had me interviewed for 30 minutes by the Casa principal. She happily announced I may enroll. I was an ordinary student during my years in Junior Casa and Junior Advanced Casa. It was not until Advanced Casa when things changed drastically. I auditioned and was accepted to compete at the Poetry Festival. To everyone’s surprise I won the Gold Medal. From then on, things heartwarmingly were different.

“I will always carry the fond memories of grade school. The opportunities that honed my academic and life skills are more than ten times the cost of what my parents had invested in me financially. Just imagine … In Grade III, I played the role of little Maria Montessori in the yearly school spectacle, this time “A Woman Called Freedom.” That did not only give me the rare chance to perform on stage, but brought all my loved ones together – some of whom even flew in from our province in Romblon to watch me perform.

“There is just so much about the O.B. Montessori materials and activities that I feel so happy to have been exposed to. In Cultural Arts, I found the Clock of Eras (history of Creation), Time Line of Life (Paleozoic – water life, Mesozoic - reptile age, Cenozoic – birds to mammals and Neozoic – coming of Man); Time Line of Man very interesting because these lessons tell the story of the formation of the Earth until the coming of Man in a very visually exciting way. The Intermediate activities were equally fun. I will never forget activities like the Barn Dance, Formal Dining, Fashion Show, Swap Meet, cooking and baking. They helped me develop my social skills, confidence, relating with other people and even my Red Cross survival skills. Scouting and Camping in Camp Akela at our large Tagaytay school farm provided quality time with my friends and classmates beyond the classroom walls. I am also thankful for the spiritual retreat which made me appreciate the relationship I have with my family and my friends. . . . Thank you, dear parents! Batch mates, let us put our hands together and give our parents a warm round of applause.”

‘Sergeant’ Raphael Talao’s adieu, OBMC Professional High School, Angeles

“. . .Today’s activity does not mean the end, but the start of a new beginning! Fellow graduates, we now stand at the threshold of bigger competition and demands. It is in our hands whether we will fail or succeed in our next destination. Standing before you now gives me a mixed emotion of joy and fulfillment because finally, the four years of waiting has come to an end, but saddened at the same time, because after today, we are going on our separate ways. We have reached the end of the road as high school students.

“I was very shy, timid, reserved and reticent in a way. But my teachers encouraged me to get involved with the different activities in school to balance the highly sophisticated Cosmic curriculum. As a class officer I proved my leadership qualities as I took full responsibility to care for the whole class. It surprised me to discover I could compete in singing competitions after I became a member of the Glee Club. The annual Public Speaking and Poetry Festival developed my speech eloquence. Then, there’s the Rainbow Catering Club where I got used to cooking and organizing birthday parties of preschoolers. But the biggest and most challenging event was emceeing in Kapampangan during “O Bayang Mahal,” the Philippine epic spectacle at Teatro Maximo. All these have emboldened me and made me believe that I can take charge of myself to face college. I owe it all to my beloved Alma Mater, O.B. Montessori!

“The Inter-branch Cheering Competition in Greenhills, our spiritual retreat in Alfonso, Cavite where we were the first in the branch to experience it in the new villas of the Preziosa Botanic Garden, which a few weeks later became the venue for bivouac. Scout Rangers from Camp Tecson coached us. The grand JS Prom at EDSA Shangri-La was the most romantic evening of the year, where we wore formal suits and our dates wore elegant cocktail dresses wearing our corsage. All of these will come to an end as we walk up on the stage of the Teatro Maximo for the very last time and bow in front of our batch mates wishing that this won’t be the last time we’ll see each other.”

‘Mayor’ Patricia Sapitula’s salute to OBMC Grade School Greenhills

“Graduation feels good… right, fellow graduates? When I started Advanced Casa seven years ago, I felt really nervous but the friendly teachers were very welcoming, so I thought to myself – “I think I’d really like this school.” And I did! After I entered my Sunflower classroom, it was instant confirmation. The walls were covered with many colorful charts! There was order – labeled materials sorted per subject, stacked containers, chairs and tables arranged in neat rows. From Casa, I learned practical life … pouring juice, shoelace tying, buttoning, doing the laundry, sweeping the floor, and carefully setting the table with breakable plates and glasses for snack time. Before I knew it, I was doing it at home too!

“But most of all, Casa brought me friends – they are still with me – Jirell, Takeshi, Xandro and Gabriel, thanks for the wonderful journey! One thing I didn’t look forward to that time was waking up early in the morning. How many of us here are bus riders with AM schedules? Imagine a five or six year old who needs to wake up as early as 5 in the morning! My mom literally had to drag me from the bed just to be ready for the bus! I was so sleepy, I was even caught sleeping in the breakfast table with a mouthful of food! But I guess this taught me how important going to school is and that it has to be done – no matter what!

“Primary school was a different experience. In Math, I have my most favorite material, the Board of Powers! Then until now, it helped me in memorizing the multiples of 1 to 10 including squaring and cubing numbers. Concepts of Interdependencies of Producers and Consumers, the material and spiritual Fundamental Needs of Man Chart made our minds and imagination work together to understand better how the world works. There were also memorable moments like in Agri-business when we butchered chickens, which we watched grow from chicks. Everyone was shrieking and laughing at the same time! And then I remember during Class Election, the voting for Mayor was so close, with just a difference of one vote. I think I only won because I sang during the campaign. Sorry Andrix, next time, I think you should dance the “Nae, Nae.” Who knows, you might just win!

“I want to thank O.B. because a big part of my personal development was achieved through the various extra-curricular activities made available to us. I discovered abilities and talents, which I didn’t know I possessed. By joining Angel’s Choir and the Public Speaking Festival, I developed my love for music and poetry. The Overnight Camping in Alfonso Farm, Intramurals, Barn Dance, Formal Dining, Fashion Show, Christmas Shows and even the Santacruzan, I will treasure as memorable parts of my childhood.”

To our dear ‘Keepers of the Flame’

“To our dear school, which has been my second home for the past seven years, thank you for being part of my formative life. To our service personnel, the caring “Ates” and “Kuyas,” and to our ever-dependable guards, who have memorized already every car’s color and plate numbers, I salute you! Thank you for doing your best in giving us the best learning environment. At this point, I could not imagine being anywhere else other than O.B. Montessori Greenhills.

“To Dr. Preciosa S. Soliven, Mrs. Sara Soliven-de Guzman and teachers, who are the Keepers of the Flame, thank you is not enough! But we want to assure you that we will continue to bear the Fruits of Normalization. All the toils and sacrifices you made are imbedded in our hearts. It’s the source of our pride.

“To our dear parents, surely we will not be here if not for all your love, encouragement and support. We cannot claim sole ownership over this happy and momentous day. This victory is first and foremost yours. Thank you for faithfully staying in front to lead us, for nurturing the gift of Divine Flame within each of us. . .


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