Tagbilaran, Tuesday, 3 April 2012
As I said, I liked the way Miss Universe 2011 third runner-up Shamcey Gurrea Supsup delivered her message during the 142nd commencement exercises of the University of Bohol. She said it with so much fervor that nobody could say she didn't say it from the heart.
Having the Miss Universe beauty and board topnotcher as speaker was a history in the making. It was Shamcey's first time to speak in a graduation ceremony. Everyone who attended the event was inspired. And a big thanks to UB Registrar Leah Tirol-Magno, the graduation chair, for making it happened.
The hills are alive... with Shamcey Supsup at the top of the highest hill in Carmen. Photo Courtesy: Elcid Tirol
Before that Shamcey did a "whirlwind" countryside tour. Wearing a sundress, Shamcey flashed her winning smile to her Boholano fans, who either shrieked in admiration or were too dumbfounded to say anything. She's really beautiful. She's mobbed by fans wherever she went.
"It's my second time here in Bohol. Matagal ko nang gustong pumunta. I didn't have the time. Yung first time ko dito sa Bohol, hindi ako nakapagtour, so ngayon ko lang nakita ang Bohol. Mas maganda dito," Shamcey told Bared.
Shamcey visited Loboc River, the river of joy. She was welcomed by Tessie Labunog-Sumampong of Loboc Riverwatch. "This is better than river cruising in Bangkok, Thailand," she quipped.
Miss Universe 2011 third runner-up Shamcey Supsup at the Loboc river, the river of joy. Photo Courtesy: Elcid Tirol
At the world famous Chocolate Hills in Carmen, Shamcey climbed the 214 concrete steps to reach the highest hill. She said that viewing the chocolate hills is a never-ending amazement. The guides (composed of Angeli Uy of Lab Tours and Travels, Melanie Tirol, Desiree Roxas, Liza Macalandag, Elcid Tirol, Charlito Andam and Gyn Mark Cajote) and Bb. Pilipinas Charities, Inc. coordinator Ms. Liliana Soriano joined her watching the grandeur of the thousand hills—so beautifully formed in the central part of Bohol.
And a visit to the tarsier sanctuary in Corella town allowed Shamcey to see the natural habitat of the tarsier with ‘tarsierman' Lito Pizarras as guide.
"Sana mapreserve ang natural beauty ng Bohol. Once na nasira yun mahirap na ibalik. It's more fun in Bohol," Shamcey said.
Anyway, to give everyone a chance to reminisce Shamcey's graduation message (not only for UB graduates but for all the graduates there), here's a copy of her message. Read on.
Shamcey receives a warm welcome from UB people. UB President Atty. Victoriano Tirol, Jr and chairman of the board of trustees Engr. Jes Tirol give the plaque of appreciation to Shamcey. LPU
Good afternoon to all of you. First of all, thank you for inviting me to grace this most meaningful occasion.
Many people have asked me if I have change since April 10 when I won the Binibining Pilipinas that eventually brought me to the road to São Paulo, Brazil for the Miss Universe Pageant. Yes and no. I have changed in ways that amaze even myself. From someone who didn't know the first thing about wearing high heels, putting on makeup or fixing my hair, I transformed into someone who could enhance whatever God-given countenance I was given. From a person who was very shy, I learned how to speak to large audiences and flash my brightest smile. And from someone who was always within the comfort zone of family and friends, I learned how to interact with people from all walks of life.
Yes, I have change. But then again, I haven't.
Last year, I was veritable probinsiyana. I grew up in my parents' farm in GenSan. I rode "carabaos" and ran around the farm. There is simplicity and tranquility in my GenSan life that I miss. It is simplicity that makes up my core. In truth, even if a lot of me have changed, I am still very much a probinsyana at heart.
Today, there are 725 of you who are probinsyanos and probinsyanas at heart who will graduate. Your parents have toiled hard to get you where you are. Some of you will venture to go out to the city, even out to the world. Some of you will opt to stay in Bohol. But all of you will pursue your dreams.
In pursuing your dreams, I urge to continue being a probinsyano. Dream big, but live simply. Learn to recognize the real and important from the mere trappings of glory. In my reign as Ms. Universe Philippines, I got caught in the whirlwind of several social and high profile activities. While I recognize the significance of each activity, somehow, it was in the low profile and simple activities where I found real joy.
Don't get me wrong. Being simple does not mean being second best. It simply means discerning and being focused on the things that matter most. In your own simple ways, aim to be first, the best .The founders of your esteemed university did just that. Your school was the first university in the province. It is the home of several alumni whose names are synonymous with excellence. When I decided to give in to my mother's wish for me to become a beauty queen, I took everything to heart. I took everything seriously. I studied the moves, perfected my walk, and honed myself so I could bring honor to my country. At first, it was just an obedient daughter following her mom's wishes .But as the competition progressed, I knew that I should push myself to be the best I could. Eventually, it boiled down to how I could be the best for my country.
From simple goals and the pursuit of excellence, I implore you young graduates to conquer the whole new worlds that lay on your feet not only with youthful fervor, but also with integrity. It is not enough that you reach your dreams. It is not enough that you be the best. It is most important if you do everything with dignity and respect. Never compromise your values and ideals. Never give up the beliefs that make you who you are in exchange for favors and rewards that are just material and transitory. This is exactly what was in my mind, when in a heartbeat ,I answered the question posed to me during the Miss Universe pageant .Some say that I should have stretched my answer to make it sound more diplomatic. Some say that I should have asked for an interpreter. For me, however, the answer was so clear that I did not need a translator to say what was in my heart. There simply was no gray area in need of "stretching". These are the values that were ingrained in me by my parents that are not negotiable at all.
Finally, I enjoin you to pay it forward. A lot of you will reach great heights in their endeavors. But always look back and pay it forward. There is a reason why you have been showered this blessing of education. Find a way for these blessings to multiply a hundred fold by giving back –to your family, to school, to province, to your country, and most of all to God. Paying it forward is the best way to show your gratitude. It is gratitude that manifests and multiplies itself in generosity.
Be simple. Be excellent. Be honest. Be generous in your gratitude. Be all these and you will be the best graduates of University of Bohol.
Thank you very much and congratulations to all.
Thanks for your letters, all will be answered. Comments welcome at email@example.com, follow leoudtohan at Twitter/ Facebook.
Leo P. Udtohan
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