To march in March

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By Nina S. Custodio


Saturday, March 29, 2014

YEP. It's that time of year! You must be living under a rock if you don't know what I'm talking about. You know it is a yearly thing and well, it is difficult to miss all the congratulatory and "we're proud of you! We love you!" greetings and pictures on social media!

I am actually writing this article while witnessing a college graduation.

It was an early start for me, 5am. Ugh. You would understand if you were not a morning person. But I had to do it. So, I dragged myself out of bed and hurried off to go to this graduation.


You kinda know that there is a major event when you have traffic starting from Bankerohan Bridge (more appropriately, Gov. Generoso Bridge) going to the Matina area. Okaaay.

You know you are near a graduation when you see men and women selling leis, corsages and bouquets of flowers scurrying to get to where your car is temporarily halted by the 'amazing' traffic.

And then, there they were... people dressed to the nines (some even in bejeweled cocktail dresses), making their way to all open school entrances so that they can get to the graduation hall promptly, with time to spare. I could feel the students’ (soon to be ex-students’) energy -- happy, excited, their faces all lit up! And when they speak, you cannot miss that ecstatic tone in their voices... like birds chirping on a sunshiny day!

Not far from the graduating students are families. Siblings armed with cameras and mobile phones (still with cameras) patiently chronicling his graduating brother's or sister's every move and emotion towards the real world. Two sets of pictures for one -- pose one from the conventional camera and the other, for purposes of FB , Instagram and all the other social media platforms you want to share special moments on! No wonder the Philippines is the selfie capital of the world!

And then, the parents.

Proud, excited parents. Fumbling with their children's graduation get up. Reminding them of their togas. Temporary receptacle for bags, programs and other stuff their graduating child cannot bring with them during that 'walk' during commencement exercises. Temporary keepers of bouquets too! I feel their excitement. But more than that, I feel their pride!

Hats off parents! Great job raising your children and molding them to become responsible members of society. I am quite sure it was not an easy task. You certainly must have began planning and saving for their education even before they were born. You have dealt with the challenges of having a student in the house -- baon, assignments, exams, probably even failures.


The vision of neatly arranged white chairs facing a stage in the middle of the school gym just took breath my away.

Awww. I could not help but get emotional. People always say that half the stuff you learn in school, you won't use in the real world. Maybe so. But when you really think about it, you may not have been able to use a particular subject in the real world but the process that you had to go through to earn that grade just might have taught you that in life, you have to be patient and that there are moments when you have to do things you really don't like just because you need to do it.

The commencement exercise is almost over and I feel a certain sadness. I feel a bit guilty too. You see, I did not attend my commencement exercises when I graduated from college. At that time, I felt it was cumbersome and had this weird notion that it would suffice to just have a diploma without the pomp and formalities of a graduation day.

Now I feel much regret and remorse. Not for myself but for my parents who did not get the opportunity to have their eldest graduate from State University. It is almost painful to realize that I have denied them to bask in that sense of accomplishment and pride that finally, they had accomplished sending their first child through college. So, to my Mama and Papa, I am so sorry. :/

For you children out there thinking the same thoughts I did..DON'T. If you personally do not feel like you need it, do it for your parents. Believe me, they absolutely deserve it! Maybe more than you do!

Happy Sunday Everyone!!! Cheers and Congratulations to the parents and graduates of Class 2014!!! Great job guys!!! ;)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on March 30, 2014.


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