I’m proud to have been chosen as the Valedictorian of our class in elementary and high school, but the feeling of receiving the award is not greater than the feeling and excitement when delivering the valedictory speech. It’s not because I want to show off my public speaking skills or to prove that I am worthy of being the valedictorian, but because of the message I want to say to my fellow graduates and to everyone in attendance. I want to make all of them happy by letting them realize about several things why such a momentous day is more than just celebrating the accomplishment of finishing 6 years or 4 years of studies.
My first valedictory speech was made by Uncle John, the husband of Tita Gina who is my mother’s sister. Uncle John is a British who worked as a microbiologist before. I delivered the speech beside the podium because I was too small then. Our graduation was held in a gym, which was jam-packed with parents and relatives of the graduates. I memorized and delivered the speech without a copy.
For my second valedictory speech, I made it on my own. It was longer than the first one but I still memorized and delivered it without looking at a copy, though I printed one and put it in a folder just in case I get a mental block. Our high school graduation was held in our town’s cathedral. To this date, that speech stands to be the best that I have delivered in my life.
Michael Jackson’s out of this world, heaven-sent talent has influenced my love for dancing throughout the years. I have performed some of his songs in contests and intermission numbers in school. My most unforgettable performance would be the one back during the senior year in high school.
Cor Jesu College High School department, one of the schools in Digos City, is celebrating its foundation anniversary on that month of February 2002. We were invited to join the dance competition which is open for all Catholic schools within Davao del Sur. We were the last performers (I think there were 9 contestants) that afternoon. I can still remember the excitement and nervousness that I felt when we entered the gym. The performance wasn’t held on stage because it was too small so we just used the space in front of the stage (basketball’s half court).
The atmosphere was really awesome and it was like a feeling that you have when you’re performing in a concert. It was the first and only time that I felt so excited that much to dance. We performed MJ’s Dangerous concert version, which he performed in his Dangerous concert in 1996 or 1997. We used the same costume that MJ wore on that concert, coat with white band on the left arm, fedora hat (though we used buri hat and painted it black) and white long sleeves with black necktie. We also have a stick as a props. We used that stick in the finale. It was a really, really cool performance. The audience loved it and that’s what made it even cooler.
We won 1st place but it’s just an icing on a cake. Providing the audience with so much joy and entertainment was more than enough to make the weeks of tiresome and late night practices all worth it.
It was during my sophomore year in Holy Cross Academy of Digos that it happened. It was one of those culminating programs of a school event like English Month or Math and Science Month. I can’t remember what the program was about but it’s definitely not Linggo ng Wika.
There were four of us who volunteered to dance for an intermission number. We were wearing plain white shirts, khaki pants and the culprit of it all, strapped sandals matched white socks. The music for that number is If I Let You Go by Westlife. I didn’t know that the stage’s floor is slippery until we were preparing to dance. I was hoping that I can finish the dance without missing any step, but lo and behold, halfway through the song while stepping to my right I slid and fell on my side. I quickly stood up and showed a big smile on my face but it’s impossible not to get noticed. Our classmates who were cheering for us from the back of the audience started laughing while still cheering for us.
What makes it really embarrassing for me is that it’s my first dance performance in high school and I was trying to give a good first impression. It would have been less shameful if it happened in my 2nd or 3rd performance. I don’t feel awful about it though. In fact, I would always laugh to myself whenever I remember it. And after that day, I have never slide in any performance ever again.