On July 22, 2016, the Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI) honoured its 23 scholars who passed the Accreditation and Equivalency Examination for Alternative Learning System (ALS) students conducted by the Department of Education (DepEd) that came out last June 29. Out of the 23 passers, 22 may proceed to take up college or vocational/technical courses, while one is now an elementary graduated and may now enrol in high school. The KKFI arranged a commencement exercise that would give them the experience of graduating from one level that signals the start of another. Mrs. Goodwill Mercado gave this Opening Remarks address the passers during the said event:
‘NEVER SURRENDER’. Mrs. Goodwill Mercado (second from left), chairperson of the KKFI Board of Trustees, and Ms Nancy C. Nicolas (far left), executive director, pose Jay V. Legarda and his mother, Enecita. Jay, holding the certificate that proves he completed all the requirements of Alternative Learning System (ALS) studies making him qualified for college or vocational/technical studies, is one of the 23 scholars of KKFI who passed the latest Accreditation and Equivalency Examination of the Department of Education. “Hindi po ako sumuko kasi po ang umaayaw ay hindi nagwawagi” (I did not give up because the ones who do never win) Jay said philosophically. (Photo by Ana Martin/KKFI)
Our esteemed members of the Foundation and the Board of Trustees of Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI), our honoured parents and their children who belong to the graduation batch, the inspiring and inspired teachers of the graduates, our beloved staff members of the KKFI, friends, ladies and gentlemen, good morning.
Today is a joyous day. This is your proud moment as it is Kapatiran’s proud moment. Actually, I am not sure who is prouder, you, your parents or KKFI. I guess it really doesn’t matter. What is important is we are all very happy about this breakthrough and the chance to face another set of challenges in the next level. What is important is all of us recognize the significance of what we are here for today.
Why are we here? We are here to celebrate a human triumph. We are here to celebrate hope.
When the Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. or KKFI or Kaunlaran, as we are more often called, was founded 66 years ago, it had one and only one purpose—to give hope. Let us be reminded of what the Gospel according to John, in chapter 10, verses 9 and 10: “I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
The Lord, Jesus Christ, whose grace allowed all of us to be here this morning and whose provision has been blessed upon us, came so that we “may have life, and have it to the full.” This Bible verse is all we need to keep the hope in our hearts burning.
If there is one message that I wish will stay with after the ceremonies today are done and over with is that, “never, never lose hope.” God will never leave you nor forsake you. He will stay with you even through the hardships and until you have achieved the full life He promised.
The Kapatiran was founded for moments like this. We want to help disadvantaged people, especially the youth, achieve abundant life. Your achievements are our achievements.
The Kapatiran is like a mother to each of you. A mother would sacrifice and expect nothing in return just to see go, grow and glow, mean development and achieve positive things in your life. And like a mother, the Kapatiran assures you it is with you every step of the way.
I am a mother myself. All of my children—all three of them—have reached successes in their respective fields. But the years before their proud moments were replete with challenges that tested their determination, if not their sanity.
I am sure you, the graduates, will experience the same challenges, perhaps harder ones. But I urge to not surrender, to not choose the easier path of giving up and accepting a lesser fate. You must fight it out. You must embrace the hardships knowing that after all these has passed, the joy of victory would be twice or thrice as sweet.
After all, life is full of thorns. Those who are willing to endure the pain shall have a life as sweet as a rose in the end.
Don’t forget, do not be disheartened because KKFI is behind you. Again, congratulations and happy 66th Anniversary KAPATIRAN!
Thank you and God bless to all of you.