Tuesday, April 27, 2010

i love you

i feel a different kind of joy every time my eyes meet yours
i feel a different kind of contentment every time your hands touch my cheeks
i feel a different kind of peace every time i hear your voice caress my ears

it is just so amazing how we met unexpectedly
it is just so amazing how i saw you in my dreams and became real

the first time i saw you, i knew you were the one.

every moment of my life i give back to you
every breath that i take i dedicate for you
every task i accomplish, i offer to you

i love you, do you love me too?

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!
Michael Casas

Monday, April 19, 2010

The real world that awaits...

Your will be done Lord! :) I completely surrender my life to you!

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!
Michael Casas

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Grabe :)

I really had fun today and yesterday. Well, I had an unexpected win and cash from PIChE Davao's Undergraduate Research Compatition, met a lot of PhD's in the forum and was inspired to do a lot of further studies. Moreover, i enjoyed the food during the competition, started working on the other things that i have to do and went out with my friends (JP, Kring, Vebz, Doning, Elfin, Gil and many more) haha. I thank the Lord for this day! :D Salamat Lord :)

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!
Michael Casas

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Things to be thankful for! (Gratitude is the best Attitude)

The past four years in college was really a blast! I am very blessed for all the experiences that led me to where i am now and to the people who walked with me in this journey. I really feel that "the world conspires" only if you are sure of where you want to go. Thus, here are the things that i am for, for the four years of formation that i had in college:

1. My school. To be honest, Ateneo is my least preferred school way back in college, because, i feel like my parents can't afford to send me there and my preferred course (which used to be bs materials engineering) is not available in Ateneo. But, it is just so amazing that i am led to this least-preferred-school and end up excelling there. I am more than convinced that everything was planned by God, for all the circumstances which led me in Ateneo de Davao were beyond my control.

2. My family. I just have the most supportive and loving parents in the world! I love you Mama and Papa :). Moreover, I am thankful for the moral and financial support being extended by my grandmother (nanay pisyang) to our family. And i just love my brother and sister too, although we have occasional misunderstandings :D I am doing my best for you. Thanks for helping me scrape those pectin samples for my thesis! Hahah!

3. Awards and Recognitions. My college life was filled with awards and recognitions for the things that i have done. I graduated Valedictorian, Magna Cum Laude and Leadership Awardee. My thesis also bagged the 2nd Runner-up in the BPI Best Project of the Year. I was also awarded the Most Outstanding student for 2 years and Outstanding Club President in second year. These awards are beyond my imagination and i am just living the vision that i told myself before i entered college: "It's payback time."

4. I had a girlfriend. Well, although i am already single at this point, but i feel really blessed for having a girlfriend. And i am thankful for everything!

5. My course. I just appreciate how the detours led me to BS Chem. More than that, i found my calling in chemistry, that is to develop my very own drug. Yes, i really am motivated to go into research about creating a formulation to cure dengue and so on.

6. My friends, teachers and Involvements. I am so blessed, because for the past four years, i had great friends, teachers and joined great clubs which really helped me become better as a person. More than that, i expanded my network of friends and had worthwhile connections with them.

7. My relationship with God. My entrance to a catholic and Jesuit university allowed me to be closer to God! I am thankful for everything that i learned from the Jesuits!

These things will always be in my heart. The Ateneo experience that i had and the four years of college self-searching and formation that i had was really memorable and if i may say truly life changing! I look forward to a more challenging yet, more rewarding life experiences and people ahead! I know that my destiny is already written, i just have to fulfill it. And i know i am successful! May the Lord Jesus Christ be glorified!

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!
Michael Casas

Just so i know!

When i met the big (and smartest) guys of Chemistry today (who happened to be Whitten, Skoog, Campbell, McMurry, Atkins and others in my encounter with the books that they authored), i just can't help it but tell myself: "Marami pa akong kakaining bigas." But i tell you, it just motivates me to do more and strive for excellence in Chemistry even more. I am just so fired up, because i know that i am one of them! I declare it! I just have to do my work here and, well, then the details will follow!

I am! :)

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!
Michael Casas

Monday, April 12, 2010

Valedictory Address of Michael A. Casas

Ateneo de Davao University Commencement Exercises March 20, 2010

By Michael A. Casas
BS Chemistry, Magna cum Laude
Valedictorian and Leadership Awardee

Rev. Fr. Antonio S. Samson of the Society of Jesus, President of the Ateneo de Davao University; Rev. Fr. Jose Cecilio Magadia of the Society of Jesus, Provincial Superior of the Jesuits in the Philippines; Mr. Paul Dominguez, Chairman of the Board of Trustees; members of the Jesuit community in Davao City, honored guests, university administrators, faculty and staff, our dearest parents, friends, the members of the graduating class of 2010, ladies and gentlemen, a pleasant and wonderful morning to everyone.

On this very day, the graduating class of 2010 gratefully and humbly faces our mentors, friends and beloved parents as we end the 4, 5 or more years toward obtaining our respective college degrees. We are basking in the glow of boundless idealism as we try to review and look back at the memorable and life-changing experiences that led us to arrive at this level of maturity in our relatively young lives. But, my dear fellow graduates, after this very day, after the last applause has been heard, we are mindful that we are yet to continue our quest towards greater self-knowledge and understanding of the world in the biggest university we call LIFE. This realization isn’t new, of course, but it is accompanied by a far greater appreciation of the fundamental values –the necessary essentials –which carried us through this momentous occasion, something which millions of our unfortunate young people can only dream of.

Having said that, we rightfully acknowledge and express our deepest appreciation for the privilege accorded to us being molded according to the philosophy of Jesuit education. It is precisely in this context that we ask where and how to situate ourselves amidst a much bigger world that awaits us, a world that welcomes our collective aspiration enough to change it, transform it, and make us believe that it is our turn now, this time, to contribute towards rebuilding our nation.

As we labored through college life, we lived through the experience knowing that our Jesuit education brings with it a worldview that sees that goodness of the world through the eyes of a loving Creator. We lived out these experiences of fostering a truly holistic, liberating, and altruistic view of education in whatever way possible. After each learning endeavor, whether in the discursive climate of the classrooms or in the sea of poverty that typifies our immersion and exposure areas, we seek the values that we acquire in these experiences and learn to reflect on them to see their implications and contributions to the human person and eventually to society at large. In what we have come to understand as the one crucial principle of Jesuit education, we have imbibed the principle of faith and justice as an overarching theme of the Catholic social teaching on preferential option for the poor. Eventually, we know and understand through so many formative learning experiences that Jesuit education seeks to be interdisciplinary for it attempts to integrate different forms of knowledge as an approach to living life.

Much has been written, by and among Jesuits themselves, about our mode of proceeding as a Jesuit academic institution. Let me attempt to summarize some of these ideals by way of highlighting the important points: that the reason why we are celebrating today –our graduation –far more transcends the goals of monetary reward, popularity, and success; that it is essentially all about having the heart, the will, and the character to address the social cancer in our society and the greater world that awaits us; that we have the desire and the political will to really take a serious look at poverty and conflict in all forms and truly work in finding the appropriate solutions to break these disempowering cycles of violence; that we believe in a cause far greater than ourselves by seeking ways to end all manners of discriminations, as we learn to share our faith with others in total act of charity, and ultimately, in working for an equitable distribution of the world’s resources and our patrimony.

And so, my fellow graduates, the essence and goal of Jesuit education poses a challenge to all of us who have benefited largely from this framework of formation. As bearers of this educational legacy, particularly at this point in our nation’s history, what do we expect of ourselves? Ultimately, in the presence of our mentors and parents who celebrate with us this morning, we ask ourselves what does our dear Alma Mater truly expect of us? How then must we respond and what is the scale of our response? How must we seize the opportunity to make a difference in our nation’s history?

Frederick Buechner offers this reflection, and I quote, “The place God calls you to, is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.” Unquote. In Philippine society today, we are called to identify a form of that particular hunger that Buechner proverbially speaks of through our collective and unified movement in working for the promotion of justice. For one, we are invited to look at the adverse effects of climate change as a hunger that should be responded to. Further research, but more importantly changing our ways of dealing with our environment, should be done to seriously respond to this call. On another scale of hunger, we have a government whose entanglements in a lot of scandals and unsavory decisions including, among others, the prevalence of warlordism in our political arena, the culture of corruption and the self-serving desires of some officials to perpetually remain in power, have caused serious dissatisfaction among us, eventually questioning the legitimacy and moral ascendancy of some of our government officials and the institutions they represent. And to top it all, the usual political circus that somehow characterized our national and local elections, which, I am sure, some of our senior voters have grown tired and weary of. But more than seeing the usual fare in our electoral process, this crucial first-ever automated election is also a venue of addressing that hunger, that hunger for a clean, honest and orderly conduct of elections, a rallying cry so old and yet so new that it awakens a new sense of awareness particularly among the young.

With these observations, we ultimately find our deepest desires to know the extent of our calling and the scale of our response by first and foremost understanding ourselves. It is a process so crucial that it lays the foundation to understanding LIFE in the grand scheme of things. By knowing who we are, it allows us to discover our place in this world as we eventually assume the position of leadership in society. By way of an example, we can perhaps identify groups and individuals who responded to the hungers of society by listening to their inner calling. For instance, the scientists who actively take part in materializing researches to help address the grave effects of climate change is their response to humanity’s hunger in making this world a far better place to live. The much-loved and respected late President Cory Aquino articulated, to the last draw of her breath, her hunger that all Filipinos unite as one people and pray together as one wounded nation ready to rise again.

In like manner, we are called towards discerning how to go about making a difference in the lives of people by anchoring our life’s sets of values on the essential things. Time and again, experience tells us that this is often difficult perhaps because it challenges us to go inwards. Meaning, that before we can speak of change as a new paradigm, before we see the dignity and self-worth in others being similar to our own, and before we put our lives on the stake in order to dream of a bigger good in the name of heroic and loving service, we need to look within ourselves and listen to the inner calling of God within us.

To my fellow graduates, my fellow Ateneans, I speak from the bottom of my heart when I say that it is such a privilege to speak on your behalf this morning, to carry our voice as members of the graduating class of 2010. And, by your leave, allow me to verbalize these parting words: that we hold on to that imaginative mind; that we keep our expectations low but set our standards high; that we maintain that attitude of humility; that we become a person for others; that we live life to the fullest; that we become the change that we want to see in the world; that we strive to know our purpose in life; that we become a good example to others; that we do ordinary things with love; that we enrich our faith in God; that we love our calling with passion; that we take the risk; that we learn to let go; that we remain still and know that He is God; and most of all, that we never give up, never give up and never ever give up.

Thank you everyone and to God be the glory!

*from: http://www.addu.edu.ph/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=753&Itemid=210

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!

Michael Casas

The real world

I should really say that i am super tired today. Really tired. Imagine, i have been going here and there just to get my TOR, apply for the alumni ID, borrow the phy chem book of joey, blah blah blah. This is the harsh real world that they call. And yes, so far so good. Although this day made me really tired, but i really appreciate my experience today, because i feel like i am one of them now. I am not a spectator, but i am part of the people who move in this world. I am now away from my very own comfort zone. Yes! It is both sad and good. Sad, precisely because, things won't be easy now. Good, because i will finally learn how to live in this very competitive world.

In as much as yes, i am entering in this new and complex society, but i believe that i ought to carry with me the sets of values which i have learned beforehand- imagination, dreaming big, respect, integrity, punctuality, excellence, humility, love, gratitude, service, faith. Yes, the world can influence me, but these remains to be my strongholds, my buffer so that i can get hold of myself and be reminded of the necessary essentials just so i can fulfill the personal legend written for me. I know that i can do it! I can fulfill my destiny! I am!

I am thankful that today, i have finished a bunch of things. But, to be honest, this day just opened much more things to do. Well, that is life i guess- your assignments never end, unless it's your time to say goodbye. Sorry if i was somewhat morbid there, but it is a fact that we should all face. While we are still alive, things will come and will continuously come.

The real world is just so real. Like in Physical Chemistry, no "constants" or idealized systems can be employed this time. Every factor is in play and will surely contribute to the outcome of my journey. I know, it won't be easy. Yes, i know that the road will be challenging. But i am sure that i will succeed! I am successful for I am walking with and for the Lord!

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam!

Michael Casas