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“Think and dream big. Only you can place limits on what you can achieve and who you can become,” said Susanna Bautista-Afan, ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation as she addressed the close to a thousand graduates of Foundation University last March 17 at the Green.


Afan delivered her inspiring speech during year’s joint commencement exercises which highlighted the first graduates of the senior high program as well as, the debut of the University’s own modernized “sablay” as an academic replacing the Western-influenced gowns and caps for the graduates of college to post-graduate degrees.


During her commencement address, Afan inspired the graduates to pursue their calling. For her, considering your job as a calling will take people to places and will maximize potentials.


After working abroad for 30 years, Afan was about to enjoy her retirement here in the Philippines. But her life and views were changed upon hearing an abused child through a phone call she took as one of the volunteers of Bantay Bata – one of the programs inside the ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation. On that moment, she felt that her calling was to help people who are in need here in the country.


Afan shared that she could not afford to enjoy retirement while many people would need her help. This began her work journey with the Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation which for her, is a calling.


Sharing her experience on recruitment while working abroad, she pointed out that Filipinos are considered one of the very best workers in the world. And from there, she encouraged them to be the best in their respective fields.


She even mentioned that skilled workers should be proud of what they do because according to Afan, plumbers and electricians also earn as much as the nurses abroad.


Skilled workers are often looked down for what they do to earn especially here in the country. “I hope that one day we can change this culture,” said Afan who looks up to Filipino skilled workers.


Meanwhile, she also lauded Foundation University in its pursuits for the protection of the environment and for promoting environment awareness among its students and in the greater community. Afan was amazed at how efforts were made to build an arboretum, plant thousands of trees and the paperless practices of the institution.

She then urged the graduates to take with them that lifelong gift given by FU especially with environmental consciousness.


Also, Afan shared, “Interpersonal skills are important in life and career.” She added that the graduates must use their gifts, in relation to their calling, and most importantly, to love and develop their own self.


“Choose to be happy. Go make a difference,” Afan said as an end note to her speech for the graduates with an emphasis on calling and service to others.


Susanna Bautista – Afan is the current Managing Director and Board of Trustees Member of ABS-CBN Lingkod Kapamilya Foundation (formerly known as ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc.) – the socio civic arm of ABS-CBN Broadcasting Network.


Susan Bautista-Afan was named in 2015 by the Filipina Women’s Network in the United States as one of the most influential Filipinas around the globe.


Formerly, she worked with Robert Half International based in Southern California as one of the District Presidents apart from other key leadership positions she held in the said international recruitment company.


Currently, she also serves as the co-anchor of Kapamilya Konek, a family-oriented radio program aimed at reconnecting families and providing opportunities for learning in the aspects of parenting, livelihood and financial literacy.


Afan completed her communication degree from Ateneo de Manila in 1980.