A Black and White Finish

My friends know I am not very traditional. I am not festive. I am not into rollicking celebrations. I mean, it’s great and all but I have this general thought that parties and cookouts are somewhat superfluous. Maybe because my prudent nature automatically takes over. Indeed, it’s fun and sensational but I am not quite feeling it. Yes, call me ridiculous.

But here’s the thing: even if I’m not all fired up about festivities, it does not mean I’m not thankful. Dude, I am rabidly grateful and wrapped! It’s my most favourite feeling in the world. But most of the time, I’d like to keep it to myself.

I never had a graduation portrait done, primarily because it is just way too expensive to get one. I know, it’s very unfortunate. Interestingly, the people here are not very big on graduation photos, compared to the peeps back in Manila. They can’t seem to finish their degrees without such photos  in which they’re all dolled up (yes, men included), looking dignified and illustrious.

And so it might be a little too sad to think that I don’t have one to show my kids in the future. But I’d like to convince myself, or maybe I actually believe that I do not need those, because such fancy stuff do not reflect me and my preferences. What I’d like to show my kids is how crazy and creative I could be when it comes to these “festive” photos—that there are smarter alternatives.

Well, enough of that. I did not intend to start this blogpost like that at all!

I’d like to share a few photos from my Masters graduation about a month ago. The last few weeks have been so busy that I couldn’t spend enough time just sifting thru all the photos taken on the day of the ceremony. But after almost a month, they’re here! They’re not the most “creative”, or I don’t look convincingly “illustrious”, but they’re fun to look at.

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This was a few minutes before the ceremony began. It was all sunny and bright!

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Yes, my brother managed to capture this!

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Interesting fact: you’d literally have to queue up just to have a photo taken against this “prestigious” wall. The line was crazy long!

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My very proud parents. They exuded it. And I’m happy and proud that I was able to bring them honour, and give back to them now that I have started to carve my niche in the adult world.

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OK. The crazy shots start here. Our peg was some sort of a campaign for a brighter future. Seems like it worked!

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I made sure I got to take this doffing shot for my postgrad.

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My superb brother who was behind these fantastic shots. We can call him the event’s official photographer. A very well-dressed, good-looking one.

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Some of my fantastic colleagues. I honestly miss them!

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I was looking for Clancy the Lion all day, and I couldn’t find him! Maybe his shift was over. The standee didn’t quite hurt.

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This is my Moses shot.

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We surely maximised the photo opp! And I got no regrets.

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To be honest, my favourite photo out of them all!

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The Hogwarts jumpshot, of course.

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And finally, a decent looking one. I really made sure that the name of my uni was definitely included. This was the best. I feel very fortunate and privileged that I have experienced studying in an amazing scholastic environment, and met remarkable people.

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Soli Deo Gloria!

Rie Manaloto

R.

Some photos from the Graduation

So I thought I’d share a glimpse of my “Graduation-Photo-Album-2014.” I refused to book an actual photo session simply because it costs way too much! And a Nikon 32-whatever-the-digits-are camera would be enough to capture such a momentous event. (But then I don’t get to have the traditional graduation photo at all. But who cares? I got amazing shots on our Nikon 32-so-on-so-forth camera anyway). By the way, they are all in black in white, just because. So, there you go.

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The feeling you get when your name is finally called, plus, the relief that comes with it knowing that there’s about 500 of you on the list!

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Some of my amazing colleagues present in the graduation. So honoured to have worked with them for three years.

 

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Well, I guess that signifies freedom and success?

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Been dreaming to have this photo!

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Dr Bruce Crossman. Our Bruce. He’s an amazing musician, composer, music critic, and the list goes on. It is such an honour to have attended all his lectures and workshops, and to have some of my works handpicked by him to be used in student showcase.

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Dr Brendan Smyly. This man is an integral part of this course, and my personal learning. I can’t articulate how much impact he has on me and on a lot of us actually. Very intelligent, formidable, and he epitomises the genuinely ‘cool’ teacher. So honoured to have been taught by him in the course.

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Proud and supportive parents. I really dedicate this achievement to my family, especially to my Mother who busted her aff so I can actually study in my first two years of university. Long story.

 

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The classic throwing of the hat. It was not done in the formal program so I thought I’d put it in my ‘creative photography’ repertoire.

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Well, you’ve seen this photo. My attempt to do a high art whatever. One of my favourite shots.

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My awesome sister who was our official photographer for the day. She has been really efficient to the point that she has left some of her stuff unattended out of excitement and selfless duty.

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R.

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To Hogwarts and back!

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Finally in my black robe. It’s incredible. The material is impeccable. I just imbibed being a graduate so profusely, primarily because of how I felt while wearing it, however uncomfortable and hefty it was. Most importantly, it made me feel like an envoy from Hogwarts. HAHAHA! But really, it did make me feel like a fulfilled man.

I have officially finished my Bachelor of Music degree. Ah, this momentous life shift.

I’m afraid I wasn’t able to pen a parmesan-filled graduation message. But I’d like to express my inexplicable joy and gratitude to everything and every single person that have made this possible.

It has been an amazing journey, really. And I just feel very humbled and moved by all the support and love coming from my family, friends, amazing colleagues, my inspirations, and even my detractors. You have made it all worthwhile.

And to my Maker and Mentor, this one’s for you! I owe you big-time. And I give you back all the glory and all that’s beyond it! SOLI DEO GLORIA!

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R.

Rie Manaloto

Pre-Graduation mush

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OMG. Everybody (well, so many people in the same league) is graduating! And yes, it is quite a momentous time–time for cheesy speeches, ostentatious online sharing, and lots of picture taking! And yet, I’m completely not on the bandwagon, simply because I do not have the time to even think about how I’m gonna carry it all out, mainly because I’m too occupied with so much uni work to do for the next couple of weeks.

I don’t even have the parmesan-filled graduation monologue yet, nor the decent garments to wear. That just reminds me that I will need to get a hair cut a few days before the ceremony.

In short, I ain’t charged for it yet. And I haven’t already imbibed the earth-shattering fact that I am about to graduate for the very first time in a black robe like I’ve always dreamt before. Must be exciting. However, I do not know what to feel or how to react to it.

But at the back of my head, I have realised and I am sure that this is the time to be altogether grateful, and to just be appreciative of the events that have unfolded in the past three years of my uni life, which is a mix of good and (awfully) bad experiences. But I’m grateful for all of them.

Nothing would have been in the realms of possibility without God’s provision and grace, and His plan and direction for me.

Also, it is important to acknowledge and thank the amazing people who have given their support and encouragement in this long and arduous journey that is just pivotal in my growth and existence.

I have just realised, as I conclude this post, that I really must find the time to just let this whole episode sink in and be sunk titanic deep in my system, and just recollect–with lots of thankfulness, joy, and optimism towards what is ahead. God’s will prevails.

 

 

R.