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毕业生代表Diane Lipana在2016届毕业生欢送典礼上的致辞


Dean Zhang Shouwen, our esteemed professors, faculty members of PKU Law, members of the law school office, parents, loved ones and to my fellow graduates, a pleasant morning to all of you.

 

Before I deliver my message of gratitude to everyone who made this momentous occasion possible and my acknowledgement of the achievements of my fellow graduates this year, please allow me to introduce myself.

 

I am Diane Shayne dela Fuente Lipana, a Filipina, a public servant, and a member of the outgoing legal team of the Executive Secretary under the Office of the President of the Philippines. In the very near future, after my scholastic journey here in Beijing, I will be joining the Philippine Foreign Ministry as a Foreign Service Officer. Hopefully, in a couple of years, I will be back here in Beijing again to serve the Philippine Embassy.

 

Last year, when I received news that I was nominated to be the recipient of the Chinese Government Scholarship, I was elated, but a bit reluctant because I doubted my ability to assimilate here. However, when I was asked what program and which university I wanted to apply for, choosing the PKU LLM Program was easy. PKU was an easy choice, because, who doesn’t want to be in China’s number one university? I knew that I couldn’t get any better legal education in China other than in PKU. I even felt especially convinced when I met H.E. Ambassador Zhao Jianhua, the Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines, and he congratulated me for getting accepted to Beida. He reminded me that only the crème dela crème gets admitted to Beida. This feedback brought me immense pride and increased my enthusiasm to study here.

 

Before coming to Beijing, my knowledge of Hanyu and the Chinese culture were mostly limited to food. All throughout my life, my idea of China, may it be history, politics, economics and its legal system, was typically how the Westerners or the Western-educated defined or described China. But, this year allowed me to immerse myself and get a real taste of the Chinese culture and history –from the real authorities, from you who have lived here all or most of your lives. By studying here in Beida and throughout my interactions within and off campus, my idea of China has dramatically broadened. Learning and traveling here have brought me great joy and pleasure, so now that the year is closing, I am left wanting for more and desiring to buy more time to physically experience its richness. Although, like all journeys, this one too will have to come to an end, I have complete faith that we will be back here in Beida, at the very least to pay homage to the university which I believe has opened and will open a lot of doors to our future lives.

 

For all of these delightful opportunities and this beautiful journey, I have nothing but profound gratitude. I am even more thankful that you are lending me precious time to express my personal thanks and to represent my batch to thank the people who made this day possible. Today, I am standing before you, firstly, because of my parents who have believed in me and pushed me to be the best person I can be. (Dad and Tita, thank being here and sharing this moment with me today).  To all our parents, family and loved ones, I congratulate you too. Our success would not have been possible without your unconditional love and unwavering support.

 

They may not be here today, but to my mentors from the Office of the Executive Secretary and my alma mater, Ateneo Law School, I thank them for molding my public service mindset and for teaching me to be a man for others. To our respective mentors, thank you for selflessly sharing your time and experiences to us.

 

To our professors, especially my adviser, Professor Guo, who generously imparted their knowledge and expertise to us, who endured our endless queries, and who tolerated our misgivings, we thank you.

 

To our language partners, TAs, and the law school administration, especially Ms. Laura and Ms. Wei, who we annoyed all year with all our random concerns, thank you for patiently helping us, especially with our mundane questions and requests. Thank you for all the gatherings you arranged to make our stay here more pleasurable and interesting as well.

 

Finally, I thank my LLM class of 2015, especially Taeheon and my HOMBRES, this journey would not have been as sweet, meaningful, and memorable if not for your company, support, and English translation.

 

Before I close this speech, allow me to practice my Chinese and share with you a very apt Chinese proverb from the Book of Rites which I picked up while I was exploring the Confucius Temple and Imperial College Museum several days ago, 玉不琢,不成器[yù bù zhuó bù chéng qì] A gem is not polished without rubbing, nor a man perfected without trials. Before Beida, we were all like raw gems, inherently brilliant, but rough around edges and in need of polishing. And what better way to be polished and improved over time by no less than in Beida. I hope that as we all move on to the next chapter of our lives, we will carry on this gem-like brilliance and touch other lives as the people we have met in this journey touched ours. Keep shining my fellow graduates of Beida.

 

Congratulations to my fellow graduates! This journey was not an easy feat, but with hard work, faith, love and hope, you are all here today. To close, now, I invite you to lift your hands to give a roaring round of applause to our Maker, our parents, our loved ones, ourselves and to everyone who made this day possible. Ad maiorem Dei gloriam (To God be the Glory) Thank you and good day.