Speaking about luck in 2013, and quoting a French microbiologist during his 1854 lecture at the University of Lille, Commencement Speaker Dr. Isagani R. Cruz said: “Chance favors the prepared mind. Kung handa ka, siguradong suwesuwertehin ka. You have been well-prepared by MSU-IIT. You have been well-prepared to become lucky. Suwerte kayo dahil nag-gradweyt kayo sa MSU-IIT. Suwerte kayo dahil dito kayo nakatira sa Mindanao. Suwerte kayo dahil kayo ang mag-iimbento, ang makatutuklas, ang makakaisip ng bagong kung anuman na magpapayaman sa wakas sa ating bayan.”

Cruz, a distinguished, multi-awarded writer, educator, critic, and physicist addressed graduates alternately in three languages, English, Filipino and Cebuano during the Institute’s 43rd commencement exercises at the MSU-IIT Gymnasium on April 8.

During his well-appreciated speech, he also noted the implications of the country’s attainment of an investment grade as he urged the graduates to “stay in Mindanao” and to be on hand to “propel Mindanao to its position of leadership.”

He said, “Suwerte ta na investment grade na ta. Malas pud ta na investment grade na ta,” he said.

“Maayo tungod kay ang nasud makahulam og kwarta sa ubos nga interest og daghan dolyares ang musulod sa nasud. Pero…magpaubos [pud kini]sa kantidad sa foreign currency na ginapadala sa mga Pilipino nga gatrabaho sa abroad diri sa ilang pamilya sa Pilipinas…mas mumahal ang sweldo sa mga trabahante ug tungod ani posible mobiya ang mga foreign companies nga naa diri sa Pilipinas aron mangita og nasud nga mas barato ang labor costs.”

More specifically, Cruz challenged graduates to stay and invest in Mindanao which is considered as the country’s “new growth pole” by economists and experts. He urged them to “ride the tiger” because “Mindanao is the tiger” following predictions from the foreign press that the Philippines is the next Asian tiger.

“You hold in your hands the survival of the country. Forget Manila. Forget Luzon. Forget the Visayas. Think Mindanao. Do not migrate to Luzon. Do not migrate to other countries. Hindi naman tayo kailangan sa ibang lugar at sa ibang bansa…Pabayaan na ninyo ang mga nasa Luzon at Visayas ang mangibang bansa. Wala kayong dahilan na lumipat sa Maynila, sa Cebu, o sa ibang bansa, dahil narito, narito sa Mindanao, ang naghihintay na yaman ng bayan at ng mundo,” he said.

As opposed to many negative beliefs on the number 13, Cruz who is also the Curriculum Adviser of the Steering Committee on K to 12 of the Department of Education, the Commission on Higher Education, and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, assures graduates that “2013 is a lucky number”.

Class 2013 Valedictorian, Almera O. Manan, a magna cum laude graduate in BS Biology (Zoology), also delivered an inspiring speech where she emphasized on the opportunities accorded graduates. She said “Life is full of doors”, and that one of the most significant doors they have opened is the “Door of Education”. She specifically paid tribute to the teachers and at one point, she asked them to stand to be recognized.

Dr. Macapado A. Muslim, President of the MSU System, conferred degrees to 1,545 graduates with the School of Engineering Technology (SET) having the most number of graduates totaling 296, followed by the College of Education with 274, and the College of Arts & Social Sciences with 224.

Of the total 1, 545 graduates, there were 19 magna cum laudes, 194 cum laudes, and 26 who received High honors and With honors in Diploma courses. – Ma. Theresa Panzo and C.Godinez-Ortega, OC News Release

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