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Mayor Vico Sotto Announces The Use Of 'Sablay' Instead Of Togas At Pasig Graduations

'Mula sa toga, dun na rin kami sa sablay.'
PHOTO: (LEFT) Instagram/vicosotto; (RIGHT) Facebook/University of the Philippines

On February 20, Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto announced that all public schools in Pasig would be wearing the traditional "sablay" instead of togas at graduation rites.

"Nag-usap na kami ng mga pampublikong paaralan dito sa Pasig at mula sa toga, dun na rin kami sa 'sablay," said Mayor Sotto in a tweet. "Bukod sa mas Pilipino ito—pareho lang ang gagastusin ng LGU (local government unit)—[maiuuwi pa] nila ito pagkatapos ng graduation! (Yung toga renta lang kasi)"

His decision comes after the Department of Education (DepEd) confirmed reports that it was proposing to replace togas with the sablay. 

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In a Facebook post, DepEd Undersecretary Alain Pascua shared how his Aide Memoire or "written summary or outline of important items of a proposed agreement or diplomatic communication" had been leaked online. The document included points such as the togas being "impractical and uncomfortable to use in a tropical country like the Philippines" and it meriting an additional expense for students as they need to rent the graduation wear. 

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On the other hand, the Aide Memoire also pointed out how the sablay can "instill patriotism and nationalism among young learners" and "revive and sustain local and traditional weaving enterprises." 

Undersecretary Pascua also noted that while the written summary has yet to be discussed at the Execom-Mancom levels and "remains a proposition," the leakage did reveal a favorable response among netizens to adopt the woven sash.

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Commencement exercises are scheduled for March 30 until April 3, 2020.