VSU Isabel Graduation 2023

[This is the full graduation speech of Isabel Municipal Mayor Edgardo C. Cordeño delivered to the more than 200 graduates of the 49th Commencement Exercises of the Visayas State University (VSU) Isabel.]

After navigating from the pandemic era, which disrupted the usual commencement exercises of all schools and relegated it to the consternating online ceremony, we are back to the regular face-to-face graduation rites. Good enough, President Marcos Jr., lifted the declaration of State of Emergency of the entire country.

From this vantage point, I can see that you are wearing full academic regalia, symbolizing completion of an academic milestone, and for this, first and foremost, I congratulate you for such preferment for making it this day on your academic journey.

This afternoon is a moment of reflection because an episode in your student life has just ended, and a new beginning has just started! It is a moment to reflect indeed, because having your graduation today is a rite of passage to the launching of a new, but more complex journey in your life.


All lessons that you learned and were taught by your professors in the four corners of the classrooms, can now be translated into practice on real-life-situations. Henceforth, your new beginning starts today!

College graduation, just like what you are experiencing today, is a turning point in the ladder of your school life, a ceremonial admission of the graduates to their pilgrimage into the professional world, where you are going to fill a large part of your life. What I am driving at is that—your graduation today is far from being finished.

I do not know who you will become someday, but I am sure that you will be on a quest for your defining moment, living in a world where you will be inextricably connected to other people. Today is the time of the culmination of your great hopes and heartaches, a day every student looks forward to.

At times, the tension of pursuing true work, just like looking for a true love, is daunting because the future is not fixed, but rather it is fluid and volatile. But, just like with all matters of the heart, you will know where to find it.


Life is a reciprocal exchange. Most of you at this moment, feel nervous! Nervous in the sense that you are apprehensive about the future, the fear of the unknown, the difficulty of finding a job. In mapping out your future to forage that elusive financial dividend, you will be confronted with nightmarishly tedious struggles and hard work that will test the mettle of your tenacity and perseverance.

In such an eventuality, you are guided by your dream. You dream to create change and the change that you created in your dream, becomes your springboard to find a purpose, not just a job but the opportunity to change yourself, your family, your country, and your town. In your pursuit, you will be capitalizing on the tempered knowledge and wisdom gained from the years of education, you place a bet on yourself that you are now technically, in a better position to contemplate your next step and choose a career path that will shape you for such purpose.

On another note, graduation could be a scary experience, because it is a new world out there for you. So, to avoid it, do what you feel passionate about. Keep moving forward, continue, and never give up. Never lose sight of your dreams and goals. The road you are going to travel, as you exit the gate of this University might lead you to different directions.


Each will perhaps go in separate ways, to the point that the work you will engage in may or may not be related to the course you took. To give you an example, my wife is a Medical Technologist, yet she is into the business of travel agencies. My son, as mentioned earlier, is a business management graduate, yet, he personally cooks and bakes pastries for his customers, in his IL FATTORIA restaurant; but he never went to culinary school.

Thus, be that as it may, because the jungle of employment is a multi-faceted, and a diverse place that is farfetched to understand. Potpourri, never be discouraged, for there is no doubt that each of you holds the best wishes from your professors, teachers, friends, parents and myself. More importantly, always be proud of your job.

Today is a day to celebrate for you have reaped the fruits of your endeavor, and it is a privilege on my part to join you in your celebration and to be here at VSU which has produced so many graduates. Looking at your eyes, which psychiatrists deem as the windows to the human soul, I can see hopes in your hearts, plans in your minds and legacy to be left. Just like me, in the trenches of being a public servant, there exists a dream and plan to leave a legacy for the Isabelanons in general, and to you dear graduates in particular.


Anent thereto, in my tenure as your mayor, it has been my preoccupation that nobody can help Isabel and our people in its pursuit for economic progress, advancement, and development but WE, ISABELANONS! Programs and projects have been laid out and implemented that contribute to the improvement of the Municipality of Isabel and its constituents.

To name a few, in the field of our effort to safeguard and provide health services and medical attention to our people, we have procured X-RAY and ULTRASOUND MACHINES, so that we could upgrade our IEH – Isabel Emergency Hospital, which is still an Infirmary into a Level I Hospital, and provide better health services. An X-RAY machine, forgive me for elucidating, is an imaging instrument that can aid our doctors at IEH to examine the inside of your body for diagnosis, in order to provide accurate treatment of illness. An ULTRASOUND MACHINE is also an imaging medical equipment that uses sound waves to produce valuable medical information for diagnosing and treatment of a variety of diseases and conditions. Thus, with these medical equipment, while I do not pray that we all get sick, we do not have to go to Ormoc City for these services. Thereby saving precious time and money to travel to and from Ormoc.

In addition, by the way, allow me on behalf of the people of Isabel, to thank VSU, through Dr. Edgardo Tulin, and Dr. Luzviminda Tajos, for giving us Usufruct over VSU’s parcel of land in Brgy. Monte Alegre, as our area for solid waste management.


Going back, to address the ever-increasing problem of solid waste, the LGU-Isabel will procure a THERMAL DECOMPOSITION, an innovative ingenious machine that can synthesize and decompose particles and garbage and transform them into environmentally - useful products. In this manner, we can address the garbage problem and air pollution.

Further, this machine is very economical, convenient and environment friendly–compared to the conventional method. We envisioned this machine to be an income generating resource of the LGU, or we call it AN ECONOMIC ENTERPRISE, so there will be a Return On Investment (ROI), because we will cater to the garbage problems of the nearby municipalities and the companies within the Leyte Industrial and Development Estate for a fee. The acquisition of the equipment, considering its primordial importance in the field of health and environment, is a breakthrough in our effort to provide the services attendant thereto.

These and other projects are in the pipeline, duly implemented and are in the process of being implemented. Suffice to say that your mayor is just like a student who is always recalibrating the next step forward for the betterment of the people in much the same way that you graduates are trying its best to make yourself useful to your family now and in the future. As new Mayor, in my first year, I have to learn the nitty-gritty of governance, then in the second year, which is now, I have to implement our projects for the people, because in the third year there will be an election period.


Toward this end, it is fitting to wish you the best and decently acknowledge the fruits of your endeavor. The best wishes and pearls of life-tempered wisdom too, of your teachers and parents who share your dreams for a brighter horizon are inculcated in your hearts and minds that will serve as a fan burning embers in your desire to have a place in the sun.

Good luck! A toast in your honor, and once again, me and my family’s congratulations to all of you, including your mentors!!!

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