Erya kids both from Balanti and Batino Elementary School went to Ateneo de Manila University last Saturday, 14 February 2015 to attend Big Hero 6-themed Erya Graduation prepared for them this year.
The program began with a mass organized together with the Spiritual Formation committee at the College Chapel. Tutors and volunteers then guided the Grades 4 and 6 students from Batino and Balanti Elementary School, to the Big Hero 6 staged Colayco Pavillion for the rest of the program activities. They were hyped up with excitement by hosts Tin Nuyda and JC Peralta as they entered the venue. The showing of the movie, Big Hero 6, accompanied the students during lunch time.
After their lunch, newly elected Education Operations (EdOp) Committee head for school year 2015 – 2016, Cecille Espinosa, officially welcomed the erya kids and tutors to the Graduation proper with her opening remarks. Volunteers, core members and the erya kids reminisced the erya activities for the school year with a video presentation that summed the erya insertions for the school year.
The Graduation Proper
The graduation proper began with the awarding of special awards to the students, presented by Gabay President Kirk Jamison and Finance Officer Francis Catibog with the assistance of the hosts. Each student received a golden chocolate medal for his or her special award. The program was then graced with a dance number from the Gabay Ateneo Dancers (GADs). Awarding of completion certificates immediately followed. The grade 4 students of Batino Elementary School were awarded a Certificate of Recognition for finishing the Gabay Erya Formation Program (GEFP) this school year. Afterwards, the grade 6 students of Balanti Elementary School received a Certificate of Graduation. The tutors present proudly came up on stage to award the certificates to their respective tutees.
Batino Erya Head, Jill Banta, gave an inspirational speech to the students and the volunteers who continued to see the value of education. She encouraged the students to continue pursuing their dreams, even after the GEFP, especially for the graduating grade 6 students of Balanti. She stressed that Ateneo Gabay will continue to believe in them and give them support. For the Gabayanos, she expressed her gratitude to everyone who supported and participated in the GEFP, and shared the hope that this will be carried on and continue to improve.
Treasure Hunt Campus Tour
Before proceeding to the Treasure Hunt Campus Tour, games for the students were facilitated. The erya kids with their tutors and volunteers participated actively in games “Bring Me,” “Longest Line,” and “Trip to Jerusalem.” The last game, “The Boat is sinking,” grouped the students into four groups with at least ten members each. There were two groups each for Batino and Balanti. Each group had volunteers assigned to be their tour guides for the Campus Tour.
Each group must accomplish the task in each stop to retrieve the puzzle pieces that will make them form a Big Hero 6 character. The Treasure Hunt Campus Tour had four stops. The entrance of Faura Hall stop asked from the students to jump together with a long jump rope. The front of the Rizal Library stop engaged the students to a game called “Bunny Bunny Carrot Carrot.” The goal was to play the game without laughing or smiling. The Ateneo Art Gallery stop informed the students about the artworks inside and how they were made with the help of the assistant curator of the art gallery, Mr. Joel de Leon. The challenge was for them to behave properly and listen attentively to Mr. de Leon. Lastly, the Zen Garden stop quizzed the students on different areas such as GEFP facts and subjects such as Math. The tour guide volunteers talked about the buildings and areas passed by as they go on to their next stops to let the students know more of the Ateneo de Manila University. All groups returned to the Colayco Pavillion with all the puzzle pieces that formed Baymax.
Outgoing EdOp head, Aubrey Patupat, gave the closing remarks showing her gratitude for the volunteers of the GEFP and high hopes for the erya kids. Grade 6 students of the Balanti Elementary School presented on stage the graduation song, “Journey,” while the volunteers and Grade 4 students sang along. The performance led some Grade 6 students to tears because of feelings of not wanting to end the GEFP yet. Despite the tears, there was another performance from the Balanti kids to the music of Ariana Grande’s Break Free where they made some of their tutors join at the latter part of their dance. Gabayanos present initiated to perform the Gabay Song surrounding the Erya kids to show their gratitude and hopes for the kids as they graduate from the GEFP.
As a closing activity, tutees received letters compiled from their tutors. The Erya Graduation core also gave out string bags, bookmarks and lanyards to the students as graduation gifts. The kids also got group pictures with the Baymax standee. The day ended with hugs and tears of farewell from the students and tutors.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the GEFP and made the Erya Graduation a memorable day for our Erya kids.
The Erya Graduation is a project under the Education Operations (EdOp) Committee.
Project Heads: Angela Andaya, Alex Retona; Programs: Daniel Labial, Czarina Duka, Ferdie Salazar; Finance: Aryanne De Ocampo, Gelo Dawa; Logistics: Rick Gomez, Ed Decierdo; Promos: Aby Napenas, JC Beltran; Secretariat: Angelie Maglasang, Joyce Donaire
Article written by Joyce Angelie Donaire, 4 BS MGT