Press Release
July 15, 2022

"Keep on learning and never, never give up", Villanueva tells grads

Sen. Joel Villanueva gave words of inspiration and advice for the graduating students of the Bulacan State University (BulSU) to not give up from the challenges the country is facing, and continue building their knowledge even after graduation..

This was the senator's message to the 11,285 graduates as the guest speaker of the university's 81st Commencement Exercises held at the Philippine Arena last Friday (July 15).

In his speech, Villanueva mentioned the challenges that the country's educational system is currently facing, particularly the low performance of Filipino students in math, science, and reading comprehension compared to other countries based on international findings. Another challenge he mentioned is dealing with the unemployment situation in the country, and the need for skills training for Filipino workers.

Despite the situation, Villanueva advised BulSU's graduating class of 2022 to "keep on learning" and aspire for lifelong learning to continue the growth of their knowledge and keep up with the changes happening in the world. The senator said that lifelong learning is important as studies show that knowledge "goes back to square one" after five years, and it is a way to keep up with technological advancements such as artificial intelligence.

Villanueva also shared the hardships he faced as a student in Harvard, and his personal tragedy of the recent loss of his mother and sister. According to the senator, these helped shape his character and taught him to never give up from any challenge, which is an advice he gave to the graduating students.

"Never, never give up. Kahit sabihin pa ng pinakamatalik mong kaibigan, o ng iyong pamilya, na hindi mo kaya, huwag kang maniwala sapagkat kaya mo at kaya mong magtagumpay (Even if your best friend or your family says that you can't do it, don't believe them because you can and you can succeed)," said Villanueva.

Villanueva also advised the graduates to not let anyone tell them to keep their dreams small.

"Huwag po kayong papayag na sabihin kayo na liitan, paikliin, o papangitin ang inyong mga pangarap. Hold on to your dreams. Keep on learning. Never ever give up," the senator said.

The senator also said that his advocacy of improving the country's educational system continues through the laws that he passed, such as the Philippine Qualifications Framework Act, Excellence in Teacher Education Act, and the Doktor Para Sa Bayan Act. Villanueva also recently filed his priority bills such as the Enterprise-based Education and Training to Employment Act, and institutionalizing the National Employment Recovery Strategy under the Trabaho Para sa Lahat ng Pilipino Act.

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