With the new problems of disinformation, historical revisionism, and inequality, outgoing Vice President Leni Robredo challenged the graduates of the University of Nueva Caceres in Naga City to “use all you have learned for what is good and true and right” and to serve others and the country.
“Forge on with the strength that you exhibited this past school year: Find ways to do better and be better as you learn from disappointments; display the determination to rise again and do what is good and right and true despite setbacks and obstacles; do it not for your own benefit, but for others,” she said during UNC’s recognition day on Tuesday, June 21.
Robredo attended UNC for her law degree, and she shared that it was also where her father got his law degree and her mother her doctorate in education, while husband Jesse was a faculty member at the School of Engineering.
She congratulated the graduates for finishing a year under the pandemic and while facing the challenges of new modes of learning, but more so of the threats around them.
“On top of this, it feels like everywhere else we look, other challenges abound: We see our institutions weakening. We see disinformation, historical revisionism on overdrive,” Robredo said.
“We see inequality widening, gaps in our basic needs remaining unfulfilled, the strain in the social fabric stretching even more tautly, putting so many on edge,” she added.
The outgoing Vice President shared that like many of the students before her, she expects them to go through the same experiences as she did when she graduated.
“When you leave UNC, you will realize, as I did, that living your life and making meaningful change for others is not the easiest of tasks. Fighting for a better, kinder, more humane society is hard,” she said.
“May mga panahong mararamdaman mo na parang nawawalan ka na ng pag-asa, kahit ang totoo, nagsisimula pa lang ang iyong laban, at marami pang mga oportunidad ang naghihintay para sa iyo (There are times when you will lose hope, even if in truth, the fight is just starting, and there are many more opportunities that are waiting),” she added.
Robredo asked the students to “lend your skills, your knowledge, and your expertise in service of others.”
The lady official reminded them of UNC’s school motto that “we are part of something bigger than ourselves.”
“That we are here for something other than our own comfort and our own successes. That we are called not merely to be good students, but to aspire for greatness—as citizens and as human beings,” Robredo stressed.