Graduation season is here, which means a bunch of hopefuls are once again flung out into the wild, straight from the safe confines of their beloved educational institutions. They are all bright-eyed and armed with their crisp résumés and transcripts, ready to take on Makati and Ortigas with a newfound confidence that rivals Leonardo Di Caprio’s after he won an Oscar. Most of us workforce veterans are quick to say, “suckers,” but we were once them and we once had stars in our eyes as we sang our own graduation anthems.
No matter how tough you think you are, you can’t help but feel all mushy and corny on the inside when the DJ starts to spin your batch’s jam. For us Pinoys, most of these "jams" tend to be about the friends we've made along the way and less about what we actually achieved. Also these jams tend to...repeat. Check out these Graduation Day staples:
This Billboard hit by Semisonic powered many spirited farewell gatherings at the turn of the millenium. It's not exactly a song about graduation but some of the lyrics are enough to induce bittersweet tears from anyone who is saying some form of goodbye.
The line that always gets us: 'Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end'
The equivalent of "Christmas In Our Hearts" when it comes to thematic purposes. Teachers and principals everywhere must have been over the moon when Lea Salonga recorded this wholesome, metaphorical number. "The Journey" is an extension of all the life lessons they've imbibed from their mentors: life is a mother-effin' journey that does not end (except when you die).
The line that always gets us: “Through the darkest desert, through the deepest snow, forward always I will go”
"Graduation (Friends Forever)"
You've got to hand it to Vitamin C for addressing the lack of songs specifically about graduation. This is especially appreciated by the Myx and MTV generation of the late '90s as the accompanying video featured a cutie confessing her feelings to a longtime crush. Since then, high school graduates everywhere have been requesting this to play during their commencement ceremonies, while secretly hoping for an admirer to come fess up so everyone can go, "Awww," and feel gooey feels inside.
The line that always gets us: "But when we leave this year we won't be coming back, no more hanging out cause we're on a different track"
Jett Pangan's booming vocals makes it a veritable bro song that you can play at any inuman graduation afterparty. With this in the background during toasts and cheers, the night could easily pass for a rousing San Mig Light commercial.
The line that always gets us: "Tunay na kaibigan, kasamang maaasahan. Salamat at tayo'y may pinagsamahan. Salamat, tunay kong kaibigan"
"Time of Your Life"
Thanks to Green Day, even the cool rebel types are able to express themselves emotionally at the end of the school year. Like most of the songs on this list, this is about moving on in life and the ambitious hope that whatever happened in the past was worth it.
The line that always gets us: "So make the best of this test, and don't ask why"
This eternal ballad popularized by Raymond Lauchengco is a true harbinger of tears among the more emotional graduates. Even if he assures that friends can and will "see each other again" someday, people still lose it to the chorus.
The line that always gets us: "I may be miles away, but here is where my heart will stay: with you, my friends, with you"
"High School Life"
Sharon Cuneta struck gold in the '80s with this one. The fact that this classic comes in Tag-lish makes it more relatable to the graduating middle class. Forget Vitamin C! Apparently, the Megastar was first to lay the smack down on graduation pop music.
The line that always gets us: "Ang saya ng high school sev’ral years in my high school di na mapapantayan"
"Through The Years"
This Kenny Rogers classic is a favorite anthem among the singer's age group. It's a testament to friendships of people who "go way back." As a bonus, you can be sure to hear this playing at any homecoming event or 50-year batch reunion as tears are wiped away from those old, wrinkly faces.
The line that always gets us: “The sweetest days I’ve found, I’ve found with you”