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Last updateSat, 19 Oct 2019 12am







    Friday, October 18, 2019-10:32:54A.M.






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52 graduate from Tinian High School

TINIAN Jr.-Sr. High School vice principal Martina H. Diaz compared the real world to online games.

Chosen by Class of 2019 to keynote the commencement exercises held on June 10 at the Antonio M. Borja Amphitheater, Diaz told the 52 graduates that there are lessons to be learned from playing Fortnite or PUBG. She said these lessons “may help you as you enter the adulthood and jump into your own battle called life.”

Diaz, a self-confessed gamer, said she learned important lessons when she won her very first “battle royale” game.

“The first lesson: no matter how many times you get eliminated from the game, you must always keep trying. Getting eliminated can look like many things — not getting a passing score, not getting the job you want, not placing into college-level courses; but each time you are eliminated is also a chance to start again,” Diaz said.

She advised the Class of 2019 to always celebrate their accomplishments no matter how small or insignificant they may be. “Many people are so focused on celebrating the highs of life that they start to lose sight of the small things that bring them the most joy.”

Like Fortnite, there are battles that the students have to face solo, she added. “You must be strong and resourceful and practice self-care. Build before you battle. Make sure you have a solid fortress and that you take advantage of the resources around you.”

If ever they have to face battle with someone, Diaz said choose a partner wisely. “Choose people who will always be in your corner and have your back; people who will go back to get you and drag you out of the storm; people who willingly share their resources with you and bandage you up when you are not at your best; and most of all, people who will lead you to victory.”

She also encouraged the students to learn to adapt in order to be successful. “The fact that we are able to be here today shows us that no storm, not even Super Typhoon Yutu, can ever get in our way. I hope that all of you put as much effort into the battles in life as you do into your battle royale games.”

Top 2 students

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Board of Education member Philip Mendiola-Long, left, with the Board of Education awardee and class valedictorian Colleen Manglona Aqui­ningoc.
Lesley Alcorcon Mahilum, the class salutatorian, receives the Commissioner of Education Award. Also in photo are Commissioner of Education  Glenn Muna, Associate Commissioners Lynette Villagomez and Dr. Yvonne Pangelinan, Head Start Director Lathania Santos and interim Associate Commissioner for Administrative Services  Charlie Kenty.  Contributed photos

This year’s valedictorian, Colleen Manglona Aquiningoc, said two of the most memorable experiences she had in high school was when she joined the mock-trial program and when she became an AmeriCorps volunteer.

Through the mock-trial program, Aquiningoc said she met the funniest and most genuine people. “Mock trial changed my life. It helped me foster a love for the practice of law, and is the reason why I have decided to be a prosecutor.”

Through AmeriCorps, she said she helped younger students with their school work. “I am so proud to have been a part of my students’ lives and watch them grow,” she added.

Tinian faces many challenges, but Aquiningoc said its people refuse to let hardships affect them. “We have learned to take negatives and turn them into positives. This is why I am proud to be from Tinian. I will never forget where I am from and I will continue to strive to make our island proud.”

Aquiningoc thanked her parents, teachers and mock-trial coaches for their dedication and their effort to help her and the other students.

Lesley Alcorcon Mahilum is the Class of 2019 salutatorian. In her salutatory speech, she thanked her parents and teachers for their support.

As for the incoming seniors, she said: “Take AP classes and manage your time wisely. Do the homework you have been avoiding for two days. If something can be finished in five minutes, do it now…. Do not live based on the standards of others. Everyone say to dream big, but I don’t think that you don’t have to live so fiercely…. I am not saying that you should not aim high and be ambitious, but do it for yourself because you want that for yourself and not because people expect that from you.”


Board of Education Award – Colleen Manglona Aquiningoc

Commissioner of Education Award – Lesley Alcorcon Mahilum

Governor’s Leadership Award – Jovilyn Cynthia Malunes Ancheta

Principal’s Award – Anthony Emmanuel Galdo Canlas

Top 10

1) Colleen Manglona Aquiningoc

2) Lesley Alcorcon Mahilum

3) Isa Rae Cepeda Dela Cruz

4) Jovilyn Cynthia Malunes Ancheta

5) Renuka Malicdem Shrestha

6) Anthony Emmanuel Galdo Canlas

7) Dyna Mae Cristoria Penaranda

8) Crizia Paraiso Rodriguez

9) Carmina Jo Ella Borja

10) Jodrik Francis Reyes Mendiola