"The Filipino spirit today is rising wherever he is in the world. He is starting to discover that he has the power to liberate himself from being a slave of the past... that he can remove the label stuck to his soul as a second class people from a third world country... that he can correct the scandal of history of being the most corrupt in Asia despite being the only Christian nation, until East Timor, in the region. In the right setting the Filipino has proven that he can be law- abiding, hardworking, honest and excellent."
"We have compromised our values and tolerated corruption. We have lowered our standard and tolerated poverty. We have sacrificed the truth for hypocrisy. We have chosen convenience for vision, popularity for leadership...and have chosen despair over hope."
"Do we fight or do we run? Is there a King Leonides among you who will fight for honor and freedom? Are there 300 Spartans among you who will confront our enemies with extraordinary courage and love? Can you be the army who will lead our people to victory following the path of peace? Are you the generation of patriots who can shout to the world that no Filipino will remain poor because you will not allow it; that no Filipino will remain a squatter because you will not allow it; that no politician will remain corrupt because you will not allow it?"
"If you are, then join us in Gawad Kalinga. Together, we can build a great nation, first world in the eyes of God and respected by other great nations."
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Call for the Spartan in us
Excerpts from the speech of Tony Meloto, the visionary and driving force behind the Gawad Kalinga movement, during the 2007 Commencement Exercises of the Ateneo de Davao where he was given Doctorate of Humanities, Honoris Causa.