What Success Means


[Seventh 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.]

As the valedictorian of the UNP College of Public Administration Class of 2024, Marc Adrian L. Tabisula’s valedictory speech meditates on the true meaning of success. In a world that often equates achievement with grades and accolades, Tabisula reminds us that success is not just about personal accomplishments, but the impact we have on the lives of others.

Tabisula’s journey to success was not without its challenges. He and his fellow graduates, dubbed the “Survivors of the Online Class,” faced financial constraints, sleepless nights, and the constant pressure to excel academically. The fear of failure loomed large, driven by a desire to make their parents proud and not waste their sacrifices.

However, Tabisula argues that failure is a crucial part of the journey to success. He emphasizes that challenges are opportunities for growth, chances to refine our skills, and stepping stones toward our goals. By accepting failure as a natural part of the process, we can develop the resilience and determination needed to overcome obstacles.

As future public administrators, Tabisula urges his fellow graduates to use their knowledge and experiences to inspire positive change. He calls on them to bridge divides, amplify unheard voices, and uphold the highest standards of integrity. Collaboration and partnership, he argues, will be key to building resilient and inclusive communities.

He tells his fellow graduates, “we have the privilege and the duty to inspire positive change, leaving behind a legacy of resiliency and optimism, that despite the battles we have fought, from pandemic to natural disasters, as well as political, economic, and socio-cultural issues that directly and indirectly affecting us, we remained steadfast.”

Ultimately, Tabisula believes that the true measure of success is not just our personal achievements, but the impact we have on the lives of those we serve. By practicing selfless service, we can find true happiness and leave a lasting legacy.


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