By Rusieljs G. Lunasco

BSN graduate Eloise Gauran (center) with her mother Leni (first from right), aunt Erle Joy Apatan (first from left) and cousin Althea (second from left). They all dressed up for the virtual commencement ceremony that was aired on May 28.

More than 90,000 people tuned in to watch the college Virtual Commencement Ceremony that premiered on the Facebook page and Youtube channel of Central Philippine University last May 28, 2020. It was a bittersweet milestone for the graduates and their families who celebrated this special moment in the comfort of their own homes and dorm rooms. We recently caught up with graduates, parents and loved ones to hear their thoughts on the virtual graduation.

“It was my daughter’s graduation. We were all looking forward to her special day but suddenly the whole world is in lockdown and the government had advised everyone to stay at home. She was sad after she saw the update on the University’s official page about the cancellation of their graduation and it made me sad too. After a few weeks, CPU announced that they will be having virtual graduation on the month of May. I am glad about it because the University had granted the graduating students their only wish. My testimony is that “Nothing is impossible with God”. Our only daughter made our family proud because for 4 years of hard work, she didn’t have any failing grade. It was also an accomplishment for us, especially for her father who is working abroad.”

-Mrs. Leni Gauran

“We dressed up while attending CPU’s virtual graduation because we want to show our support to my niece. It’s her special day being a college student. Imagine for four years of staying up late to study came the fruit of her hard work which she successfully passed. On her special day as a student, we want her to feel that we’re with her to celebrate her most awaiting day on her life which is her graduation.”

– Erle Joy Apatan

A selfie taken by  Mrs. Eugene Rotas and Rev. Roberto Rotas after watching their daughter’s Virtual Commencement all the way from Mindoro.

“The so-called virtual graduation last May 28, 2020, vis-a-vis to the face to face kind of graduation when the members of the family, close friends, and most parents alike are physically present to witness the most awaited moment to march with his/her daughter/son, was a special one. Due to the threats brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, this momentous event in the lives of beloved parents has been canceled. Despite such inconveniences created by the unseen enemy (Covid-19), I still would like to express my inmost gratitude to the CPU administration led by Dr. Robles to use the timely means through the virtual graduation to honor the lives of the graduates in their educational journey to reach their dreams. Indeed, it was a beautiful virtual graduation ceremony and I am certain that no graduate was left behind.”

– Rev. Roberto Rotas

Social work graduate and outgoing CAS governor Timothy Bayson watching the virtual graduation in his dorm room.

“I do really appreciate the effort and initiative of CPU, though it is difficult for both parties, we need to embrace new beginnings.

It hurts me a lot that we don’t have a real and face to face graduation ceremony but later on, I learned that online graduation would somehow teach us to be one in spirit, in the sense that the whole administration really did their best through the unwavering efforts, time, patience, wisdom, love, support, and faith.

I can see that they really worked hand in hand despite of everything. I affirm CPU for a well-organized and well-prepared graduation ceremony. I am so blessed and amazed by the effort of everyone.

Ergo, I can really feel now the spirit of a graduate student and with that, I bring all glory and honor to our Father in heaven for this very timely and historical event in my life and even to my dear Alma Mater.”

-Timothy Bayson
Bachelor of Science in Social Work
Outgoing Governor, College of Arts and Sciences Student Council

BSIT Graduate Mizpah Rotas tuned in to watch the virtual commencement at Weston Hall.

“I feel happy, at the same time sad. I have mixed emotions. Happy in a way that I was part of the first virtual graduation in CPU’s history. I’m also happy that because of this virtual graduation, my relatives and other immediate family were able to see and join me in one of the most awaited moments of my life. I feel sad since I wasn’t able to receive my diploma personally in front of my beloved family. But I’m thankful that although God didn’t allow it to happen, Central Philippine University made the effort to give us our deserving ceremony in the comfort of our homes.”

– Mizpah Rotas
Bachelor of Science in Information Technology

BS Chemical Engineering graduate Jeffrey Noel.

“I really have no words. I mean the feeling is so surreal. I can still remember the struggles during my undergrad days and now I just can’t believe that I am really a graduate of this institution. I find the virtual commencement very innovative and unique. Though there is literally a great distance between us, CPU never failed to connect us through the virtual commencement.”

-Jeffrey Noel
Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering

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