Graduating from university is a big deal. As a major milestone in life, it’s only natural to want to be surrounded by your family and friends. But one student in the Philippines came up with a creative solution to honor his late mother since she couldn’t be there for his graduation day.
Paulo John Alinsong lost his mother three years ago to complications of pneumonia.
But he had always said he would graduate from college with her by his side. So that’s exactly what he did.
Alinsong, 20, ordered a life-size cutout of his mother and carried it to his graduation with him.
“To my most beautiful mother!” he wrote online. “Ma, your eldest has graduated – I hope you’re happy in the presence of God. I finished school because this is what you wanted. I love you very much.”
Alinsong loved the cutout, which he ordered to be 5’2” — exactly his mom’s height. Even though he jokingly admitted the cutout might seem a little creepy to some, it was his way of honoring his mother for all her hard work.
He says he was extremely close to his mom, who was a single parent.
She prioritized Alinsong’s education and worked hard to send him to private schools. It was her dream to see him get his college degree.
“I ordered the standee two weeks ago because I’ve always wanted her to accompany me on my graduation day,” he said. “When the standee was delivered to me, I cried because I thought it was real. I thought it was beautiful and creepy at the same time.”
Alinsong received his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the Lyceum of the Philippines.
He says his mother was not only devoted to his education but also determined to pay for most of it herself. Carrying the cutout was a way of paying tribute to the hard work and sacrifices that she made for him during her life.
“I had that standee made so that I could at least feel my mom’s presence on graduation day because my graduation from college was our dream,” he said. “My mother didn’t ask my stepfather to send me to college. All of the money came from her and my aunts who helped out.”
The cutout was made from Styrofoam and depicted a picture of Alinsong’s mother, Carmen, in a polka dot dress.
“When I brought it to my graduation, I was so happy because I really felt I was with my mom,” said Alinsong.
Since he posted the tweet on July 15, Alinsong’s tweet has attracted a huge amount of attention on Philippine social media.
It’s received more than 47,000 likes and shared nearly 5,000 times. Many people supported him, saying he’s a good son and that his mother would have been proud of him.
No matter what he goes on to do, there’s no doubt he’ll carry his mother with him, both emotionally and physically. What a beautiful tribute to a dear loved one.
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