University of the Philippines Academic Garb

April and May are graduation months.

In the month of April, 2012, I attended two graduation rites, one in the School of Economics of the University of the Philippines in the UP Theater in Diliman (April 19 on the occasion of my daughter Therese’s graduation) and the other one, in the University of the Philippines Manila in the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).

In the graduation rites in the School of Economics, both the faculty and graduating students were wearing Sablay.   In the graduation rites of UP Manila, all the faculty were wearing Sablay while the graduating students were still wearing the traditional graduation gowns, hoods and caps (toga).

Here is a short note on the Sablay.

“A unique graduation garb by the University of the Philippines is the use of the Sablay. The Sablay was inspired from the Malong of Muslim Mindanao thus, giving it a Filipiniana look. It features the indigenous baybayin characters for “U” and “P”. During the commencement ceremony, graduates wear the Sablay at the right shoulder, it is then moved to the left shoulder after the President of the University confers their degree, “similar to the moving of the tassel of the academic cap.” The Sablay is worn over traditional Filipino attire – Barong Tagalog for men and Filipiniana dress for women.”

Sablay on the right shoulder.

Sablay on the left shoulder.  As a faculty, I have to place the Sablay on my left shoulder.

Note: I have one more time left to wear the Sablay, on April or May, 2013, as I will be officially retired from the University of the Philippines Manila on January 31, 2014 (unless I stay connected with UP Manila as clinical professor without compensation).

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