Cebu Normal University – Integrated Laboratory School (CNU-ILS) formally concluded AY 2019-2020 as it conducted its first-ever virtual Graduation Ceremony and Recognition Program.

The CNU-ILS AY 2019-2020 Commencement Exercises and Recognition Ceremony with the theme Thriving Leading, and Serving in the New Normal were live-streamed on Thursday, August 20, at the CNU Facebook page. The commencement rites were streamed in the morning and the recognition program in the afternoon.

The candidates for graduation and completion were presented by CNU-ILS Supervisor Mr. Renan Elcullada and confirmed by CNU President Dr. Filomena Dayagbil.

Eunice Ysobel Soleng, a Grade 6 student who graduated with High Honors gave the Welcome Remarks. She recalled that back in January she was looking forward to their graduation in May, but things changed because of the pandemic.

“Graduating without having taken our fourth grading examinations or completing the fourth quarter lessons for that matter is not only farfetched – it is unimaginable,” she said.

“But here we are still despite the odds and uncertainties, we are managing to ride the wave of the pandemic,” she added. 

“We are grateful that CNU-ILS is properly sending us off with good memories from our beloved alma mater,” Soleng said.     

She also said that the graduation ceremony is a concrete manifestation of how dedicated CNU is in building and welcoming the new normal.

166 CNU-ILS graduates and completers comprised Batch 2020: 43 are from Nursery 2; 65 from Grade 6; and 38 from Grade 10.  

Ms. Therese Marie Villarante, CNU-ILS alumna, and current CNU faculty, gave the commencement speech for this year’s CNU-ILS graduation and moving-up ceremony. She encouraged the graduates to pursue their passion and to be not afraid of failing as part of the process of achieving.  

“Hold on to the things that spark a fire in your heart. What are the things that fascinate you? What moves and excites you?” she said. 

“I hope that you allow yourself to be bad at things you actually want to be good at. The only way to be good at something is to allow yourself to do it badly at first. No one ever starts out as an expert,” she also said. 

“Lastly and most importantly, be kind. Truly listen and see people; value human life. We are not just numbers and statistics. We are individuals. We love and we are loved. So, offer the very best of yourselves – your voice, your truth, your talents, your knowledge. Offer kindness, compassion, forgiveness, love,” Villarante said.

Photos of the completers and graduates were then shown on screen as the advisers called their names to award them their medals and certificates.  

Joshua Andrew Batonghinog, Grade 10 student who graduated with High Honors gave the speech of gratitude thanking God, all parents and family members, student teaching mentors, grade level advisers, school administrators, and school personnel for their contribution to the graduates’ achievements. 

“CNU has taught me a lot of lessons, life and core values that I can proudly manifest wherever I may go,” he said.

“This moment is a great manifestation of the hard work, sweat, and tears we have invested in our education,” Batonghinog said.  

A photo compilation of the graduates in their years of experience in CNU-ILS was then played with One Direction’s Right Now as their graduation song.

A tribute video to all the CNU-ILS parents and teachers then followed. 

The Pledge of Loyalty was then led by Precious Jewel Cinco, a Grade 10 student who graduated with Honors and was followed by the Alumni Oath that was led by Mrs. Ma. Milagros Del Socorro, Federation of Cebu Normal University Alumni Association, Inc. (FCNUAAI) representative for ILS.

The CNU-ILS graduation ceremony ended with the signing of the CNU hymn. 

The first-ever CNU-ILS Virtual Recognition Program also recognized all the academic awardees of pre-school, elementary, and junior high school.    

A series of presentations were also shown through the program: Janly Grace Demol, Grade 5, sang to Keala Settle’s This is Me; the officers of the Supreme Student Government (SSG) danced to Pharrell Williams’ Happy; and the CNU-ILS Faculty danced to Rachel Platten’s Fight Song. 

A full copy of the first-ever CNU-ILS Virtual Graduation Ceremony and Recognition Program can be viewed at the official CNU Facebook page and YouTube channel. (JDF)