I was privileged to present the special citation to former President Fidel Valdez Ramos given during San Beda College’s conferment of the Doctor of Laws degree honoris causa at the College of Arts and Sciences Commencement Exercises held at the Philippine International Convention Center last April 25.
The former President deserves this honor from the 116–year old Benedictine institution, being a great Filipino leader and eminent honorary Bedan whose exemplary life works; unwavering faith in the Filipino; and leadership legacy truly embodies San Beda College’s ideals of Fides (Faith), Scientia (Knowledge), and Virtus (Virtue).
FVR addressed the class of 2016 by saying that this twenty-first century is qualitatively different from previous eras – in terms of the challenges and opportunities it holds for idealistic, multi-talented and energetic young people exemplified by Class 2016 – San Beda College.
The former President cited 2016 and the future as carrying a set of daunting challenges – and also opportunities – for most Filipinos whatever be their socio-economic status, religious beliefs, political affiliations, ethnic origins, or self-determined roles in life.
Significant global developments of the last few months, according to FVR, served to highlight what he would always emphasize consistently as serious concerns for our citizenry, and which are particularly grave problems that the incoming administration must positively address without delay. FVR challenged everyone that the tasks ahead involve all concerned Filipino citizens.
He believes however that the Filipino can prevail and overcome – regardless of hardship, difficulty or intensity.
The former national leader said, that Filipinos have confronted greater crises and more serious challenges in the past – but which we as a people survived and triumphed over because we remained united as a people and proud of our country.
FVR believes that the sum of our multitude of problems cannot be bigger than the nation itself which has hurdled periods of war, rebellion, coup attempts, separatist movements, devastating calamities, dictatorship, power blackouts, corrupt governance, and failed administrations.
Such immense wisdom can only come from one Filipino soul tested by the multifarious challenges of leadership experienced by former President Fidel Valdez Ramos. Indeed, he is one great Filipino leader worth emulating by today’s generation.