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Be bold. Be brave.

Lanao del Norte National Comprehensive Senior High School Graduation 2020 Baroy, Lanao del Norte

Graduation Message by Harold Clavite

Not all of you might have realized it yet, but the world is far from a walk in the park. It is chaotic. It is not kind. It is wavy, full of crests and troughs. It is complicated.

You do not expect to instantly become the cool person that you thought you should be when you walk away from your high school campus or from your parents’ or guardians’ care.

Life is no magic. You do not transmogrify.

The kind of life you will have in 2030 and beyond will depend on the very steps that you will immediately take after today.

Some of you might have worked very hard to get to where you are right now. And some of you played it ‘cool.’ There may be poor, working students, orphans, sickly, insecure, emotional people among you. I am also quite certain there are privileged, proud, high-class, adventurous, and ambitious ones. You all have unique upbringing and no two persons are alike in terms of readiness – both mentally and emotionally, to take on bigger tasks and enormous responsibilities in the real world that you will start living in.

Regardless of how ready you are right now, there is no turning back.

The only option left for you is to quickly learn how to become more mature, stronger and grow into the perfected being that you ought to be— to become that bold and brave individual that you should be to be able to survive.

Learning from mistakes in the past, bringing an open-mind into discussions, introducing innovations into your adventures, and drawing out actions and solutions from the core value of your person – you might just become the bigger and better person that you never imagined for yourself!

The world is tough. But you can be tougher.

I was born and raised in this small, rural town — the exact same town of Baroy where you spent more than a decade trying to get the quality education you can have to build your future. As a kid, I had no ambitions and I never planned on anything. I hated being the poor child that I was, the son of ‘government employees.’ My dad was always away. My mom was always angry, as most moms were almost always perceived to be. I didn’t have much friends and kept to myself most of the time. I thought I was unhappy because I couldn’t have possession of the things I so desired. No fancy toys. No flashy, material things.

One night, I laid myself down on the ground and watched the bright stars among the darkness of the celestial sphere. For every corner in that dark sky, one star stood out – the shiniest, the brightest in the constellations. And it twinkled every damn, short moment.

I can be a star, I said to myself. I can be shiniest and brightest. I don’t exactly know how but I might twinkle too!

I began to realize that I had the choice to lead a life that is simple and content. At the same time, I can choose to be happy. I began to realize I had a loving family and extended family. My parents were no mere ‘government employees’ – my dad was a decorated military CMO and intelligence officer and my mom was an excellent elementary school principal. I didn’t need fancy toys and flashy material things to aim for a bigger and better person in the years that were to unfold.

That was the beginning of something new. With family and personal core values embedded in my being, I thought I had to be unorthodox. I could be an out-of-the-box thinker! I knew there was something. I knew I could outgrow the limitations and insecurities I had.

You just need to acknowledge your own weaknesses, the mistakes you made, the wrongful ideas that once came, and make that decision to become bigger than yourself. The world, after all, does not revolve around you. What matters is the way you bring yourself into what is expected and what is not expected.

At such a young age, I did not know what life had in store for me outside of Baroy. It worked out, but I have to say that the years I spent here, the lessons I took with me, and the relationships I formed and cherished in this small, rural town are a big part of my drive to succeed in the things that I do.

I hope that the youth of Baroy, you and those after you, would continue and must continue to pursue their dreams, whatever they are. Every Filipino deserves to dream, and the effort every Filipino puts into those dreams will only make our community and our country a lot better. 

In the pursuit of happiness and success, fix yourself. Only then you can build a strong foundation for the future you wish to build for yourself.

Be bold. Be brave. Better you, better Philippines.

Congratulations, graduates!


CEO/Managing Director

HRS Media & Communications

(Harold Clavite is a strategic communications specialist with more than 25 years of professional experience in public affairs and communication. He was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as Undersecretary and Director-General of the Philippine Information Agency. Prior to his government appointment, he was Executive Associate and later on Digital Communications Associate in the United Nations Development Programme Headquarters in New York City, where he lived with his wife and two daughters. At present, he opened his own start-up in media production in Iligan City. Harold is a lecturer and trainer on strategic communications and an advocate of cyberwellness for the youth and responsible social media).

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