Honor and Excellence


This post is long overdue, but I’ll post it anyway. The University of the Philippines and I have already made it official on April 15. I am now holding an undergraduate degree in Organizational Communication, and man, I couldn’t be any prouder of myself as I write this now.


UP and I have been through a lot of ups and downs; as in literal, flying-on-a-rollercoaster-with-hands-waving kind of ups, what with those unos that I’ve earned during my stay, and face-on-the-floor-making-laslas-of-myself kind of downs that I faced early on with tough subjects with even tougher professors. I remember passing my freshman year with flying colors and being full of unbelievable angas. Those were the days when I thought that the floodgates of Taft Avenue, the GE (minor) subjects, traveling 45 kilometers, choosing what to wear, and the cat poop around CAS were the hardest things that studying in UP has to offer. Those were the times when I thought that I was invincible and I had all the bragging rights; when I thought that I am part of the smarter bunch—just because I am in UP and not in others.

Yes, being in UP already gave my mind a lot of room to explore. In UP I learned about things that I never thought I could, and that only came with time. UP did not only teach me about communication theories but also about working with tough group mates. I did not only learn about management styles, but also grace under pressure. Extra Joss can cause hyperacidity and Cobra Smart can still make you fall asleep. The most conducive place to study is not necessarily a well-lit room or a chair with steady back support; it can be a 24-square meter condominium unit filled with cigarette smoke and looks like it’s a place where MTV Skins was shot, but cramped with the most caring and intelligent bunch of people called friends. Watching concerts and listening to music is as important as intellectual masturbation. Diversity is inevitable—embrace it or die. Not all friends are here to stay. Sun Tzu is the man. You can’t be kind all the time, much as you want to. A plate of liempo and a friend that cries with you is priceless during a moment of heartbreak. Live a modular life. Take things one step at a time. University myths are only true if you’ll let them be. Cry if you need to. Annoying people will always be there to do their job, ignore them and be awesome. God has ways of turning dark moments into a pathway to a miracle. Plastic cover can substitute for whiteboard. It’s cheaper to have papers printed at Sparklink. Patience is the key to everything—from the long and tedious process of enrolment to getting a thesis done.

And a lot more that I don’t even know how they’ll fit here in this post.

I have learned that what makes me different from those in other universities is not just the angas that comes with the university name but how I actually let the university mold me into its values and morals. I have learned that ten years (or so) from now these grades I’ve earned wouldn’t matter. Not even the university I graduated from. What would are the things that UP taught me that stayed. It’s not necessarily about those countless of names I have memorized (or failed to memorize), but the wisdom that the university imparted. Though it would help to always quote Stephen Covey, Virgilio Enriquez or David Berlo while working (to avoid plagiarism), what matters now is how I apply what they say and how it makes me a better citizen. Or employee. Or manager. Supervisor. CEO. Lawyer. Writer. President.

Yes, like everyone else, I am an idealistic little thing filled with hopes of love, life, and everything in between. But UP taught me that I can be so much more than I thought that I could be four years ago. I never thought I could be this headstrong about something that I should get done. That I can stand up for what I think is best. That I can manage things on my own, that I can rid of evil and get it on with what’s good, and that the sweetest victory is that when you have proven others (sometimes even yourself) wrong.

UP taught me that great—as in really great—things come in unexpected packages—people wearing shorts and flip-flops to school can graduate cum laude, ordinary-looking professors are filled with knowledge that they are ready to share to students, pretty seatmates lead rallies, dilapidated classrooms can share a thousand victorious moments if only their walls could talk, or incomplete laboratories with non-functioning air-conditioners house the best future doctors in the country that are made more resourceful (yet their resourcefulness does not justify the lack of budget given to the State U). That is what UP is all about. People do not check out the brand of your clothing once you enter its premises nor would they smell you to know whether you have taken a bath or not (I haven’t a lot of times before hehehe); instead it checks out what you’ve got to offer in the pool of learning that everyone else dives in. After four (or more) years, it’s up to your abilities how much you’ve drank on your own that you are ready to share to the world.

This is not a post that says goodbye to the University of the Philippines, for I will never do so. But this is a little part of my effort to thank the university for all that it has done to me. A lot of people say that I must be intelligent to graduate from UP. Little do they know that intelligence can only play too much for survival in the university. One needs courage to move on even after crazy exams and failed subjects, patience in working with and for anything, and determination to finish the race. God had blessed me with all three that is why I can write this now, and UP honed what God had blessed me with.

I will always be an iskolar ng bayan. Be it supporting our lousy (I’m sorry) men’s basketball team and our kick-ass, all-time champion pep squad in UAAP to living to UP’s standards of excellence, I will always be an iskolar. No other university or company will ever change that.

I will never bid UP goodbye. UP will stay with me. UP is in me. Honor. Excellence.

Malayong lupain amin mang marating

Di rin magbabago ang damdamin…

Humayo’t itanghal

Giting at tapang

Mabuhay ang pag-asa ng bayan!


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