[31 March 2012]
You know you’re not getting any younger when one minute you’re still a student, and the next minute you’re engaged to be married. How much more when you realize that your younger brother is graduating from college. Has it been five years since he graduated from high school? Oh, how swiftly the time has flown!
Both of my parents are alumni of the University of Santo Tomas—Mom being a graduate of BS Secondary Education, Majoring in English while Dad got a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering. Needless to say, we (my brothers and I) all went to the same university. They must have influenced us to do so, but to be honest, neither of them ever forced any of us. It’s also worth noting that eight of my first cousins from Dad’s side were from UST as well. Talk about building a college dynasty!
It was an eventful day; no exaggeration. Assembly time was at 1400H, but we were able to leave the house at half past 11. We should have left at 1100H, but since we would come home late tonight, we had to settle my grandfather’s food and medicines for the day. It was gloomy when we left; fifteen minutes later, it rained. The kind of rain that happens between the months of August and October. Last I checked, it’s supposed to be the summer season. The heavy downpour led to flooded streets and stranded commuters. It’s a good thing our vehicle’s high enough to not worry about getting stuck as we try to get to our destination unscathed. We braved the engulfed streets, half-wishing we won’t have to walk on them on this very special occasion. Our prayers could have been heard because as we enter the school’s premises, it has stopped raining. We got even more lucky that we were able to park at a very convenient slot.
At the lobby where most candidates for graduation were gathered, I found myself smiling as I imagine the same scenario three years ago. Mom helped me wear my toga and fastened my Thomasian pin and corsage on it while Dad takes pictures of us doing so. The ladies looked stunning in their graduation attire as much as the gentlemen suited up, crisp and smart. Each and every family member were also seemingly dressed for the occasion.
Today was a day of first’s. The Class of 2012 was the first to graduate beyond the 400 years of existence of the university, thus they were recognized as the Neocentennial Batch. In relation to this, it was also the first time that solemn investiture was held inside the university campus—at the newly built UST Sports Complex (just across the Roque Ruaño a.ko.a Engineering Bldg.).
The venue itself was a breath of fresh air. Our former department chair, Sir Caloy Lugay, hosted the event. He is the current Faculty Secretary of the Engineering Department. Seeing former professors on this gathering brought me so much memories of my college days. Most of them I still recall by face, but only remember the names of some. When the candidates for graduation began to march on, I felt chills all over my body. It was that feeling of anticipation and overwhelming excitement for every single person in that arena. I’d like to share something during the presentation of graduates that you may find ridiculous, though. There were 1,197 graduating students, among which were 80+ Cum Laudes and 10+ Magna Cum Laudes. As the names of each graduates with special honors were called, I would feel chocked and begin to tear up. I don’t know why, but I can only imagine how much they have made their families and friends proud. Of course, when it was my brother’s turn to be called on stage, I can almost hear my heart pounding with the rush of emotions that comes with it. Although he didn’t get any medal this time, I know he’s brought pride to graduate on schedule. That alone meant a lot to Mom and Dad, I should know.
Towards the end of the program, I hugged and kissed Mom and Dad, congratulating them for being able to send and have two out of three kids graduate from a very prestigious university. My last year in college was nowhere close to what my brother had gone through during his time. As a sister, I couldn’t be any more proud. Having realized this, we were teasing that the pressure’s now on my youngest brother who has two more academic years to work on. Hahaha!
Sending my warmest congratulations to the Thomasian Neocentennial Batch of 2012!
P.S. Entry on our family dinner will be posted shortly after this. ;)
Special thanks to Jan for lending us her camera and Kevin for taking these pictures.