May 5 was the graduation day at UP Open University. It was the day that I was sooooooo excited and happy. Finally, I said to myself, after two and a half years of study, I'll be saying goodbye to sleepless nights, tons of paper works, a rack of examinations, and mind-boggling online discussions.
Since we live in FARview (Fairview), the best way to find comfort and not be a casualty of tardiness, our family opted to check in at a nearest hotel. Weeks before my graduation day, my dad booked a room at Trace Suites, which is ten minutes or 100 tumblings away from UP Los Banos, a place where UP Open University Headquarters is housed.
Despite my excitement, I had time to laze around in the swimming pool of the hotel. This happened on the day of my graduation. Thinking that the graduation ceremony will be in the afternoon and the call time is 2 pm, I woke up early and swam in the warm pool.
But here's a catch. There was a major and horrifying boo-boo on my graduation day that (somehow) brought out the "Claudine" in me. And that I will reveal on my blog.
The graduation ceremony at UP Open University was very unique. Apart from having it outdoors, the ceremony was cajoled with rain-shower threats and yes, a black out. Little did most people know, it was only the generators that ran the lights and sounds during the ceremony.
Yes. There was a black out situation at Los Banos on the day of my graduation. Positively, generators were on the roll.
Back in the hotel, as early as 10 in the morning, I was enjoying my "me time" in the swimming pool. After an hour of getting burnt despite the SPF100 I put on my siksik body, I went back to the room and got dressed.
After 30 minutes, my family and I went out to eat. Since we had Mang Inasal on our first meal in los Banos, we thought of having a homecooked meal. Thank God, we found a cozy restaurant called Dalcelio. It was easy to spot on the road and was indeed attractive to dine in.
After eating at Dalcelio (I will blog on my Dalcelio experience on a different blog), we returned to Trace Suite.
I finally got the breeze of excitement especially when I hold my UP Sablay. In my mind, I said, sa wakas, muli kitang maisusuot.
My father and brother got dressed. Yours truly went in the toilet to put on the pants that I bought three days ago.
OMG!!!!!!!!!! I screamed.
My father and brother rushed in the toilet.
I said with full dismay, "Hindi ito ang pantalon ko! Kay kuya to!!!!"
My brother laughed. Then my father spoke, "Sa'yo yan. Impossible naman."
I was about to cry when I said, "Papc, hindi ito yung pantalon. Ang laki laki. Parang palda yung sa hita. See oh (while putting my hands in the pockets), ang laki laki!!!!"
My brother asked, "Pinalabhan mo yan kay Manang di ba?"
I nodded. I kept on touching the pants. I really couldn't believe I brought a wrong pants!
Then Papc said, "Baka naman nagkapalit kayo ng Kuya mo?"
I replied, "Pinalabhan ko then hiningi ko rin ke Manang. Ito binigay niya!"
"Nako kuya, sinabotahe ka ni Manang," my brother said with a grin on his face.
I gave him a monstrous look. Then my brother said, "Bagay naman sa'yo yung pants eh?"
Seriously, I was just so dismayed with what happened. Then I blurted out a solution. "Papc, hiramin ko na lang pantalon mo? Please????"
My brother laughed as my Papc said, "Eh di wala akong isusuot."
"Ano ba yaaaaan! Si Manang naman eh!" I screamed.
But then after realizing that I had no choice but to wear the pants and time is running out, I calmed myself and yes, wore my brother's pants!
|With my brother's pants!|
After an hour, we were on our way to UP Los Banos. My heart was happy yet a bit disappointed. In my mind, bumilibili pa ako ng pantalon eh di naman pala maisuot sa tamang okasyon.
Anyways, instead of whining, I just looked into the bright side. As my brother told me, "Ano ka ba gagraduate ka! Gagraduate with Kuya's pants!" Siempre natawa ako na may simangot aura.
The moment we arrived at UP OU Headquarters, I went to the registration and checked on my classmates. On the side, I had some photo ops.
|With my father|
|With my youngest brother!|
|In the wall!|
In one room, I found my classmates. They were seated. And in one corner of the room, there was foooood. Imagine, on a graduation day, there's food offered by the University? I said, bongga ng OU, may pakain talaga?
I sat together with my classmates. We had some photo sessions and soon headed to the graduation venue. Before the ceremony, there were a photo shoot for the graduating class. 235 students graduated at UP Open University this 2012.
|MDC Batch 2012|
|The UP OU graduating class of 2012!|
As we fell in line, it started to drizzle. Oh noh! That's what I heard. Since we're doing the graduation ceremony outdoors, the rain will surely spoil the moment.
|With DevComm Majors! Photo by Myet|
Positively, after minutes, the drizzling stopped and the graduation ceremony started. Siguro eh may nag-Sun dance!
I was sooooo sweating on my graduation day. Buti na lang at nakaputi at hindi halata ang mega uber gripo lebel na pawis.
On a bright side, wearing a big pants was helpful. I was able to put my mobile phone, bottled water and camera in my pockets. Then again in my mind, I said, magtutuos kami ni Manang after nito. Well, I just want to find out kung nasaan ang bago kong biling pants.
During the graduation ceremony, Senator Juan Miguel "Migz" Zubiri was our guest of honor. As a UP Open University alumni, he shared not only his experiences at UP Open University, but he talked about UP OU's influences in his environmental advocacy.
An undergraduate student delivered the valedictory speech and I loved it. As you all know, I was invited to be one of the potential speaker to deliver a valedictory speech at UP OU. But after selection of submitted speeches, OU decided to go for an undegraduate student who graduated Magna Cum Laude.
I was very honored in the graduation ceremony. Graduating with _______ General Weighted Average (GWA), yours truly received the Chancellor's Lister Award, a prestigious academic excellence award from the University. UP President Pascual conferred on me the medal and my diploma.
On stage, as I received my diploma and medal, Dr. Alfonso told Pres. Pascual that I came all the way from Brunei. Pres. Pascual was surprised and I said, "para po sa edukasyon, gagawin ang lahat!" He smiled.
Soon, the graduation ceremony ended and everyone was sooooo elated. Finally, graduate na!
|With Co-Chancellor Lister Awardee and Classmate Ice! Photo by Ice.|
|With kachika buddy and fab girl of the night, Arlyn!|
|With jolly Kim from Thailand!|
|With Papc and Bunso!|
As I walked away from the graduation venue, I only though of one thing in my mind: "It's really time to pursue a PhD and hopefully teach someday." Playing with the medal, I thought that excellence should not be confined with laurels or recognitions, it should go beyond that. And so I was soooooo motivated to pursue higher education and yes, as UP OU always reiterate, lifelong learning. Honestly, I want to teach in the Philippines, sooooon.
My father was very proud of me. I can see it in his eyes. And yes, my brother as well. Talagang vinedeo pa ang pagakyat ko sa stage.
To my DevComm classmates, congratulations once again to us!
Cheers to lifelong learning!
To Manang, you really made my graduation day truly unforgettable. Kuya's pants was helpful, in a way. But I would still prefer if you gave me the correct pants, right? #MoveOnNa!