Extravagant graduation ‘handaan’ impractical, unrealistic | Inquirer Opinion

Extravagant graduation ‘handaan’ impractical, unrealistic

/ 05:01 AM July 21, 2023

Graduation is a significant event that represents the culmination of many years of effort and dedication. However, it is crucial to recognize that the pressure to conform to societal expectations can be overwhelming, especially for individuals who have faced unique challenges throughout their academic journey.

The emphasis on “handaan” or lavish feasts and celebrations can gloss over the financial hardships that many graduates face in the latter stages of their academic careers. Graduating students may find themselves in a precarious financial situation as a result of the rising cost of graduation fees and other school-related expenses, making extravagant celebrations both impractical and unrealistic. Not having a feast does not indicate a lack of gratitude; rather, it shows a responsible and practical approach to the circumstances of one’s current situation.

In Philippine culture, there is often a heightened expectation for individuals who achieve academic excellence. This expectation is further magnified when one comes from a background where the odds were stacked against them, such as being raised by a single parent. The weight of this accomplishment, coupled with the pressure to celebrate extravagantly, can be immense. Students bear an undeniable financial burden while pursuing their education. It is true that there are many costs associated with a college education in the Philippines in addition to tuition. Numerous school fees, such as graduation fees, lab fees, and fees for the library, often weigh heavily on graduates. Over time, these expenses can pile up and strain students’ and their families’ financial circumstances to the breaking point. Many graduates struggle to recover from these costs even after they have graduated because they are still struggling under the weight of these expenses.


In such cases, declining a lavish feast should not be interpreted as a lack of appreciation. Prioritizing graduates’ long-term financial stability is a smart move that acknowledges the financial realities they face. Graduating without the stress of unnecessary expenses enables them to focus on important tasks like finding employment, repaying student loans, and moving on to the next stage of their lives.


It is important to understand that celebrations don’t just involve lavish feasts. Graduation presents an opportunity to give thanks, consider one’s personal development, and recognize the assistance received during the academic journey. Graduating students can celebrate in significant ways without breaking the bank. They can plan private get-togethers for their loved ones, have sincere conversations, and show gratitude to those who have contributed to their success.

Such gatherings place a greater emphasis on the value of sincere relationships and emotional health than they do on the overindulgence in material goods typically associated with feasts.

Kim David Carlos

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TAGS: Academic, culture, education, graduates, learning

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