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Monday, 23 July 2012

June 2012 Architecture Board Topnotcher Speech

by Benjamin Casono


My physics professor back in college began her lesson on the Principle of Uncertainty proposed by Heisenberg in 1927, by asking us: “How do you know that the sun would rise again tomorrow?” The predicted end of the world was a hot issue back then. Clearly, the answer to the question was: No one would know. We can never know for sure, but we can only believe so.
“To see is to believe”. Yes, we woke up the next morning and we witnessed the sun rise again. That is the beauty of hindsight. Well, what about illusions and hallucinations, parallax, color-blindness, lucid dreams, etc? Being so much dependent on our hindsight, we have taken for granted that the reverse is what usually occurs and could even be more profound. We have all forgotten that “to believe is to see”, that we also have the gift of foresight.
PRC Commissioner Honorable Teresita R. Manzala, PRBOA Chairperson Architect Armando N. Alli, UAP National President Arch. Rozanno C. Rosal, deans of various colleges, distinguished guests, fellow architects, venerable politicians, beloved parents, professionals, ladies & gentlemen, good afternoon.
Bago po ako magpatuloy, nais ko po muna batiin ang lahat ng congratulations.
To establish my point, first, let us look back and reminisce our nostalgic, glorious days of reviewing and preparing for the board exams, the whole duration of which can be broken down into three phases: foresight, hindsight and what is in between.
Our foresight was when we were preparing for our exams, strategizing, internalizing, anticipating probable questions, building confidence & strongly believing in ourselves and in the thought of successfully passing the exams. This was where we had a great field of uncertainty and randomness ahead of us where we only had to believe in order to see.
Now, the hindsight was having read the PRC post online that we passed and we have done well in our exams. “To see is to believe”.
Now what happened in between our foresight and hindsight for me, is the most sensational part. Opo, dito po tayo nagbisita-iglesia, nag-alay ng itlog kay Sta. Clara, nagpadasal sa Pink Sisters, etc. Dito po tayo sumugal, na dahil limitado lang ang oras kinailangan nating magprioritize. At dahil sa sobrang bagal ko po magbasa, pinili ko na lang po yung mga paborito kong subjects. This is the part where we believed in our lecturers and mentors as if they were priests, and in our books & reviewers as if they were our Bible. Muntikan na po ako umatras dahil sobrang andami ko pang hindi nabasa at hindi rin po ako nakatikim ng kahit anong mock exams. Nagkaroon pa po ako ng bonggang diarrhea ng tatlong araw at trangkaso sa loob ng linggo ng eksams. Pero nagtiwala at nanalig na lang po ako sa Kanya at sa lahat ng mga natutunan ko sa aking mga guro mula pa noong kolehiyo hanggang sa review centers.
My point is, the bridge between our foresight to our hindsight, is where the magic happens. It is where we take the risk of walking into the great sea of uncertainty, and entrusting our lives & our future to each other. This also happens when we entrust our design and specifications to our chosen engineer, contractor, foremen, workers and laborers. This even goes on in daily lives of people like me, riding a jeep, when we entrust the whole 15 to 30 minutes of our lives to a jeepney driver, a total stranger.
Belief, trust and faith in other people, in our goals and even in our own ideas are the pillars of the bridge we walk across, over the deep gap of uncertainty.
Mga kaibigan, hindi ko po sinasabing magpaka-utu-uto na lang tayo o magpaka - “bahala na” o “bahala ka na”. Of course we take precautions, we verify things, we monitor them, we have to be watchful but not paranoid, we also trust our instincts, we do research, we do our part, and we choose the right people to believe in, that is when we have a choice. But this does not mean that we give doubt, for to do so is to never proceed at all, and to breed doubt, is to slowly destroy everything that was built. Doubt takes away all our guts to take the risk & to take a leap of faith towards something possibly greater.
Friends, we are now in the business, in the professional business of Architecture and I strongly disagree when they say that this is “only business, nothing personal.” Business, being run by humans, is a personal matter based on relationships. We are not merely mechanical machines that are connected by bolts or rods and driven by gears. Instead we are all linked by the trust we build with each other, and fueled by the passion we share. We get a partner, or partners whom we trust that they share our visions. We hire an accountant to whom we entrust our hard-earned money to.
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe once said: “Treat a man as he is and you make him worse than he is. But treat a man as he has the potential to become and you make him better than he is.”
Before I finally end my speech, I would like to selfishly take this opportunity to thank the PRC, PRBOA & UAP, and the two universities I came from: Ateneo de Manila and UP Diliman. I would also like to thank some particular people I believed in and have learned so much from: Arch. Rey Gabitan, Arch. Jeremiah, alyas “Jeje” Queddeng, Arch. Emilio Ozaeta, my mentors: Arch. Nicolo del Castillo, Arch. Danilo A. Silvestre, sir Felix Chua & sir Jerry Araos. I would also like to thank my first mentor & my kuya Arch. Avegail Casono, with his wife Arch. Edra Belga Casono, plus my ate & professional guidance counselor– April Joy Casono. Thanks also to Mr. Dondi and Mrs. Christina Aguilar, for all the encouragement and assistance most especially during the crucial week of exams. I would also like to thank a very special & faithful friend of mine – Arch. Paul Henrick Letana. Also, I would like to thank my girlfriend, who is of course, here with us today, who is also my best friend, my partner, my first employer, my constant companion and commander, Arch. Darlene C. Aguilar. I always feel so lucky and blessed because she chose me, and she always believes in me. Also, many thanks to my tatay and nanay. My tatay lived most part of his yearly life in a ship, as a captain, sailing oceans of deep and dangerous uncertainties. Being far from land and from his family, he knew he could easily get swallowed by the ocean or by his own loneliness, yet he chose to believe in what he does just so we could have a convenient life. My nanay on the other hand, never left our side so she could give us her full support and guidance all the way. Both of them always believed in the success of their kids. Mula po sa kaibuturan ng aking puso, mahal na mahal ko po kayong lahat.
And of course, most of all, I would like to thank Him, yes, capital H, I, M.
And also, let me congratulate and thank you all in advance, for being great Architects of this Nation, that truly believe & serve The Filipino People.
Well, finally, believing does not really ensure a 100% success of course, but it dramatically increases the chances, trust me. If only we could learn how to harness the power of having faith in everything we do, in the people we trust, and in the goals we pursue, and in Him, then we can say with great confidence to every challenge we face: “Consider it done.” Mabuhay po tayong lahat, mabuhay po ang Pilipinas.

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