SPEECH MANUSCRIPT OF C/CPT AMADEUZ VINCENT JOHN R CELESTIAL
FOR THE 2010 REGIONAL ROTC SPEECH CONTEST
Theme: “ROTC: How it can help in peace and development effort?”
Ladies and Gentlemen good afternoon.
I am not here to brag about what our government, what any administration or what our Armed Forces has done, so far, to achieve peace and development in the country. I would not throw you any unnecessary info nor will I be presenting to you thorough analysis of data based on comprehensive research. But, instead, I am going to tell you how ROTC has changed my views and how it can help in our search for an ultimate peace and a satisfactory socio-economic development status.
The question at hand is “How ROTC can help in the peace and development efforts,” but, I think the question should be WHAT: “What we, the youth, whether we be cadets or just ordinary students, can do to contribute to this national undertaking.”
I suggest three Steps: First BE AWARE. Second BELIEVE. And Third ACT.
From here we can derive our roles as the future leaders of this country. It might be a cliché, but let me say again that WE ARE THE HOPE OF THE MOTHERLAND. In our hands lies the future of our country. For this reason, institutions of higher learning were established in the belief that knowledge CAN save us all. But mere knowledge is never enough to achieve what one wants because a person’s CHARACTER – the way he interacts with his surroundings, his perspective, his beliefs and stand on individual matters, his understanding of occurrences or even his physical capability and proficiency – carries a lot greater gravity on to where his life will lead. (This being)The very rationale of Citizen-Army Building. The justification of the National Service Training Program. Developing, harnessing, training individuals to DREAM and to ACHIEVE.
Our national aspirations and our individual destinies, together, build a collective result for the country. So, we must be, the first step, BE AWARE.
We must answer the WHO WHAT WHEN and WHERE?
WHO. This is our country. We must remember that we are citizens of a democratic country and that democracy means that it is the people who rule. If we rule the country, then WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT. Going back to our lesson in legal bases, it is the prime duty of the government to serve and protect the people. Rewording, it is OUR prime duty to protect and serve OUR PEOPLE.
And to be more particular, as cadets being trained under the Armed Forces of the Philippines we are also included in the mandate of serving our fellow countrymen, safeguarding our sovereignty and securing the integrity of our territories. Who is going to benefit from it but us?
WHAT. Peace and Development. Before trying to help or even search on how to achieve both peace and development, I think that it is imperative to know where such are rooted. Peace is freedom from war, a calm and quite state, free from disturbance or noise, with no anxiety, freedom from conflict or disagreement among people, the end of hostilities between warring parties, and THE ABSENCE OF VIOLENCE. Development, on the other hand, is a measure of POSITIVE progress. It is an event causing change, the process of changing and becoming larger, stronger, more impressive, successful, or advanced. Both peace and development are words stated in our constitution’s preamble and IT IS ACHIEVABLE.
Peace should be founded in a nation whose people mutually understands and cares for each other’s concerns. In the modern setting, peace should come first before there could be development.
Let us learn from the lessons of war. The causes of which are simple and could have been prevented – insensitivity, selfishness, discrimination and greed – are all personal stuff that only affected others and eventually caused lives. Hurting each other won’t solve any conflict. And a hurting community will not make a progressive nation.
But, why on earth should we even help in the discouraging, endless quest for peace and development? And why us? Simply because this is our HOME. This is where all our ancestors were born, raised and died and where our generation will continue to live. This is what our children and our children’s children will be left with. Do we want them to suffer our immaturity, our inaction, and our faults? NO! So we must persist. But HOW? How shall we ever achieve this seemingly UNFEASIBLE hope of ours?
WHEN? WHERE? The answer is NOW, IN HERE, the answer is YOU! We are indeed privileged to become part of the ROTC, be recognized as reservists, and be honoured as civilian-soldiers who advocates for peace and democracy and not for militarism and violence. ROTC has indeed opened a lot of avenues for us and one of them is the rare privilege to serve and protect the motherland.
Inculcated with a tremendous amount of discipline, sense of responsibility, faith, courage, love and loyalty to the country, we can conquer boundaries. All we have to do is to, second step, BELIEVE that we can.
With all the learning and the experiences we have gained through both academic and military training we have likewise gained power. And with power comes responsibility. But Spiderman would not have been a great hero without BELIEVING in himself. Upon believing and in the use of our powers, we must not be misled. Power does not mean violence. And there are a lot of other ways that conflicts can be resolved.
I believe that Peace and Development can be achieved if only openness, belief in one’s capabilities and the resilience of our spirit will be highlighted. As well as if the country’s leaders become accountable, our government transparent and when every Filipino citizen becomes willing and determined to pursue their individual and collective destinies. One People, One Nation. Exactly what ROTC is teaching me.
This is the effect of my being a cadet officer, a once unconcerned and happy-go-lucky youth, now finds himself in-search for what our constitution promised us. A just and humane society, a government that embodies our ideals and aspirations, the enjoyment of the blessing of independence and democracy under the rule of law and the regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality and PEACE.
Before I close let me quote a passage from one magazine article I have read, as written by a PNPA cadet, he said that, “it is our duty to preserve democracy not by destroying the enemy’s line, but by opening their minds to lay down their arms and end up the rebellion. It should not be a battle of arms and ideas but a battle of mutual understanding to achieve peace in the country.”
I would like to end my speech by commending YOU, all the people in the audience, my co-participants, the people behind this event, every single ROTC unit in the country and similar institutions, the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and our Government. Do you know why? Do you know what you represent? Do you know what your presence symbolizes? You stand for HOPE. You are here by virtue of the faith and the love of our fore fathers who sacrificed their lives to keep our liberty, and safeguarded our lands to ensure the future of the coming generations. You are here because, like them, you believe.
You believe that a better, brighter, peaceful and progressive Philippines is possible. You are here because you know that something ought to be done. That a positive change, a total manipulation of the future, is achievable. You are here because you are hopeful. But let me remind you that we must not be contended in hoping. Because hope refers to the future. Hoping means looking forward to what is STILL to happen. Thus, there must be an element of NOW. An ingredient of TODAY is necessary. What we should do is, third step, ACT. There should be action, there should be movement. YOU should make the change! I am therefore encouraging each and every one of you! To continue believing but never forget that in believing we must act towards making our thoughts become reality.
Maraming Salamat, Mabuhay ang Pilipinas, mabuhay ang bawat Pilipino! Nawa’y pagpalain tayong lahat ng dakilang lumikha!