July 25, 2024

One of the most memorable and proudest moments of being parents is seeing their children graduate from college, especially in our beloved archipelago of delicious coconuts and smiling carabaos where a university degree is seen as a badge of honor and prestige. We unashamedly announce to all the world our children’s achievements through social media and more traditional means like newspaper ads and the like.
Witnessing my daughter’s graduation recently at Baguio Country Club where she earned a degree in Economics from the University of the Philippines filled my heart with parental pride and enormous joy, just like the rest of the parents there, I’m sure, most of whom travelled from far away to be part of their child’s life achievement.
The experience, wonderful as it was, would have been even more wonderful if my wifey Sarah, Sam’s mom, was there to enjoy and savor the once-in-a-lifetime moment. However, she was in the hospital at that time battling a serious ailment.
My darling’s unfortunate situation reminded me how unpredictable and temporal life truly is. One day, you are hale and hearty and the next, you are deathly ill and struggling to hold onto dear life. As popularized by one of my favorite movies, “Dead Poets Society”, we should “seize the day (Carpe Diem)!” for tomorrow may never come.
Just an aside, I also noticed that several of the patients at the hospital were quite young and suffering from serious ailments. It made me think about how unfair life could be because we all know of corrupt and “evil” people who continue to enjoy good health, enjoy life to the hilt, and even live long lives. We see them smiling and even praised on social media even if we know, but are afraid to say it out loud, how some of these so-called “honorable” are actually quite the opposite. Like I said, life’s so unfair even more so in a country ruled by since time immemorial by greedy political dynasties.
Anyway, as this near-sighted Ibaloy writer congratulates all the graduates, I also wish them luck as they now put their hard-earned degrees to use. They will really need all the luck in the world because the reality is that in the Philippines, only a few will land high-paying or even decent-paying jobs commensurate to the areas of their expertise. The vast majority will remain underemployed and many unemployed for a short or long period of time. Many will choose to look for better-paying jobs abroad even if these jobs are not what they went to school for.
Of course, there are those who are born rich (sana all!) who don’t really need to work or that a job is already waiting for them once they graduate like in family businesses. The luckiest of all are members of political dynasties who don’t have to do anything and yet seem to be given everything in a silver platter. Like I said, life’s unfair.
May our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ continue to bless and keep us all safe.