5 Inspiring Ideas You Can Use in Life from "The Best Student Speech Ever"

Learn a thing or two from this summa cum laude.



(SPOT.ph) Getting an uno at the University of the Philippines in Diliman is not a walk in the park. You'll probably be licking your bruises come graduation day—that 5.0 from Math 17, embarrassing memories of that initiation day courtesy of your organization, a break up scene with the Sunken Garden as your background. We can't all be like the top-scoring University of the Philippines (UP) summa cum Llude Miguel Ricardo R. Leung who has an average of 1.0375, a girlfriend, and a degree in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. (Phew!) But, according to another summa cum laude and BS Molecular Biology and Biotechnology graduate, Isaiah Paolo A. Lee, "That's okay."


Fondly known as Pao, Lee gave the valedictory address during the UP College of Science commencement exercises on Saturday, July 9 and it immediately "blew [the] socks off" award-winning writer and professor Butch Dalisay. It was penned as "The Best Student Speech Ever" on Dalisay's article in The Philippine Star and the whole transcript immediately went viral.


Here are five memorable lines you can use in life, whether or not you graduated with honors.


On Chem 16

"[...] I didn’t fail the class, I didn’t get dismissed from UP, and I didn’t jump off a bridge. I could have, but I didn’t. That might not sound a lot like honor and excellence to you, but that’s the point."


On prodigies as hope of our nation

"The truth people have difficulty wrangling with is that not only do we not need a messiah, messiahs cannot solve our problems."



On just about doing anything

"Whatever it is, do it well, and do it for the people."


On serving the people, a lesson all Iskos and Iskas know

"Do it for the people whether the person in question is a drug addict in the emergency room or your waiter at UP Town Center or a stranger on the Internet or even just yourself, because it’s not about the gratitude, or the credit, or the reward, but about the people, and the work."


On making your Mama proud

"You might not make it to the newspaper’s front page, but you can make it to your mom’s proud parent Facebook post."

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Transcript from the Philippine Star's website; photos from the University of the Philippines' website

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