While browsing on my recovered files, I chanced upon a speech I wrote below. This was delivered by my former Section Head on behalf of the FSI Director for the new Philippine Foreign Service Officers who completed the Cadetship Program in April 2005. This was my last year at DFA and quite nostalgic, I liked this batch for the pleasant memories I had with them.
It is time. To all of you, our Junior Foreign Service Officers, who are about to face the “real world,” congratulations! I know that almost everyone is eager to live his or her dream of being a full-fledged diplomat. You all will be in no time.
While a few may be hoping that there could be more hours of lectures in preparation for the future tasks ahead, the best training there is, is actually when you get to do the job. FSI has helped prepare you for your future roles but it is out there where you will truly learn what it means to be a Filipino Diplomat.
And after more than six months of training, albeit in a condensed time frame, you have beautifully metamorphosed. I am certain that you are now more than ready to carry out your responsibilities as Foreign Service Officers.
I remember when you first came, each of you possessed different personalities so hard to contain. There were those who were quick to assert themselves; others just critically watched on; some were contented of “diplomatically” sharing their two cents worth; while few have skillfully mastered putting humor on instances when lecturers arrive late, when the batch seems to be going through a little tension or when light moments permit.
Though your strong personalities may not have been tempered and may have even been made stronger by the knowledge you have acquired, you managed to team build and appreciate each other’s idiosyncrasies.
Remember that your batch will be your source of strength--your anchor when you are drifting from your purpose as an FSO and your guide when things aren’t the way they ought to be. You belong to this batch. Bear in mind that one’s little accomplishment is for everyone. One’s failing may reflect on the rest. Thus, it is my hope and prayer that that you will all be proud and supportive of each other.
As travelers, your journey has just begun. Keep your feet firmly on the ground. May your never lose sight of your personal mission and may your commitment in your work never wane.
We, at FSI, will miss you. On a personal note, I’d like to say that I enjoy having you around and being of service to all of you.