/ 17 July 2022

SENATOR Joel Villanueva advised graduating students of the Bulacan State University not to give up from the challenges the country is facing, while continuing to build their knowledge even after graduation.

The senator stressed the point during his inspirational talk to 11,285 graduates when he served as guest speaker of the university’s 81st Commencement Exercises.

In his speech, Villanueva mentioned the challenges the country’s educational system is currently facing, particularly the low performance of Filipino students in math, science, and reading comprehension compared to other countries based on international findings.

Another challenge he mentioned is dealing with the unemployment situation in the country, and the need for skills training for Filipino workers.

Despite the situation, Villanueva advised BulSU’s graduating class of 2022 to keep on learning and aspire for lifelong learning to continue the growth of their knowledge and keep up with the changes happening in the world.

The senator said lifelong learning is important as studies show knowledge goes back to square one after five years, while it is also a way to keep up with technological advancements such as artificial intelligence.

Villanueva also shared the hardships he faced as a student in Harvard, and coping with the personal tragedy of losing both his mother and sister recently.

According to the senator, these helped shape his character and taught him to never give up from any challenge, which is an advice he gave to the graduating students.

“Never, never give up. Kahit sabihin pa ng pinakamatalik mong kaibigan, o ng iyong pamilya, na hindi mo kaya, huwag kang maniwala sapagkat  kaya mo at kaya mong mag-tagumpay,” said the senator.

Villanueva also advised graduates not to let anyone tell them to lessen their dreams.

“Huwag po kayong papayag na sabihan kayo na liitan, paikliin, o papangitin ang inyong mga pangarap. Hold on to your dreams. Keep on learning. Never ever give up,” the senator added.