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Graduation day in Philippines – A milestone achieved!

Graduation Day or the moving-up ceremony in Philippines is a day of honour for the students, and the most cherished one for their families. Witnessing their children graduate to the next academic level sure fills them with pride and joy. Falling in the months of March or April, the graduation day is one of the most awaited ceremonies in Philippines.

This day is celebrated when students transition from one level of education, to another. So, this means when one moves from kindergarten to elementary; elementary to high school; high school to college and so on. In the cases of Kindergarten or Grade 10, this ceremony is generally referred to as “moving-up” ceremony, while in the cases of 6 th Graders and the various other levels, it is known as the Graduation Day ceremony. At every level, this day is celebrated with pomp and splendour. Let us now take a quick peep into what Filipinos do on this blessed occasion.

Togas and Mortarboards everywhere

Clad in Togas, which are worn above their attire, the students march to the Dias, in order to receive their “degrees”, which traditionally signifies that they have achieved a certain milestone. However, subject to their qualification, the type of togas, which they wear, generally differs. The students usually wear these either over a formal dress or anything else that is predetermined by the institution. It is also not uncommon for Filipinos to wear party wear underneath their togas.

However, for the benefit of the underprivileged children and those coming from mediocre families, the Department of Education seems to have brought favourable measures. Now, it is almost mandatory for Filipino students to wear their School uniforms underneath their togas. In fact, the Department’s intervention has also ensured that students and their parents are not forced to splurge too much, on this occasion. So with that, all they need to wear on this day is their uniform, togas and the much-awaited mortarboard, all of which is symbolic of this wonderful occasion.

Graduation Day - The March Honour

In Philippines, a lot of significance is attached to the Graduation day or the “moving-up” day, which is nothing short of a mass celebration. Depending upon one’s educational institution and the planned ambience, students either march alone to receive their degrees or walk with their parents beside them and head to the stage after having seated their parents on their assigned seat. Amid applause and cheerful cries, each of the students receives their certificate or degree. This is one of the most touching moments for any parents to witness, and Filipinos working abroad usually fly to their country during this period, in order to witness a close family member graduate. The customary march is something that no Filipino family member would want to miss.

The Theme

Each year, the Department of Education sets a certain theme for every level to follow on the graduation day or moving-up day ceremony. For the current year, viz. 2018-2019, they have reportedly decided upon the theme “Unity in Diversity: Quality Education for all”. The Department has reiterated its previous directions, and has notified the schools to keep this ceremony simple and to make it less burdensome for the students and their parents, financially. With over 70 languages being spoken in Philippines, this theme seems to be well contemplated upon. The Department seems to be keen on promoting a sense of unity, which is essential for the diverse communities in Philippines to co-exist. After all, those who impart education, definitely must not distinguish between any category of students, and constantly strive hard to promote quality education for all, which is the second part of this meaningful and well-thought theme.

Gift for graduating relatives

The graduation day is beyond doubt, a very special and emotional moment in the life of any student. Therefore, if you work abroad and cannot make it to the graduation day ceremony of a close family member, then the least you could do is send across a token of appreciation. You can always do this by sending over a gift to the one who is graduating. Just in case you do this, you could always make payments online through Small World’s promotional offer.

You can always consider gifting something that is connected to academics, such as books, an expensive pen, or something else that your graduating relative or friend can use in their student life. Although a gift cannot fill the void of your presence, it would definitely show you in better light, than it otherwise would.

Songs and Garlands

Songs and garlands are an absolute necessity when it comes to the graduation day celebrations in Philippines. Graduating students usually sing a group song, which is either relevant to the occasion or to the theme of that particular year, as declared by the Department of Education.

Also, these garlands have nothing to do with flowers and are usually made from colourful papers and for some unknown reason, these are widely used in Philippines, on the graduation day. However, the ones that kids graduating from the kindergarten wear are quite interesting, with candies wrapped on to its edges. 

Every year, countless students graduate from the various schools and colleges in Philippines, hailing from diverse backgrounds. With a large number of Chinese, Americans, Spanish and those from other foreign ethnicities in Philippines, it is beyond doubt one of the most diverse Nations. Yet, due to the high literacy rate in Philippines, people manage to coexist peacefully, with very little discrimination being reported of. In 2018, the literacy rate in Philippines was recorded around 95 percent, and is commendable considering that over 70 languages are spoken in this country. One can definitely experience this diversity in the graduation day celebrations of the various educational institutions in Philippines.