by Michaelangelo Benigno
“BIG DREAMS WILL REMAIN DREAMS…IF YOU WON’T LIFT A FINGER and DO NOTHING about your plans.”
This statement, which Tristan Zafra has spoken in a commencement speech at a recent MHPNHS graduation ceremony, may have been his mantra which motivated him to achieve success in life.
After graduating high school in 1985, Tristan migrated to the United States with his family. He worked on part-time jobs, delivering pizzas and cleaning tables at a local restaurant to support his schooling and other expenses. After getting his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science at the California State University-Long Beach, he worked as a warehouse supervisor by day and as a computer programmer by night.
While presenting a product for the company, he designed the labels on his own initiative. The packaging salesman, who apparently liked the designs, asked him to do the same for his products. After 3 months of juggling between his day job and designing in the evening, he decided to focus on the latter, with the blessing of his boss.
From its humble beginnings in 1993, Trisoft Graphics, the company he founded, has become one of the leading pre-press and graphic design companies in the packaging industry. They have catered to Fortune 500 companies in the United States, as well as other companies in Canada, Mexico and the South American countries.
In 2001, he and other members of the Class of 1985 funded and launched Marcelo H. Del Pilar High School’s very first Alumni website, which virtually connected the Del Pilarians from all ages for the first time. They have also contributed to the creation of MAA’s present version of the Alumni website, which was launched in 2016.
For people like Tristan who chase their dreams and who “lift a finger” and do something about it, success will never be out of reach.