j0anne is now a ucla alum.

“sing me a song and i’ll sing it back to you. i could sing my own but what would it be without you?”

this quote and all my accomplishments thus far are dedicated to all the incredible people God has blessed me with. i love you all so much for supporting me emotionally, financially, artistically, mentally, physically, etc. i couldn’t have done any of this without you. 

(shoutout to all the oxnard graduates! we make oxnard look hella goooood!)

i share with you my 30-second speech from ucla’s pilipino graduation yesterday… i couldn’t thank everyone i wanted to in the short time, so here i go thanking all you wonderful people now. (please don’t hate me if i forget people! 4 years equaled many relationships, many faces, and many memories so i’ll add as i remember down the line!):

  • mama feliza for always believing in me and for always encouraging me to pursue my studies. i wish you were here to see me graduate and to fulfill my dream in the arts, but i know you’re watching from Heaven. i miss you, and i hope you know i aspire to be as strong as you are
  • for mom and dad for allowing me to pursue a non-medical career. i hope i make you proud knowing i can finally support myself, and who’d have thought that the arts would give your daughter an amazing career!
  • my beautiful sisters – jenny, maye & yvette – for being the BEST siblings anyone can have. you were so supportive throughout my 4 years in la and even when i was hard to take, overly emotional and such a crybaby, you were all still so generous and understanding
  • my soul sisters – jimlyn (aka buttah) and janina (aka nana) – for all the laughs we never fail to have, and i swear, you ARE our sisters no matter that our blood lines may say otherwise. you made it out to la so many times – i know that you consumed MANY GALLONS of gas, but i hope i’ve paid you back in the fun times we always had together
  • my soul family – j.crew – for challenging me to become a better person, for constantly being my mirror no matter how bad i may have looked in it. you were there at my worst and at my best, and i love you forever. i look forward to the next chapter in our lives and i can’t wait for the babies to be deadlining with us! (p.s., j.crew retreat, i’m just sayiiiin!)
  • fwa (filipinos with attitude) for being the BEST class anyone could wish to be a part of and to go through FOUR years of fun, tears, sweat, stress, and so many memories
  • the samahang pilipino family for teaching me so much about myself and my heritage. i am so confident in my voice, critical of the world, and wide-eyed in the new chapter i’m about to enter because of you. i’ve acquired valuable skills and relationships thanks to you, and i wouldn’t trade my experience for the world. and from your vision, i am going into the community with the priority of being one of the people representing the pilipino voice in the arts
  • all 3 sets of roommates – club 550, kelton, and hotel/motel 104 – for giving me AMAZING experiences and for giving me a home away from home. it might have been challenging, i might not have been your favorite person at times. but you still stuck with me through it all. especially phoebe and alan, who are without a doubt the MOST generous and understanding people anyone will ever meet. i aspire to have such a strong relationship with my significant other as you two do, and to just be so deeply involved with my community as you both are
  • my mentor, all my mentees, and my extended line for being the model for mentorship! i gotta say, we are insanely talented, deeply involved in the community, and beautiful. i couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this amazing line we’ve fostered and to become remarkable community leaders!
  • the tinig family 2006-2008 for giving me so many memories and for giving my first experience in singing in a group. we shared our passion for music together while sharing important parts of who we are in the process. i hope we have a reunion somewhere down the line (ah-HEM, big bear!)
  • the cultural affairs staff 2009-2010, especially art series staff for allowing me to explore my artistic side. i had a blast curating the gallery, and i finally got my hands dirty in a possible career path. it was an insanely challenging yet rewarding experience, and i really thank you for giving me this opportunity
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