On Resilience and Compassion


[Sixth in a series: Valedictory addresses from the different colleges of the University of Northern Philippines are here featured as excellent graduates reflect on the journey behind them and as they forward to the next.]

Jayson Riodil Rapisura, the class valedictorian of the Juris Doctor Class of 2024 at the University of Northern Philippines (UNP) College of Law, delivered a powerful message that resonated with graduates, faculty, and guests alike.

Rapisura began by acknowledging the sacrifices and unwavering support of his parents, who have been there for him since day one. He emphasized that it is the parents who truly celebrate this momentous occasion, as they have endured countless hardships to see their children succeed.

The valedictorian then expressed his profound gratitude to the faculty, who have imparted not only legal knowledge but also valuable life lessons. He acknowledged that the journey through law school was never easy, but the encouragement and camaraderie of supportive friends made it bearable.

Rapisura reflected on the humorous yet meaningful experiences of law school recitations, where students would often ask for the question to be repeated to buy time to think. These experiences taught them the importance of perseverance, humility, and continuous learning.

The valedictorian highlighted the significance of the fully filled graduation hall, despite the small number of graduates—the Lucky 9. He explained that their presence represents the countless lives the graduates will touch and transform as future great lawyers. This powerful reminder serves as a testament to the impact the graduates are destined to make.

Rapisura emphasized that the graduates have faced every challenge head-on, armed with the belief that their efforts would lead them to success. He encouraged his fellow graduates to carry the same spirit of determination and integrity into their future endeavors, confident that they are prepared for the trials that lie ahead.

The valedictorian likened the University of Northern Philippines to a reef that nurtured the graduates from vulnerable hatchlings into formidable sharks. He urged the graduates to show the world what kind of sharks UNP has raised – with sharp eyes for spotting risks and opportunities, powerful jaws for seeking justice, and unwavering fins to reach their goals.

Rapisura reminded his fellow graduates that to be a lawyer is not just about intellect and skill, but also about compassion. He emphasized that as the Philippine courts are courts of law and equity, the graduates should strive to become lawyers not only of law but also of empathy.


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