dlpetilla vsu

Mr. Dominic L. Petilla, a businessman and unopposed candidate in the May 2013 gubernatorial race in the province of Leyte, served as the guest speaker during the 60th Collegiate Commencement Exercises of the Visayas State University (VSU) on April 5, 2013 at the VSU Gymnatorium.


In his introduction of the guest speaker, the VSU President, Dr. Jose L. Bacusmo, said that he is fully aware that the University should be neutral and free from influences of politics. Dr. Bacusmo pointed out that being apolitical distinguishes VSU from the rest of the state colleges and universities in the country. He expressed that he does not have any qualms of using the occasion for any political agenda, but rather on the merits of the speaker's experiences as an entrepreneur, a good manager, and a true friend.

The University President further explained that VSU, as an institution, wishes to continue its partnership with the Leyte local government unit in the development of the province and in the improvement of this great University. "Such kind of partnership with the new leadership of the province of Leyte commences today," Dr. Bacusmo stressed.

In his commencement address before the 930 graduates of the University, the in-coming Governor of the Province of Leyte emphasized two important things that the new graduates should embrace.

First is about yourself. Petilla challenged the graduates by posing a question "Where do I go from here?" The speaker encouraged them not to stop learning even though they graduated from school. "There are lots of things to find out and to learn in this world which are the essence of living," he averred. "We learn new things everyday and achieve more things that make our lives more meaningful," he added. Mr. Petilla called this in economics sense—the self-value. He stressed that there is value in each thing.

Nevertheless, he opined that we must have our own value and that will rate how much we learned in this world. "The more we learn, the more capable we become," he said.

Secondly, the guest speaker revealed that, after ourselves, we still have the others. He cited the teaching of the Ateneo De Manila University, his Alma Mater, wherein it is basically being "Man for others." He relayed that every individual has an obligation to help others, to teach others of what s/he learned, and to help in their needs as co-dependent with each other.

Petilla, an economist by profession, emphasized that everything in this world ultimately depends on what we do. He said that the economy is all about people because it is the people who purchase things, who sell things, and invent things. "If our people are healthier, then the economy goes much stronger; if our people are knowledgeable, then our economy will grow because we can innovate and invent lots of things," the young businessman added.

He praised the graduates and told them that it was really their hard work that brought them to the momentous occasion—the graduation exercises. He hopes that wherever they will be going, they will find fulfillment, find achievements, and find success in everything they do. Finally, Petilla urged the new graduates who have improved their self-value, to go out to love our God, to love our country, and to serve our people.

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