25 September 2020
Below are the transcripts of speeches delivered during the GESM IGCSE Recognition Assembly on 24 September 2020.
To our dear parents, our school administrators, teachers and fellow students, good evening. We are gathered here today to celebrate another milestone in our lives – the culmination of our IGCSE. I am thankful and honored for the opportunity to be able to represent my class in tonight’s ceremony, I would also like to thank Mr. Ferrandon for organizing this event for us to celebrate our achievements as a class.
It only seemed like it was just recently when I stepped into my class, full of new faces and facing the challenge of starting the new school year in an unfamiliar environment. Not only that but there was also the IGCSEs themselves to be faced at the very end of the year. Now so much has changed, I was able to grow close with all my classmates better than I could have imagined, and now some of us have even moved on to different schools, I hope that all of us will stay in contact and remain friends for as long as possible.
We also have faced our IGCSEs, although not the way we thought we would. I am very grateful to God nonetheless. The online classes had tested us, my peers and I had put so much effort to adjust to the new normal and it payed off. There are no short cuts to success. You reap what you sow. Hurdling the obstacles made this moment so much sweeter. But this wouldn't be possible without help from so many people.
It is at this juncture that I would like to express my gratitude to the teachers, school management and the men and women behind the German European School Manila on behalf of the Class of 2022, who worked hard throughout the school year and even during this time of pandemic to offer us the best education and guidance we could receive. The work did get overbearing at times, but it was through those challenges that we were able to grow not only as students but as unique individuals. With your help, we as a class were able to achieve high marks and accomplish our personal goals with regards to the IGCSEs.
We would also like to thank our parents, who provide for us and support us in any way they can. Whenever we felt like giving up it was our parents’ support who helped us to get back on our feet, not to mention that it was through their blood, sweat and tears that they were able to give us the life and education we have. We hope we have made you proud with the fruits of our labor.
Lastly, I would like to thank all of you, my wonderful classmates. Together we have experienced so much both in school and out of it, the memories we have made together were priceless and I am thankful for that in a way words cannot even begin to describe. I wish you all luck as we continue to pursue our dreams and face numerous challenges with vigour in the coming years. Let us always remember that we are ambassadors of this esteemed institution and that our actions reflect not just ourselves but our community in general.
Once again, I would like to thank everyone who helped us in our journey and may we request that you continue to support us as we begin our preparation for the IBDP.
Have a great evening!
-- Andre Espiña, IB-1
Good evening students and teachers. I would like to start my speech with a quote:
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Is a quote from a 1980s classic, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
Life moves pretty fast… wouldn’t you agree? Perhaps some of you in the room may have seen this film like it was yesterday. After, and I hate to break it to some of you, almost 40 years after the film’s release, this quote remains timeless.
Think about it—One Direction released their song “What Makes You Beautiful” ten years ago. “Frozen” came out seven years ago, and our IGCSE's started two years ago—but it still somehow feels like yesterday.
The first year of high school at GESM was definitely not as exciting as the movies portray it to be—there wasn’t any major drama, there were not many couples in the class, and no crazy house parties were thrown either… or were they?
Instead, we entered the first year of our IGCSE program nervous, awaiting a long two years ahead of us. We saw some familiar faces, and we even got to see new ones. It was in this year where we transitioned from being babied in 8th grade to expecting more responsibilities. We also had to get used to this weird 9-1 grading system… ah, the English.
In the 9th grade, we also had the opportunity to attend our first prom. One thing I appreciated about this class, was the fact that it did not matter whether we had a date or not—being around each other’s presence made the night memorable, as we would take photos at the photobooth every three minutes, dance to throwback music towards the end of the event, and simply just talk to each other with chicken stuffed in our mouths.
Suddenly the first year was over. We, unfortunately, had to say goodbye to old classmates and teachers, but it wasn’t too bad, as we knew that distance could never break the friendships, we had developed over the years with them.
Then came the second year—with the introduction of IB Prep and EE classes, teachers getting stricter, and the abundance of homework and exams, we knew this wouldn’t be like the previous year. But seeing new faces calmed our anxiety, as new, meaningful friendships were bound to be developed.
It was in this year where we regretted choosing some subjects, got stressed out about certain exams, and got overloaded with deadlines. My classmates and I would get burned out, but we all made it through with teamwork. We would often study in groups and help each other whenever one of us had a problem.
Opportunities to spend time together outside of school started to decrease, and it was in the second year where work was our priority. After weeks of tears and stress, we were hit with the news in March that we would not be taking our mocks in school anymore. Some were relieved, some were outraged, but as a class, we hoped for the best.
Due to the pandemic, our IGCSE's ended sooner than expected, and unfortunately, that meant we could not say a proper goodbye to some of our classmates. As a representative of my class, I would definitely say that we all wish we had spent more time together, had we known a tragedy like this would be bestowed upon us.
On a lighter note, as a class, we managed to somehow adjust to distance learning, and although it was initially, and still is a struggle for some of us, we still show diligence and eagerness to learn from our hardworking teachers.
Now, we start a new chapter, that is the IB program, and with what we have learned throughout these two years, I say with full confidence that I know my classmates and I will make it through.
To the incoming IGCSE students, not to sound like a boomer, but remember to enjoy these years of your youth, as unfortunately, it just gets harder from here. But if you put in the work and the time while maintaining a good mindset, success will come without a doubt, and you will look back at your IGCSE years with a smile.
“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again—life moves pretty fast…” These years of our youth will never be taken back, so with that, stop every once in a while, to appreciate our fast-paced lives.
I would like to thank and congratulate my amazing class, as well as our hardworking teachers, and our school administrator for facilitating our IGCSE’s. Have a great evening!
-- Bella Xavier, IB-1