Here is the very moving speech delivered by Mr. Ysmael V. Baysa (SJASQ Elem 1968, HS 1972) on 13 January 2018, on the occasion of the blessing and inauguration of the Ysmael V. Baysa Hall which houses the San Damiano Chapel, library and conference hall. The building is located at the SJASQ Senior High School campus in Tumbaga 1. May we all learn a lesson or two from this speech.
“Build for Others!”
By Ysmael V. Baysa
Blessing and Inauguration
San Damiano Chapel and Ysmael V. Baysa Hall
January 13, 2018
Bishop Mel Rey Uy, Sr. Jojo Fernando, Sr. Angelita Santos, Members of the Clergy, the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, the Faculty Members, Staff and Students of St. Joseph Academy of Sariaya, Quezon, the Workers who built the building, Friends, Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen;
I hope that you liked the slide shows of old photographs from the SJA Canteen. You can watch them anytime by going to the website sjacanteen.com.
I would like to share with you a story. I used to be a runner. Many, many years ago when I just started working, I ran most days of the week. This road here in Tumbaga was one of my favorite routes. I would run from our house in General Luna Street and go as far as the railway in Barrio Bucal, and then back home.
The portion of the route I liked most was this stretch of road south of Mt. Carmel Seminary. This was just mostly open rice field. The FMM convent wasn’t even here yet. And if you are looking to the north, you have a scenic view of Mt. Banahaw before this open rice field.
One day, while running here, I had suddenly this image in my mind of a building right in the middle of this rice field. It had a curved roof and facing south and looked like a gymnasium. And the building had my family’s name on it. I was inspired by this image in my mind. Since then, whenever I ran on this road, I recalled that image. I had kept this image in my mind, even when I was working in Manila and in foreign countries. The image became a dream.
Years later, the FMM Convent was built here. And many, many years later, the senior high school building was built here, too. When I saw the senior high school building, this building where we are- I asked myself, is this the building in my vision? But I felt, no- not quite.
About a couple of years later, when I visited the sisters in the convent, they told me that another building in the premises was about to be erected and it will house the chapel. I quietly asked myself, could this be the building in my vision?
Months later, I received an email from Sr. Angelita. She asked me, would I be willing to sponsor the making of the cross that will be placed in the chapel that is being built? I responded to her, yes I would. But I also thought to myself, maybe this is a sign. This may be the building in my dream. I prayed on it.
A few months later, the sisters showed me the completed cross in one of the rooms in the convent, the very beautiful San Damiano cross that you saw in the chapel today. When I saw the cross in that room, that was when I made the decision. I spoke privately to Sr. Angelita that I would support the building of the edifice.
At that time, I didn’t know the design of the building. The construction just started. There were just some steel bars being erected for its columns. Months later, when I was shown the design of the building and later after it was completed, behold- it is a building with a curved roof and facing south toward the rice field. This is the building in my vision about 38 years ago. It is not a gymnasium though, but something even better- a chapel with a library and a conference hall. To complete the vision, I requested the FMM to have my family’s name on it.
I tell this story to you but particularly for our students here. When you have a dream, keep that dream alive in your mind. Hold on to it. Maybe that dream or that vision was placed there for a purpose. Sometimes, we may not know yet or understand the purpose. We may realize the purpose only later. It is part of our process of seeking.
In my story, the purpose of the vision I realized only recently is to give a sign; a sign of God’s faithfulness to our family. It is a sign that He has taken care of our family even though we lost our parents when we were still very young. The purpose is also to inspire others- to inspire that we can do meaningful things for others if we have the discerning and compassionate heart to do so. The purpose is also to give thanks to those who have done good things for you.
So, this building is a sign of affirmation and of thanks. To the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary and to St. Joseph Academy, on behalf of the Baysa Family and my deceased parents, thank you for all the good things you have done for us. Nine of the eleven siblings studied at SJA. Many of our happiest and most memorable moments took place in this school. You helped us in significant ways in our spiritual, educational and social upbringing.
I would like to thank my wife, Emma and my children Marielle and Daniel for always supporting me in my endeavors including this one. They are my inspiration. Emma, can you please stand up and be recognized? My wife, Emma.
To the students, this building is for you! Use it for your growth! My admonition to you: hold on to your dreams. And yes, someday you too can make buildings- even bigger, even more beautiful ones but… not just for yourselves, but for the school and for others.
May God be praised!