Message of Senator Loren Legarda at the 73rd University of Antique Commencement Exercises

July 10, 2024

Mayad nga adlaw kaninyo nga tanan!

Congratulations to the 2024 graduating batch of the University of Antique Colleges of Teacher Education, Industrial Technology, Computer Studies, and Engineering and Architecture. Today, we celebrate not only your individual achievements but, most importantly, the dedicated efforts of those who helped you along the way to receive your degrees today – your educators, your fellow students, and of course your families. With this year’s theme, “Towards a Premier University in Transforming Lives and Building Sustainable and Resilient Communities,” we are all reminded of the important role of education in shaping a brighter, sustainable, and resilient future amidst the complexities of this modern age.

With the expertise, skills, and knowledge you gained while at the University, I hope that you will be ready to become agents of positive and transformative change, ready to aim for progress and development not only for yourselves but also for your community, our province, and our nation. Bear in mind that true success is not just measured by your income or the position you gain, but by how much you contribute to the well-being of society and how you use your capabilities to make a difference.

I believe that education is the first step towards equality, self-development, and success. This is why I co-authored and co-sponsored the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act which granted free college education in all state universities and colleges.

Through the years, I have always made sure that the university and its students are taken care of. For this year alone, a total of 88 million pesos in funding has been allocated to the various needs of the university, which include the procurement of Maritime Virtual and Augmented Reality Laboratory, the development of Maritime E-Learning Management System, the completion of the Integrated Research and Development Laboratory, additional classrooms in UA Libertad and UA Sibalom, the construction of Food Processing Centers in UA Tibiao and Hamtic, and the allocation of 30 million pesos for scholarships for deserving students. Last year, we also granted 30 million pesos in scholarships and allocated 25 million pesos for the construction of the Sports Training Center. Through our efforts, UA is one of the recipients of free WiFi from the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) Broadband ng Masa Project. These investments are not just financial allocations — all of these are aimed at equipping you with resources and opportunities for you to achieve excellence in your respective fields.

As you start a new chapter in your lives, I hope to share with you some lessons I learned while treading the path toward where I am today. Embrace lifelong learning. The world keeps on changing, and your commitment to continuous learning will enhance your ability to stay relevant and adaptable. Pursue what you are passionate about and find meaning in your work, as passion strengthens perseverance, and purpose adds value to efforts. Life will continuously challenge you with all the ups and downs, but it is your resilience that will help you navigate through them. Always uphold your integrity and strong moral standards, as success is built upon honesty and trustworthiness. Give importance to the power of community and collaboration. I realized that people who make great achievements are those who work in harmony with others, leading to greater innovation and success. Remember to give back to society, success is better felt when you also look after the well-being of your communities.

And lastly, stay humble and always be grateful for the opportunities that were given to you. Humility is an important virtue as it allows for continuous progress and gratitude gives a more positive outlook in life. As you set out on this new journey, keep such values in mind and strive to make the world a lot more positive, resilient, and sustainable.

While this success is yours, I hope you share it with the university and the community that molded you, as well as your parents and families that made several sacrifices for you. Bilang mga pag-asa ng kinabukasan, may katungkulan tayo na magsilbi at maglingkod sa ating bayan.

You are our hope and our future. Embrace the opportunities ahead with the same passion and determination that brought you here today. Dream big and include our beloved Antique in those big dreams of yours.

Duro duro gid nga salamat!

Isang luntiang Pilipinas sa ating lahat!