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My dear graduates…..*ahem*

Last Friday, I was asked to be the speaker for the commencement exercises for one the vocational schools in Iligan City. There were about 1,200 graduates, all from computer-related courses. At first, I thought I was just “one” of the speakers and I was really surprised when I got to the location, I saw my name written on the backdrop of the stage as THE commencement speaker. *Gulp* It was not easy to outline my accountability and stewardship for the gift of life and profession given to me, all the more speak about it to 1,200 graduates who are all feeling hyped- up and nervous knowing that in just a matter of one day, some of them will shift from being students to being part of the statistics of the unemployed….. and the race begins. I do remember how I felt on graduation day. I was happy that I was done with college and I can start with the next step in life. Yet, I was scared that I might not get to where I want to be or not do the things I want to do. What if I had too high expectations of things to come? What if my future work is something i do not love? What if Hugh Jackman proposes for marriage to me and I’d be too busy to say yes? (hehe…. I just had to put that there) …I held on to faith and did what I can. Whew, so far…so good. I did my best to give them the courage to persevere and not feel beaten if they are up against those who have graduated from bigger and more expensive universities because I saw in them what I did not see from the most of the graduates of the latter universities. I saw hope and perseverance. As the ceremonies were being conducted, I was able to chat with the school president and his wife (as usual, talkative honey can’t stop) and they told me of the accomplishments of their graduates. It was awe-inspiring to take note that a lot of them were actually working students and scholars and that despite of all their other obligations in life, they were still able to participate in national competitions and top these competitions as well. I have to say, I was impressed and I’d like to see this school grow further as they are indeed giving opportunities for others to get a good education. I’d like to see more of that. Thank God for people like them.

About The Author


Stephanie Caragos is the President & CEO of the 19 year running IT Company, Syntactics, Inc. and is the founder of, a program and initiative that envisions in helping young Filipinos hone their skills in IT and increase their chances of getting stable and profitable jobs. She is also the founder of Syntactics PINK (Promoting Innovation Networking and Knowledge) for women to encourage and empower more women in IT and to encourage the younger generation of women take up STEM. She is a speaker and mentor in various Startup, Online Marketing, Web, ICT and ICT businesses related seminars and talks and works tirelessly in finding innovative ways of marketing online for clients. She is also a staunch supporter of Filipino Small and Medium Enterprises as she continues to develop products and services that would benefit SMEs as well as help them increase their success rate in using technology in business. Stephanie is currently the president of the CDO ICT Business Council and works with the members and stakeholders in the city in promoting ICT to support more startups and create more jobs in the city. She also currently serves as a director for the Eisenhower Fellowship Association of the Philippines. She has completed her Eisenhower Fellowship and was awarded as the Douglas Dillon Named Fellow for the year 2016 and recently completed her term as National President for the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines last 2017.

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