Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Gems - Icebreaker Speech of TM RJ Laguardia

Good evening. My name is Romeo Laguardia, Jr., but you can call me RJ. It’s shorter and much less romantic. I am now at the ripe old age of 22, and, in a few days, I will be celebrating my 6th month in my first job, and I am fortunate to have Pilipinas Shell as my first employer. I love useless information, or trivia, so tonight, aside from introducing myself, I would like to share something about a gemstone I find fascinating, the diamond. By “diamond,” of course, I mean the mineral, because the word is also street slang for homosexual and Viagra, the former I most certainly am not, and the latter, I don’t need. Diamonds are precious objects. Diamonds are girls’ best friends, so imagine the skyrocketing pogi points just one stone could give to a guy. And yet, at the very heart of it, these things are nothing more than ordinary rocks that were subjected to a tremendous amount of heat and pressure, and withstood this torture, to become the glorious stuff that many dreams are made of. The diamond’s secret is that it contains graphite, the very same stuff that’s in lead pencils. Think about it. Something as fragile as a pencil can become something as enduring as a diamond. For us humans, the very same scenario is possible. I myself can say that in many ways, I am like a diamond, well, sort of. Allow me to explain.

Number one, diamonds reflect light, and so, can be as bright as stars. Well, I’m no star myself, but I am related to a real movie star. Born and raised in the City of Smiles, Bacolod City, I have honest-to-goodness genuine movie star blood running through my veins, courtesy of Mr. Joel Torre, who is my mom’s cousin. This also means I have the sickeningly affectionate Ilonggo blood coursing through those same veins, too. Not only that, My Dad’s claim to fame was that he once played for the NBA – the Negros Basketball Association, that is.

Number two, there are many facets or aspects to each diamond. There are also many aspects to my personality. I delight in variety, and this is reflected in my eclectic range of interests, particularly when it comes to music and literature. I literally devour books when I come across something interesting, sometimes foregoing sleep just because I can’t put the book down. Which reminds me, there is a sale ongoing at Fully Booked, and I can’t wait to get my butt over there.

Number three, diamonds are the strongest terrestrial minerals. Because I am seen as somebody tough and sometimes intimidating, I am like a diamond too, in that regard. But the strongest feature I have that enables me to transcend my frailty, in the same way that ordinary pencil lead becomes a sterling diamond, is not something physical. In fact, aside from my education, it is my parents’ greatest legacy to me: my faith. Some of you may shirk at this answer, but I truly believe that this gift is the glue that holds all of me together. It encourages me to make the most out of my life, to remain steadfast in my convictions, and to keep my feet firmly planted on the ground. It reminds me that despite all the evil in this world, there is still plenty of good left in humanity. I said earlier that diamonds are precious objects, but to me, they are certainly no match for the gem that is faith.

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