"Celebrate Yourself, Celebrate Your Culture" Pilipino Commencement

“Celebrate Yourself, Celebrate Your Culture” Pilipino Commencement

"Celebrate Yourself, Celebrate Your Culture" Pilipino Commencement

Spirit resonated in the halls of Morris Dailey Auditorium May 23, as 32 Filipino graduates and their friends and family joined to commemorate the 19th Annual SJSU Pilipino Commencement (Christina Olivas photos).

By Amanda Holst, Public Affairs Assistant

(This week, SJSU Today’s small but mighty band of writers and photographers will take a peek at graduation receptions and convocations campuswide so we can share with you the excitement of the more than 8,000 members of the Class of 2012. We’ll post more photos on Facebook.)

Spirit resonated in the halls of Morris Dailey Auditorium May 23, as 32 Filipino graduates and their friends and family joined to commemorate the 19th Annual SJSU Pilipino Commencement. The Akbayan Choir opened the intimate event with a harmonious singing of the Philippine National Anthem.

More colorful than the LED rope light covered seats situated center-stage were each of the graduates, adorned with their own intracacies. Leis ranged from traditional maile-styled and orchid to the more novel ones fashioned out of homemade ribbon and fanned-out dollar bills.

Dr. Jovina Navarro warmly welcomed the crowd and introduced renowned Filipino speakers Juanita Tamayo Lott and Robert Ragsac. Lott encouraged graduates to “think globally and act locally,” while Ragsac urged graduates to hold onto their youthful energy and drive.

Graduates had the opportunity to express gratitude to their supporters in a two-minute speech. Some speeches started off with a memory or a heartfelt story, while others offered shout-outs to an affiliation that made an impact in their lives. The sweetest “awwwws” in the auditorium came from the recognition of a significant other, while most backtracked to support received from family. The audience reciprocated with air horns, standing parade-like ovations, and even a surprise burst of fuchsia confetti cascade from the top balcony.

The DJ nicely combined elements by offering tricky lighting, beat music, and a final snippet from Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.”