Something old made something new, made something borrowed by someone blue

6 04 2010

I SAW Jessica Zafra’s “public service announcement” on her blog this morning.  Apart from getting who the letter is addressed to – the Manny V. Pangilinan – I didn’t get much.  Especially since the hyperlink at the bottom of the post routed to a long list of articles that just didn’t stand a chance against post-holiday workload.

But the evening news has clued me in.

Being someone’s speechwriter sounds cool.  Now, being a famous someone’s speechwriter…  that would be really cool.  But I wouldn’t want to be in the shoes of whoever wrote MVP’s commencement exercises speech that he delivered on March 26 and 27 to the Ateneo de Manila University graduating class.  Funny that while most of his listeners are most likely to join the workforce anytime soon, whoever wrote his speech is about to lose his job.  That is, if he hasn’t already.

I’m no MVP.  But I’ve had my fair share of speeches in my life.  It’s quite a blessing that I love writing my own because frankly, I wouldn’t be able to afford the services of a speechwriter.  (And being a nobody means I have time in my hands.)  But it was a different story when you were in kindergarten and what people expected to hear from the top of the class was something cute.  Still, practice was required.

It becomes a tall order when you have to prepare your valedictory address in high school.  I remember excitedly delivering mine during the dress rehearsal, only to be told by the Assistant Principal that it wasn’t on a par with the best she had heard in decades.  I went home, turned the TV on, and flopped on to the floor and wrote another one from scratch.  I delivered it on the final rehearsal and she (the Assistant Principal) stood up and greeted me with applause.

A couple other speeches have remained imprinted on my mind.  There was this speech on youth and world peace that I delivered in the 1990 Student International Peace Festival and Asian Children’s Summit.  My eldest brother helped me put that together and it ended up well-received by an audience that had delegates from India, China, Japan, the States, and Russia.  I also sang a song in that summit and was approached later by an Austrian violinist for a possible scholarship on voice.  If you could hear me now, you would know that I turned that offer down.  Hahaha!

A surviving copy of my speech in the 1990 Asian Children's Summit. I think I was already on board the plane when I made the last minute corrections.

I scribbled my speech "guide" while I waited for my turn. This one was delivered at the Ishikawa Primary School in Japan on October 23, 1990.

A few "best speaker" buttons from Toastmasters International. I won these for speaking on topics as commonplace as "the rain."

In that same gig, I found myself the designated spokesman of our Manila delegation and I had to think and speak on my feet.  I still have pieces of paper on which I scribbled and doodled until it was my time to speak.  I would say I got trained well, enough to win best speaker in Toastmasters International chapter meets years later.  It was for impromptu speaking, one topic of which that I do remember was “the rain.”  Still much later on, I found myself in front of ECE graduating classes two years in a row, and on one time, in front of a national delegation of ECE graduating students meeting up for a convention at La Salle – Taft.

Stage fright and clammy hands notwithstanding, it feels great to speak before a graduating class.  So in spite of the unfortunate incident that was MVP’s “borrowed” speech, I hope those who went to listen to him, left inspired by his story.  Now that part was most likely not plagiarized.

Copyright © 2010 by eNTeNG  c”,)™©’s  MunchTime™©.  All rights reserved.



One response

6 04 2010

no wonder…
clap! clap!


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