Miss Silliman, summa cum laude, a record to beat, and now a diplomat: Stacy Danika Alcantara is almost the epitome of a lifetime achievement. The latest addition to the renowned list of Sillimanian diplomats, she has proven herself to be more than what meets the eye, even in her younger years.
While still in high school, she was already distinguished by the awards she has received. She became the editor of the school paper, and even competed and won in writing competitions. “The Secret of the Amulet” was the title of her first published book, all the while being a third year student. In her last year in high school, she became the youngest to have been crowned Miss Silliman, and even graduated with honors.
In 2009, she obtained her degree in Bachelor of Mass Communication, summa cum laude, along with an award as one of the Ten Outstanding Students of the Philippines. She even became the current highest scorer in the Foreign Service Officers Examination, exceeding the 90 percent mark. Her achievements could go on and on, but in an interview, she said:
“I have failed more times than I have succeeded. I have lost more times than I have won. I think what has gotten me through it all is grit. I just don’t stop trying and I am not afraid to fail.”
Inspirational? It goes even further. In the same interview, she stated that she wasn’t immediately successful in everything she has achieved. It was through her almost iron will that she excelled. Grabbing every opportunity in her way, she opened portals to great feats—even if it meant failing on her first try. Discouraged, she was not.
Aside from her will to improve, she says that what really contributed to her success is finding joy in whatever she was doing. She tried to find what inspired her in the many tasks she had to do. This made her complete her output with passion and gusto.
During her time in Silliman, she said that she has learned to create opportunities as well as seize them as they come. She attributes her sense of moral courage to her journey in Silliman as well as with the student government. Lastly, she reveals that Silliman taught her to value people: a realization not many people possess.
On a last note, here is her message to all Sillimanians:
“I have failed more times than I have succeeded. I have lost more times than I have won. I think what has gotten me through it all is grit. I just don’t stop trying and I am not afraid to fail. After leaving Silliman, the world outside was challenging at best and cruel at its worst, so brace yourselves for the adventure that is to come. Be open to failure because you need it to widen your mind, broaden your experience, and strengthen your character. Be open to new possibilities and to scathing criticisms. You won’t grow if you continue to stick to the familiar and if you will only listen to your supporters. Finally, as my former boss Secretary of Foreign Affairs keeps on urging us, ‘Reach beyond your grasp.’”