How ironic it is that the title has two contradicting thoughts but it all boils down to one term: “Graduates.” For some, they define their dreams by moving their tassels on the other side of their caps, and for others it is just only the beginning of their dreams. But unfortunately, for a few, it is right after graduation that they start to question themselves, “Is this how my dream is supposed to end up?” This might sound sad, but sometimes the path you thought would bring you to your destination might be despairing; redirection comes in your way.
During the 54th Commencement Exercises on September 19, 2023, the Philippine International Convention Center was filled with 1055 graduates, molded and honed by PATTS College of Aeronautics to be globally competitive and recognized. The event was graced by the presence of Engr. Ronaldo R. Lumibao (Guest of Honor and Commencement Speaker), Ms. Ma. Felisa S. Valdez (Chairman and CFO), Engr. Jose Eduardo S. Valdez (College President and COO), Dr. Ana Mercedes Q. Gatmaytan (Board Trustee), Atty. Anna Katrina V. Cruz (Board Trustee and VP for Administrative Affairs), Mr. Ramon B. Dumlao Jr. (Board Trustee), Ms. Jennifer Charlotte G. Orola (Board Trustee), Ms. Ma. Rosa Josefina Fresnido (Board Trustee), Dr. Emelita I. Javier (VP for Student Affairs), Engr. Joy Cosme Amores Jr. (VP for Academic Affairs), Program Chairpersons and Department Heads, and members of the Faculty.
As a sign of its commitment to quality aviation education, the institution produced 59 Academic Honors from a technical course and across eight different programs, which include 1 Third Honors, 47 Cum Laude, and 4 Magna Cum Laude. Of course, college is not only about solving all the problem sets, and reading books all night long, as PATTSeans are also born with leadership skills. This results in the production of 14 Special Awards as a sign of their invaluable commitment to serving the student body, which include 11 Sterling Wings Awardees and 3 Platinum Seahorse Awardees.
The ceremonies will not be complete without the inspirational message from Engr. Lumibao. He took the stage and silenced everyone in the hall through his commanding presence. He emphasized how he built his dream and what fueled him to pursue a career in aviation. When he was young, he always had this question lingering in his mind, “How do aircraft fly?” From then on, he worked on his dream and gladly found PATTS College of Aeronautics, which helped him make his dreams take flight. As humility coursed through his veins despite his immeasurable achievements in life, he said, “Little did I know how my humble beginnings would lead me to one of the leading commercial air transport corporations, and eventually as a public official of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines.” Truly, his message has been engraved into the hearts of the graduates.
Another striking statement that was surely praised in the hall with cheers and claps was: “When you find yourself afraid of taking the next step, always remember that no one has reached their dreams by remaining where they are.” Indeed, his words have woven the tapestry of doubts and uncertainties in our graduates regarding their lives right after stepping outside the hall.
Parents—the backbones of their successes, proudly sat at the back of the graduates, just as they had stayed beside their children amidst the turbulence of the terrains during their college years. It is really true that graduation is not just a celebration of your own; it is a celebration of everyone who helped you throughout your journey.
As the graduates walked out of the hall, they left behind a reverberating message that echoed, "There's no question if this is my dream, I survived, and this is all that matters."