Jerich Marco Alcantara told PEOPLE he and his fellow commuters were stuck underground for close to three hours

By Grace Gavilanes
May 31, 2017 02:16 PM
Credit: Jerich Marco Alcantara

Every year, students from around the world slip into their caps and gowns to walk across a stage on graduation day.

Nursing school student Jerich Marco Alcantara was no different — opting for his purple gown before taking the train with friends and family to his graduation at Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing in New York City. The only difference? Alcantara was unable to make the actual ceremony due to massive train delays.

On Tuesday, Alcantara and his loved ones filed into the already packed E train, heading to Manhattan from Queens before encountering delays caused by an emergency brake malfunction that kept passengers stuck underground for close to three hours.

Although Alcantara missed the entirety of his graduation ceremony, it didn’t stop his friends from throwing him a mock ceremony, which their fellow commuters also joined in on.

“Everyone was getting antsy and frustrated, so I figured I’d lighten the mood by thanking everyone for coming,” Alcantara told PEOPLE of what sparked his impromptu train ceremony.

In the now-viral video, Alcantara is seen hugging passengers as Green Day’s “(Good Riddance) Time of Your Life” plays in the background.

“I took the video because I felt it was so unfair he was missing his graduation,” onlooker Nadiya Afzal shared with PEOPLE. “It was good to see something nice happened out of that horrific commute.”