Better late than never.
So wrote a self-employed artist named Jun Impas who graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a degree in Fine Arts–which he achieved at the young age of 48.
Impas shared a video and photos of his graduation day on Facebook a few days ago, earning over 12,000 likes and 2,000 shares from well-wishers.
He wrote in Filipino and English, “Who knew that a fisherman’s son from the humble shores of Surigao [del Norte] could graduate college from the Pontifical and Royal [University of Santo Tomas] even at the age of 48?”
He continued, “Finally! I’ve done it! I have achieved my dream of finishing college!”
Impas, who also received recognition for his thesis, wrote that he has four kids with his wife Nina, three of whom have already graduated college before he did. He thanked his wife and kids for the support they’ve given him.
In an interview with Coconuts Manila, his second child Melanie said that their whole family was present at the event to witness her father’s graduation.
“We were very, very proud.” she said. “We knew he felt shy among his fellow graduates because he was older and he doesn’t speak English very well. But we were there to reassure him and cheer him on,” Melanie added.
She told us through a direct message on Twitter that he studied architecture at the Surigao del Norte School of Arts and Trade but stopped after two years due to financial difficulties.
Afterwards, he worked as an artist for art sign shops, where he created banners before mechanically printed tarpaulins became the rage. He also practiced calligraphy and even painted cinema posters, where he recreated images of actors.
“He eventually pursued his love for art and painting by teaching himself. He also joined art groups until eventually, he started mounting solo exhibits,” she added. By 2014, he decided to go back to school and chose to study at UST in Manila.
Coconuts Manila reached out to Impas for an interview but according to Melanie, he is still on Bantayan Island in Cebu to prepare for his exhibit in August.
“He always takes his own pictures for his paintings,” Melanie said. “He goes to the locations, takes pictures, and then paints it after.”
Impas is a realism painter, meaning he likes painting everyday subjects. He uses mainly oil on a canvas medium for his works. And he’s pretty good at it, judging by his portfolio.
Netizens only had good things to say about Impas’ achievement. Twitter user @ohyofavis wrote: “I have so much respect for him! It’s never too late to follow your dreams.”
Twitter user @ouiespnsa added to the conversation by writing that “he’s one of the country’s finest artists today.”
He's one of the country's finest artists today ✨
— Louis (@ouiespnsa) June 6, 2018
Congratulations Mr. Impas, or should we say, congrads!