Friday, March 18, 2011

MY COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS Lj T. Salceda

(College Grad pic, Batch 2000)

I've never been invited to speak in a Commencement ceremony, but just in case I do get invited (or not) I already have a prepared speech. O ha?! :)

I almost didn’t make it as a broadcaster or a book author. For starters I almost didn’t finish college because of poverty. However my Ma didn’t single-handedly raise us to be quitters in life, so I searched for ways to sustain and finish my four year Bachelor in Communication Arts undergraduate degree (with honors.)

While I submitted resumes and actively looked for a full-time job, I also started volunteer work as a reporter/researcher/host at 1125 DWAS, FEBC’s Legazpi station. I thought time is so precious to be wasted for passively waiting for some good news.

Months flew by and in spite of my earnest attempts I was still “jobless.” The P50/day stipend that I received as a full-time volunteer, working eight hours a day and doing a full-time employee’s job was not enough for transportation, much more food and other expenses. My Ma would sometimes make “parinig” (question me) if DWAS is really where God is calling me to be. I knew in my heart that God will use me in either broadcast or the arts, despite the hurdles I persisted.

Before I reached my eight month with DWAS I had a heart-to-heart talk with God. I said, "Lord, I know you will use me in this field. If this is really where you want me to be please supply my needs and open the door before I reach my one year here. Or I might just not be that patient enough to stay and I don’t want to, but I might try to do things my way. I’m sorry if that’s a selfish prayer."

After a few weeks and with the recommendations of my co-workers at DWAS, I was finally sent to Manila, where our main office is located and started my formal training as Announcer/Producer. I was accepted albeit their need for a MALE announcer. (Same with Ate Maloi's experience.)

My story doesn’t end there though. While I was preparing for the documents and medical requirements for my new full-time job, I found out that one of my ears can not hear certain sounds. And if you’re in the broadcast industry, especially as an on-air personnel except for your mouth, your ears are major tools in the trade.

When I got my hearing test result I was SO dejected. Although I have no problems with regular conversations, I knew it was a major roadblock. I was so tempted to either bribe or talk the officer that conducted my auditory test into giving me a more "favorable" result. I turned to God again and prayed that if I’m called to do broadcast this will not be an issue or a hindrance to my application. I completed all my medical requirements (urine, x-ray, audio test etc, without doing "any under the table"); written exams, other documents and sent them to our Manila office.

Our God is indeed an awesome God! After a few more months I finally became a full-time, employee of DWAS.

During my third year of employment at DWAS, God started stirring my heart. He wants to expand my territory and enlarge my tent. I didn't know how and when. So one day, I informed my boss that I was planning to move to Manila and study while working. "Work where?" he suspiciously asked me. Deep inside I said, "I have no clue!" But I answered, "Maybe my brother can help me find a job." By this time my brother was already working in a major TV network in Manila.

Back then there was no opening at DZAS for an announcer, but a few weeks before my scheduled move to the big city, I found out one of the announcers at our flagship station had just resigned. Although I was sad to find out she left, I also thought could this be a confirmation Lord?

I took another risk by talking to the DZAS’s manager then for a possibility to continue my service with FEBC while studying. Another answered prayer! Not only did he agree to absorb me at DZAS, but he also suggested a scholarship program to help me pursue further education. He also gave me a flexible work schedule in order for me to attend my classes.

On May 1, 2003 I arrived and started a new life in Valenzuela without any friends in the vicinity, away from my family (my bro lives in Makati so we could only see each other once a month or every other month). There were times when I was scared and lonely, but it was and has been an adventure that I will never regret doing!

Although I wasn't able to finish my post-graduate degree, the Lord opened another opportunity for me to take a short-term course in writing, eventually published a book and some of my articles, traveled to the US twice and to other tourist destinations in the country. I've met my fiance while working in Manila too! I'll reserve our story in my second book though.

My dear graduates, don't be scared to take risks. Learn to fight for your dreams, because no one else will. Most of all consult the Lord in all you do, He has your best interest. Hold on to His promises and in time He will fulfill them.

Dreams do come true! Need more proof? Read my article Dream On in the Young Women on the Journey book published by Church Strengthening Ministry.


"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9 (NIV)

8 comments:

  1. wow!
    what an inspiring story.
    that's why God is using
    you in marvelous ways,
    you are not afraid to
    take risks.

    God bless you more!

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  2. What an inspiring article Ms. LJ..indeed the Lord prepared everything in His right time. I met the Lord 2008 (year when I must finished college) but instead, i graduated 2009.I didnt feel like it was a waste of time because I was used by God to be a volunteer in ubc's student center. It was an awesome experience. Now that im working (as an ESL online teacher for Koreans)..im still praying where the Lord will lead me since I finished AB Broadcomm..yet the Lord opened a lot of doors for me in teaching industry.I am still hopeful and still praying that I could work in media field. *wink Godbless ms LJ!! see you soon! :) Happy Friday

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  3. Thanks Kuya Bernie, Em and Mariah!

    Em -> try mo mag-send ng application to FEBC. ang pagkaka-alam ko maraming vacancies for our transfer (in Ortigas) by July. pero ngayon pa lang naghihire na ng ibang bagong staff. try to send your resume to recruitment@febc.org.ph. :)

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  4. GALING NMAN MISS LJ.
    MAY HANDA KA NG SPEECH....

    fr. rowena c. gonzales

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  5. Hi Miss Lj, Listener po ninyo kami dito sa AUSTRIA. I thank GOD po sa life po ninyo, how God directed you in His plan. (plan to prosper you and not to harm you but to give you hope and a future). May the LORD bless you more and more. Ms Lj, can help me? I want to inquire about how to be a member of a Medical Foundation OR ANY kind? thank po and be blessed

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  6. Ms Lj, good day po, inspiring po talaga ang inyong testimony, may the LORD continually bless your heart. mabel from vienna austria

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  7. Thanks LJ for sharing, first time to listen to your program in the radio tonight, also first time to read your blog and i'm so inspired by your stories. =)

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