Family organizes graduation rite for son who died just 1 day before receiving diploma

MANILA, Philippines – A graduating student passed away just a day before receiving his diploma.

Hemenz Luzada passed away a day before his graduation day
Hemenz Luzada passed away a day before his graduation day | Photo Courtesy: Vanesa Encila

Hemenz Luzada was so close to finally achieving his dream of graduating when he died just one day before his graduation rites.

The 25-year-old business administration student was supposed to join his classmates for their graduation ceremony on June 26. Unfortunately, he suffered cardiac arrest and died in his sleep on June 25.

Hemenz's mother, Evelyn, said his cause of death came as a shock to all of them because he didn't have any vices and looked healthy. She described Hemenz as the kindest among her children. Hemenz was supposed to be the first one in their family to earn a college degree.

"Cardiac arrest po. Nakita na lamang siya noong umaga na patay na. Wala siyang bisyo, hindi siya naninigarilyo. Sobrang sakit po [sa kalooban]," the grieving mother said.

Hemenz's former girlfriend, Vanesa Encila also revealed how he had big dreams for the future. Hemenz wanted to save his family from poverty and studied hard to finish a course in Business Administration Major in Financial Management. He was a working student as he juggled his studies and worked at a fastfood chain.

According to Vanesa, Hemenz was inspired to finish college when he saw her graduation picture.

"Noong graduation ko noong 2019, nakita niya po ang picture ko. Tapos sabi niya gusto niya rin pong may picture rin kami together sa graduation niya kasi ako raw po ang nag-push sa kaniya na mag-aral,” she recalled.

"Gusto niya rin po na may picture sila together ng pamilya niya. Sa magkakapatid kasi, siya ang first na maka-graduate,” she said.

Because Hemenz didn't make it on his graduation day, his family organized a small ceremony for him. At his funeral, they played the graduation march while his parents wore the toga for him. They also took a picture together in front of his casket, just as how Hemenz would have wanted on his graduation day.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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