“Strive not for success but strive for significance”—Roberto Antonio “Ronin” S. Leviste (XS ’17) delivers inspirational speech at HS Reading of Honors 2021

You are currently viewing “Strive not for success but strive for significance”—Roberto Antonio “Ronin” S. Leviste (XS ’17) delivers inspirational speech at HS Reading of Honors 2021

On July 16, 2021, the HS Reading of Honors for the awardees of SY 2020–2021 was broadcasted via the Xavier School Youtube Channel

The speaker invited for the event was Roberto Antonio “Ronin” S. Leviste (XS ’17). He was introduced by the JHS Assistant Principal for Academics, Mr. Exxon Ryan  U. Yu: 

Ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to have the chance to introduce our guest speaker for this morning’s Reading of Honors. 

A consistent Dean’s Lister, Ronin is currently completing his degree in Development Studies at De La Salle University-Manila where he was awarded Best Undergraduate Thesis for Development Studies. 


He is also presently serving as the Vice President for External Affairs of the De La Salle University Student Government and was awarded the Gawad Francisco V. Ortigas Jr. Most Outstanding Undergraduate Student Leader.


Aside from being a full time college student, our speaker is also serving his term as a Sangguniang Kabataan Kagawad of Barangay Bel-Air where he spearheaded multiple community development programs such as the first-ever Bel-Air Youth Scholarship, free facemask and alcohol initiatives, Financial Assistance Programs for over 400 construction workers, the Barangay-wide Voter Education Seminar and a lot more.


He is also the director of the Youth Affairs under the Office of the Vice Governor of Batangas and works closely with all Sangguniang Kabataan councils and coordinates the allocation of materials for its respective programs.


He graduated from Xavier School in 2017 under the International Baccalaureate Program. During his time in Xavier, he truly exemplified the school’s mission of being a Man for Others. He was an active class officer since his Junior High School days. In Grade 9, he was one of the students who joined the first ever outreach program at Bantayan Island in Cebu. 


In Senior High, he served as the head of the Green Team and the Lingkod Committee. In 2015, together with some of his batchmates, he initiated Ethnos, a project aiming to educate the global community about indigenous cultures and empower these communities through their traditional crafts. Ethnos was a 2-time finalist in the Harvard Social Innovation Competition.


On a personal note, Ronin and I go way back since XCE Guangzhou in 2012 and I also accompanied him as his Extended Essay Supervisor in IB. 


Without further ado, please join me in welcoming home our speaker, Mr. Roberto Antonio S. Leviste. 

Ronin delivered the following inspirational message to his fellow Xaverians: 

To Fr Aristotle Dy, School President; Mrs. Ma. Theresa Ladrido, our HS Principal; Mr. Exxon Ryan Yu, my then Extended Essay mentor and Assistant Principal for Academics for Junior High School — thank you for that wonderful introduction, Sir; to the rest of our HS Administrators, Faculty and Staff, Parents, and my fellow Xaverians, good morning. 


First, I would like to congratulate all our students for making it this far. We live in truly extraordinary times, and I’m really proud of our generation (including our teachers and staff) for making it through. It is clear that at times when we are tested, we always, always find ways to deliver — so before anything, give yourselves a pat on the back because you deserve it.


It is a big honor for me, as an alumnus, to be speaking in front of all of you. Being here is a great moment in my life — because when I was once a student, I never got invited on stage to receive any award, even on my very graduation. The only call I was able to receive were calls to the ODS for detention. Kidding aside, I’d like to believe that, one way or another, there was a reason for that — and simply just allow me to share in your celebration today. But that’s enough about me — the real reason why I’m here today is because for the next 10 mins, I want to talk about you and about the future.  


In this very event, we are surrounded by the next big things — the next top business leaders, lawyers, scientists, artists, engineers, teachers, and public servants, among many others. I’m sure, this is what you are dreaming to be; until, unfortunately, who would’ve thought that we would find our generation in the middle of what feels like a never-ending pandemic. This pandemic has changed all our lives. I’m sure you’ve seen the numbers; but more than that, it is very difficult to quantify the effects of COVID-19 on our own personal lives. And with those navigating the ship right now, we can only hope it gets better before it gets any worse. After all, the decisions our leaders are making now will have significant impacts on all our futures. 


But my fellow Xaverians, even if we are still in school, caring about our future does not begin tomorrow — the future is now and the future is you. You have the ability to form it the way you dream it to be. You have the will to solve the country’s most pressing problems; and more than anything, know that you will make a difference. You may not know it just yet, but everything you do changes lives miles away in places that you may not have even heard of yet. In any case, you are the heart of what is to come and What is in the present. So not only do we have to start thinking about our future, but we have to start making our voices heard and shaping it. 


But in this ROH, and in the middle of the pandemic, you are filling in shoes much bigger than yourselves. You, sitting in the comforts of your homes, have a very big role to play. Because ultimately, the future is not just all about you — this is about them — the people who can barely make it to tomorrow, the people who have lost the people they loved, the people who had to give up everything they once had. The people who are unsure if they can even think about a future. The people who, just like you, have big dreams and aspirations too, but unlike you, it will only stay as “what ifs” and “sana all’s”.  This is especially for them.


Over the past few months, I’ve been seeing a lot of posts, tweets, and comments on social media from people all over the country saying they wish they were in the US, Singapore, or other parts of the world where admittedly the situation is much better. True enough, because of the hard work of our parents, most (if not all of us) have the privilege to make that happen. We can easily leave the country, get the vaccine elsewhere, live there all we want. But at what cost? The reality is — for people like us, it’s easy to think of tomorrow, but what I want you to know is that there are REAL people who can’t even afford to think the things you’re probably thinking. They can’t afford to leave the country. They can’t afford to sit in air-conditioned rooms all day, and don’t get me wrong, I’m not asking you to go outside and put yourselves in positions of danger— because the pandemic is real — but what I’m asking you is to, at the very least, think about them. We have to ask ourselves: in our own little ways, what are we doing for our fellow countrymen? What are the ways for us to use our talents to support those in need, especially the least, lost, and last in society?


The beauty of being Filipino lies in our intrinsic desire to be our brother’s and sister’s keepers — it is one of the many things that make our country the best country in the world. Our desire to help others was never forced upon us; it is something we were born with and luckily in Xavier, it is something we were given the chance to explore ourselves — how we can be part of the bigger picture. After all, we are all in this together. 


It is at this juncture that I ask you — what does being a Xaverian mean to you, what is the true meaning of your awards, and how will you define your excellence and legacy? To these, there are no right or wrong answers; but I trust, whether you are an awardee or, just like me then, not, you know that we all have an EQUAL role to play in the development of the Philippines that we call our home. So when our country needs us, we, as Xaverians, must reply with unconditional service because to build the nation is to love. Our people. our past and future. The idea of us. Just because. Regardless. No matter what.


As I end my speech, I ask you to strive not for success; but strive for significance. At the end of the day, you can have all the money you can ever imagine — all the honors and awards you can think of — but what good will it do if there are millions of people who can’t eat, who work so hard but get so little, and who want to let their light shine but never get the resources and opportunities to do so. Trust me, when you strive for significance, when you understand what role you can play and do your best in being a star in that role — you will always be successful. 


Once again, congratulations to all our awardees and congratulations to all of you for doing your best. 


Always remember: Be a force for good. Be significant. Be true and be you. Thank you!

The full video of the event may be viewed below:

Share your vote!

Do you like this post?
  • Fascinated
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Bored
  • Afraid

Leave a Reply

Please share this