MANILA—Manila Mayor Isko Moreno on Thursday told millennials who just earned their diplomas to temper their expectations about how real life works and to accept failures to avoid falling into the pits of depression.
Moreno—a former scavenger who rose to stardom and eventually ascended to the capital city's highest seat of power—said his life story proves that hardships should not be used to justify depression, or worse suicidal tendencies.
"Failure is inevitable in life... Hinahanda ko lang ang inyong mga sarili na kung minsan sa buhay natin, napagtakluban na tayo ng mundo. Lahat na ng suliranin, pinatong na sa atin," Moreno said in keynote message delivered during Mapua University's 10th commencement exercise.
"Hindi lahat kayo yayaman. Ilagay niyo na 'yan sa utak niyo to lessen your frustrations," he said. "But everybody will be given a chance to dig gold. It’s all up to you."
The key to staying hopeful and happy in spite of frustrations is to have a deep sense of gratitude, the mayor said, noting that he did not despair despite having leftover chicken from a restaurant's garbage bin for his meals for several years.
"Para hindi maging malungkot ang buhay ninyo, kung ano ang meron kayo sa harap ninyo ipagpasalamat ninyo sa Diyos, sa magulang ninyo at magpursige kayo and never ever, ever give up," he said.
"'Pag 'yun ang naging attitude ninyo towards facing society's challenge, mas magaan ang buhay ninyo," he said. "Wala kayo masyadong hinagpis."
Perseverance is another important virtue to cultivate, Moreno said.
"Ipinababa ko na ang expectations ninyo: You are going to fail, but don't ever think that you are a failure," he said.
"You must continue and you have to promise yourself, 'I will not give up. I will pursue my dreams, my goals,'" he said.
"You have to persevere. Kailangan mo magpursigi," he said. "You have to value yourself, remember that."