Graduation season is a memorable part of every student’s life. Even more so if you’re graduating at the top of your class. This student from Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges (CSPC) just finished as Magna Cum Laude, but what could’ve been a celebrated milestone is now tainted with accusations of plagiarism after people found his graduation speech bore similarities to another valedictory speech. Here’s what happened.
The original speech allegedly copied
The OG valedictory address people were pointing to was written by Ms. Mariyela Mari Hugo, a Cum Laude graduate of the Far Eastern University. She was the Batch Valedictorian of 2019 and had the pleasure of giving her speech, “Lang?”, which has now gone on to be one of the best examples of creative and well-written graduation speeches. You can watch footage of it here.
Netizens compare the students’ speeches
Millions of people watched Hugo’s speech on YouTube, drawing inspiration from her words. And since it has been spread far and wide on the internet, people were familiar with it. So when CSPC graduate Jayvee Ayen delivered an almost identical speech, people took notice. The video above was edited to show how similar both speeches are.
CamSur student says his speech isn’t plagiarized
Since the plagiarized graduation speech has gone viral, the student himself had to speak out to defend his name.
“I meant not to plagiarize. Naka-relate lang rin ako ng sobra nung napanood ko yung video, kaya may mga lines or thoughts ako na na-i-input na tugma dun sa ‘Lang’ video,” he said to The Spark, CSPC’s official student-community publication.
He also addressed Hugo and apologized for the issue. “Kay Ma’am Mariyela, I am really sorry. Hindi ko po intensyon na i-plagiarize ‘yung speech niya. Nagkataon lang talaga na same topic yung gusto ko i-address,” he explained.
“Kumbaga driven by her impactful speech kaya nagawa kong maipasok yung ibang thought sa speech ko,” the student added.
The Magna Cum Laude also said that he hoped everyone would appreciate the inspiring message of the speech since he drew inspiration from every student’s experience.
Netizens couldn’t tolerate the alleged graduation speech plagiarism
Even after apologizing, an angry mob of netizens still couldn’t let things go. Many swarmed to the apology post on Facebook to throw their two cents into the mix.
“Still plagiarism regardless of one’s intent,” read one comment on Facebook. “I don’t think it’s justifiable how eerily similar the structure, words, and phrases were used in the speech.”
“I can’t reconcile the fact that he graduated with Latin honors and yet hindi niya naintidihan that he was plagiarizing. He is even justifying pa his mistake,” said another Facebook comment.
Others were asking why the student couldn’t just cite the original speech if he was so inspired by it.
Even Hugo, the writer of the allegedly plagiarized script, posted a timely reminder on Facebook:
What do you think of this allegedly plagiarized graduation speech? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!