After years of hard work and several months of dreaming and praying for it, Amie and I finally earned our Masters degree and are graduating! I can’t even express how much this means to both of us. There were times when I felt like giving up, but we made it 😀 Some students have second thoughts about attending their graduation (it’s hot, you have to buy a dress, etc) but Amie and I promised ourselves that after everything we’ve been through, we owe it to ourselves to take part in the ceremony and honor our achievements. Besides, we were curious to see how the graduation ceremony in UPD is different from the one in UPLB.
We had two options to choose from, the university graduation or the college graduation. (We can actually choose to attend both but we figured one was enough.) We chose to attend the college graduation because we felt that it was a more intimate event, with only CS graduates attending. It was held last Saturday (April 21, 2012) at the National Science Complex Amphitheater. We were informed that we had to be there by 4pm to give us enough time to assemble and prepare before the graduation march. We planned to leave LB at noon so Amie and Hahriz (who earned her degree last semester and would also be marching with us) arrived at our house at around 11am to get ready. However, due to all the confusion and last minute things we had to take care of, we ended up leaving over an hour behind schedule.
The graduates in our white dresses. My grandma had to make a lot of modifications on my dress because they didn’t have it in my size at the store so I had to buy a larger size. Thankfully she was able to fix it. I also asked her to make me a sash to go with it to give it some shape . (UPD guidelines actually stated that our dresses needed to have sleeves and should fall below the knees. Unfortunately the released the memo a bit too late and I had already bought my dress weeks before. Oh well~)
We left our house a little after 1pm and headed off to UPD. The 7 of us (8 – with the driver included) fit snugly in my dad’s car. I normally sleep during long rides but I was too excited.
I tried to keep my makeup light that day because I knew it would just end up melting under the hot sun. I basically just did my everyday makeup (BB cream, eyeliner and eyebrow powder) but added some neutral eyeshadows and blush.
We predicted heavy traffic since it was a Saturday, but we didn’t encounter any and we ended up arriving at 2:30 PM – one and 1/2 hours before the event! We were supposed to assemble at the CSRC building, but it was pretty hot there and there was no place to sit so we decided to hang out at the Math building instead. Like always, we passed the time taking pictures:
The graduates again. With our sablay this time
With my family
Ckloy and my dad took most of the photos that day. Ezra wanted to take pictures too but Ckloy kept hiding the camera from her:
This is her “Ckloy give me that camera” look
“Seriously, give it to me”
“I mean it!”
“GIVE IT TO MEEEEEEEEEE!”
They played tug of war with the camera for a while but Ckloy wouldn’t budge so Ezra eventually gave up
Raffy, who promised to attend my graduation, called at this time to ask for directions on how to get to the amphitheater.
After sitting around there for a while, a lady came up to us and informed us that we can wait inside on the 2nd floor and that they were serving snacks there. We’re still not sure if those snacks were for all graduates or just for the Math people (since we were at the Math building) but we were so hungry we didn’t even bother to check and grabbed what we can.
Nomnoming on some mini hot dogs
The thing we were sitting on was a large seesaw so Ckloy and Hahriz sat on the other side to balance it out. We soon realized that eating and drinking colored beverages while wearing white dresses on an unstable location isn’t such a great idea, so we moved to a table off to the side.
Texting Raffy because he still couldn’t find his way
We were informed that family and friends were not allowed to go near the stage to take pictures so we all made arrangements with the official event photographer. Here’s my mom attaching the ribbon on me.
Pretty soon it was time for Hahriz, Amie and me to head over to the CSRC building where the other graduates were starting to assemble.
It was very crowded inside the building but Amie and I managed to find our place
MSEP stands for Material Science and Engineering Program
Can’t believe this moment has finally arrived 😀
We were there by 4PM, but the event didn’t start until around 5PM, so we spent the next hour just standing around waiting for things to get ready. It was so hot and crowded inside that I thought I was going to pass out.
This little guy saved my life, lol. It’s a good thing Ezra suggested we buy it a few days before. It’s not that powerful but it did the job.
While waiting for the event to start, I noticed that a lot of the girls didn’t follow the dress code as well, which made me feel a bit better. I saw a lot of mini skirts, spaghetti straps, tube dresses and even backless ones. I even spotted a few who chose not to wear white but went with light pinks and browns instead. At least I wasn’t the only pasaway graduate XD
At around 4:30, Tita Precy arrived to check attendance and to distribute these College of Science pins to the MSEP graduates
When 5 o’clock rolled around, the graduation march finally began. I knew my parents were already seated in the amphitheater grounds, and that Ckloy, Ezra and Raffy (who finally found his way to the event) were hiding in the shade somewhere, so I didn’t really expect to see anyone I knew on my way to my seat. To my surprise, I found Ckloy, Ezra and Raffy waving excitedly at me along the sides. Ckloy even managed to take these photos of Amie and me:
I couldn’t help laughing and smiling the entire time because the three of them looked so excited, waving and jumping up and down. It turned out they didn’t know I would be passing by in front of them either, so they were just as surprised to see me as well, LOL.
Ckloy also managed to get a shot of Hahriz too.
(She’s a Physics graduate so she was separated from Amie and me)
Then, as we entered the field, I found my parents (and their cameras) also waiting for me by the aisle. Surprise surprise! 😀
My mom snapped this photo of the graduates standing in position. She didn’t know that I was sitting in the front row and that she managed to capture me as well. (Can you spot me? I’m the smallest girl in front XD) She wanted a picture of the graduates because it’s her first time attending a UPD graduation where sablays are used instead of a toga.
After all the graduates and faculty members had entered the amphitheater we had the national anthem, opening remarks and speeches.
The event was held in a open field with very limited shade, so most of us had to endure the hot sun for about an hour before it started to set.
I was sweating buckets in my dress, so I can only imagine how these guys felt:
After the speeches it was time for the graduates to be called up on stage individually. This took about 2 hours so I passed the time taking pictures of things near me and reading ebooks on my phone.
Program and list of graduates
About an hour and a half later, it was time for the MSEP graduates to go up on stage. I don’t have pictures to share of me on the stage itself because only the official photographer was allowed to take pictures, and I won’t be getting them until first week of May, but here’s a shot of Amie and me taken after we received our certificates and medals:
We did it Amie!!! 😀
We went back to our seats after this where we planned to spend the rest of the program, but after about 15 minutes I received a call from Ckloy, Ezra and Raffy telling me to meet them at the sides. I left my seat to go find them but they were nowhere to be seen, so I called them up and found out that they were waiting for me on the other side of the field. They said they would come over so I waited for them and we found each other a few minutes later. They told me that they almost got in trouble for looking for me because they kept inching towards the graduates trying to find me. A marshal had to tell them to back off, LOL. Then, when I called them to tell them I was on the other side, they were too lazy to go all the way to the back and circle around so they crossed the field just in front of where the parents were seated. My mom actually saw them running across the field and thought “what the heck are these three up to now?!” XD Ezra also informed me that they missed me going up on stage because they left to grab some merienda and came back a few minutes too late. But when they returned, they heard the speaker calling a name similar to mine. Raffy and Ckloy looked at each other and were all “close enough” and started cheering wildly, LOL~ Anyway, I stayed with them and we hung out for most of what’s left of the program.
Ang mga napagalitan ng marshals XD
Looking like a lunatic while showing off my shiny new medal
We also managed to get a hold of Hahriz as she was leaving the stage. Ckloy almost got in trouble AGAIN for standing too close to stage trying to take a picture of her, LOL. (Hi Jik!)
After all the graduates had been called, it was time to present the special awards. We didn’t stick around for this though because we still had to make it back to LB that night, and we wanted to grab some dinner before the trip home.
On our way back to the car, we found Kat and Ate Love:
Weeeee~ We just had enough time for a quick photo before I had to rush off after my family
We asked Raffy where he would like to have dinner and he suggested Don Henrico’s because it was near his house and we could drop him off after we ate.
Choosing my food. I was starving by this time because it was already around 9PM and the last thing I ate was a tiny empanada at around 3PM.
Placing our orders
Raffy must have been really hungry to want to munch on Ezra’s hair. (Although Ezra told me he had one serving of bibimbap, half a serving of kimbap and 1 and 1/2 taiyaki ice cream just a few hours before)
Selca while waiting for our food
Soon our appetizers arrived:
Our favorite onion rings
and Raffy’s favorite mozzarella sticks
The rest of our food arrived a few minutes later but I was already too busy eating at the time to take photos. Here’s one that the waiter took for us:
After dinner we dropped Raffy off at his house and headed back to LB. I spent the entire drive home fast asleep, dreaming of sablays, medals and dresses 😀 I looked forward to this day for so long, and I’m very happy that everything went smoothly and that my loved ones were there to celebrate it with me.
Honestly, during my three years as a graduate student, there were lots of moments when I had serious doubts about whether I was going to get my degree or not. I always thought that getting my MS degree would be just as simple as getting my college degree, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. College was a walk in the park compared to this! I know many people who started graduate studies but never finished, so I was always worried that I was going to be one of them. I probably would have been if it wasn’t for the support of my loved ones, friends, classmates and professors. So I’d like to say thank you to everyone who greeted/congratulated me and cheered me on. Not just during my graduation but also throughout my years as a Masters student. I truly appreciate all the support 😀 You guys are the best!
And to all 2012 graduates – CONGRATULATIONS! 😀 We did it!