December 2016 Commencement: Pia Gutierrez on fear and faith, hanging out with people who aren’t your age, and why we should talk about kindness



Pia Gutierrez, a UB alumna who works for ABS-CBN, the country's biggest news organization, delivers her speech during the baccalaureate rites at the UB Gym.

(Photo: Rene Pascua /UB Media Affairs and Publications Office)



“Don’t feel that, just because you are cute or rich or have all the virtues, you can just wink [it] off and then be exempt from all the hard stuff.”


“No matter what they tell you, know that you are not special.”


“Most of the time it entails doing the things that you don’t want to do, like the boring stuff, or the painful stuff, because that is what being an adult is all about.”


If you’re looking for some pieces of advice that are viciously honest, yet essentially profound, go to Pia Gutierrez. She will give what you need.


At the University of Baguio baccalaureate rites last Dec. 17, ABS-CBN reporter Pia Gutierrez hammered on some of the most riveting wisdom that should guide every graduate in carving his/her destiny.


 “Nothing fancy, just a few truths,” she noted at the beginning of her speech.


Fear and faith

Touching on fear and faith, Pia first dropped a stirring advice: “When you have to choose between faith and fear, choose faith… Faith is knowing that, when you take that leap, you would either land on soft ground, or you grow your own wings and fly… Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death.”


‘Choose growth’

Pia then went on to talk the graduates – over 800 of them – into leaning in towards self-growth over comfort.


“Everyday, we always have two options: one is to take one step forward towards growth, or to take one step backward into safety. Choose the first. One of the best ways to do it is to widen your horizons, by every way possible,” she said, adding, “The best way to know the world [is to] become friends with people who aren't your age. Hang out with people whose first language isn't the same as yours. Get to know someone who doesn't come from your social class. The trick is to always gain new experiences, never stopping to learn.


“Strike a conversation with that pretty stranger. Try to go a different route on your way home. I learned that the quickest way to acquire self-confidence is to do exactly what you are afraid to do. You can never quantify that sense of satisfaction you feel when you have conquered [a] fear.”


‘Do not forget to be kind’

Pia finally pressed on how the world “seemed to have forgotten the lessons it has so painfully learned in the past... lessons that have been brought to us at the cost of lives... The value of human life. The value of freedom… The respect for the diversity of ideas and even something as basic as [the] color of skin. There is a tide of hate and confusion that has divided us all.”


And then she said it straight right: “You, as the educated youth, have the responsibility to hold on to the values that have been taught to you way back in kindergarten… Let [these] hold you firm even as people are pulling you into different directions.


Concluding her talk, she stressed: “As human beings with shared ideals we owe it to our country and the next generation who will bear the consequences of our actions now to not forget to be kind.”






 UB president Prof. Dhanna Kerina Rodas hands Pia Gutierrez a certificate of appreciation after her talk.

 (Photo: Rene Pascua /UB Media Affairs and Publications Office)



   During commencement at UB, parents are given a tribute, a moment where you can see almost every parent tear up.

(Photo: Rene Pascua /UB Media Affairs and Publications Office)



(Photo: Rene Pascua /UB Media Affairs and Publications Office)








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