Kevin Villanueva's graduation photo would not have been any different from those of other fresh graduates surrounded by family — had he not had his taken seated next to his parents'grave.
The 21-year-old Information Technology graduate said the picture was taken on March 31, five days after his graduation from the Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Manila.
He, with his two cousins, went to the San Pedro Memorial Park where his parents are buried.
"My cousins and I regularly visit the cemetery because our grandmother is also buried there. But they didn’t know I packed my graduation toga with me during our last visit,"he said in a telephone interview on Thursday.
Villanueva donned the toga while his cousin, Sarah Vinoya, took the photo.
He uploaded the photo that same day via Instagram, an online photo-sharing website, with a caption that read: "Akala nyu kayo lang ang may picture kasama parents nyu ha :)) (And you thought you were the only ones with pictures with your parents)."
"Pero Ma, Pa this is for the both of you. I hope that you are proud of me." The photo immediately went viral. As of Friday, the picture had at least 232,000 'likes' and was 'shared' at least 15,900 times.
“妈妈爸爸，这张照片是为了你们俩而拍，我希望你们能以我为傲。” 这张照片马上就被疯狂转载。到上周五，这张照片至少获得23.2万次‘喜欢’ 以及1.59万次转发。
"I really wasn't expecting it. People 'shared' and 'liked' while others thanked me for inspiring them when all I did was to post it (on Facebook),"Villanueva said.
"This made me cry… Congratulations! You made it through the help of your parents… Your guardian angels!" wrote Facebook user Paw Yandan.
Another user, Randy James Gepitulan, said: "a simple picture that can move your hearts. how I wish all the kids in the world act like him, who know how to acknowledge their protectors, providers and teachers, who are our parents…"