23 March 2004

The Granduation


There should be a law against this.

I'm getting too far ahead of myself. Let me start from the beginning.

It was a Thursday and I had to get up early for an eight o' clock mass. It was a mass to celebrate the graduation of the kindergarden students. Obviously, the mass was full of singing kids, kids coming up and giving short prayers, etc. etc. Stuff to make parents proud of their kids.

Not that I'm not. Gabbi correctly pronouncing the word "underpriveleged" was a heart tugger. No baby talk either. You know, the ones those kids do during TV shows. But I'm digressing. It was emotional blackmail I told you. What parent would not want to be there.

After the mass which ended shortly before ten. (Yup, it was a loooong one. Singing kids, remember?). We were told to return to school by three pm when the ceremony proper will start. Why not do it after the mass was puzzling to me. Till it happened.

So fast forward to that afternoon. A lot of kids in costumes, make up, and stuff. MAKE UP! Some look like they were going to a Talent Promo audition to Japan! Gabbi had hers real subtle. Thanks to Clarins Brand Manager Mama.

Costumes? Yup. Seems there was a class play before the graduation. It was about a farmer and a cow or something. No one in the audience knew what it was about. Just kids talking and then breaking into song. Oh, they split the whole class into ten groups. Each with their own individual number. With Gabbi being one of the tallest, she was regelated to the back end where you'd need the Hubble Telescope to get a good look at her.

So, after a hour and a half, the play ended. Midstream, I already stepped out and had a cigarette. ONE HOUR AND A HALF! And the graduation hasn't even started! Okay, I might be exaggerating but it really seemed like an hour and a half. It lasted probably around an hour and fifteen.

After the play, the kids had to go down and change to their school uniform. CHANGE! It was pandemonium. They went back up for the parade of graduates. Yup. Same venue. Same chairs. Same crown. Different clothes though.

Let me cut to the chase. THe whole ceremony lasted til eight at night! Kids singing. Going back to their chairs. Going back up again and singing again. At one time, they seperatated into three groups and sung seperately! Torture. Only the bravest and obsessive of stage mothers would have weathered it. Annabelle Rama would have loved it.

I was already grouchy near the end. Tess was hysterical. She was having fun at me. I mean, it was really bad. I wanted to stand up and shout "Magpauwi na kayo! Gutom na ako! (Let us go home! I'm hungry already!)". You know it's too long when the camcorders and camera's of the rich parents RAN OUT OF FILM. By the end of the ceremony, hardly anyone was taking pictures anymore. Only names.

I don't want to sound unappreciative but that one just burned up any remaining brain cells that I got. All in all, including the mass, we were there for eight hours more or less! Eight hours! But seeing that medal in Gabbi's neck eased it up a bit. Did I tell you that the ceremony proper was just under forty minutes?

So... after the ceremony, we were on our way home. I promised Gabbi we would drop by the budget mall. I asked her if we'd be going. She said she's too tired and just wanted to go home. For a kid to decline to mall and just wanting to go home speaks volumes.

Thank god the next graduation ceremony I'd be attending is around four years down the road. I'll be prepared then. I already have a thermos full of coffee to bring along.