Raphsody’s Rhapsody


[Fifth 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.]

Rhapsody: an effusively enthusiastic or ecstatic expression of feeling. Raphsody’s valediction is a rhapsody, indeed, as he bids goodbye to the UNP College of Technology.

In a world where adversity often tests the limits of human resilience, the story of Raphsody P. Dela Cruz stands as an example of how grit can pave the way to success. As the valedictorian of the College of Technology’s Class of 2024, Raphsody, cum laude graduate of the BS in Industrial Technology, Major in Electrical Technology program, recounted his remarkable journey through the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Raphsody’s academic journey was not without its obstacles. When the pandemic struck, his first two years of college were conducted entirely online, forcing him and his classmates to adapt to a new mode of learning. “Some of us were privileged enough to join the classes online, but there were also those who struggled to join due to many reasons – dealing with personal problems, no gadgets to be used, work-related, time constraints, and slow internet connections,” he shared.

Despite these challenges, Raphsody refused to be deterred. He described the determined efforts of his classmates, who attended classes from wherever they could find a stable internet connection – “at the beach, at the field, above the roof, anywhere one could find an internet connection.” This resilience and dedication to their education exemplified the strength of Raphsody’s cohort, who refused to let the pandemic stand in the way of their academic pursuits.

Raphsody’s personal story was equally inspiring. Raised by his grandparents since his mother had to work overseas, he acknowledged the immense support and sacrifice of his family, particularly his grandmother and late grandfather, who “paved the way” for him to reach where he is today. His heartfelt gratitude towards his parents, siblings, and girlfriend further highlighted the importance of a strong support system in overcoming life’s challenges.

Reflecting on his time at the University, Raphsody expressed deep appreciation for his instructors and mentors, who guided him and his classmates through the difficult transition to online learning. “To my instructors and mentors, thank you for guiding us. We will surely remember your teachings in our future field of work,” he said.


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