A Blank Diploma
A friend told me that it's very seldom that schools give out real diplomas to their graduates during commencement exercises. Usually, what is awarded is a blank diploma- a blank bond paper, rolled up and tied with a ribbon. After that, you're one of the thousands of graduates off to the world in search of a new horizon.
Blank diplomas are probably given out because there is a tendency that they can get mixed up in the hustle of the ceremony. This then, prevents the annoying experience of getting a diploma with a different name.
But for me, it is blank because it is a symbol of one's future. It is blank so that the graduate will himself write his own future. It is blank because it is up to the graduate to decide what to write in it, when to start writing on it, and when to stop writing.
A blank diploma also symbolizes one's freedom to choose his own future. The graduate may choose to write on it. He may color it. He may draw on it. He may fold it. And he may tear it up and throw it away.
And just like any paper, that blank diploma may be easily crumpled, torn or drenched, depending on how the graduate treats it.
Just like that blank diploma, our future may be colorful or blank depending on how we want it to be, and what we want it to be. That blank diploma, which may soon be in our hands, signifies our freedom to pursue our future. And so, when we get that piece of paper, let us hold it carefully, because that is our hard work; that is our future… not a piece of paper… but our tomorrow.
- This is dedicated to the millions of Flipino students who will be marching on the stage to earn their hard-earned diplomas....
- this article was published in the Inquirer's Youngblood section on Marc h 28, 2006.