Senator Joel Villanueva told the graduates of Baliwag Polytechnic College (BPC) in Baliwag, Bulacan that having a degree will not define a person’s level of success.
In his speech as guest of honor and commencement speaker of BPC last week, Villanueva emphasized the value of work ethic and perseverance.
“Yes, it is important that you get a degree, you get a national certification from TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority). But let me tell you, this national certification, this degree that you are getting from this educational institution will not define you at all, it is your attitude, the effort that you exert, hard work, dedication and commitment, and most of all, your persistence to be successful, to be the best that you can be,” Villanueva said.
Villanueva also shared his journey from being an athletic scholar to senator of the Republic of the Philippines.
“I was the smallest player in UST (Univesity of Sto. Tomas), but with hard work and determination, I achieved the almost impossible,” Villanueva said.
Villanueva was an outstanding student-athlete at the UST in the 1990s, and was a member of the Growling Tigers who bagged the back-to-back championship in seasons 56 and 57 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) league. Villanueva even went on to join the Philippine team to compete for the Southeast Asian Basketball Association (SEABA) games in Taiwan and Malaysia in 1995.
In the 2016 Senate race, Villanueva, who is the first elected senator from Bulacan after nearly two decades, came as a surprise after taking the top spot with 18,459,222 votes.
“I remember the time when I filed my certificate of candidacy to run as senator of the Republic of the Philippines, I was in number 42. Dose lang ang mananalo number 42 si Joel Villanueva. January na of 2016, few months before the elections, number 17 po si Joel Villanueva. Hindi ho naging madali, graduates, but I never gave up,” Villanueva said.
“Graduates, never give up on your dreams. Because if God is with you, no one, and no circumstances here on earth can be against you,” Villanueva concluded.