Having been recognized for his innovative effort to bring education to underprivileged kids, Kuya F is not only successful in introducing his Kariton Klassroom to those poor children but it also brought him to places. Efren “Kuya F” Peñaflorida, 2009 CNN Hero of the Year is this year’s honored guest speaker for the Western Mindanao State University 66th Commencement Exercises-1st Batch held last March 30 at the Dr. Juanito Bruno Gymnasium of the university.
From the slums teaching underserved children to delivering wisdom and encouragement to the graduates, Peñaflorida related that there is no difference in dealing with the street kids and the graduates. “Every man and woman must be ready to serve. Let’s open our eyes wide and see what’s happening around us. Let’s change our minds, change our hearts then we can change this world,” he said to the graduates.
His speech was grounded on Code R.E.D., a valued principle on how people most importantly the graduates, can be stewards of change themselves. R stands for Readiness, a change maker’s heart must beat to care for others. “The key here is when we realize that love fuels people to wake up each morning with a reason to live and a purpose to survive. Para kanino ka ba bumabangon,” Kuya F shared to the graduates. E is for Equality, Peñaflorida urged change makers to put aside color, races, religion and gender. And that they must show love towards each other as they carry one another’s burden for a better community. While D is for Determination and Dedication that the fresh graduates must first prove to the world believing that a driven and committed heart can change the shape of reality.
The first batch of the Commencement Exercises is with 832 graduates. The College of Education, College of Communication and Humanities, College of Home Economics, College of Forestry and Environmental Studies, College of Social Sciences and College of Education. Graduates of the different Bachelor Degrees, Master’s Degree and Doctorate Degrees were also recognized during the ceremony.
Radiya P. Istarul, an A.B. Political Science student, emerged as the Class Valedictorian of Batch 2011. There is a total of forty-four (44) Cum Laude from the main campus, external studies units and consortia.
The second batch of the Commencement Exercises followed through the next day. With 823 graduates from the College of Science and Mathematics; College of Social Work and Community Development; College of Public Administration and Development Studies; College of Asian and Islamic Studies; College of Physical Education, Recreation and Sports; College of Law; College of Agriculture; College of Engineering and Technology; College of Criminal Justice Education; and College of Architecture.
Second day’s Commencement Exercises guest speaker was Mr. Jose “Pepe” R. Rodriguez, Director of Instituto Cervantes de Manila. He is a Spanish writer and journalist.
Meanwhile, the Commencement Exercises for the College of Nursing is scheduled on April 11. (Ekeena O. Lim, PAO-WMSU)