By Betheena Kae Unite
Like how the Oblation symbolically stands and offers itself for the country, Summa Cum Laude graduate Arman Ghodsinia urged his fellow graduates to stand by the Filipino people and extend compassion.
Ghodsinia, who hails from Marawi City, did not hide his sadness over the ongoing crisis when he delivered the valedictory message on behalf of the 4, 615 graduates in the 106th University of the Philippines (UP) Commencement Exercises Sunday.
“We gather here not merely as any graduating youth, but as graduating Iskolars ng Bayan, who show solidarity and deep concern for this nation, and well-being of our fellow people,” Ghodsinia said.
Ghodsinia, the first Maranaw to graduate Summa Cum Laude in UP, was among the 36 Summa Cum Laudes in his batch.
“Today is filled with the joy we experience in the safe confines of our graduation ceremony, we also recognize that today marks another day of suffering, fear and injustice felt by many of our fellow people throughout the country. Another day of hardship and chaos faced by our Filipino brothers and sisters in Mindanao,” Ghodsinia said earning silence from the crowd.
He expressed disappointment that up until today his hometown belongs to one of the poorest provinces in the country saying that access to quality education and healthcare is still low.
“But here I am standing in front of you today as proof that members of the minorities like us Maranaws can also do well, excel, and contribute effectively to societal growth given the same opportunities and rights. I am speaking to you as proof that anyone, regardless of religion, socioeconomic status or ethnic ties, can excel,” he added.
He encouraged his fellow graduates to not forget to the people of the Philippines, who helped them to be able to study.