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15th Commencement Speech by Dr. Carlos Primo C. David

Dr. Carlos Primo C. David, Former Executive Director of DOST-PCIEERD and Professor under the College of Science, University of the Philippines, was the Guest of Honor and Commencement Speaker at Malayan Colleges Laguna’s 15th Commencement Exercises held at the PICC on May 22, 2018.

Below is Dr. Carlos Primo C. David’s full commencement speech.

Graduating class, I am about the same age as your parents. And so I thought that whatever lifelong lessons I may share with you this afternoon, chances are, you may have already heard from them. Instead, I’d like to try something different. Reverse things if possible– that is, can we, the older ones here today learn from the 20 something year olds? From those who are just about to start their professional careers?

For this little experiment, it took me on a trip to MCL and just wander around for a while and get a feel of what students do and talk about these days. This was, however, cut short when the guards alerted the officials that there were people loitering within the Campus. That’s when I was escorted to meet EVP Dennis Tablante, VP Al Costales and College Registrar Rochelle Dineros or risk being thrown out of MCL.

I work with big data sets from the internet so I also mined the twitter feeds from MCL, KAMALAYAN, Meleyen and some of your individual tweets to get a feel of what’s happening in MCL. From this I know how much you like the milk tea in MCL and the late release of your toga for this graduation. And finally I communicated via email with some of the members of this year’s graduating class.

I learned three things from this experiment.

1. That the dreams of these young people do not have boundaries. Earning is not the main consideration and pursuing their lifelong dreams start right now. In fact, they may pursue things that seem outside of the course they finished so parents don’t be alarmed. Besides, the work environment is changing so fast that our traditional courses are barely coping with the new skills requirements in the workplace. Over the weekend, I met four kids in their mid-20s, they are kids of friends of mine. And they are into Data Science, Fintech or finance technologies and digital marketing and creatives. And did I tell you that they own their own companies? Their stories are the same, they worked with established companies for a couple of years, learned the business and workflow, and setup companies based on what they see as trends in the business. Other than those fields I mentioned, you may want to look into other emerging fields such as Artificial Intelligence, Game and App development, graphic design and anything that helps traditional services more efficient with technology and automation.

2. In this day and age of social media, creating meaningful relationships is still very important to these kids. Helping people and communities are on top of their list. They all have these little projects and advocacies that make a big difference in their own circles. Keep it up. At the end of the day, we will be judged not by how much we earned but by how many people we were able to help.

3. Our kids are motivated. Parents I know you worry sometimes that your kids seem to be just sleeping all day or in FB pretty much the whole time. Baka bumubwelo lang. Their timing is different than ours but they’ll come around once they find a workplace that suits them. Graduates there’s a whole new world out there for you to explore. Huwag na mahiya, hanapin ang iyong landas.

Thank you Charles Lijauco, Lorenz James Diamante, Airah Josua Toleza for your inputs. Oh and Charles you mentioned that your dream job is to work with Bloomberg or CNN as a finance journalist. It just so happens that Bloomberg TV host Roby Alampay and ANC’s On the Money host Quintin Pastrana are personal friends and business partners of mine. I got you an interview with them. Good luck.

Finally, I’d like to share with you a strategy that has worked for many of my endeavors. You see, I’m obsessed with finding what we call as WIN-WIN SITUATIONS. In many of the personal and business transactions you will make, many of them can end up with WIN-WIN situations. Kung baga sa mag boyfriend at girlfriend, walang magsasabi na lugi ang isa. Panalo sila sa isa’t isa.

Case in point. I am the proud owner of this. It’s the water distribution facility of a barangay in Laurel, Batangas. With about 150 households each paying P170 per month for water. The collection barely exceeds 20 thousand pesos each month. Monthly expenses run to about 10 thousand and minor repairs of 5 thousand, there’s really little left to recover the million peso investment I made. They deserve to have clean, running water but at the same time I can’t be just giving away money.

Fortunately, what Laurel has is clean water, and lots of it, much more than what they need. So my idea is to develop this water resource and sell the excess to the richer towns around Laurel that are in need of water. This way, I can recover my investment plus some more, improve the barangay water pipes, maybe even make water free in Laurel, earn some money for the barangay and provide clean water to everyone. There are many such opportunities in life and I hope you also look for them.

Congratulations to the MCL Class of 2018. May you seek and find your own WIN-WIN situations both in your personal relationships and professional careers. Maraming salamat po.


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