Two staff from the NEDA Regional Office VIII were invited to serve as keynote speakers during the Moving-Up Ceremonies of their respective high schools earlier this year.

In her inspirational speech at the Hilongos National Vocational School in Hilongos, Leyte on 28 June 2022, Senior Economic Development Specialist (Sr. EDS) Josefina F. Ballesteros of the Project Monitoring and Evaluation Division (PMED) shared her personal experiences from being an ordinary countryside girl to becoming a researcher pursuing science, value, and societal impact.

Ms. Ballesteros shared that before joining NEDA, she worked on consumer-driven rice-based product development research at the Philippine Rice Research Institute, and then went to Belgium and Italy for further studies as an international scholar.

She talked about how she pursued her dreams and how it ‘absolutely’ worked out, witnessing her dreams unfold in front of her. She shared a few tips on how to make dreams come true: 1) knowing your why’s; 2) knowing what you’re good at; 3) writing your dreams; 4) visualizing your dreams; 5) working on your dreams; and 6) letting go of your dreams and letting God decide. She emphasized that the last step is a life-changing lesson for her as she realized that tenaciously chasing your dreams also means letting go of them with the faith that it would come at the right time in God’s will.

Meanwhile, EDS I Rommel Rodrigo D. Ceblano of the Policy Formulation and Planning Division (PFPD) underscored the value of lifelong learning in his speech delivered on 1 July 2022 at the Taft National High School in Taft, Eastern Samar. As a working student-entrepreneur, he encouraged learners to continue studying even outside the curriculum of the formal school system and take baby steps in pursuing their personal goals and aspirations to avoid burnout even as they take on several endeavors simultaneously.

Mr. Ceblano likewise gave practical tips on choosing a senior high school strand and college course, emphasizing that the same should take into consideration an assessment of both the self (e.g., personal strengths, interests, and circumstances) and the labor market (i.e., availability of job prospects in the field being considered). Finally, he urged the completers to proactively seek scholarships both locally and abroad and serve the country towards the realization of AmBisyon Natin 2040.

The moving-up ceremony signifies the completion of grade ten students from the junior high school curriculum and paves the way for their entry into senior high. Pursuant to the Department of Education Memorandum No. 043, Series of 2022, the theme for this year’s end-of-school-year rites is “Gradweyt ng K to 12: Masigasig sa mga Pangarap at Matatag sa mgo Pagsubok (K to 12 Graduates: Pursuing Dreams and Fostering Resilience in the Face of Adversity).”

Article and Photos by: Josefina F. Ballesteros (PMED) and Rommel Rodrigo D. Ceblano (PFPD)