XU Valedictory Address: ASEAN Integration and Equitable Development


Valedictory address of Reine Luise W Cabreira, Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology, cum laude, Class of 2016 and Outstanding Graduate Awardee of the College of Arts and Sciences of Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan, delivered during the 77th Academic Convocation on March 16 at the XU Gymnasium.

To our esteemed University President, Fr Roberto C Yap; to today’s honorees, Reverend Fr Edwin M Gariguez, executive secretary of the CBCP-NASSA, the Hon Romeo P Tiongco, Mayor of the Municipality of Damulog, Bukidnon and Mr Frank G Rivera; to the Most Reverend Archbishop Antonio Ledesma SJ, Doctor of Divinity, Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro; to the administrators, faculty and staff of our prestigious university, to our much beloved parents and guests, and to you, my fellow graduates, good morning!

My fellow graduates, the world you and I are about to enter is full of opportunities. It is one where we have access to more information and resources than any generation before us, and one where ASEAN Integration is projected to create accelerated development for our country through the free movement of labor, goods and investment. It is people like us, highly educated, competent, competitive young professionals, who stand to benefit the most. But before we enter that world, hopeful and proud of making it this far, it’s worth remembering how we got here.

I cannot speak for you, but I can tell you the ugly truth about myself. I am not here because I am the brightest, the most hardworking, or even the kindest among you. Ultimately, I am here because I am lucky — lucky to have been born into a family that could afford to educate me, lucky to live somewhere where war or discrimination did not have the chance to tear my future away, lucky to have people who loved and supported me without fail.

How can I ever repay that kind of fortune? Another ugly truth is that I can’t. All I can do is recognize that with all of my privilege comes a duty to fight for those who were not so lucky: to become, as my Xavier education has urged me again and again, a woman for others. And to me, that means pushing for equitable, sustainable economic development.

In my own capacity as a student of Marine Biology, that means using my skills and knowledge to forward sustainable aquaculture, responsible natural resource management, and a solid legal framework for environmental conservation, both for future generations and for the poor of today, who are disproportionately affected by environmental disasters, like the fisher-folk in our own city whose livelihoods are compromised by fish kills, and those who endure constant flooding and live in fear of another Sendong.

As an ordinary person, it means making informed choices and holding our political leaders and institutions accountable so that whatever wealth we gain isn’t lost to corruption; it means demanding progressive economic policies and adequate physical and social infrastructure so that the potential of growth is maximized.

Development must belong to all, regardless of ethnicity, culture, gender, creed or class. It must empower us to grow not only economically, but also in our respect and appreciation for each other in our diversity and our overarching common identity.

ASEAN Integration or not, we cannot say we have truly developed until women have reproductive healthcare and workplace equity; until our indigenous brothers and sisters are secure against violence and the abuse of their lands; until our labor force has living wage; until we provide an education for those who will continue the fight after us.

Our Xavier education has given us the capacity to be the voice and hands for others. But more importantly, it has given us the hearts to serve, and it is the dedication to this service that will define our place in this world. Just as the peoples of ASEAN have united in their rich diversity of cultures and backgrounds in pursuit of development, so too must we unite our efforts and our varied and unique abilities towards the common goal of a better tomorrow for all.

Share this post:

Related Posts


  1. GING-GING says:

    who cares to that Valedictory Address…. I am also an atenean pustahan mas nindot pako ug trabahu niya.. ug dako pako sueldo pustahay mas greenr pasture pako ana niya basin sales lady lang sa Gaisano ang first job niya wahahahahahah

    • Veri says:

      Wow, really? That’s cruel. Of all the Atenean values Xavier has shared to you, humility and cura personalis isn’t one of them. Not sure if you’re from the Ateneo.

      • Veri says:

        Also, you are a person, not a pasture.

        • GING-GING says:

          daun unsa man makuha nako nimu Veri, I am an XU Graduate, gusto ka masagpa sa akuang kwarta (men and women for others) lol in your face kabalo ko person ko kung wide kag mind.

          Nganu ang Xavier ba mangita bag trabahu para nimu, bot bot. Daghan gane XU grad na istambay pag human kai kasagara Tamili ug trabaho gusto Manager Diretso pag na hired kai lampa man diay wala hanaw, mao na kasagara akung ma experience, pero Product ko sa XU.

    • Kylie says:

      Sales lady? Ngano mag sales lady siya nga naa naman siya’y family business, cguro pang extra job, imong gi ingon mas nindot pakag trabaho? So wla pa diay kay trabaho? Hahaha maypag ikaw nlng mag sales lady bagay mn sa imong ngalan

    • neonblueblog says:

      Ging-ging is clearly not an Atenean and is a mere impostor

    • kromagnon says:

      Sourgrapes ging? Huhuhu pustahan mahimo kag gro. Kana ug naakay hitsura hahaha

    • kromagnon says:

      It’s easy ro despise what you can never have. Si Reine gwapa, bright, naay breeding.
      Si ging ging intawn TRAPO sa salog ayaw selos ging dawata ang pagka trapo hahaha

  2. Glendale says:

    Ging- Ging, are you sure you are Atenean? hahahaha. Ateneans are so humble with regards to any achievements they reaped. Unlike you mas maayo pa man ug pamatasan ang graduate sa kilid sa suba. Bugok kaayo ka dai wa nmo maappreciate ang content sa message ky for sure wala ka nakasabot. Maong paghilum f wala kay maayo nga comment.

    • GING-GING says:

      so what Glendale for you maaayu kag pamatasan but for others na Grad ng XU maayo ba kasagara, if you annalyze it from fact to fiction may masasabi ka ba, this is not how you Judge a person kung atenean, you cannot changed the attitude of a person kahit school hindi eh, sa libre ra ng men and women for others, i commented because i want to express my feelings to other Graduates what lies ahead to them after graduation.

  3. Jaya says:

    Why bother react on that speech if you don’t really care at all?
    Being an Atenean is about sharing knowledge and encouraging people to care for others. It’s not entirely about having good pay. Maybe for you that is your standard but sad to say not everyone has the same standards.

    • GING-GING says:

      yah i know that’s what you called “Magis” so what may magagawa ka ba sa realidad, Ilan na ba ang na bahagian mu ng knowledge na itunuro sayu ng XU, ikaw ba mismu gui na aplly nimu na sa imuhang kaugalingun? so dont react diretso, I am not bitter, but I want to show the reality of her speech.

  4. Winel says:

    Hahahahaha Xavier is ateneo de cagayan….

  5. Kappa Lord says:

    Ging, if you are in fact a graduate of an Atenean school, then shame on you. I know for a fact that not all Ateneans follow the values that are taught inside the walls of this university, but please don’t bring shame on your alma matter.

    • GING-GING says:

      I agree with you Kappa Lord……..but shame on you too!!!! think you’re clean?

      • Kappa Lord says:

        Does it matter though? Yes, I AM not clean(obviously), yes, I may not have the same job as you (whatever that job is) but the thing is, I don’t brag with other people on who I am, I may not be an Atenean, but I wholeheartedly respect these Ateneans because they value and respect other people regardless of who they are in this world, that is something you should uphold if you are one. Shame on you because you flaunt whatever achievement and wealth you have right now and look down on these fresh graduates. Shame on you for feeling too entitled and privileged to the point that you degrade other people. If you are an Atenean then you should have known better.

  6. Lee says:

    I think it’s quite clear that the “pasture” is all talk. It can’t even communicate its concerns properly. It still had to clarify its stance on “the reality of the speech” (which, by the way, it did not seem to understand clearly).

    But even its perception of “reality” is wrong. The speech, which was by the way written by a real person whose identity was revealed in this article and has a long list of off-campus and on-campus achievements, speaks of how important it is to not take privilege for granted. This includes the privilege of being a graduate of a school like XU.

    That is, contrary to the “pastures” frustrations, you don’t just sit there and wait to be given a job. You look for opportunities and don’t blame the University just because you can’t find a job on your own. XU Graduates are already lucky as they are to have that education, and it would be absurd to assume that it is their obligation to give you a job as well.

    Even the fact of getting a job as a sales lady at Gaisano is a privilege in this world where there is job shortage. It’s sad that there are people who claim to have a better job and more money to look down on the stature of women who work hard to earn whatever salary they can earn.

    Lastly, it’s very easy to claim that a person has a better job than a fresh graduate who obviously doesn’t have employment yet. It’s so easy to claim a that one has a better job, lots of money to “slap” with, under the privileged anonymity of the internet. For all we know, this pasture isn’t even what it claims to be. In fact, I am confident this pasture is capable of nothing, except randomly typing things on the internet, calling the “realities” and “opinions.”

    In short, there are three reasons why this “pasture” failed to understand the true “reality” of the valedictorian’s speech, which was largely about privilege.

    1. It abused its privilege of being able to declare an opinion online without proof of any of its claims.
    2. Assuming it is telling the truth, it abused its privilege of being an alleged graduate of a prestigious school (which, by the way teaches proper sentence construction) by insisting that it is entitled to full protection by the University through job and income security.
    3. Finally, it abused its privilege of being an alleged rich and well-employed member of society by looking down on those who are less fortunate than itself (i.e. sales ladies).

    • Lee says:

      And just to be clear: I don’t think anyone is free of imperfections. I don’t think anyone is “clean”. But given that we are all similarly imperfect, I don’t think it is ever an excuse for some who claims to be well-bred to speak ill, especially when that someone hides under the veil of anonymity.

      Indeed, nobody is clean. But clearly, some people just behave more tastefully than others.

  7. Glendale says:

    Ging Ging, inday nga nga pa more. Claim ka nga atenean dli man gani ka kahibalo ug spelling sa analyze madam. igna nalng gud nga dli ka graduate. Wala kay right mo judge sa nag speech ana nga mo end up as tindera sa Gaisano ky bright xa dai dli parehas nmo super ka hypocrite, pretender maypa moangkon ka nga graduate ka sa University and college of nowhere.

    • GING-GING says:

      mas hypocrito ka

    • GING-GING says:

      Yes I am an XU Alumni, pero tanang knowledge na gui sulod ug tanan nako na tun-an sa XU akuang gui delete tanan kai Diploma ra akuang gui apas dili basihan ang spelling ug mga libro na gui tun-an nimu sa University na atenean graduate ka, nganu ma apply nimu na in the real world? Mag hilom nalang ka. Pobre ra man kang Pinoy busa dili ka mu asenso kai impleyado raka na cge pangupit.

      • john says:

        Alumnus Ging, not alumni…..and I doubt if you are indeed an alumnus, it doesn’t show….

        In the meantime, enjoy your hour of fame GING-GING….hehehehe

        • Jose Manalo says:

          Alumna John, if baye jud na si Ging-Ging. Pero if binabaye sya, alumnus jud d.i….. hahahaha

      • halugingging says:

        Hi ging, klaro man nga gidelete nimo tanan imo natun’an, murag wa gani gusto muangkon nga taga XU ka. And I’m sure sa “chada” kay nimo nga trabaho, you don’t need any brain cells to work gyud, klaro maaaan 🙂

  8. Liz says:

    Ging-ging, please, whatever you do, do not breed.

  9. komunistang mahal ang bayan says:

    Yang valedictorian na Yan parang SI grace pie! American!

  10. Batibot says:

    Hi ging-ging.. Taga xavier pud ko xugs ’95, xuhs 99, accountancy 2003.. Trip lng nko patulan taka ka. Pila diay imo sweldo? Ang sweldo ba ang sukdanan sa success sa usa ka tao? Secondly, unsay problema sa sales lady na trabaho? Ang iyang speech naay punto ug ayaw i-blame sa skwelahan ang batasan sa unsa ka empleyado. Dghan opportunities, diskarte na dayon na sa usa ka graduate sa xavier kung unsaon pgkab-ot sa iyang gusto.

    Sa tono sa imong mga yaw-yaw, i have to agree bitter ka. Dli ba kaha frustrated ka sa imong kaagi sa panrabaho..

  11. Iamyourworstnightmare says:

    Nice one Lee. Very detailed.

    For Ging-Ging, lupigan pa nimo among silingan nga sauna helper ra pero karon naningkamot nag skwela not in ateneo though, mas maayo pag batasan nimo, mas maayo maki halubilo sa uban tao.

    Ug ako, Wala ko ka graduate due to certain circumstances, and yes sales lady LANG ko, but who cares, I love my Job as a Louis Vuitton “Sales Lady” here in abroad. May nalang sales lady kaysa preha nimo naa pay time mang kutsa ug valedictorian speech. Im sure nag nga nga raka diha sainyong balay, naa pay time mag comment ug daghan. Ipakita imong nawong arun mosikat ka. I challenge you, ipakita na imong nawong ug kwarta nga gina ika hinambug, ni family negosyo wa man cguroy imo.. Wa ka nasayod basin ga skwela pana ang Valedictorian gi atangan nana cya sa mga companya or govt agencies specially much needed ang mga marine biologist karon nga panahuna. Ikaw? Sa tono nimo murag ga shot shot raman cguro kas kilid2. Hahaha

    Eto si Ging-Ging.
    Malaki raw ang sweldo ni Ging-Ging.
    Ateneo Graduate raw si Ging-Ging.
    Mas maganda pa raw trabaho kesa Valedictorian.
    Hindi marunong mag construct ng sentence si Ging-Ging.
    Eto si Ging-Ging.
    WAG tularan si Ging-Ging.

  12. James Mac says:

    You must have a chip on your shoulder Ging-Ging. But who knows. Gakatawaha ka lang dinha kay you have aroused the emotions of fellow Ateneans considering the numerous responses that emanated. Maayo unta magpakita ka didto sa XU quadrangle para express nimo imong negativity about college education.

  13. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named says:

    *grabs popcorn*

  14. Mark says:

    Fix your grammar.

  15. well played says:

    saba raw mo. maypag matulog mo ginansya pamog muta.

  16. lemons says:

    Ging ging, reminder lang, not all graduates of Xavier are Ateneans. You’re not Atenean by the way you behave. Shame on you!

  17. john says:

    As far as I know, this fine lady who delivered that XU Valedictory Address is a Champion Debater who have been representing the university in various debates, local and international.

    Ging-ging should not dare cross their path…..heheheh

  18. GING-GING says:

    mang hilom mu uy mga Pinoy Mu busa wala mu mu asenso ayaw ni patuli kai trip

    • Mark says:

      I feel sorry for you dear.

    • asdfghjkl says:


  19. Glendale says:

    GING GING NA utak pulburon paghilum na ging ging ky daghan pakag buluhaton sa imong amo ang mga plato wala nimo nahugasan, wala paka nakapamalansa, wala paka nakaluto ky cge ra kag nga nga geng

  20. Gong-gong says:

    Pandamay ka Ging! XD

  21. j_d says:

    Aw pildi mag lagot gyud……naa si Ging Ging o sigi katawa….

  22. @GING-GING

    GR8 B8 M8, I R8 8/8

  23. Ging-ging, it is clear that you don’t have qualities of an XU graduate so why brag about it? You are saying that you have high paying job but still it seem that you are not happy. Genuine happiness is not being showed through a bitter comment. Ms Reine deserves it, I’ve witnessed the search and I’ve read the speech. Too bad there are people like you who is pretentious. You can’t even show your identity. 😪😂

  24. BrentKyle says:

    *grabs popcorn*

  25. Juan Dela Cruz says:

    As much as i am pissed that my alma mater is being mocked by some crazy sociopath, I believe Ging-ging is trolling, i also believe he/she/it is definitely not from Xavier, and picking on ging-ging’s jibes wont do anyone any good, establishing such premise, I would now like to comment on the speech delivered by Reine Cabreira.

    As how i understood it,the speech talks about knowing and acknowledging what we can or cant do, as graduates and as professionals we are all called to do as much as to protect the future of our family and our country as best as we can through the education that we have availed, which by the way this time have downgraded to merely a privilege instead of a right.

    We are also challenged to be smart,critical and involved if we want to get a shot at changing the corrupt political machinery that rule this country for a very long time.

    Lastly we are encouraged to be contemplative in our actions especially that elections is fast approaching, thus we are challenged to have an informed choice. We are also in the era of globalization, hence we are called to put our efforts towards developing to global pinoys.

  26. Anonymous says:

    It’s better not to mind those f*ck person… Attention seeking lang yung mga taong tanga katulad ni “Ging-ging” para maging artista dito. Hindi niya nga alam yung pag gamit sa proper tenses sa english xD

  27. yayhhh freedom of speech, clappppp gingx2, way Filipino’s instead paying attentions to the message, they become teacher by correcting the grammar/spelling, to the messenger. Den

    • john says:

      and which message should we be paying attention to, that of Ms. Cabreira or that of Ging-Ging? Furthermore, who is that “messenger” you are referring to?

Leave a Reply