It has been over a year since the disruption of classes due to the global pandemic. Subsequently, most schools have resulted to transitioning into online learning. However, this does not only mean having classes online. Even the school activities such as moving-up ceremonies and commencement exercises have gone virtual. Nonetheless, there are schools across the Philippines that initiated a house-to-house mobile graduation ceremony. In this sense, the commencement exercises are moving closer to the homes of the schoolchildren.
What is a Mobile Graduation?
With the heightened threats of the different COVID variants, there are a lot of physical activities cancelled. One of these activities is the graduation rites. Some schools have conducted online graduation while others did a mobile graduation.
A mobile graduation is a makeshift stage on a truck. It moves from house to house of each graduating student. Usually, a mobile graduation setup has all the elements of a real graduation such as a podium, decorations, and the like. The only difference is that it is moving. Moreover, it limits the gathering of a large number of people. Therefore, mobile graduations are a great alternative to celebrating commencement exercises without the expense of health and safety.
There are regions in the Philippines who had done such a marvelous job in setting up their mobile graudation ceremonies.
Mobile Graduation Ceremonies in the Philippines
Cauayan East Central School
In the outskirts of the Isabela province lies a makeshift graudation ceremony on a truck bed. Adorned with the usual Philippine flag, podium, flowers, tarpaulin, and stairs, the mobile graduation made things real again.
The students of Cauayan East are still wearing face masks throughout the ceremony. Furthermore, social distancing is also being observed. What’s good about having a mobile graduation in this pandemic is your accomplishments have become tangible. Unlike in virtual graduation rites, a mobile graduation gives you a partial access of letting the emotion in with a physical ambiance around you.
In the Facebook post by Marvin Alicaycay, he wrote an inspiring message from Henry David Thoreau with this personal congratulatory message.
“Cauayan East Central School Mobile Graduation Ceremony. Unusual awarding but same emotions. Congratulations batch 2019-2020.
Go confidentially in the direction of your dream. Live the life you have imagine. -Henry David Thoreau.”
A closer-to-real experience
The mobile graduation has opened a chance for the graduating students to experience an almost realistic graduation ceremony. In this way, the students’ relatives and friends were still able to attend the momentous event.
It made every student’s achievements extra special as their graduation has gone closer to their homes.
Lawigan Elementary School
Another school initiated a mobile graduation in the Western Visayas Region, which is Antique. Lawigan Elementary School made the graduation rites possible through the mobile graduation. What’s unique about this mobile graduation is there is a carabao pulling the cart!
Rosalina Serguino told When in Manila that this mobile graduation will let their students experiencing marching up the stage even only on a cart. Nonetheless, the feeling of achievement is still there since they will be able to hold their medals and diplomas. Furthermore, they will be able to capture this beautiful moment with their loved ones and friends.
No muddy soil will stop the mobile graduation from happening. In fact, the teachers have traversed the hard path in order for them to reach the houses of their 13 graduating students. A dedication of a teacher is indeed exceptional.
Tulatula Elementary School
On the other hand, in the nearby province in Antique is Tulatula Elementary School who also held their mobile graduation.
At first, their school is planning to conduct a virtual graduation; however, the limitations of internet connection has made it difficult to pursue. This is why, Principal Arnulfo Batiao and the teachers of Tulatula Elementary School have decided to hold a mobile graduation. They went to the houses of their 18 elementary pupils on July 12.
Similar with the other mobile graduation setup, they dressed a multicab van to make it look like a stage. What’s unique about their school’s mobile graduation is that Principal Batiao installed some mobile sound system. The mobile sound system has the recorded speech of the principal. It played during the event.
In addition, the Department of Education SuperIntendent of the province, Felisa Beriong, has lauded the students of this school year. He said that “the graduates were able to finish their studies because of their perseverance despite that they only had modular and online classes.”
Other schools who had their unusual graduation
Other provinces in the Philippines have also made commencement exercises possible for their graduating students.
First, Maligaya Elementary School held a mobile graduation for their 16 students in Surigao Del Sur. According to Teacher Raniel, the parents and his students are all happy to experience marching on the stage despite the pandemic.
Lambayong Sun Beam Learning Center, Inc. of Sultan Kudarat has also initiated their mobile graduation through a pickup truck. The perseverance of the teachers are also seen as they manually hold the tarpaulin as backdrop of the makeshift stage.
Finally, Inambatan Elementary School just recently held their mobile graduation with the theme “Strengthening the Quality of Education Amid COVID-19 Pandemic.”
From the words of a dedicated teacher
Teacher Jay Mar Casipong expressed his deep sentiments about the unusual graduation rites on his Facebook post.
This mobile graduation shows that it is still indeed important to give due recognition and let our completers and graduates feel that they’ve harvested the fruit of their labor and year-long hard work. We want them to know that they aren’t forgotten. We want to engage and involve our parents to also make them feel the excitement and happiness seeing and escorting their beloved children received the diploma and recognition in a unique stage. And this has been made possible and feasible. Seeing how excited and happy with the big genuine smiles on our learners and parents’ faces is beyond measure. No amount can reciprocate the contentment and happiness we felt as educators.”Teacher Jay Mar Casipong
Indeed, the mobile graduation setup has opened the chance for the students’ hardwork to be recognized in a closer-to-real way. The dedication and resourcefulness of the teachers is something to be thankful for. Without their initiatives, these graduating students won’t be able to experience stepping the stage with pride and honor. Moroever, the far flung areas are underprivileged when it comes acquiring a reliable internet and advanced gadgets. Thus, virtual ceremonies will be limited to those who can afford it.
Mobile Graduation in your Condo Home
Are you one of the graduating students in this time of pandemic?
Well, you may still setup your own graduation stage at home. Furthermore, you can utilize the beautiful ambiance of your resort-themed condo in Camella Manors. At the end of the day, what’s important is you will be able to celebrate such special day with your loved ones and friends.
Congratulations and let this experience inspire you to become whoever you want to be, especially when you are in a home that only gives you the best you deserve.