“Your graduation while virtual is no less real and your achievement, no less monumental. In fact, it is a testament to your collective resilience and this institutions’ ability to quickly adapt to changing realities.”

This is what Deputy Speaker and Congressman Pablo John Garcia said when he gave his message on the 12th Commencement Rites of Cebu Normal University (CNU) Balamban Campus as the Commencement Speaker.

CNU Balamban Campus held its graduation ceremony virtually with the theme, Thriving, Leading, and Serving in the New Normal which was live-streamed last Monday, August 24 at the CNU Facebook page formally ending the AY 2019-2020. 

43 graduates comprised Batch 2020 of CNU Balamban wherein three finished Bachelor of Secondary Education Major in English and 40 finished Bachelor of Tourism Management.   

“The diploma that you receive from this institution is merely a measure of how far you have come. It should not limit how far you’re yet capable of going and what you’re capable of achieving,” Garcia said to the graduates.

He said that the past six months of quarantine brought by Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cannot stop the people’s thirst, need, and the ability to gain knowledge. 

“Today almost everything you need is literally at the tip of your fingers. Use this advantage to navigate the new realities in the new normal, to help you along your chosen path or if that doesn’t work out as it sometimes won’t, to prepare you for a path you never thought you would but might need to take,” he said.  

“Seek knowledge, but know that knowledge is never enough for if there is a wisdom that this epidemic has shown us, it is this: that in order to survive in this world, we need each other and we cannot live without human relationships,” Garcia said. 

He said that it is ironic when social and physical distancing was imposed, people realized how closely interrelated and inexplicably linked all are. 

“Remember then that human relationships are what really matter – the people we meet and have an impact in our lives and in whose lives we should strive to make a positive impact,” he said.  

“The epidemic has taught us that no matter what we have reached and no matter what we have achieved life is meaningless unless it is offered for something bigger than ourselves and our interests,” Garcia added. 

He then challenged the graduates to use the knowledge they acquired to create a positive impact on society. 

“Doing the smallest things in the service of a bigger cause makes an impact in this word. The final challenge, therefore, is to dedicate the education you have received from this fine institution to making a positive impact in this world,” Garcia said. 

The pronouncement of graduation was made by the University and Board Secretary Dr. Michelle Mae Olvido. CNU Balamban Campus Director Dr. Levi Atibula presented the candidates for graduation and their degrees were conferred by CNU President Dr. Filomena Dayagbil.   

The University pledge was led by Human Resource Management Officer Mrs. Mary Margaret Cornejo and the Alumni oath was led by the Federation of Cebu Normal University Alumni Association, Inc. (FCNUAAI) President Dr. Ramir Uytico.

The virtual commencement rites ended with the singing of the CNU hymn and the recessional.

A full copy of the 12th CNU Balamban Commencement Rites can be viewed at the official YouTube channel of the University. (JDF)