BANGSAMORO SPEAKS: The Future is Yours

(Speaker Ali Pangalian Balindong of the Bangsamoro Parliament wrote this letter to his grandson, Ali Pangalian Ampatua Balindong III, on April 12, 2022, the day he passed the bar. MindaNews was granted permission to publish th(Speaker Ali Pangalian Balindong of the Bangsamoro Parliament wrote this letter to his grandson, Ali Pangalian “Chito” Ampatua Balindong III, on April 12, 2022, the day he passed the bar. Chito is a graduate of the UP College of Law, Class of 2021. He finished his Bachelor of Science in Economics, Cum Laude, also at UP. He is among 761 exemplary passers or those who scored 85 to 90%. A total of 8,241 out of 11,402 who took the bar, passed)

Alhamdulillah! Congratulations Chito (Pangalian Ampatua Balindong III), you have fulfilled your Papa’s dream for you to become a lawyer. It is heartrending that we don’t see him around to celebrate with us now, but I am content with the knowledge  that the greater reward from Allah s.w.t awaits your Papa for his sacrifices.        

Passing the Bar exam is not a walk in the park. I am sure you know I have a little bit of an idea myself having to go through the gauntlet sometime ago. Your diligence, of course, your determination, made all the difference and you have made it to the noblest of professions.                                                          

Now that you are now what you are, I am certain you’re not just doing it for your Papa and your family. Believe me, we are so very proud of you. I cannot describe the feeling, euphoria is not enough to express the pride and excitement of what will become of you now that you have crossed the first and foremost threshold of your life. 

No doubt, you will always be reminded of the years before this whenever you achieve a milestone in your life. You know that you have spent considerable time and effort to set the foundations of what is still to become of you, and the days and years to come. And all this hard work has given you the vision and passion for so much more. 

Now that you are where you are, there is no doubt you know you have become so much more of who you were used to be, some five or 10 years back.                                                    

Bangsamoro Parliament Speaker Ali Pangalian Balindong and his grandson Ali Pangalian Ampatua Balindong III. Photo from the FB account of Speaker Balindong

What you have earned and or attained is not just a degree, title or license. At this very moment, I can almost hear you say Yes to what I am saying. If before, what is foremost is to prove your worth to your parents and family, now you know there is so much more.    

Your vantage point has become a lot more clearer that you see almost everything ahead of you, that your objectives have become so much more, not only feasible but more achievable, even fascinating. At this very moment, you have become a man with a mission. These are of course, exhilarating. All those who know you, who have been around you feel the same jubilations, even envy.        

Then again, do not make the mistake of being consumed by all these. It is no doubt a milestone, but it is more of impetus to do so much more, to become so much more. Keep your eye on the ball as they say, do not get lost to the cacophony of voices, urges and meaningless utterances. Stick to that vision that you have already cultivated on your journey to what is now.                                                                          

Not all of us will surely be with you when you rack up achievement after achievements. I for one would like to be there every step of the way not only to cheer you but to share your limelight. In the end you will realize, that limelight is really more for you and for those who will come after you, your sons and daughters, and the sons and daughters of your sons and daughters.         

You know you have a name, but you are also making your own name. Your name reverberates in the province and the region for which your forefathers have already carved and served. Those immediately before you have proven you can go so much more beyond the province and the region. You however have the infinite horizon ahead of you, to continue your journey and conquer.

I’m confident I don’t need to implore you to remain guided by the same precepts, of our faith, of our service to our people, of the principles of justice and equity. Your family has been gifted with so much, of power and opportunity: you more than anyone else now feel that pride and honor. It is so much more than that though, and this I have to remind you, the most paramount value is the responsibility that comes with it. It may at times feel as if it is a burden, but as you stick true to your ideals, it will never be such and instead plain and simple pride.  

I feel so much more now than just being your Ama, so much more than the public servant many have come to know all these years. With you reaching this height, the blessing of Allah s.w.t. no doubt is the primordial reason: and for that I will always be grateful. 

(Speaker Ali Pangalian M. Balindong posted this letter on his Facebook account on April 12. He granted MindaNews permission to publish this)