The month of October marks the celebration of Teen Read Week (TRW), organized by the English Department in order to encourage students to appreciate literature. As part of that celebration, last October 9, Xavier School hosted its annual Dress Me a Literary parade. The parade is one of the signature events of TRW, where students and teachers dress up in costumes depicting characters from different books, comics, and stories.
Held during the usual ECA period, the JHS and the SHS all went to the High School Gym, where the parade was to be held. Onstage hosting the event were teachers Mr. Frederick Perez and Mr. Ray Albarillo, costumed as Captain America and The Hulk respectively. The two narrated the parade from the perspective of their comic book personas, with Mr. Perez adopting a faux American accent and Mr. Albarillo yelling in classic Hulk fashion.
This year, students from each of the high school sections participated in the parade, with their costumes following several themes such as “Swords and Sorcery” and “Journeys” for the Grade 11 and 12 respectively. They kicked off the event in dazzling costumes ranging from superheroes and villains from DC and Marvel, to beloved characters from books such as Harry Potter and A Game of Thrones, to even characters from Pokémon. Following the parade of students came the teachers, who marched out by department, often with an overall theme. For instance, the members of the Office of Disciplinary Services (ODS) paraded as a group of Star Wars clones and robots led by Darth Vader, while the Science Department marched in with a Magic School Bus.
This year, however, the festivities were a little different than usual. The Dress Me a Literary event would also serve as an opportunity to give tribute to Mr. Gerard San Gabriel, who passed away recently and, as said by Ms. Aimee Apolinario, “loved the Dress Me a Literary parade and would come dressed up as the most striking characters.” A video was played in memory of the late teacher, displaying pictures of his past costumes, such as Pinocchio and Avatar Aang. Several teachers and students also shared the memories and wonderful experiences they had with him, talking about his constant enthusiasm in teaching, and how he was a wonderful mentor and friend alike to both his students and co-teachers. Fr. Aristotle Dy, school president, then led a prayer for the repose of Mr. San Gabriel.
To close the program, the Math Department, who had not yet paraded until that point, proceeded to close the parade by showcasing a final tribute for Mr. San Gabriel. They dressed as characters taken from the same stories that Mr. San Gabriel had based his earlier costumes on, such as “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” “Legend of Aang,” and “Pinocchio.”
The Dress Me a Literary Parade not only served to bring to life the wonderful characters of literature, but as a way to cherish the memory of a wonderful teacher as well.