- DepEd Undersecretary Alain Pascua suggested the use of “sablay” rather than toga for graduation rites of elementary and secondary students
- He said the toga has “deep western roots” and is impractical since parents need to rent or buy it
- Pascua said “sablay,” on the other hand, promotes core values of “Makabansa and Makakalikasan”
An official from the Department of Education (DepEd) has suggested the use of “sablay” instead of the traditional “toga” during graduation rites.
DepEd Undersecretary Alain Pascua proposed the use of “sablay” during commencement exercises for elementary and secondary graduates. On his Facebook, he confirmed reports that he did submit a proposal to change the traditional graduation toga but it said it was not him who leaked the proposal online.
Nonetheless, Pascua explained the reason behind his proposal. On his aide memoire or a written summary of proposed agreement, Pascua said that the wearing of graduation toga has “deep western roots.”
“It does not inspire loyalty to the country, but only serves as a reminder of a colonial past,” Pascua said in the document.
Aside from its roots, Pascua also said that the use of the toga seems inconvenient and impractical to many. He said, “Renting or buying a toga, with gown and cap, is an additional expense and an added burden to parents.”
Pascua suggested the use of “sablay” because he said it promotes patriotism and nationalism. He said the “sablay” represents the core values of “Makabansa and Makakalikasan.”
“(It) nurtures ethnic roots and perpetuates the production of local textiles of indigenous people,” he said.
The exec added the use of “sablay” will promote rural development and give jobs, especially to the Filipino weavers who make them. It is a good way to revive and celebrate traditional weaving culture.
Pascua, however, clarified that the proposal has yet to be discussed at the Execom-Mancom levels.