by Ryan John A. Cubero

Ryan John A. Cubero
Summa Cum Laude – BS Physics 2010

Ryan John A. Cubero
Summa Cum Laude – BS Physics 2010
Overall GPA: 1.10968

A pleasant morning to all of you. I am truly honored to speak here on behalf of all the graduates of 2010 and I am humbled by the presence of the Secretary of the Department of Science and Technology, Dr. Estrella F. Alabastro; the President of the Mindanao State University System, Dr. Macapado A. Muslim; the members of the Board of Regents; and our Chancellor, Dr. Marcelo P. Salazar; Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dr. Arnulfo P. Supe; Vice Chancellor for Research and Extension, Dr. Olga M. Nuñeza; Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, Dr. Polaus M. Bari; Vice Chancellor for Planning and Development, Dr. Brigida A. Roscom; Acting Institute Registrar, Atty. Felicidad C. Gadiano; the directors and deans of the different schools and colleges, the Faculty of this Institute, distinguished guests, our beloved parents, and friends.

For four years, we, students, have always found ourselves saying “Nong, isa, estudyante” to a jeepney driver while handing out to him a five-peso coin. This has become one of the many rituals we have mastered. But allow me to be quirky by asking this fairly simple question: What has this singko, this five-peso coin done for you? Let me elaborate.

For us students, this singko has done wonders by sustaining our daily immediate needs. This singko can pay for a jeepney ride or photocopy our hand-outs, buy a ballpen or a cellphone load. Others, however, would say it can’t do much for them. And at some point, I agree with them. A singko can’t buy us a car nor pay for our graduate studies although the increments of singkos can. One can’t have hundreds of pesos without this small singko. This singko has represented those incremental successes that have made big breakthroughs in our lives. Who we are and what we have achieved today are the products of the many small realizations and accomplishments we made in college. This is what a singko has done for us.

For me, a singko is a reminder of the small accomplishments borne out of my struggles and hardships. For four years, I have had sleepless nights just to pass every exam I thought was insurmountable. But every achievement I have invested for years, no matter how small it might have been, has contributed to this big success.

The hard hitting lessons that I’ve learned in college are the lessons that were not necessarily taught in the classroom. This singko represents those small realizations I had in college – the realization that there will never be substitutes for my parents and that living independently was much harder than what I had expected. This singko takes me back to those small but trying times I had in this unfamiliar territory – the iced tea when temperature readings soared high, the candles we used during the rotating brownouts, and the iced water when faucets ran dry. Now that I have graduated, this singko will always tell me that my diploma is not only a certification that I have passed the standards of excellence here in IIT but also a confirmation that by surpassing those small challenges I have experienced, I have survived.

A singko will always remind me of the small decisions that I have made everyday to take me to where I am today. It will remind me of how these decisions have contributed to one of the greatest surprises in my life: that eight years ago, there was also a guy named Ryan who lived in the same room where I am currently staying, who was a BS Physics student, who graduated Summa Cum Laude and Class Valedictorian, and who stood on this podium where I am now. Is it by pure coincidence that eight years after a Ryan Balili, there is a Ryan Cubero? I started out as a curious and anxious individual in this Institute. But because of the small steps I have made, I ended up big. Just like the singko, it can take you anywhere you want to go. Maybe it’s just around Iligan City but it will always take small steps to reach big ones.

As we leave the portals of our Alma Mater, we remember the hardships and failures, as well as the realizations. We will always be thankful to the Almighty One who has given us innumerable reasons to thank Him for. We thank this institution, the Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology, for the knowledge, skills and the right attitude that have made us better persons. We thank our teachers who have done an incredible job in being catalysts of our formation, our parents for sacrificing for us and raising us well. I personally thank my classmates in Physics and in liberal arts, my guardians, my fellow apprentices at Mabuhay Vinyl Corporation, and the rest of the people whom I met and inspired me with their life stories. You might not have given the greatest contribution in my life but you should always remember that through your helping hands, small as this singko they may be, I have made it this far.

As we leave the gates of MSU-IIT, we are tasked to uphold the Institute’s mission and that is to develop the industrial and socio-economic sectors of Mindanao. We are given the responsibility of expanding the tradition of MSU-IIT’s excellence throughout the country and even in the global arena. This is a big responsibility. We can’t do this overnight. But this singko will continue to encourage us to take those small steps to attain this one big goal. No matter how little our contributions may seem to be, we can be a fulfillment of IIT’s mission and a solid proof of the excellent education that MSU-IIT offers. But remember this: that we are accountable to our Alma Mater for what we will become in the future.

This singko has encapsulated our experiences, realizations and aspirations in life which have shaped the way we think and have transformed our own being. This singko will continue to remind us that increments of success make up the big ones. This is what a singko has done for me. What has it done for you? What will it do for us for the rest of our lives?

Batch 2010, may you please stand up. Batch 2010, we wish each other success and fulfillment in our chosen fields of endeavor. But don’t ever forget that big things come from small ones. God bless us and Congratulations!

(I would like to thank the Department of English most especially to Prof. Rosie Boniao, Prof. Venus Parmisana, and Prof. Judith Caga-anan, the Department of Physics, Prof. Myrna Salarza of the Department of Chemistry and Prof. Roberto Salarza of the IACET Department for their invaluable contributions.)

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