(An unedited speech delivered by Ernesto C. Casiple, Jr. during the 11th Recognition Day of Elementary and High Departments of General Santos City Special Education Integrated School on April 2, 2008 at KCC Convention Center)
Theme: "Filipino Achievers: Celebrating Achievements; Pursuing Opportunities"
Today mark another momentous yet symbolic event of recognizing the efforts of the young generation in their still long way of academic carrier. Truly, every Filipino is an achiever in his own right.
On the other hand, forgive me for I will be twisting some part of what I assume what our students, guests, and proud parents would like to hear. Perhaps they would like to hear a biography of mine—my hopes, dreams, and achievements that would inspire the children of this generation. I wish I could talk to you who was I, and who am I now and where I am heading. Sadly, I will not be talking of that this time. Surely there have been many of that in the past recognition you have had. Rather, I wanted to give everyone a different challenge.
I need help!
My message today needs repetition and further explanation. A task that I will leave to the parents and teachers present at this juncture.
But how do we suppose to celebrate our achievements and pursue opportunities?
Let me take you to what we will call looking beyond borders. To dream and vision! My question is? Are we ready to dream? Are we ready to vision?
The concept of a new world order was classic. Time of Hitler. The year 2000 gave us the term Y2K or millennium bug. In the year 2004, a national group of linguists listed the term information superhighway as the word for the year. What does these mean? Today, we are confronted with realities of getting closer in both business and politics and even in entertainment because of technology. The present order of global trend brings us all to technological advancement—from PCs, ipods, internet, wi-fi, etc.
I met Fr. Eliseo Mercado last December 2007 in a partner’s forum and he put it this way:
“Today, we are witnessing a global revolution that involves, at first glance, the rapid advances in technology and the rapid movements both of trade and peoples across known frontiers and borders. At a second glance, a new horizon is emerging, which points to knowledge “explosion” and an opening into the cyberspace. Yet, on the other hand, humankind continues, ironically, to be “plagued” by the residue of divisions, fragmentations and conflict that have characterized, in a special way, the past two millennia of our human encounters.”
Children, this is where I am taking you. Let me simplify it for you. I believe you are amaze with the rapid shoot in technology. Maybe you have asked your parents, “Ma, Pa, I wanted to have a cellphone.” Few months later, you asked for an Ipod. Often, you compete with older kids in the complexity of the technological age.
Nothing is wrong with that anyway if done responsibly. However, we must not forget the basics—the things we actually naturally have. Take note of my term, naturally. Have we forgotten the lilies? The croaks of the frog. … and that when we all recite… all things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small.
By looking beyond borders, we both look to extra-imaginable dreams and aspirations. Yet, there is another course of looking beyond borders, which is again going back to the basics. Now on my second term, basics. We have now two key terms—natural and basics.
As I said, there are rapid advances in technology and rapid movements of both trade and peoples across known frontiers and borders. On the other hand, there is an explosion of knowledge and opening of the cyberspace. These bring us all to a common dimension of our dreams. Our parents would then advice us to become engineers, IT specialists, (the fad still at least of many) nurses, etc. We are amaze with the wealth of the earth by looking at inventions in all forms. From computers to skyscrapers and now robotics. All in the name of rapid development. We are cyber-dreaming! We become cyber-dreamers.
Nothing is wrong with that. The kaginhawaan sa buhay need of us become a self-centered principle to fight poverty. While we all advocate for unity, we are faced with the reality that we actually always compete to the piece of space we have on this earth. I believe there has been so much in technological advancement that our earth has become overweight. Perhaps, there have been so much lasers thus energy consumed because of our exploration of knowledge. By exploring so much, we miss a very important part—we are exploiting the earth. We forgot the natural care she needs.
This is where I take you to the other dimension of dreaming—the natural or basic dreaming. I want you guys to become basic dreamers.
How do I start with that? I would to bring into your attention what is threatening the earth now and this is not threatening you either but giving you a warning and an eye-opener. Few months ago, all leaders in the world gather in Greenland—from military, to politics and business and even religion. They were there to witness the most historical movement in the face of the planet. You know what was that? Behold the melting of the glaziers. The too much heat on the earth brought about by rapid development has caused our lands to dry up and melt the glaziers and very soon very very soon we will all water down.
Believe it or not, this phenomenon will force all of us to become one earthling of the earth. The plagued of residue of divisions and fragmentations that have characterized our human movement for the past two millennia will force to come to its end. But should we wait for that thing to arrive. We should act now and become natural or basic dreamers.
My work as a peace coordinator requires me to bridge the conflicting gap between cultures, beliefs, traditions and even ideology. But now, peace and development has created another movement more than resolving conflict. It leads me to the fact that we all need to embrace each other, work hand and hand and please not wait for the total melting of the glaziers.
I want you all to dream basic. Dream for our Mother Earth. Dream about environmental protection. We celebrate our achievements by putting all our skills and talents in caring for the earth. We can pursue the opportunity of caring for the Earth. Till the soil and plant trees. Provide venue in discussing global warming, etc. Let us blend our knowledge of cyberspace to caring for the Earth. Let us fight poverty not necessarily facing the trend of globalization.
The challenge is:
a. for the government to provide the young generation an opener of the Caring for the Earth to celebrate their achievements rather than concentrating on cyber exploration;
b. for the parents to instill to their sons and daughters the value of helping the environment rather than helping themselves;
c. for these generation to celebrate achievements and pursuing the opportunity to focus your dreams, ambitions, affections and passions to caring for the Earth; and
d. for every one to balance the achievements in business and technology with the opportunity to heal the wound we have caused to our Mother Earth.
This is not difficult. It is more difficult to invent a robot. It may cost millions. Plant a tree. It may not cost a dime; yet will give you fruits.
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