Robert Louis Stevenson said that “To be what we are, and to become what we are capable of becoming, is the only end of life.”


Competent Communicators, Toastmasters, fellow guests, good evening

Talking about me is one of the unlikely things I do even to my friends.  I usually listen to my friends’ stories; laugh at their jokes and only share as when I have the guts to do it.  Sharing my life to others has always been a challenge to me ever since.  But, I know someday, I would have to face that challenge, and that day has come, today.


My parents thought I was a baby boy and got nearly killed when the midwife told my mom she was not with a baby.  Thankfully, God wanted me to live because He made me hide in the most inner part of my mom’s womb and was saved.  It was when I came in this world, July 13, 1987, in Libertad, Misamis Oriental that they found out, I was a baby girl.  My umbilical cord was tying in my neck that colored half of my face violet.  Mom was so afraid that I might have that face and prayed that it will fade.  And it did go away after three days.  News about my birth came to my dad after and he was so happy.  They always wanted a big family and even planned of conceiving another baby, hoping it would be a baby boy this time but sadly, I never had that “baby brother”.


I was destined to have the letter K as the beginning of my name.  My dad’s brothers named their children in alphabetical order.  My siblings got the letters E, F and H, my sisters Earl and Fritze, and my only brother Hercules.  My dad named his daughters with boy names and until now, I don’t know why.  It was my mom who placed Rose after Khen to emphasize that I am a girl.  Thus, I become Khen Rose Pastrano Tapdasan, the youngest child of Ruthy Dullin Pastrano and Late Major Danilo Ceniza Tapdasan, PC.


Talking about my dad, he was assigned with a tough work in Mandaue.  Many attempted to bribe him with money, gifts in return for a go signal in their “monkey business”.  But my dad was a man with integrity who stuck to his principles in life.  He never wanted to live nor give his family a future from illegal means. 


It was that tragic day, January 30, 1988, when I was just a cute little six-month old baby, my dad was killed in an ambush in Mandaue City.  He never got any money, he made us live not only by his sweat but by his blood.  And for that my daddy became and will always be my hero. 


After my dad’s death, we moved to Oroquieta City, Misamis Occidental.  Mom played the roles of both a father and a mother to us.  Despite not having a father figure to look up to, I grew a normal life.  My mom who is strong and persevering raised us as good and God-fearing children. I developed my lighthearted character in our home and in school.  I also grew closer to God and found the Father image in Him. 


I may not have actually felt the loss of my dad when he died but his death imprinted something on me.  That someday, I would defend him, that someday I would be able to put justice in the hands of the victims.  That, someday I would be a lawyer!  It is my dream and was heightened when I knew it was also my Dad’s dream. 


They say that I inherited my dad’s wit and my mom’s charms and I’m happy and proud to know that.  As I went to school, I did my best to excel in academics and even in extra-curricular activities.  One of the greatest and the latest achievement I got is passing the CPA Licensure Examination last October 2009.  And then, God brought me here in this multi-national company- Lexmark.


Life is a series of events, it is like a puzzle, and everything we do are all interconnected.  Me, being here in Toastmasters Club was not an accident.  It was my decision.  I wanted to learn and hone the sleeping speaker in me.  Though I am on a rough, winding road of becoming a Lawyer, I know that by being here will really help me pursue and realize my dream.  The journey that has yet to come is pretty hard but I firmly believe that if my dream is what God’s plan for me, it will eventually be a dream-come-true, no matter how long it would take me.  And as my life ascends, I would like to end it as fulfilling as it can be, to live the best out of my life and to become what I am capable of becoming.