Unveiling Subtle Feelings: Pasay University Graduation Ignites Bittersweet Emotions

It was bittersweet for many students to say goodbye to their beloved university. It was an occasion of joy as students celebrated their hard work and achievements. They took pride in knowing that their degree would open up doors for them in future. As they walked up to the stage in their graduation gowns, beaming with pride, they felt a sense of accomplishment. It was a moment to remember as family and friends cheered and applauded.

But, among the happiness and excitement, there was a touch of sadness. They realized they were leaving a place which had become their second home over the last few years. The graduates were saying goodbye to professors that had inspired and mentored them, as well as friends who became like family and the familiar surroundings which had become so comforting. While listening to the valedictory speech, they were flooded with memories of late nights spent in the library and stressful exams. Moments of triumph and failure also flooded into their minds. While they were looking forward to the future, they felt a pang nostalgia for their past moments and friends. The graduation ceremony at Pasay University was bittersweet as graduates reflected on their transformational journey and the wonderful memories they’d created.

The City University of Pasay’s commencement exercises on Monday were bittersweet for two mothers: a 65 year-old single parent who was standing in for her daughter, and another mother who stood for the deceased daughter.

Elisaldes Girabil accepted a diploma for Ruffa mae, her daughter who died on Saturday, 8 July, two days prior to graduation, from thyroid cancer.

Ruffa Mae Gorabil has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science.

NEVER TOO LATE Shirley Barberan, 65, cries tears of joy after receiving her diploma, while Elisaldes Gurabil, who represented her daughter Ruffa Mae, was also emotional during the graduation ceremony at the City University of Pasay, on Monday, July 10, 2023. Ruffa Mae died of cancer two days before the graduation rites. PHOTOS BY J. GERARD SEGUIA

Shirley Barberan, 65 years old, sheds tears of happiness after receiving her degree. Elisaldes Gurubil, who represented Ruffa Mae at the City University of Pasay graduation ceremony on Monday July 10, 2023, was also moved by the event. Ruffa died from cancer two days prior to the graduation ceremony. PHOTOS BY J. GERARD SEGUIA

Shirley Barberan, 65 years old, tears of joy when she receives her diploma. Elisaldes Gürabil, who represents her daughter Ruffa M., also cried during the graduation ceremony held at the City University of Pasay on Monday July 10, 2023. Ruffa died from cancer two days prior to the graduation ceremony. PHOTOS BY J. GERARD SEGUIA

Elisaldes told her family that they were both happy and sad because Ruffa had dreamed about buying them a home after graduating.

She added that her daughter was also looking for a good position to help her younger siblings finish their studies.

Latest News

Delivered to your Inbox

The Manila Times offers a newsletter that you can sign up for.

By signing up using an email address I acknowledge that I read and accept the Terms of Service. Terms of Service You can also find out more about the following: Privacy Policy.

Elisaldes’ husband, a construction worker, worked long hours to support her daughter’s educational needs.

Imelda Calixto-Rubiano of Pasay said that the city has extended financial aid to the Gurabils.

“We are helping as much as we can,” Rubiano spoke in an exclusive interview with the media before the commencement ceremony.

Rubiano presented the diploma to Ruffa’s mother. A moment of silence was then held in memory of the student.

Shierly Barberan was 65 years old when she graduated.

Barberan is a Covid-19 Survivor who lost her husband many years ago. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Office Administration.

She takes care of her daughter, aged 41, with special needs.

Barberan stated that she still felt as if she were dreaming when she received the diploma.

Barberan is a photographer for the Pasay City Public Information Office.

“Never stop pursuing your dreams to continue your studies,” Barberan said to her older classmates.