My Occasional Speeches class staged their culminating activity today at the CHSS-AVR. It was a high school graduation themed event and my students came in wearing white togas with blue tassels. Exactly the same toga I wore when I graduated from high school years ago.

Tonight, I was brought back to my high school years speech after speech as we, me and my students, reminisced our younger selves. Images of me singing “Quit Playing Games (with my heart)” by the Backstreet Boys with the rest of the “BSB” of 4-Rizal during lunch time flashed in front of me. The same “BSB” who vandalized the whole classroom during junior year and walked out from the stage during graduation to go to the canteen. The same “BSB” who always share their first new year’s sunrise at the pier.

The whole exercise my class did made me long for the company of old friends. Old since we’ve been friends since elementary and some in high school. And old simply because we are.

But what’s more heartwarming aside from me reminiscing and my students’ OC preparation are the speeches they wrote and delivered. Here are some unforgettable lines I took down simply because it hit me. I took the liberty of composing a paragraph out of these lines as tribute to the effort my class did for the whole semester.

“We are in a developing country and we have been stuck in that category for too long. But despite this fact, each day we should always aim to be a better version of our old self because in life, there are no (fix) boundaries. We cannot avoid goodbyes because most goodbyes are necessary. But never say goodbye to the child you used to be. Because it is only through a child’s lens can we truly appreciate the world we live in.”

So kudos to the Junior “SPCMens” of BACA, UP Mindanao.

You deserve a round of applause.

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