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President Benigno Aquino III on Sunday attended the graduation of his nephew Joshua Aquino, eldest son of his sister Kris Aquino, from the elementary level of the Multiple Intelligence International School (MIIS) in Quezon City. A Malacañang statement said Aquino was the guest of honor and inspirational speaker during the batch’s commencement ceremonies held at the University of the Philippines Film Center in Quezon City. In his speech, Aquino challenged the graduating class to join government efforts to effect moral and social change in society by exerting more effort at helping others than by putting oneself first. “If we look at the world today, a lot of our problems really are centered on the fact that there are too many people thinking of themselves," he said. As an example, Aquino cited the teachers of MIIS and the parents of the graduates who he said “have dedicated so much in making sure they (students) achieve their highest potential."
“In effect, that is the only message I would like to impart today: the key to us reaching where we would want to go is having a focus on the other rather than the self," he said. “With that focus, nothing is impossible. It is only a matter of time to achieve all of our dreams," he added. Also during the ceremony, the graduating class presented to Aquino a 'Pledge of Commitment' plaque representing the school and its student’s advocacy to protect and nurture the environment. MIIS pledged to plant, in the President’s honor, 100 seedlings for the reforestation and rehabilitation of the Mt. Makiling river system, an essential part of the Laguna Lake Watershed. Aside from the plaque, Aquino was also presented a book entitled, “8 Simple Secrets to Raising Entrepreneurs" written by MIIS’s founding director Mary Joy Abaquin. The Malacañang statement said Aquino “smiled widely and gamely posed for the batch’s graduation photo with Josh standing by his side during one of the event’s numerous photo opportunities." Kris Aquino was also present during the graduation ceremonies, according to the same statement. - KBK, GMA News