by Lean Panganiban, as originally posted at the Philippine Online Chronicles

This article also goes by the alternative title: “Hugot lines from graduation/commencement speeches of famous celebrities.”


I know the feeling. There is always that yawning and obsessing over the ticking of the clock while your seatmate’s tummy is obviously ruminating on what to eat after the ceremony. But every so often, someone actually interesting is invited to deliver a few notes of wisdom and quiet the tummy rumbles and sighs.

These speeches from famous celebrities deliver all the feels.

  1. Jim Carey (to the graduates of the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa)

“Like many of you, I was concerned about going out into the world and doing something bigger than myself, until someone smarter than myself made me realize that there is nothing bigger than myself,”

“My soul is not contained within the limits of my body; my body is contained within the limitlessness of my soul.”

Who would have thought Jim Carrey can turn a commencement speech into a biology blurb? Did you know that he also received an honorary degree of doctor of fine arts during the ceremony? It was indeed some kind of an awesome show and tell!

  1. Stephen Colbert (to the graduates of Northwestern University, 2011)

“Thankfully dreams can change. If we’d all stuck with our first dream, the world would be overrun with cowboys and princesses. So whatever your dream is right now, if you don’t achieve it, you haven’t failed and you’re not some loser – but just as importantly – if you do get your dream, you’re not a winner.”

Leave it to Stephen Colbert to make the normal drag of a graduation day into something entertaining!

  1. Steve Jobs (to the graduates of Stanford University, 2005)

“Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And, most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”

Mr. Jobs delivered this to the students of Stanford a year after he was diagnosed with cancer. The speech is an impassioned and candid commencement address about getting fired from work, following your dreams, and living fully.

  1. Amy Poehler (to the graduates of Harvard, 2011)

“I can only assume I am here today because of my subtle and layered work in a timeless classic entitled Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo.”

Amy offered the graduates words of wisdom gathered from her own life experience. She urged them to count on others and take to heart the knowledge that the world is filled with smart people. Her good grasp of the human folly helps her deliver her perfectly timed and non-cruel punchlines. Now, who wouldn’t love this lady?

  1. Bono (to the graduates of the University of Pennsylvania, 2004)

“I hope you’ll pick a fight and get in it. Get your boots dirty, get rough, steel your courage. Make one last primal scream, and go. Sing the melody line you hear in your own head. Remember, you don’t owe anybody any explanations. You don’t owe your parents any explanations. You don’t owe your professors any explanations.”

Don’t you wish Bono talked at your graduation?

  1. Oprah Winfrey (to the graduates of Harvard, 2013)

“Build a résumé that doesn’t simply tell a story about what you want to be, but who you want to be.”

What’s the queen of talk’s Ivy League advice to the graduates? Make your resume a story about your purpose!

  1. J.K Rowling (to the graduates of Harvard, 2008)

“The weeks of fear and nausea I have endured at the thought of giving this commencement address have made me lose weight. A win-win situation! Now all I have to do is take deep breaths, squint at the red banners, and convince myself that I am at the world’s largest Gryffindor reunion.”

Eight (8) year after her visit, people still talk about her speech and still find inspiration in it. Publisher Little Brown will even release the speech as a book!

  1. Ellen Degenneres (to the graduates of Tulane, 2009)

“And I thought, what if they find out I’m gay? Then they’ll never watch… I finally decided that I was living with so much shame, and so much fear, that I just couldn’t live that way anymore and I decided to come out… It wasn’t to make a political statement, it wasn’t to do anything other than to free myself up from this heaviness that I was carrying around, and I just wanted to be honest… I lost my career. The show was cancelled after six years. The phone didn’t ring for three years. I had no offers. Nobody wanted to touch me at all. Yet, I was getting letters from kids that almost committed suicide, but didn’t because of what I did. And I realized that I had a purpose. And it wasn’t just about me and it wasn’t about celebrity… I was offered a talk show. And the people that offered me the talk show tried to sell it… Most people didn’t want to buy it because they thought nobody would watch me. Really, when I look back on it, I wouldn’t change a thing. I mean, it was so important for me to lose everything, because I found out what the most important thing is, is to be true to yourself. Ultimately, that’s what’s gotten me to this place. I don’t live in fear, I’m free; I have no secrets and I know I’ll always be OK, because no matter what, I know who I am.”

  1. Sandra Bullock (to the graduates of the Warren Easton Charter High School, 2014)

“The rule is, you have to dance a little bit before you step out into the world because it changes the way you walk. It changes the way you walk out in the world.”

She went on to share the thoughtful bits of advice she says she’s been giving to her son, 4-year-old Louis.

10. Peter Dinklage (to the graduates of Bennington College, 2012)

“The world might say you are not allowed to yet. I waited a long time out in the world before I gave myself permission to fail. Please don’t even bother asking. Don’t bother telling the world you are ready. Show it. Do it.”

His speech is only 28 minutes long. But frankly, this could inspire anyone. This man made good life choices!


*“The graduates” by Luftphilia courtesy of Flickr. Some rights reserved.

I have a lot of dreams for my children.  It is my hope that our country will change for the better. I have hopes that our future politicians will do their jobs and “walk the talk”. As a mother, all I want is a better future for my children. Most mothers want this.

mothers at yolanda

I know some of you may think that our country is hopeless and even as a mother, we can feel helpless at times. It can be disheartening. I am not helpless. We are not really helpless. I can solve most of my problems. I have the power to solve the problems that is mine to solve. In my own little way, I contribute to the society through my children and using social media tools to advocate social change for social good.

I believe that hard times can motivate us to bring out our best. That choice is ours. We don’t need to have stress or hard times to change ourselves but if it happens, we can learn to channel it into achieving what’s good in our life.

international womens day

While some issues are outside our control, I want to know what Filipino women want and for our government to know these issues and act on it.

International Women’s Day 2015 Theme is MAKE IT HAPPEN. All around the world, International Women’s Day represents an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women while calling for greater equality. Make It Happen is a wonderful theme to encourage effective action for advancing and recognising women.

pinays want now

Various organisations identify their own International Women’s Day theme, specific to their local context and interests . The Philippines very own Gabriela Philippines initiated the hashtag campaign #PinaysWantNow. What do #PinaysWantNow?

A break, a warm shower, or a hug? An end to violence, poverty and injustice? Let the world know what you want, what women want, what Filipinas want. A day before March 8, International Women’s day, Gabriela started tweeting and sharing infographics like this one below:


Some of the tweets talked about gender equality, a HAPPY HOME with no economic crisis, end to rape and other sexual abuses , end of poverty, a safer country for our kids, safety and security in public spaces and public transport. Others called for the resignation of President Aquino and truth and accountability. Gabriela calls for ” System Change, not just piecemeal reforms, revolving door politics.”

Photo via Pinoy Weekly. Some rights reserved.

Photo via Pinoy Weekly. Some rights reserved.

Inday E. Varona wrote a comprehensive list on what #PinaysWantNow

A world where “babae ka” (you’re a woman) is no longer used as an admonition;
A world where men and women imbibe the best of their “learned” traits and help each other do away with unjust, discriminatory habits;
A world where their children’s lives are no longer interrupted by war;
A world where their partners no longer have to leave to fight for a better world;

A world where one’s sexual orientation is no longer “news” and civil status no longer matters;
A world where language is no barrier to the poor taking part in democratic discourse and decision-making;
A world where men and boys take pride in the ability to weep;
A world where women do not have to be imitation men to succeed.

An end to domestic violence;
An end to the mindset that says some people deserve “rape” — or worse;
An end to prejudice against age or gender in the workplace;
An end to the belief that motherhood is a barrier against productivity.

Photo via Gabriela. Some rights reserved.

Photo via Gabriela. Some rights reserved.

How do we make all our calls for change to happen? How will we make it happen? The #PinaysWantNow won’t end on Women’s Day. Not many of us can go to the streets like the strong and courageous Gabriela women. If we can, why not? But for most of us who can’t leave our homes , social media is a tool to advocate social change for social good. Not everyone is born to be an organizer or want to participate in all activities in a community. It is important to start a community even if it is online and maintain a core group to set a single, focused goal to provide direction, motivation and operational guidance.

Using social media as a tool for advocacy works because of “low (or no) hard costs for set-up; potentially wide reach; quick/instantaneous sharing of messages; new opportunities to listen, engage, and monitor your progress.” Let’s continue to push the messages of #PinaysWantNow today and tomorrow until we have achieved the changes we want.

Here are more tweets that answer what #PinaysWantNow.

originally posted on BlogWatch.