I was able to attend the graduation rites “Pagtatapos” of The Raya School in Naga City.  I accompanied my favorite Kumadres, Ms.Bernadette de Los Santo, the guest speaker of the moving up event. 

How cute! White jacket instead of toga

with Ms. Rica Buenaflor and Ms. B.

It’s not the usual graduation rites with processional and toga and stiff ceremonies. It was cool, relaxed, but one of the most meaningful and sentimental graduation rites of prep and kindergarten I’d ever been.  

Fashion show featuring abaca products

A super cute song number

The kids had fun singing, dancing, reading and  strutting their abaca stuff. I guess it’s their final thesis. They gave us all their perception on how they learned things in Raya through poetry and music and their videos on field trips and school presentations and their entrepreneurial skills!  During their pagtatapos they presented different products of abaca, its uses and even recited a poem.  I bet you haven’t been to a graduation that feels like you’re just watching an educational show. 

They can read! 😀 Proof that they are really moving up.
Pretty Raya teachers 😀

After the ceremonies, we were even invited for the formal opening of the graduates’  exhibit which displayed great photos during their abaca field trip. We all celebrated the event by eating the food shared by parents. 

The Abaca Project Exhibit

Nice photos during the abaca field trip

A collage of beautiful memories

It’s a small community of people who believe that our children can make a difference in this world.

Raya is a small community with wholistic approach.  With their tagline “Kaya kong Baguhin ang Mundo” gives me, as a mother, a glimmer of hope that our children can really help to make our place a better world. 

That’s teacher Bel in black with her kid and that’s Chelly in blue green.

I am posting here the inspiring speech of Ms. Bernadette de los Santos.

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School
heads, teachers, parents, guests, my dear graduates. Good afternoon!
I
do not have words to describe my reaction when Teacher Bel told me
she was inviting me to do this task of speaking here before you young
graduates, and you parents of these cuties. I have never been
invited to do a task as, shall I say, delicate, as this. I have been
speaker to numerous engagements and talked about myriad topics, but
never to kids as young as you are. I have often wondered what it is
or how it is to have a child, how to rear a child. I can only guess.
At first I was hesitant to do this, after much thought and prayers,
yes, prayers, I accepted.
I
mentioned earlier that this is a delicate task. It is because I am
pretty much aware that a kid’s mind is like a sponge and can absorb
everything that comes its way. What I will say now will hopefully
remain in their minds and in their hearts.
Graduates,
I am talking to you now as a farmer, an artist, an environmentalist,
a social entrepreneur and a citizen of the universe. You will
understand what those words mean later. So many hats I wear. And I
wear them all at the same time, all the time.
Your
school, The Raya School of Naga, has provided you with the atmosphere
and environment that hone and sharpen your potentials to be all
those.
Your
parents have the open mind and heart to see the sights beyond the
much-used box. They have not only opened a window for you where you
can see the world, but also have paved and still are paving your
paths with the hope and conviction that you be constructive citizens,
balanced individuals, humane, productive, democratic, moral and
creative and a student of integrity. This is not just a special
thrust in education. This is a crucial and most needed thrust in
education in this country of ours. If I were the DepEd Secretary, I
will go for this thrust! Sadly, I am not.
Listen
to these words I will tell you now:
  1. Never
    lose your sense of country. Be proud Filipinos. We are a great
    race! Do not give up your citizenship, who knows, someday you would
    be running for the highest position of the land?
  2. Be
    proud of the colour of your skin! Don’t you know that this color
    of skin we have gives us the lowest risk of skin cancer?
  3. Grow
    wings and fly high, but take pride in your roots. Aim for the
    stars. You can take that literally or figuratively!
  4. Let
    your imagination go wild! Who would have thought that we could fly
    to the moon and back?
  5. Nurture
    your creative spirit. Our country’s ills can only be cured by a
    creative leader. You are our country’s future.
I
go to a lot of schools, both private and public schools, and after
every visit, I can only cry in dismay and helplessness. But I never
lose hope.
Being
with you here, now, gives me a new sense of hope. A different light
shines at the end of a long tunnel.
Before
I end my speech, I would like to share with you an experience: In
July 2014, my farm in Baao was devastated by Typhoon Glenda. After
years of nurturing my trees, my plants, after years of planting and
grooming my forest of dreams, an overnight lashing from an angry
mother nature brought most of my trees down. The morning after was
the most dreaded morning in years. The sight of my farm brought me
to tears and brought me down my knees. It took a week or so for me
and my crew of 7, to clear and clean the area. After the cleaning
and clearing up activities, I was left with a heap of broken branches
and broken twigs. I didn’t want to just use them as fuel, I had to
wear all my hats I mentioned earlier, all at the same time:
  • as
    a farmer I had to replant and use some branches to fence my farm,
  • as
    an artist I hand-painted the wooden discs I asked my farm help to
    make for me,
  • as
    an environmentalist I did not burn the leaves, instead used them as
    compost material for fertilizing and as mulching to protect the
    trees roots
  • as
    a social entrepreneur I commissioned local artists to paint more
    discs and provide them with a simple livelihood, hired some artisans
    to make organic fashion accessories, (am wearing one now)
  • and
    as a citizen of the universe I planted more trees, and in doing so,
    provide more oxygen for everyone.
Let
life’s circumstances bring out the best in you. Life’s storms
may break your trees’ branches, but let it not break your spirit!
As
gifts, I would like to give each child a hand painted wooden disc
magnet and one blank wooden disc magnet that you can paint on and
make you remember the day you met me and received your diploma from
The Raya School of Naga.
Thank
you.

Congratulations! Job well done! 😀

For inquiries about The Raya School Naga please  click here