Gradwaiting: The TH20NE Still Awaits.

by Dominik Dela Peña and Reinier Navarro

The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) brings upon many unique situations for people around the world as it evolves into a pandemic, yet Batch 2020 is faced with the sad reality of having to move on from their High School lives without having their own Graduation Rites for the time being.

Last March 10, La Salle Green Hills (LSGH) Brother President Edmundo Fernandez FSC released a statement regarding the cancellation of the remaining face-to-face classes and activities for SY 2019-2020; on May 11, 2020, an update mentioned students are also given refunds for the canceled activities, including the Graduation Ball and the Graduation Ceremonies.

LSGH also announced the integration of the Grade School and High School Departments, together with the shift of Grades 11 and 12 to go co-educational for SY 2020-2021, thus making Batch 2020 as the last graduating batch from the LSGH High School Department who will not experience the major changes for this school year.

Many consider this—truly the end of an era.

No update has been made regarding the postponed Graduation Ceremonies for Grade 6, Adult Night High School, and Grade 12, as of writing this article.

It waits. Until today, students from Batch ’20 still aspire to walk down the aisle with their batchmates and grace the stage for their farewell. © Luigi Limbo

With the recently concluded “drive thru” report card and diploma distribution, it seems that a Graduation Ceremony for the graduating batches will not happen anytime soon.

Homeroom Advisers of the graduating batches looked for ways to console their students because this cancellation of school activities is heartbreaking, much more for the Completers of Grade 10 whose Completion Ceremony is canceled.

Since late March, COVID-19 has forced countries around the world to implement community quarantines which bring our normal daily lives to a standstill and halting all types of mass gatherings; the date of graduation for our Seniors remains postponed until further notice and with the new school year drawing closer and closer, the possibility for the ceremony seems less likely.

The students of LSGH are not alone as many aspiring High School graduates around the world still await that fateful day.

Other schools used virtual recognition, despite the challenges imposed by the pandemic.

Several Grade 12 students felt dismayed after the ISP’s recent announcement since many really aspired to receive their High School Diploma during Graduation Day and not just receive it inside a long brown envelope from a car window.

April 4, 2020 was the supposed day of the graduation and while it did not happen, some Seniors still found a way to make the day a little more special in that they made tributes to their yet to be graduation. 

Luigi Limbo of 12G posted a Tik-Tok video on Graduation Day with a backdrop of the Saint Benilde Gymnasium in grandiose, as he bows to his camera imitating the norm during the distribution of diplomas.

Several Batch ’20 students also share pictures of their moments in High School as they post messages of gratitude in their own Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook feeds using #th20ne and #OneLastRide.

Also in solidarity with the batch, a story blast in social media was made on 4 in the afternoon by Batch ’20 as a statement that they will come and visit the halls of LSGH one last time.

The sad reality brought upon by the virus has been empowering in the way of our Seniors having the spirit to fight for having the ceremony pushed to a later date rather than it being canceled entirely.

There is still a chance that the Graduation Ceremony for Grade 12 will push through since medals, other recognitions, and the green sash were not be distributed along with the 2nd Semester Final Report Card and the High School Diploma.

Our Seniors take it to social media, sharing stories of their “drive thru graduation” and reminiscing the campus which they also consider—home.

Since Batch ’20 received their respective report cards and diplomas last week, the batch has mixed feelings receiving these yet they still find the bright side as they move on to college life.

Our Seniors keep a strong will that the Graduation Rites will push through after the situation is cleared out.

Whilst the situation around them is negative, Batch ’20 remains optimistic.

This is because they know that they will still wear their Barong Tagalog and green sash which were supposed to be worn for the ceremony for they will seize their TH20NE.

DISCLAIMER: Any view or opinion expressed in this article is of the author/s, and does not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of La Salle Green Hills.

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