Viral on Philippine social media at the moment is a guy who missed his late mother so much that he decided to bring a life-sized standee of her to his graduation. Netizens were so touched at the gesture that photos of him standing next to the standee now has been shared more than 4,600 times and liked 46,000 times.
In his caption, recent graduate Paulo John Alinsog wrote, “To my most beautiful mother! 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.”
Alinsog graduated with a degree in Business Administration from the Lyceum of the Philippines on Tuesday during a ceremony at the Philippine International Convention Centre (PICC) in Pasay City.
In a Twitter interview with Coconuts Manila, the 20-year-old Alinsog said he had the standee made because it was his dream to graduate with his mother, Carmen, by his side. Carmen passed away in August 2016 due to complications from pneumonia.
“I ordered the standee two weeks ago because I’ve always wanted her to accompany me on my graduation day. 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,” he said.
“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.”
Josiah’s Event Styling and Catering Services in Marikina made the standee, which cost PHP1,500 (US$29.36) including delivery fee. Alinsog asked the company to make sure that it was 5’2″ tall, the same height as his mother. The styrofoam cutout was delivered to his house in Cavite.
He brought the standee to the PICC as a way to pay tribute to his mother who provided for him for many years. “She was a single parent [for a few years]. She sent me to private schools. And we were very close to each other,” he recalled.
“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.”
“When I brought it to my graduation, I was so happy because I really felt I was with my mom,” he said.
Netizens were equally happy for Alinsog. “For sure your mom is so proud, congratulations! God bless!” wrote @ruffadiones.
@jjxrwxn said it was a sweet gesture.
@DeanCadapan was touched. “This is making me cry,” he wrote.
@Dynand12 said Alinsog was a good son. “May your Mom protect you always from heaven,” she wrote.
How would you pay tribute to a departed loved one? Tell us by leaving a comment below or tweeting to @CoconutsManila.
Read more from Coconuts Manila here.
This article, Student pays tribute to late mom by bringing standee to graduation, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!