Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Finish Line

Four years ago, I was really happy when I learned that I passed UPCAT. I didn't expect it, knowing that I didn't finish the English and Math subtests. I didn't have any second thoughts of pursuing my UP dream. My parents were all supportive with my plans, well actually, they are the ones who convinced me to study at UP because it's one of the country's prestigious universities. Add the fact that the Mindanao campus is just 15 minutes away from my home, ergo making my UP dream possible since my parents can't afford my college education in Manila (specifically UP Diliman).

I was really surprised when I first entered UP Min. Aside from the fact that we were outnumbered by goats, wild chickens and carabaos, UPMin's a thousand miles away from downtown. Travel time to the nearest mall (SM City Davao) is around 45 minutes to one hour, depending on the traffic along McArthur Highway. Good thing was, my blocmates were friendly thus I didn't feel lonely during the first few weeks of being a freshman student.

The succeeding semesters weren't easy.

Oblation of UP Mindanao. Photo courtesy of Sam Sanchez.

I had the chance to travel to different places in Mindanao with my classmates. I got the opportunity to see the beauty of mother nature. I experienced flunking one subject (Biochemistry) and repeating it the following semester due to my indolence. I was also on the brink of not graduating on time due to conflicts with my thesis adviser. But all of these experiences made me a better and stronger person. Back in high school, I was always on the top. Everything had changed in college. I was no longer on top of the class, but I learned a LOT of things not just from the academic aspect.

UP made me realize that honor and excellence is not defined by just getting high scores in exams and eventually graduate as cum laude (or better yet, magna/summa cum laude). Honor and Excellence is rather defined as how you, as an Iskolar ng Bayan, will serve the country base from what you have learned from the university, be in the field of Mathematics, Biology, Communication Arts, Political Science and etc. UP had also taught me on how to become a selfless and a sensitive person. It is not a good idea to celebrate from passing a difficult subject or complain that you only got 1.25 instead of 1.00 whilst your classmates have a hard time of getting at least a passing grade of 3.00. The university had also taught me on how to serve the people. I may not be the type of person who joins some of the university's demonstrations or rallies but one thing is certain: I will serve my country, in any possible way and help those people who are in need.

Some people may criticize that I am ONLY from UP Mindanao. Well, I will tell some things about UP Min. We may not have a 'true' ikot jeeps but we do have habal-habal or princess rides. HH or princess rides are way cooler than ikot rides, I tell you. We may not have Mang Larry's isaw but we do have Ate Malou and Burger Machine's buy one take one burger. We may not have Zorro but we do have our very own Sandara aka Maria Cristina Bacareza. We may not have multiple dormitories inside the university but we do have Silva, Chong's and Rubia. And don't forget Ma'am Silva's famous line, "Ichacharge kita!". We may not have a jogging lane but we do have abortion roads... lots and lots of networks of abortion roads! Truly, every UP campus holds a unique culture. Inspite of the cultural differences, we uphold the same principles not just for ourselves but for our country as well.

I will definitely miss UPMin. I will miss those good old days with my classmates. I will surely miss those days when I was still writing my manuscript and had a 'walay klaro' arguments with my thesis adviser. I will definitely miss those epic fail moments with my classmates and professors. I will miss those days when we were still practicing for our cheerdance on wee hours of the morning and sleep inside the Wildlife Laboratory. I will miss those videoke-slash-drinking sessions with my friends. I will miss those days when we were cramming for our lab reports and pass it in the middle of night. I will miss those days when we got stranded inside the CSM because the creek had just overflowed (the road wasn't paved until the first quarter of 2010).

To my professors, mentors, TORMENTORS, friends and classmates, thank you. Studying at UP Mindanao was one of the best experiences of my life.

And now I'm going to open the new chapter of my life and embark on a new adventure.

1 comment:

  1. Nakarelate ako Papa Renz! Kaso nga lang ngayon ko lang itatake yung Pharmaceutical Biochemistry, anyway, grades aren't the only measurement of ones excellence or capability to excel, sobrang nabawasan kami ngayon I mean like crushed dreams because some of my classmates failed our major subjects. Pero anyway, I'll add this to my ~inspirations~ and ~motivations~ list.