VICE President Maria Leonor Robredo challenged the youth to be bearers of truth and empathy.
Robredo, who was guest of honor and speaker at the commencement exercises at the University of the Cordilleras (UC), spoke about hope, inspiration and compassion.
“Remember that the task to create a more humane society falls on your shoulders,” Roberdo said, as she called on the graduates to be living symbols of hope for the last and the lost.
Robredo cautioned graduates of the rampant racism, gender discrimination, new threats of terrorism and culture of hatred and violence creeping into the national narrative which targets the youth today.
“The youth of today are being accused of being too comfortable,” Robredo added.
Robredo said the value of empathy will lead the youth in the path they will choose to take.
“Will you side with truth even if it is unpopular?” said Robredo as she rallied to keep true and become everyday heroes.
Thursday's graduation was the 71st for UC where Robredo was conferred an honorary degree, honoris causa by the UC College of Law.
Earlier, UC also accommodated the launching of the Vice President’s “Istorya ng Pag-asa” Photo Gallery Exhibit.
UC officials led by vice president for Academic affairs Onie Aguinalde and Baguio City Officials led by Councilors Maylen Yaranon, Micheal Lawana, Leandro Yangot, Art Allad-iw and Lilia Fariñas likewise attended the exhibit launch.
“Istorya ng Pag-asa” has traveled the country, aiming to spread hope and positivism to lessen fear, as the stories of hope from areas are featured in each show, the idea was adopted by the Office of the Vice President and was launched at the Ayala Museum, it has since expanded to areas all over the country.
“Kahit saan tayo lumingon maroon tayong mapupulot na Istorya ng Pag-asa. Buksan natin ang ating mga mata at hanapin sila (Everywhere we look, we can see stories of hope. Let’s just open our eyes and find them),” Robredo said.
In Cordillera, there are 20 stories of hope culled from the communities highlighted with the narrative of John Paredes.
Paredes is a visually impaired Saint Louis University professor for special education and is currently on his second master’s degree.
“It was an honor to meet the Vice President and I hope my story will continue to inspire the younger generation,” Paredes said.
Selection of the stories was done with the help of the Social Awareness Leading to Enlightenment of our Next Generation, a local group of women and men who banded search for stories of hope.
On Wednesday, Robredo also led the turnover of assistive devices to at least 41 individuals comprised of children and adults at the Baguio Country Club and visited the Saint Louis University campus. (With reports from Lauren Alimondo)