LA Asks: What's your Message for your Graduating Child? - LA Lives

Despite a challenging past year, Mica Lagman, Elijah Lagman, Kody Tinga, and Chelsea Uy passed with flying colors, and their parents couldn’t be prouder.

Similar to last year’s graduates, the class of 2021 faced the same challenges of an online course, minimal in-person interaction with friends, and the disadvantages of quarantine restrictions. Overcoming these obstacles, however, give everyone a greater reason to celebrate.

Traditionally, they would have received their diplomas and degrees with a handshake in front of a cheering crowd. Instead, these graduates commemorate their hard work with only the people who have supported them from the beginning—their family. With that said, these four graduates experienced more intimate and meaningful graduation ceremonies, which were also blissful despite being virtual.

With these graduates completing high school, college, and master’s, their parents share their messages for them as they move on to a new beginning in each of their lives.

Mica Lagman

New York University Class of 2021 (BA History)

Mica graduates as an NYU scholar awarded Cum Laude with high honors. Mica’s mom, Charmaine, considers herself the “proudest mom” as she watches her daughter excel as a student and soon in her career. Last Mother’s Day, Mica told us the words from her mother which shaped her life, “my mom would always tell me, do your best, and God will do the rest.”

Mica with her parents, Charmaine and Mike.

While she was initially hesitant to study abroad and be away from her friends and family, Mica took a leap of faith and it paid off.

Charmaine shares a special message for the courageous graduate:

“Our dear cumlaude girl, You’re a superstar graduate in every way! I can’t wait to watch you shine as you enter the next exciting chapter in life. You have done nothing but make me proud, Go soar and spread your wings I am just here in the background watching you fly.  Love, The proudest mom in the universe.”

Elijah Lagman

Georgetown University (Master of Science in Physiology, biophysics, complementary and alternative medicine) 

Elijah Lagman graduates with a master’s degree in the medical field.

Like his sister Mica, Elijah graduated as a scholar of his post-graduate studies at Georgetown University in Washington. Now that he’s earned a master’s degree in medicine, Elijah will continue pursuing his dreams in the medical field moving forward.

Elijah with his parents, Charmaine and Mike.

Charmaine and her husband, Mike, beam with pride as parents of two scholar graduates of esteemed universities this year. With that, Charmaine shares a touching message for Elijah: 

“To my son who has accomplished more than exceptional, you’re always an inspiration to everyone around you. Go forth in continuing your dreams in the medical field, I’m just here behind you. I will forever be your cheerleader. Love, The proudest mom in the universe.”

Kody Chua Tinga

High School Graduate Class of International School Manila

Kody Tinga, with his parents Kaye and Freddie

Tinga’s mother, Kaye, hopes that her high school graduate son may achieve happiness most of all and to have the empathy to spread joy in whatever he decides to pursue. 

Kaye shares her heartwarming message for Tinga, commending him for his tenacity during the turbulent past year: 

“In the face of all of the challenges of the past year, you have managed to thrive in your schoolwork, and find ways to give back to our community. As a family, we cannot be any prouder of the clever and compassionate young man you have grown up to be. This is only the beginning, but remember that wherever life leads you, we will be there supporting you throughout the way.” 

Chelsea Denise Uy

High School Graduate Class of British School Manila

Chelsea with her parents, Dennis and Che.

Now that Uy has completed high school, she’s off to university with big plans— she’s preparing to complete three bachelor’s degrees through the World Bachelor in Business program. The course collaborates with the University of Southern California (USC), Hong Kong University of Technology and Science (HKUST), and Universita Bocconi. 

Uy is one of the 45 students accepted by the prestigious program. She’ll be studying on the three universities’ campuses throughout her college journey— First in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, then finally in Milan. 

Uy’s parents Dennis and Che are understandably proud. With this, they share that even though Uy is studying business, there’s no pressure for her to work with them as they want the fresh graduate to pave a path based on her passions. 

Dennis and Che share a heartfelt message for Uy as she gets ready for her next chapter: 

“You did it, Chels! You finally graduated! As our first born daughter, we are so proud to see you graduate. You never fail to make us proud – all of your hard work and dedication has been worth it. We feel that we are so lucky to have you as a daughter as you never gave us a hard time with anything. You have always been so responsible, obedient, driven and kind. 

Ever since you were younger, we always told you that education is a gift that no one can take away from you. With everything that you have accomplished both inside and outside the classroom, we are extremely touched to see that you have made the most of your academic journey.”

Uy during British School Manila’s virtual graduation ceremony.

Your senior year being entirely virtual was both a curse and a blessing. You missed your senior traditions like prom, batch bora, and graduation. But homeschooling has brought us so much closer; we now completely understand everything that you have gone through. From nervously submitting your college applications together to shared daily lunchtimes, we cherish all the memories that we have made. Shobe and Shoti will miss you playing with them and helping them with their homework in between your breaks. 

As you embark on your next journey, we hope that you remember all of the values we have instilled in you. Stay humble, graceful, open-minded and kind. Keep your faith in God, pursue your dreams and make the most out of your life! Carpe diem! We love you!”

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