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  • Mom Cries Tears of Joy at Son's Surprise: He is Finally Graduating After 7 Years!

    The tender moment between mother and son resonated with many parents.
    by Kitty Elicay .
Mom Cries Tears of Joy at Son's Surprise: He is Finally Graduating After 7 Years!
PHOTO BY courtesy of Jerue Marmol
  • Nothing can make a parent prouder than seeing their child onstage and holding their diploma. It’s for this reason many viewers could relate to the viral video of a mom shedding tears of joy after being told that her son will finally graduate from college after seven long years.

    In the video, Jerue Marmol, a BS Development Communication graduate from the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), surprised his mom by hiding his “sablayinside a package. The sablay is worn by graduating UP students during commencement exercises.

    At first, Jerue’s mom, Liza, thinks the package contains a bag for her. She then guesses what it could be. “Sana sablay,” she says in the video.

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    Jerue, who is not shown at first, confirms it was his sablay. “Ga-graduate ka na?” Liza asks in disbelief. She then hits her son playfully and laughs before bursting into tears. The camera then pans to Jerue who is also crying and reaching out to comfort his mom.

    The touching moment, first uploaded by Jerue and re-uploaded by CNN Philippines journalist Rex Remitio, has gotten more than 216,000 views, as of this writing. Many of the Facebook users who commented congratulated Liza and said it was the best gift a child can give a parent.

    In an interview with SmartParenting.com.ph via Facebook Messenger, Jerue shares he did not expect his mom to cry from his small surprise. “I decided to give my mom the sablay as a surprise because I think it will make her really happy. I just wanted her to envision what I’ll be wearing during my graduation and to let that piece of woven cloth symbolize both our victories in this academic journey,” he says.

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    The 23-year-old said he was always known as the student who loves to join extracurricular activities during his elementary and secondary years. He competed in several national writing competitions, and one could say he was one of the outstanding students of his school.

    But all that changed when Jerue stepped into college. “When I passed the UPCAT (UP’s college admission test) and went to UPLB, that’s when I realized I was no longer the brilliant student that people expected to be,” he says. “I experienced a lot of failures at the university. I was not a straight-A student, and I also had a hard time juggling my academic responsibilities and [extracurriculars]. I hit rock bottom a lot of times.”

    Jerue and his family also faced financial struggles. His father, Danilo, is a pastor at Muntinlupa United Methodist Church while his mom is a volunteer church worker. “Coming from a family [who works for the] church, I realized the source of income was really unstable, unlike those who work for a corporate company. But I’m grateful that despite being financially burdened, my parents did all that they could to provide for my studies,” he shares.

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    Jerue also took on jobs to help fund his schooling. He became a part-time cheer coach, a writer, a social media manager for a local restaurant, and a waiter. “With these, I was able to support myself especially my extra needs that my parents could no longer provide.”

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    Jerue with his mom, Liza.
    PHOTO BY courtesy of Jerue Marmol
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    While Jerue overcame the challenges, he also had to stay longer in the university. It was why his mom became emotional when she found out he would finally graduate.

    “A lot of her friends have been asking about me and my graduation,” Jerue shares. “I just felt that aside from me, she was also feeling the pressure from other people. I think she also questioned herself if she’s doing enough as a parent.”

    Jerue added his mom had been longing for this moment to come — “the day that I’ll tell her that I’m done with my studies and that we made it.” So, he made a promise to himself. As soon as he got the go signal from his thesis advisor and department head about his thesis, he would tell his mom that he was finally graduating.

    “I hatched a plan. Sabi ko, I’ll start by saying na hindi ako ma-a-admit for residency extension sa UP. That’s when I’ll give the sablay for her to figure out na kaya pala hindi ako ma-a-admit for extension ay dahil graduate na ako,” he shares.

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    He got his older sister Janiza to document the scene while they were eating at a fast-food restaurant, and he could not be happier at his mom’s reaction. “She’s been a part of my journey since day one. I’ve known my mom to be a very strong person, and she’s not really that expressive when it comes to showing her vulnerable side. I’m just really grateful that she appreciated it, more than what I expected."

    With his graduation, Jerue hopes that he can finally ease the financial burdens from his parents’ shoulders. “They can finally heave a sigh of relief, knowing that they were able to support my sister in pursuing our bachelor degrees and me!”

    Padayon, Jerue!

    How do you support your child when he's struggling academically? Click here for some pointers.

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