Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A BLANK DIPLOMA (reposted)

It's graduation time once again and I thought of posting this article I wrote exactly five years ago today. I also wrote this a month before I learned that I passed the Bar Exams.

A Blank Diploma: as published at Inquirer

I very much like this article written by Jannell R. Cajote and published last March 28, 2006 at the Philippine Inquirer. Here it goes:
A FRIEND told me that it’s very seldom that schools give out real diplomas to their graduates during commencement exercises. Usually, what a graduate gets is a blank diploma, a blank piece of bond paper, rolled up and tied with a ribbon. After that, the graduate is off to the real world in search of new horizons.

Blank diplomas are probably given out because the real ones could get mixed up during the distribution ceremony, leading to confusion among the graduates. But to me it seems very symbolic that the diplomas are blank, for that is exactly what a graduate’s future is. It is blank because he himself must write his own future. It is for him to decide what to write on it, when to begin and when to stop.

A blank diploma thus symbolizes the graduate’s freedom to choose his future. He 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. Just like any other piece of paper, that blank diploma can be crumpled, torn or discarded, according to one’s wishes.

Just like that blank diploma, our future can be empty or colorful, depending on how we want it to be and what we want it to be. That blank diploma signifies one’s freedom to pursue one’s future. And so, when a graduate gets that piece of paper, he should hold it carefully, because it is not an ordinary piece of paper but it represents our tomorrow.

This is dedicated to the millions of Filipino students who will be marching on stage to receive their hard-earned diplomas.

Jannell R. Cajote, 27, is a lecturer at the socials sciences department of De la Salle University-DasmariƱas.

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