Monday, January 17, 2011

Our Graduation Day

Last Thursday, January 13, 2011, was our graduation day for the Caregivers' program of TCI - Total Care International. It was an exciting and happy moment for us students because all our hard works for 6 months have finally paid off. The event was held at the IPSJ - International Philippine School Of Jeddah.

A day before the graduation, we decorated the venue, arranged the chairs and did the corsage, we also practised everything from the march, when to stand up, when and where to exit, etc. We had lots of funny moments there too, that's why most of us went home around 12 midnight already.

The Graduation Day

Our graduation was probably one of the most memorable moments I ever had in my entire life. One of the main reasons is that, I finished it. As I remember it correctly, the last time I'd finished something was when I  graduated  from high school, and then I usually just start things up and never finished anything after that, like college for example.

Anyway, our graduation had a lot of highlights, one of them would be, (and I would say the most memorable of all), the speech given by our classmate and a fellow blogger Nelson Bedayo, the top student in our class. It was both touching and inspiring, most of the people in the hall especially the graduates and the VIP's were all teary-eyed, I for one was just trying not to breakdown. He's probably not the most amazing speaker around, but it was his sincerity that penetrated our hearts. But it was no heavy speech at all as humor got its way into his speech to the applause of the audience.

Another highlight of our graduation was the video presentation of our class history, even though  the class of batch 4 only spanned for just 6 short months, it brought a lot of memories to us. The presentation showed most of our class activities, from our collage presentation to our nerve-wracking case presentation, it also showed some of our non-class activities like the time when we went to the corniche, our Christmas party and up to the most recent one when we ate at La Paz Restaurant. It brought smiles on our faces everytime we see ourselves in the monitor and then reminisced those times, (while Miley Cyrus' "The Climb" and Michael Bolton's "Go The Distance" played in the background).

And of course, the awarding of certificates and special awards. Each one of us was called to the stage from the one sitting infront all the way to the back, after that they called those among us who've got 100 % in the BCLS - Basic Cardiac Life Support test, and I'm glad to say that I'm included  in that list. Then they called the five outstanding students of our class, starting from top 5 to top 1, (Myline Llemit, Alfie Jamion, Ernesto Jayme Jr., Jasmin Abella and Nelson Bedayo), each of them received a certificate and the top 3 received medals. The best in the clinical area, Marvin Morales and Myline Llemit were also given certificates and  medals.

After the ceremony was the fun part. It's pictorial time. People would then crowd every corner for different poses, some onstage and others offstage. I think it took us an hour at least before it was all over. After that, most of us left in their own cars to celebrate our graduation in a resort called La Fontaine which is 25 km. north of Jeddah. And then it's party time!

La Fontaine

There were 5 of us in my tiny, white, sub-compact car who went to Durat - Nelson, Gerry, Emil, Jievson and I. On our way to La Fontaine, we decided to pull over  at a restaurant called Al Tazaj and had our fill there (knowing there was no food to feast on when we arrive). And then we snapped a few photos for souvenir. We really didn't know the way to the resort, but we always had our classmates who were already there to direct us the way. When we arrived, the place was huge and there were quite a few people already, some of them were singing the karaoke, some were chatting, and some were already wading in the beach. People there were already hungry when we arrived, because there were no food yet,  it would come a little bit later that night. Thank God for Al Tazaj, we didn't have to share the starving episode by the early birds.

We (the graduates), had a room assigned to us and so the guests and the faculty of TCI in another.  The privacy  afforded to us didn't come to waste as we bonded for the last time together with our beloved instructor Ms. Silna, Ms. Honey and Ms. Lyn. Although some of our batchmates were not able to attend, (some even came late at night due to work demands), we nonetheless had great fun, especially when Benjie got to pull his comical antics  down his sleeves, and we naturally exploded in laughter. What a funny guy he is! 

As expected,  our classmates  Jasmin, Marvin, Ernesto, and Epie came with the food later that night, (Jeddah downpour did play a memorable role in the starving episode). The kitchen was then crowded with volunteer chefs as most people took their hunger to singing karaoke, venting that digestive revolution to the unfortunate and over-abused pair of microphones. And when it was time to eat, you just have to understand the trails it left behind. And later, it didn't take long for everything to heat up, some of the graduates took it to the limit and did something that I can only describe as "sexy and funny", I will not say what it was they did, for safety reasons, everybody had a great laugh. It was a blast!  As that Shalamar's song goes, "gonna make this a night to remember...", and yes, we really made that night,  a night to remember indeed.

We never slept, I mean , we can't sleep. At around 3 or 4 AM, we went down by the beach and played  a game called 'Pinoy Henyo' with our instructor Ma'am Silna. Eventhough it was cold, it really didn't stop us from having fun. I will never forget that moment. It didn't take long and it started  to rain cats and dogs, the street infront of the villa was flooded. The rain continued untill morning, but at around 8 AM, the sky cleared up, some of us went to the beach to swim, the water was very cold. After less than an hour of swimming, we rinsed and then started to pack our things up to go back to Jeddah.

We decided to leave at around 10 AM. Without sleep, I felt like a zombie that morning. Our trip to Jeddah was long, I was afraid  that I might get into a sleeping mode while driving and that's a big no no. Because I was so sleepy and wanna jump in my bed as soon as possible, I forgot to say goodbye to some of the people there, (stupid me, but I know I've been forgiven), good thing is - Ma'am Silna had rushed to see us off and so we said our goodbyes.

To all my classmates,  instructors and TCI admins, I wanna say thank you, although not quite long, you guys have been part of one of the most happiest moments of my life. Never in my long stay in Saudi Arabia have I experienced real fun compared to this. I will never forget you all. And this is what I was saying before, I hate goodbyes and farewells. C'est la vie!