The Graduate, His Awesomeness

June 30, 2007 at 8:39 am 26 comments

The day before graduation, Reggie picked up his cap and gown at school. When he brought them home, I checked them right away to make sure that they are in good condition and that the gown is not too long nor too short.  He said that they were fitted weeks before and the garment bag actually has a sticker with his name on it.  I checked the tag on the gown and, of course, it was made by Gaspard & Sons.  I used to work for this garment company and if I’m not mistaken, they are one of the leading suppliers of graduation caps and gowns here in Canada.  They also make church vestments, by the way.

I was still working there when Reggie graduated from kindergarten.  Actually he didn’t have a graduation.  And I wanted so much to have a picture of him in a graduation outfit, so I asked my supervisor if I could borrow a set of cap and gown so I could have his picture taken at a Wal-Mart.  She asked management, and not only did they let me borrow, but they gave me a set, for keeps.  I picked the colour white because that’s what I wore when I graduated from kindergarten.  Doesn’t he look so adorable in this picture?


And look at him now after twelve years.  He’s practically a grown man.  Ah, it makes me feel nostalgic and old.


When he was five years old, he would watch Home Alone over and over again.  He actually knew the movie by heart that he would narrate to me what would happen next.  He was sitting on the shopping cart I was pushing at Superstore when a lady asked him what his name was.  He said, “Kevin.” And my mother blurted out a laugh.  We then explained to the lady that Kevin is the name of the kid from Home Alone and that wasn’t his real name.

Now, he assumes the persona of Barney from How I Met Your Mother.  Barney has a penchant for suits and is famous for the line, “Suit up!”  I just hope Reggie doesn’t follow Barney’s ways of picking up women.

Reggie asked me to buy him a new pair of suit at Moore’s last November.  The boys in jazz band wear black suits at their concerts.  But this year, Reggie had also been suiting up in different occasions, like going to school parties and his friends’ birthday parties and just any special occasions at school.  He even suited up on the last day of school.  His brother, Ryan, has been telling me that his kuya has been acting weird this year.  He has been going to a lot of parties, and suiting up and there was a time when he’d wear his trademark red scarf.  But that was last winter.  He had since put the red scarf away.

Have I told you yet that he’s popular among the senior students at REC?  Yes, he claims that everybody knows him.  Unlike at home where he’s usually quiet, he is very friendly at school.  I just learned recently that the boy’s got a blog.  After a little snooping around, err, I mean, investigating, I found out the URL.  But don’t tell him.  I can’t share with you the URL though.  I think it’s intended to be read only by his friends.  I can tell you this – the blog has AWESOMENESS written all over it.  And I mean that literally.  That awesomeness is also attributed to the character of Barney.


On the day of graduation, the students were asked to be at school at 10:00 a.m.  They were then bussed to the venue of the graduation.  The ceremony wasn’t until 12:30 p.m., but they still needed to rehearse, the only one rehearsal they actually had.  They were also asked to bring snacks to tide them over the lunch hour because ceremony was expected to last two and a half hours long.

His two brothers weren’t able to come along as the youngest one still had school and the middle one decided at the last minute to just stay home.  I invited my mother and also my husband’s uncle, his only relative here in Winnipeg, to Reggie’s graduation.


A few important people, including the principal, delivered their speeches.  And then the valedictorian also delivered his speech.  We were expecting Reggie’s friend, Sam, to be the valedictorian, but it was a different student who stood there and delivered his speech.  I learned this when Reggie graduated from ninth grade, that unlike in the Philippines where it was the teachers who pick the valedictorian, here in Canada, the valedictorian is voted by the student body. 

The jazz vocal choir then went up the stage and sang their beautiful rendition of Cindy Lauper’s True Colors.

Awards were then handed out to different students.  There were a lot of awards and scholarships given out.  The awards have monetary value and are intended to help the students in the pursuit of college and university studies.  Sam received the most awards, seven, I think.  She was president of student council and she had just been a leader and mentor throughout her three years stay at REC and maintained excellent grades at the same time. Reggie told me later that she actually declined to be valedictorian because she just had too many things on her plate.  My niece was also telling me that students choose the student that most represents them as valedictorian, an average student. Not everybody is like Sam. 


We had a wonderful surprise.  Reggie received one of five musical awards.  So we’re happy about that.

After the awarding of scholarships, the students were called one by one on stage to receive their diplomas.  Before the graduates come up the stage, they hand over to the announcer a paper where they have written their names and how they wanted to be introduced.  For example, “Kayla Gail Jones. Lions Club awardee. Thank you mom and dad for putting up with me these last three years.”  Or “James Joseph Smith.  Whew!  Who would have thought, I’d graduate.  Thank you to my teachers and friends.  I’ll miss you.  I love you mom and dad.”

So Reggie’s turn came up.  I saw him from a distance hand in over his paper to the announcer.  And this is how she introduced him.  “Reginald S– M—–.  Come on down.  You’re the next contestant to the price is right.”  And of course, he had to insert there his “Ph. D. in Awesomeness.”  The crowd loved him.  The lady sitting next to my mother knows Reggie and said that he’s got a sense of humour.  If you watch How I Met Your Mother, you’ve probably seen that episode when Barney went on The Price is Right Show and met Bob Barker.  

After the ceremony, the graduates had to return their gowns right away.  We looked for Reggie and grabbed him so we could take a few snapshots of him while still in his graduation outfit.  I’m actually not that tall.  I was wearing my four-inch heels.  That was a bad idea because my feet were already hurting by that time. 


And here’s another scoop.  Instead of dressing up that day, some of the graduates wore only shorts or jeans under their graduation gown.  We saw students walk up the stage in flip-flops and runners.

After the ceremony, we all headed back home and enjoyed a small feast in celebration of this special event.  It hasn’t been an hour since we got back and Reggie already asked to be excused.  His friend, Clay, called and they attended a workshop at the Conservatory of Music downtown.


Just a reminder:  If you are in Winnipeg and have nothing better to do on this weekend,  Sunday, Canada Day, is the wrap up of the Jazz Festival at the Old Market Square at the Exchange District.  Celebrations start at 11:00 am and ends at midnight.  Reggie will be performing with the Manitoba High School Honour Band at around 3:00 pm.


Entry filed under: Memory Lane, Raising the 3Rs, Reggie and his music, Special Occasions.

Garden and Dinner Parties Canada Day Jazz Festival Wrap-Up

26 Comments Add your own

  • 1. ipanema  |  June 30, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    Oh, how time flies. Next time we know it, they’ll be out of the nest and claiming their own niche in the world.

    Congratulations on Reggie’s graduation!

  • 2. pining  |  June 30, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    I felt the “mommy pride” written all over this post, you sound so emotional too 🙂
    Congratulations to Reggie 🙂

  • 3. rhodora  |  June 30, 2007 at 8:26 pm

    Wow! Congrats, Reggie! And Congrats, Mommy Irene!

    My daughter had the same blue color of graduation gown when she graduated last March.

    Irene, ka-guwapo ni Reggie. Tapos musician pa. Girls will swoon over him! hehehe.

    It’s odd.. the students elect the valedictorian? On what merits? But I like it that they sang True Colors. I just love that song. 🙂

  • 4. TruBlue  |  June 30, 2007 at 10:16 pm

    Naks, great pics. Why blue uniform for hi-school grads and black for college? I’ve really never asked.
    Atse Rhodora jumped ahead of me, hahaha, about graduating students electing their take here, just maybe is the one elected must come from within the top three or five of the geniuses. I didn’t like it though no matter what coz if I was the brightest, I should be tops. Goodhealth.

  • 5. Wil  |  June 30, 2007 at 10:34 pm

    I’ve never seen How I Met Your Mother, but I assume Barney was a womanizer? Kinda ironic that the actor playing Barney just came out of the closet, so at least the actor is not a womanizer. 😀

    There’s a couple of interesting differences b/w graduation there and my graduation ceremony in california. I had my high school grad ceremony at night, so to me, I guess it’s strange that your son had his during the daytime. Less people could attend, I would think. Also, the valedictorian at our high school was chosen based on grade point average.

  • 6. Ms Fair Face  |  June 30, 2007 at 10:39 pm

    oh yes he has grown up already but he still has the boyish features from his younger days!

  • 7. Tin  |  June 30, 2007 at 11:48 pm

    Congratz to Reggie! Wow, he’s a fine young man now. 🙂 Does he know about your blog?

  • 8. Kyels  |  July 1, 2007 at 12:15 am

    Time flies — so fast and looking upon his graduation; I am thinking of mine. One more year to go and I’ll be in the working world … Man, it sure is fast, isn’t it?

    Anyway, congratulations to Reggie!


  • 9. sesame  |  July 1, 2007 at 2:13 am

    Wow, I try to imagine how you must feel having looked back and watching how your son has grown to the man he is now. It’s such an awesome feeling as well isn’t it? And Reggie certainly looks like the sort of dream son every mother would like to have…

  • 10. Ferdz  |  July 1, 2007 at 2:17 am

    Congratulations to your sons graduation. And congratulations to you as well. I know major accomplishment din sa mga parents na makita anak nila maka graduate. May he be successful i his endeavors

  • 11. Swipe  |  July 1, 2007 at 4:28 am

    wow! you must be so proud. Congratulations!

  • 12. kathy  |  July 1, 2007 at 7:07 am

    Congratulations to Reggie! I wish him the best in all his endeavors!And congratulations to you for being such a great mom. I could really sense that you are very proud of your boy. 🙂

  • 13. annamanila  |  July 1, 2007 at 11:27 am

    Thanks Nice Heart for this blow by blow account of Reggie’s graduation. We feel we are right there with you, clapping our hands and being proud of him too. He has a sense of humor which will perhaps help him in coming on up, not down.

    Interesting way of selecting class valedictorian .. by popular choice.

  • 14. niceheart  |  July 1, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    Thank you for all the congratulatory greetings for Reggie and moi. 🙂 Yes, as you can tell, I am a very proud mom. (I’m beaming)

    Rhodora, you love that song too eh? I even love her recent version of it, the one where she plays that instrument. And I also love that Dove commercial where the kids sing that song.

    On what merits they choose the valedictorian? I’m not really sure. But I guess they choose as to who they think deserve it, who among them is a leader, or maybe on popularity na rin.

    Wil, yes, Barney is a womanizer. I was surprised when Neil Patrick Harris came out of the closet. I watched him when he was still Doogie Howser, the teen-age doctor. And yes, it really is ironic. I actually told my kids when he came out. I guess just to make a point that his character in How I Met is just pretend and not to be emulated.

    As for the daytime graduation, parents took a day off to attend the graduation. And there were a lot who came too. There were even grandparents and for some, the whole family came out there.

    Tin, Reggie knows about my blog and I even showed him a comment I received from this guy in my Essentially Ellington post. But he doesn’t really seem to be interested in what I write here.

  • 15. Belle  |  July 1, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    congratulations Reggie! you looked great your awesomeness! irene, i know how proud you are with your son as I was with my daughter, lexie during her graduation.

    unfortunately, that is not how we choose our valedictorian or the rank 1 in this school. the faculties determine them by their grades, involvement in the community, leadership, and character.

  • 16. Shoshana  |  July 1, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    Congratulations to your graduate! It must be wonderful to have such a grown child. NOw he’s going into his next step in life…college. That’s just wonderful!

    Should valedictorian be picked due to grades? Who’s got the highest and all that?

  • 17. Major Tom  |  July 1, 2007 at 9:20 pm

    Congratulations to Reggie and my oh my, the graduation ceremony is so grand, like a stadium event.

    Of course, this is pure joy and happiness for you and the entire family. My second child recenlty graduated from pre-school and we were so overjoyed by it. And that’s merely preschool.

    More power to reggie and I am sure his future would be so abundant and huge.

  • 18. JO  |  July 1, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    congratulations to reggie!

  • 19. zeroimpact  |  July 1, 2007 at 11:12 pm

    Biggest congratulations to a fine young man there
    Congratulations Reggie and everyone’s proud!

  • 20. verns  |  July 2, 2007 at 1:09 am

    hmmmm same with Belle, valedictorians here are chosen because of their performance in school, both in academics and in extra curricular activities. But I know Academics has more weight that the extra-curricular.

    Anyway congratulations to Reggie! I know you are really so proud of him…I am happy for you and your family.

    Your anecdote about “Kevin” is funny. I also love Home Alone. I’ve watched it all even the latest one that no longer starred Macaulay Culkin.

  • 21. tutubi  |  July 2, 2007 at 5:11 am


    a parent’s wish come true!

  • 22. Abaniko  |  July 2, 2007 at 8:10 am

    Congrats to Reggie. Here’s something for him to read.

  • 23. eric aka senor enrique  |  July 3, 2007 at 6:39 am

    Wow! Congrats to Reggie! Twelve years went by fast, huh?

    Thank you for sharing such a joyful moment in your family life!

    Best wishes to His Awesomeness’ future 🙂

  • 24. SexyMom  |  July 5, 2007 at 1:25 am

    congratulations, dear Mom, for having raised such a successful and awesome son! reaping 5 musical medals is big deal enough!

    and i guess it is a good idea oo for students to pick their valedictorian rather than the school.

  • 25. niceheart  |  July 6, 2007 at 11:46 pm

    Thank you once again everyone for your wishes of congratulations.

    I’m sure that every parent feels proud whenever any of their children graduates, be it pre-school, HS, etc. 🙂

    Just a correction, sexymom, he received only one award out of the five musical awards.

  • 26. Lazarus  |  August 13, 2007 at 2:44 am

    Congrats to Reggie and to you niceheart!

    Time flies so fast. This is really a wonderful moment for the family.


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