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moving up day

OUR second daughter Angeli Mikaelle had her Preschool Moving Up Day – modern schools’ terminology for recognition or graduation rites – last Saturday, the 14th. The program had the theme “Young Minds, Great Potentials.” Gelai has completed her pre-elementary level at Berkeley School and was cited for excellence in musical, linguistic, and bodily kinesthetic abilities. Each of the kids was given recognition in the field or fields they excelled in, in keeping with Berkeley School’s thrust in developing multiple intelligences through its curriculum involving both academics and extracurricular activities.

I remember many graduations I attended (most of which were mine, in all my 20 years of formal schooling), through which graduates had to sit through very long speeches, from the welcome address to the introduction of the guest speaker (“ok, ok, we get it, he/she is qualified to speak, let him/ her already!”), to the inspirational message. It takes hours, literally, before you get your hands on that rolled up blank paper (the real one to come much later) – and after that, still another lengthy valedictory address, and then the closing remarks. By the time the rites end, it felt like you’ve gone through four tortuous years of college all over again. But Berkeley’s Moving Up Day was very simple – none of the lengthy, arduous ceremony of a traditional graduation – but just as meaningful and memorable nonetheless. The major participants of the program were the kids themselves – the invocation, the welcome address, the intro of guest speaker, tribute to parents, and closing remarks – all done by the chosen graduates. It was heartwarming to see the kids trained to confidently speak before an audience, with perfect diction, intonation, and attitude.

As I gazed through the crowd, I saw fellow parents’ faces also beaming with joy, pride, and great expectations. During the tribute to parents, when the kids sang “Wind Beneath my Wings,” after which they gave a single rose with a postcard to their respective parents, some eyes welled up. I had to swallow hard to fight back the tears, lest the joyous occasion be mangled. It was a very touching moment, more so for me because throughout the ceremony I felt like my Mama was viewing everything through my eyes. She would have been very proud of her beloved “taray” (Mama’s moniker for Gelai). I’m sure she is beaming with pride likewise in her quiet nook in heaven. I still miss her every day, and momentous occasions like this make me miss her more.

I have the Berkeley admin and staff to thank for that meaningful day, and especially Teachers Bona, Lhen, Rhea and Jeni of the preschool department for providing that encouraging and conducive learning environment for Berkeley’s prep graduates this year. They have been my everyday heroes for nurturing our beloved Gelai. A gratitude shout-out also goes to our Manong Jimmy, her service driver, for providing her safe joyride from school to my office every day this past year.

Indeed, our lives are filled with everyday blessings – not only in the form of material graces, but more importantly, great people who touch our lives in simple, yet grand, ways.

sunstarbaguio. 19march09.

One Response to “moving up day”

  1. […] My (cousin) Ate Gee’s entry on her second daughter (my pamangkin?) Gelai’s “Moving….  I didn’t even know they call Graduations “Moving Up” nowadays.  :p […]

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