Tribute to Graduates 2016
On 28 May 2016, the first ever Tribute to Graduates was successfully held at Point Hotel, Taksim, Istanbul with the support of the Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines, Filipino Community, and Filipino students. Below is the short speech I delivered in the event.
My dear friend Ridwan has already thanked everyone. If there is someone he has failed to mention in his speech, I would like to express our gratitude to you whoever you are, where ever you are- here with us in this special occasion, in Turkey, in the Philippines or wherever you are in the world. You are well appreciated. Thank you!
In 2013 I took the 14-hour flight to Istanbul via Bangkok and the plane landed at exactly 4:08 AM. See? I still remember the exact time when the pilot said "We have just landed in Istanbul." I was 20 years old then. I was wearing a red sweatshirt I stole from my cousin's wardrobe with a hand carry bag that contained some clothes and twelve pieces of kopiko. For those who do not know, kopiko is a coffee brand similar to3-in-1 nescafe. Yeah, I am kinda coffee addict. And that's how I came here. That's how my first day was.
The first few months were months of test - a test of will, a test of strength, a test of determination. Studying abroad is a rare opportunity Not everyone gets the chance to win a scholarship but what the people we left in the Philippines do not know is that even somehow our basic needs are generously provided here, even we post amazing photos in Instagram and Facebook every now and then, we do have inner struggles, a roller coaster ride of emotions I never expected to experience before coming here. There were happy days, but there were gloomy days as well. I myself have a share of this inner struggles. But that's the beauty of studying abroad. You are subjected to those kinds of emotional struggles and all kinds of problems. But then you tell yourself to keep holding on, continue the fight, and never buy that return ticket to Philippines. You tell yourself, "Kaya pa! Push lang! Walang uwuin! Study pa more!" Because you remind youself that after all these, something good rather something great comes next.
Today we emerged a stronger version of us, not only the graduates but everyone here who continue to stay and study away from home. Thank you and enjoy the evening.
|Filipino Students in Turkey.|
|With the representative of Philippine embassy (3rd from left).|
|With Abdulhamid Gunda (MS of Health Management).|
|Delivering my speech... :D :D :D|