Graduation Day Stories That’ll Show You How To Really Celebrate This Special Occasion

Graduation Day Stories That’ll Show You How To Really Celebrate This Special Occasion

Graduation is always fun When In Manila because there are so many ways to celebrate.

young boys on their graduation dayThese lads are all smiles during their graduation day. I’m pretty sure their parents are happy and beaming with pride.

There are lots of great restaurants and bars where you can treat friends and family. And you don’t have to worry about the bill because mom and dad surely wouldn’t mind. You just graduated. You’re entitled to feast and party.


In a perfect world, we all deserve to get treated on our graduation day.

Problem is, we don’t live in one. For many students in different parts of the country, the only thing that matters is setting foot on the stage.

There’s no need for expensive dinners or out-of-town trips or gadgets. A piece of paper that has their name is all they need.

They see their graduation day differently than most people.

Many of us can’t wait for graduation day because it signals the end of our torment at the university. It means we don’t have to wake up early in the morning anymore or sit through traffic for hours.

Graduation day is our ticket out of all these hassles.

No more cramming for major exams and more time to watch the latest season of our favorite shows and go out with friends. The best thing about this day is it often comes with a nice gift.

But it’s not the same for these people:

Brothers who brave thousands of bees to buy graduation clothes

Charlie Boy and Edrian Bangngayen are graduating from high school and grade school respectively. But all they have to wear are rubber shoes and torn pants. So the brothers head out to the forests of Abra to harvest honey and have the money to buy graduation clothes.

This is a very dangerous job. The honeycombs are on top of trees as high as 3 storeys and there are thousands of bees that are ready to attack.

With their father’s help, they make and sell honey to have enough cash to buy what they need. After 2 days, they only earned enough to buy the younger Bangngayen’s shoes so his brother was forced to use the money he’s been saving for a  long time.

This documentary opened my eyes to how badly some people want to climb the stage that they’re willing to risk their health. Bee stings trigger infections and allergic reactions, which could even be fatal. I’d rather not attend my graduation if it means I have to get stung by bees. But these kids value their education so much they’d do it anyway.

I felt awful about the times I got mad when I didn’t have new shoes and pants to wear for commencement exercises.

Their story is worth checking out.

Lupus-stricken girl who refused to miss school

Graduation day celebration - RuthellMorenoTospRuthell is the perfect example of determination. She graduated with the highest honors while battling lupus

Image courtesy of

After reading the story of Ruthell Moreno, I felt ashamed of all the times I skipped school because I felt a slight headache or stomach problems. You see, Ruthell, who graduated summa cum laude at West Visayas State University in Iloilo City in 2012, has lupus.

At 24, she was diagnosed with systemic eythematosus, the same disease former President Ferdinand Marcos had.

Not even severe joint pains deterred this brave girl from going to school. In fact, she insisted on going to school even on days when she’s in so much pain her fingers turn violet or grey. She had a grade point average of 1.23 and was the 13th summa cum laude in the university’s history.

She graduated with at least 10 awards. She’s also the co-founder (and the youngest president) of the Lupus Support Group of Panay, Inc.

High school seniors who are forced to move several months before graduation because of Yolanda

Perhaps nothing’s more difficult than being displaced from your home. Victims of super typhoon Yolanda had no choice but to leave their lives behind and move to a new region. That means students like Ian Brent Maceda and Kahlil Apolinar won’t get to graduate with their friends.

Graduation day celebration - homes devastated by yolandaStudents of Hernani, Eastern Samar and neighboring provinces were displaced by Yolanda and forced to continue studies here in Manila

With only few months before graduation day, these survivors had to continue school in an entirely new environment with strangers. They were welcomed by the Hope Christian School in Binondo where they also got free lodging and food. Through determination and hard work, Maceda and Apolinar, along with 8 other students, made it to their graduation on March 24.

Am I saying you should NOT celebrate graduation day?

Of course not. You must. You’ve worked so hard you deserve it. Plus, it’s the only gift that matters to your parents.

What I realize now is celebrating graduation day doesn’t mean we eat at posh restaurants or party like crazy or demand expensive gifts from our parents. If you’ve got the means, then do it.

But if not, don’t stress your parents and guilt-trip them into spending money that could be better used elsewhere.

Don’t be excited for graduation day for the wrong reasons. 

The Bangngayen brothers risk their health just to have decent shoes and pants for the ceremony. Ruthell went to school with a deteriorating health and Ian and Kahlil concentrated on school after having gone through the worst storm in history.

They weren’t looking forward to a lavish celebration on the day they graduated. They were only looking forward to a brighter future.

Being grateful is a celebration in itself.

When in Manila and you’re one of the millions of new graduates, congratulations! Regardless of how you choose to celebrate this event, stay happy. Be proud. You deserve it.  Here are very useful advice to guide you on the journey towards the real world.

 Graduation Day Stories That’ll Show You How To Really Celebrate This Special Occasion


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