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imns


Street Smart
A diploma for Gig

By Mandy Navasero
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 22:19:00 04/11/2008

Filed Under: People, Lifestyle & Leisure

MANILA, Philippines?Nine sections graduated at La Salle-Zobel Ayala this year. Gig Robles, a graduating high school student from section G, fell from the balcony of Sofitel Philippine Plaza in the wee hours after the graduation ball.

Marissa Oca, Gig?s mother, has made special arrangements to receive her son?s diploma. She waited backstage. She couldn?t bear to sit with the audience.

When Gig?s name was called, she went onstage to receive her son?s diploma. She could only muster a bittersweet ?Wow,? as Gig?s classmates and their parents stood up to cheer her on. Then, she broke down.

Gesture

The brave mother?s show of strength wasn?t easy. The unusual scene at the graduation ceremony touched a lot of people, but for Marissa, the gesture was meant to honor her son, because his diploma was something he had earned.

Admittedly, the event gave Marissa a sense of closure. Though still in the process of healing, she acknowledges that ?Gig was never mine, because he belongs to God!? Her Catholic upbringing is giving her strength and support in her time of grief.

Marissa is an alumna of UP, the College of the Holy Spirit and the University of California at Santa Barbara. In Cavite, she built a library to encourage the habit of reading in the community. Parents, she says, should read to their children every night?even for 25 minutes.

Marissa and Gig were among our 35 Batanes Photo Safari workshoppers last year. The participants went to the wake in full force as a show of support.

Their batch took it as a mission to beef up the children?s library at the Seamen?s Village. So, if you have children?s books to donate, you can drop them off at my studio at LRI, or you can arrange for the staff of Seamen?s Village to pick them up.

* * *

Join the Batanes Hands-On Photo Safari on April 25-28 and May 9-12. Email mandynavasero@yahoo.com, or call 899-1767. Take part in the Bicol Photo Safari on May 23-26, with activities including Butanding interaction in Donsol, firefly watching, wakeboarding and trekking along Lake Bulusan. Visit us at Rm. 227, LRI Design Plaza, 210 Nicanor Garcia st., Bel-Air II, Makati City.



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