Son of sapatero graduates summa cum laude in Cebu

by Anj Sampayan
Mar 27, 2017
Jireh Bautista, who's graduating summa cum laude, believes that there's more to life than graduating with honors.

Another Cebuano is currently taking the internet by storm.

On March 25, 2017, Jireh Bautista graduated summa cum laude from Cebu Institute of Technology-University (CIT-U).

Son of Pantaleon, a shoe repairman, and Belinda, a homemaker, the 21-year-old graduate is a living proof that poverty is no excuse for not succeeding in life.

Jireh has been an achiever. He also graduated on top of his batch from Cebu City National Science High School (CCNSHS) when he was 17 years old.

But getting honors is not the be-all and end-all of his life.

A portion of his graduation speech was published by SunStar Cebu.

The Computer Science graduate said, "Graduating with honors may sound so overwhelming and is such a great achievement.

"But academics and school only take a portion of your entire life.

"It might give you an edge if you did well, but there is more to life and you should not feel sad or less of yourself if you are not part of the honor list.

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"What truly matters is your life story."

He added, "You might be struggling now with a number of things—school or even financial struggles or your relationships or problems within the family.

"But what makes a great testimony are not literally the achievements, but the amazing stories of integrity, of breakthroughs over your struggles, and of victories over your hardships.

"So what then is your life story to tell? To your future children? To the next generations to come?

"We are all recipients of God’s tremendous blessings."

Since his parents can hardly afford to send their children to school, his four other siblings have also been studying hard to maintain their high grades and become scholars.

Jireh said scholarships from "the Department of Science and Technology (Dost), Cebu City Government, Real Life Foundation of Victory Christian Fellowship, and CCNSHS Batch 1977" had helped him throughout his life as a student.

He also thanked his parents for believing in education.

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Mang Pantaleon left a message in Bisaya.

Here's the translation in Filipino, "Umasa lang tayo. Maniwala tayo sa Panginoo.

"Ang aking hamon sa mga magulang, sana hindi natin isipin o ilagay ang ating sarili na nga tayo lang ang makakagawa sa ating sarili dahil wala tayong magawa kapag isipin nating tayo-tayo lang.

"Kung tayo ay magtiwala sa Diyos, siya na ang gagawa ng paraan na maghanap ng mga taong maawain at handang tumulong."

As a graduation gift, he received a brand-new car from CCNSHS Batch 1977.

Congratulations, Jireh!

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Jireh Bautista, who's graduating summa cum laude, believes that there's more to life than graduating with honors.
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