Written by Cato

Edited by Rodlyn Mae-Banting

congratulations to our graduates!

the class of 2021

truly has been under the shades,

but you all went on a-head

to prove to the hat-ers

that you can make it out on top!

now, before you take your hats off,

let’s honor our history,

our culture,

our tradition

with our hats on!

oh my gat,

the traditional korean hat –

usually worn with hanbok as well.

from joseon in the hands of the jang,

the gat is carefully crafted

with the swift whiplash of horsehair –

a parallel along the tightness,

the firmness and fineness on one’s head –

and the flexible bend of bamboo,

like the end of the day,

when hair is released into a cascading flow.

for the graduates

who are still uncertain –

whether you want that strict schooling

or a gap year with its flow of freedom –

know that no matter what,

you’ve gat this.

the salakot ought to be

the most recognized as an “asian” hat –

or rather the traditional filipino hat.

some people might find it comical

to wear a conical hat,

one that is reminiscent

of an upside-down ice cream cone.

but instead of dripping flavorful drops,

beading sweat drops gather on the forehead.

if anything, the shape protects you

from the scorching sun

to the drenching rain.

for the graduates

who are worried –

whether you will have abundant success

or end up without anything –

know that crops need

both sun and rain.

remember what the salakot taught you.

as you go,

remember that something

always has your back…

well, your head.

good luck!

Illustration by Aniqa Ahmed
Instagram: @aniqarts

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