Home > Kahindik-hindik, manny pangilinan, speechgate > transcript of manny pangilinan’s speech at ateneo graduation rites and the plagiarized parts and links to original speeches

transcript of manny pangilinan’s speech at ateneo graduation rites and the plagiarized parts and links to original speeches

Manny Pangilinan Commencement Exercise Speech
School of Humanities & School of Social Sciences
Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City
4:00 p.m., Saturday, 27th March 2010

Magandang hapon sa inyong lahat. I want to thank Father Ben and the Ateneo community for the honor of this doctorate degree. And congratulations to our Law School for having 7 of the 11 – ten topnotchers – in the recent bar exams!

Father Nebres, Father Magadia, trustees, faculty and staff, parents and siblings, graduates of 2010 – many congratulations. Thank you so much for this gift of fellowship with the sesquicentennial class. You‘ve earned your diploma from a great learning institution, and you have every right to be proud. I have wracked my mind and heart with what I should say today.

The weeks of fear and worry at the thought of giving this commencement address have made me lose weight, and sleep.

(“Not only has Harvard given me an extraordinary honour, but the weeks of fear and nausea I have endured at the thought of giving this commencement address have made me lose weight.”   –J.K.Rowling)

I‘ve asked myself, what I wish I had known at my own graduation day 44 years ago.

The sad truth is that I don‘t even remember who the speaker was at my graduation, or a single word that was said. So I begin these remarks with the expectation that I will soon be forgotten. I‘ve been cautioned that on an occasion as this, graduates are only thinking one of the following thoughts: one – I hope these ceremonies finish soon because I can‘t wait to take my vacation.

Two – inspire me please. There aren‘t too many doing that these days.

Three – If MVP stops talking before I stop listening, I‘ll give him a big applause.

Four –If you hand out free tickets to the Justin Timberlake concert tonight, we‘d give you a standing ovation. Yes, I’m happy to say that Smart will be giving away four free tickets right after this ceremony!

Now that you‘ve been sufficiently humored and bribed, let me earn my honorary degree, and turn thoughtful and traditional. More to do, more to achieve I come here today with the thought that despite what may seem to be the culmination of a successful life with this honorary degree, there‘s still much to do. I come to say that one‘s title, even an honor like this, says little about how well one‘s life has been led –that no matter how much you‘ve done, or how successful you‘ve been, there‘s always more to learn, more to do, more to accomplish. So I want to say to all of you, that despite your remarkable achievement, you too cannot rest on your laurels.

Some graduating classes in the past have marched into this place in times of peace and progress. In those easy times, we could have called on you to keep things merely going, and not screw things up. But we‘re gathered here at a time of trial and transition, not only for this country but also for the world.

Our economy slowed down last year because of a global recession – the result, in part, of greed and irresponsibility that rippled out from Wall Street. We continue to spend beyond our means. We avoid making the tough, unpopular choices. And in 44 days, we will elect a new set of national and local leaders.

For all of you, these challenges are felt now in more immediate and personal terms. You will soon be looking for a job – struggling to figure out which career makes sense in this economy of ours. Maybe you have loans, and are worried how you‘ll pay them down. Maybe you‘ve got a family to help. Maybe you‘re asking how your siblings can have an Ateneo education like you had.

(“For many of you, these challenges are also felt in more personal terms. Perhaps you’re still looking for a job — or struggling to figure out what career path makes sense in this disrupted economy. Maybe you’ve got student loans — no, you definitely have student loans — (applause) — or credit card debts, and you’re wondering how you’ll ever pay them off. Maybe you’ve got a family to raise, and you’re wondering how you’ll ensure that your children have the same opportunities you’ve had to get an education and pursue their dreams.” –President Obama)

(click here for transcript of obama’s speech: http://blogs.suntimes.com/sweet/2009/05/obama_at_arizona_state_u_makes.html)

Against these issues, you may be tempted to fall back on the more visible markers of success — by chasing the usual brass rings. How much money you make, a fancy title or a nice car. Being on the roster of the ―rich and famous (or the ―most invited) guest list. But the choice of form over substance, fame over character, short-term gain over long-term goal is precisely what your generation needs to end.

Defining success

Coming from the Ateneo, I know that the pressure to succeed is immense. In fact, your biggest liability is the need to succeed. And your biggest fear must be the fear of failure. But first, let me define what success is.

Let me tell you, money‘s pretty cool. I‘m not going to stand here and tell you that‘s it‘s not about money, because money is sweet. I like money. It‘s good for buying companies and things – and for putting up a few buildings here and there for Ateneo. But having a lot of money does not totally make you a successful person. What you want is both money and meaning. You want your life and your career to be meaningful. Because meaning is what brings real richness to your life, to be surrounded by people you can truly work with – because you trust and treasure them, and they cherish you in return. That‘s when you‘re really rich, that‘s when you really succeed.

(“Let me tell you, money’s pretty nice. I’m not going to stand up here and tell you that it’s not about money, ’cause money is very nice. I like money. It’s good for buying things. But having a lot of money does not automatically make you a successful person. What you want is money and meaning. You want your work to be meaningful. Because meaning is what brings the real richness to your life. What you really want is to be surround by people you trust and treasure and by people who cherish you. That’s when you’re really rich.” — Oprah Winfrey in her June 2008 commencement address at Stanford University)

(click here for transcript of oprah’s speech: http://news-service.stanford.edu/news/2008/june18/como-061808.html)

Fear of failure

Let me now deal with failure. On this wonderful day when you stand on the threshold of what is called ―real life, it is – ironically – the best time to talk about failure. Nobody‘s life is seamless or smooth. We all stumble. We all have setbacks. If things go wrong, you hit a dead end – as you will, many times in your life – it‘s just life‘s way of saying – time to change course.

Now I cannot tell you that failure is fun. Periods of failure in my life were dark ones. I‘ve had a lot of success. But I‘ve had a lot of failures. I‘ve looked good. I‘ve looked bad. I‘ve been praised and criticized. And it hurt like hell. But my mistakes have been necessary.

(I‘ve looked good. I‘ve looked bad. I‘ve been praised and criticized. And it hurt like hell. But my mistakes have been necessary.  —- Conan O’brian)

(read transcript of O’brian’s speech here:http://www.allowe.com/Humor/book/COBspeech2k.htm)

I had no idea how far the tunnel of failure extended. And any light at the end of it seemed more hope than reality.

(“I had no idea then how far the tunnel extended, and for a long time, any light at the end of it was a hope rather than a reality.   — JK Rowling)

(transcript of rowling speech here: http://harvardmagazine.com/commencement/the-fringe-benefits-failure-the-importance-imagination)

Now let me tell you about some of my biggest failures.

In 1995, first pacific invested in telecommunications in India at a time when the industry there was just getting started. Under the laws of India, foreign investors are allowed to own not more than 49% of a local telco. So we invited an Indian partner to hold the 51% majority.

You all know how capital intensive the telco business is. To our utmost regret, our partner could not provide the counterpart capital. The relationship soured, and we had to sell the business. Since then, India‘s telecoms industry has grown exponentially. So we lost significant value by divesting. If we had managed to retain this business, I would not need to make a living giving graduation speeches. But I have had personal failures as well.

I will now let you in on a well-kept secret. I was in 4th year high school in San Beda College, and was in contention to be valedictorian that year. It was an open secret that majority of my classmates were cheating –changing answers from true to false, ironically, in our religion exams.

I felt I had to do the same to protect my grades. Several of us were caught – pero ako ang pinag-initan. I knew I was wrong, and deserved to be punished. Indeed, San Beda stripped me of all my honors. Finally, with the suspicion about rampant cheating, I was asked by the principal to name names. I refused. I disappointed my parents deeply. It took many years for the pain and bitterness to heal. Several years ago, I thought it was time to free myself from the rancor and memory of that experience. What better proof of reconciliation with San Beda than the 3 NCAA championships for the Red Lions?

Failure taught me lessons about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had imagined: I also found out that I had parents whose value was truly priceless.

The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you can be secure in your ability to survive.

(“The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive.   — Rowling)

You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life, my career and, most importantly, my moral values.

So graduates, always remember this – success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It is courage that counts. MVP‘s lessons for life as I come near the end of my remarks, let me wrap up with some old-fashioned, feel-good graduation advice:

First, hug and kiss those who helped get you to this day – parents, grandparents, friends, teachers. If you’re too shy or uptight to do that, please do the old fashioned handshake thing. But I recommend a hug and a kiss. Don’t let the sun go down today without saying thank you to someone.

Second, don’t forget that you have a body under your toga. Take good care of it. Engage in sports. It‘s fun, and it is a laboratory for victory and adversity. How an athlete celebrates his triumphs, or overcomes defeat or injury, how he deals with a hostile crowd or a critical media, reflects what life is all about. Indeed, sports offers a richness all its own – it is a metaphor for life.

Third, remember you have brains under that mortarboard. You‘ve been running it like crazy for four years, whining about all the books you’ve had to read, the papers you’ve had to write, the tests you’ve had to take. Yet thanks to that versatile, gigabyte hard-drive of yours, and a million Starbucks cups, you made it today.

Fourth, give one peso for every ten you earn. I saw my mother pass away 8 years ago, and she left this world without anything. Which means you’re not the owner of what you think you own – you’re only a steward, because everything‘s on loan. So pass some of it on. If you don’t, government will just take it anyway.


As today‘s door closes softly between us, those are my parting words. But there will be other partings and other last words in your lives. But today will not be complete without acknowledging what Father Ben has done for the Ateneo these past 17 years as the university‘s longest serving president – the new Loyola Schools, all the new buildings, the UAAP championships and the bonfires. It has been a pleasure working with him. Thank you so much Father Ben.

I do have one last word for you, if I may. This was a gift when I graduated at the age of 19 – the gift of friends with whom I sat on graduation day, who remain my friends for life. So today, I wish you nothing better than similar friendships.

And tomorrow, I hope that even if you remember not a single word of mine, you will recall those of Seneca, one of the old Romans i met in search of ancient wisdom: ―as is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters. I will now let you go. Through God‘s providence, may each of you travel well that precious journey called life. And may your future be worthy of your dreams. My deepest thanks for the courtesy and honor you all have shared with me. Many congratulations. God bless you all. Good day and good life.

also read:

also read:

the manny pangilinan speechgate – should pangilinan return the degree of Doctor of Humanities, honoris causa given by ateneo?

  1. Jasper
    April 4, 2010 at 3:17 pm

    Holy crap! This Is indeed a
    disaster. Sad that this cost out school a
    very good benefactor and chairman. I hope
    the speechwriter is not Atenean.

    • April 4, 2010 at 3:34 pm

      yes, the speech writer being an ateneo graduate will make this one of the worst tragedies in ateneo’s history.

      as early as grade 3, ateneo students are taught to identify the source of the quotes they include in their homework and projects – be it names of authors or URL links from the internet.

    • Plagiarism is a product of carelessness - its not a friggin crime
      April 20, 2010 at 1:42 am

      this could have easily been resolved by merely quoting the authors. It’s pretty unfair though, since probably, the intent was never there. He is a very busy man with a very huge empire to run. Plagiarism is VERY EASY to commit – why? because the methods of citation is not something commonly used by many people, not only by Filipinos. Methods of citation are common amongst academics.

      Plagiarism is in most cases, a product of CARELESSNESS. I think Ateneo, is very openminded, advanced, and mature in not agreeing that MVP should retire. It doesn’t alter all the great contributions he did for the university.

      If MVP was not a public figure, it wouldn’t have mattered so much. Plagiarism is only a big deal when used politically. Plagiarism is bull. It’s merely a mistake but people put too much emphasis on it- only when necessary. Many people, even great historians, or even famous writers such as William Shakespeare have committed this so-called “pretentious” crime. Only pretentious people care- frustrated ones mostly.

      • February 28, 2011 at 6:24 pm

        It’s unfortunate that I came across this article only just now. But, what?? I cannot believe that kind of excuse. You could pretty much tell by the way he’s ‘incorporated’ the speech of others into his own that he plagiarized with full intent as he basically just replaced the words with synonyms. Besides, he plagiarized more than once from some of his victims, most notably from Rowling. No fool would be pushed to thinking otherwise.

        And yes, plagiarism is a serious issue for EVERYONE, although more so for people like Pangilinan who should know better given his doctorate degree. How dare he talk of honor when he just dirtied and defiled possibly his profession and the academe? What would you feel if you got plagiarized and weren’t recognized for your efforts and ideas? Plagiarizing with full, conscious intent is much the same thing as theft and dishonesty, it’s only worse though as you claim others’ thoughts as your own.

        Sure thing, we take in a lot of info everyday and we could be expressing ourselves under a considerable degree of influence from them. But it is clear that Pangilinan hadn’t committed this mistake unintentionally and unconsciously. Moreover I am stunned by the foolishness and stupidity of his deciding to plagiarize from such famous sources.

        About you saying that plagiarism matters only when used politically, well surely you know that academic dishonesty is a grave offense in universities. In mine, committing this offense has serious and shameful ramifications, one of which is getting kicked out.

        With the comment you posted, I could almost already ascertain something about you. Oh, Im not saying I could already tell what person you are, as I dont want to be branded pretentious. You just tried to mitigate what is so obviously a crime. Do you practice it as well?

  2. Fantastic356
    April 5, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    I certainly commend MVP for admitting the plagiarism and I certainly think it was honorable of him to resign from the Ateneo Board. But what I can’t understand is why Fr. Ben is standing in the way and not letting MVP resign ? MVP (or any alumni) can still be supportive of the Ateneo in many silent, anonymous not-in-the-limelight ways as always without being a Board member or Board chairman.

    What ‘management’ lesson can be learned from this episode? Write your own speeches. And if you can’t do it yourself – don’t make any speeches, specially for commencement purposes.

    • September 9, 2012 at 12:58 am

      commend ang lelang mo; Publisict of MVP trying to create an impression na ok na nagsorry ang bakla

  3. charness
    April 5, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    may be MVP doesn’t knw that google and yahoo existed in the net.

  4. Emily Dela Cruz
    April 6, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    This plagiarized will make LaSallites look a lot better!!!!

  5. Gladies Harris
    April 6, 2010 at 1:12 pm

    *Plagiarized speech

  6. Mary Acosta
    April 6, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    That is why I like UP commencement ceremonies. All are in tagalog. Try to catch a plagiarized speed in tagalog. Even google can’t help.

    UP. UP. UP.

    kung hindi ngayon kailan pa? kung hindi tayo sino?

    • joshua
      April 8, 2010 at 2:07 pm

      Its also harder to prove that it’s plagarized (wink)

    • Kups
      April 10, 2010 at 12:58 am

      Ewan ko din ba sa mga gago na filipino na yan! Ang Ateneo nasa Pinas naman, bakit hindi nalang mag-tagalog ng hindi madisgrasya. Pa-ingles ingles pa, eh ipapagawa din lang naman pala sa iba! Bobo talaga! ang utak, nasa talampakan.

  7. Jenny Henson
    April 6, 2010 at 6:20 pm

    charness :
    may be MVP doesn’t knw that google and yahoo existed in the net.

    what a waste of internet time for him. i am assuming that he has unlimited wireless T1 connection wherever he goes right?

    • Kups
      April 10, 2010 at 1:01 am

      Ang mahirap kasi sa ibang mga Pilipino, hindi marunong magpaka-totoo! Mababang uri ka ba kapag nag-tagalog ka sa isang pag-titipon? Eh pinoy naman siya diba? “Ang hindi mag-mahal sa sariling wika ay higit pa sa malansang Janitor Fish”.

  8. kundun
    April 7, 2010 at 2:37 am

    (one clear example of Filipinos crab mentality) — the speech was ok — his own touch of it makes it original — once a speech made public — public owns it — MVP could have quoted the names of those who own it?? but even JK rowling did not quote the exact literature where she got the words from Seneca…lets look into the positive sense and meaning of this speech. i laud MVP for taking the full responsibility — so great and humble that i can only remember this speech not as of JK, Conan, Obama but of MVP.

    • Norman Zara
      April 9, 2010 at 2:18 pm

      Let’s call “a spade a spade”. If it is plagiarism, let’s call it one. In fact, MVP was man enough to take responsibility and that is why he offered to resign. He showed character by doing that. Everyone commits mistakes and all should be given a second chance.

      • Kups
        April 10, 2010 at 12:51 am

        You mean, a second chance to plagiarized?

    • Konoswa
      April 10, 2010 at 5:19 pm

      Sinabi na nga niya “Seneca”, that is sufficient for purposes of attributing the source. Di ba nga gumagamit pa ang iba kahalintulad ng mga sumusunod: “to paraphrase…”, “in the words of…”, “to quote…” or “according to…”

      Yung sinasabi mo na “exact literature…” ay pang huling pahina na kung tawagin ay Bibliography!

      Tama entrada mo, KUNDUN! Let us condone the person (MVP), but not the blatant, licentious, and ignominous act of PLAGIARISM. Ang mga Marcos-hinayaan natin, si Gloria-tinitiis na lang natin, si Erap-baka maluklok pang muli! Maliwanag ang puwang ng pagpapatawad sa kanila. Subali’t lagnat, sipon, at trangkaso ang ramdam natin sa kanilang nagawang kasalanan! At least we’re still a step ahead in moral ascendancy by being able to identify the taxonomy of man’s weaknesses.

  9. Pinky Lacson
    April 7, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Hey,the gist of the speech is a generic graduation speech.

    …this is the beginning
    …difficulty in looking for jobs
    …this is the real world
    …expect difficulties
    …it will make you stronger

    what is the fuss all about?
    Oprah or Rowling did not first wrote these concepts. Where was their references too?
    All of the words came from the dictionary.
    Should we quote the Oxford English Or the Funk & Wagnalls edition?

    • Kups
      April 10, 2010 at 12:54 am

      Hoy! Gago! Wag ka nang mag-tanga tangahan pa! alam nyo nang mali, itinutuwid mo pa! Bobo ka ba?

      • Pinky Lacson
        April 10, 2010 at 3:16 pm

        Hoy g@g0 ka rin. Basahin mo ang apelyido ko. Alam mo ba kung sino ang tatay ko? Gusto mo ring biglang mawala?

        • tagalakad
          April 11, 2010 at 12:53 am

          aha! so tama pala ang bali-balita na si lacson ay isang executioner… lagot ka sa tatay mo!

  10. April 7, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Pinky Lacson :

    Hey,the gist of the speech is a generic graduation speech.

    …this is the beginning
    …difficulty in looking for jobs
    …this is the real world
    …expect difficulties
    …it will make you stronger

    what is the fuss all about?
    Oprah or Rowling did not first wrote these concepts. Where was their references too?
    All of the words came from the dictionary.
    Should we quote the Oxford English Or the Funk & Wagnalls edition?

    as you can read it in this post, it is not just the concept or outline that has been plagiarized, these are exact words and thoughts that were copied.

    as anyone who goes through college is taught – if you quote or use the exact words and thoughts copied from someone else, you need to give credit to the author of the original work. if you don’t, it means you are laying claim on work that is not yours. that is plagiarism.

    ateneo grade school students, starting at grade 3 are taught that should they use a quote from someone else, they need to identify the source or even the link from internet where it was gotten from.

  11. mickey
    April 9, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    to ateneo and manny – pag may pera ka talaga you can get away with anything in this country, NAKAKAHIYA!!!!Fact that he expresses these words as if it is his own thoughts NAKAKAHIYA kaya lang marami syang pera at halos sponsor sya ng mga ateneo activities so cge ok lang NAKAKAHIYA!!!! para sa ordinaryong pilipino PERA PERA lang yan.

  12. Pinky Lacson
    April 10, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    Maybe you guys that believe in Plagiarism or think that it is a big deal better read this short story
    Melancholy Elephants – Spider Robinson

    excerpt :

    “If you live long enough,” the senator said slowly at last, “there is nothing new under the sun.” He shifted in his great chair. “If you’re lucky, you die sooner that that. I haven’t heard a new dirty joke in fifty years.” He seemed to sit up straight in his chair. “I will kill S.4217896.”

    You can Google for it.

  13. mp3addict
    April 16, 2010 at 8:23 am

    ok lang sana ung speech kung sinabi kasi niya na kinuha niya sa iba’t ibang tao…bakit kasi COPY AND PASTE nalang ang ginawa…hayz

  14. sawing alitaptap
    April 17, 2010 at 3:25 pm

    Minsan, maipagmamalaki mo rin ang hindi sinasadyang hindi ka graduate ng Ateneo….at least hindi ako nagkamali na mag-aral sa Ateneo.

  15. Abe
    June 12, 2010 at 11:55 am

    The issue is not about the similarity of the thoughts with the various sources but rather the intent to copy almost word for word and pass it to the audience as if it were yours. MVP’s speech writers should know better. Ateneo should be commended for standing by its principle by calling a spade a spade. MVP should be appreciated and I even have greater respect for the man for taking responsibility for his action (or the action of his speech writer). Our country could even be greater if we have more institutions like Ateneo and more leaders like MVP.

  16. November 28, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    excuse me. may I use this blogpost for my homework? may I? thank you.

    • November 29, 2010 at 12:53 pm

      yes of course you can. you can use anything you read in the internet as long as you give the proper attribution.

  1. April 4, 2010 at 1:16 pm
  2. April 4, 2010 at 1:18 pm
  3. April 4, 2010 at 1:19 pm
  4. April 5, 2010 at 8:44 am
  5. April 5, 2010 at 10:06 am
  6. April 7, 2010 at 9:00 am
  7. April 7, 2010 at 9:07 am
  8. April 13, 2010 at 9:08 am
  9. November 24, 2010 at 3:43 pm
  10. December 6, 2010 at 11:08 pm
  11. July 16, 2011 at 4:01 am

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