Welcome home, Iskolars
VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Fe Perez (The Freeman) - June 2, 2020 - 12:00am

The results of the 2020 University of the Philippines College Admission (UPCAT) came two months late. The university cited the lockdown as a reason for the delay, but nonetheless gave hope to those who wanted to enter that university. I remember the time I was waiting for my results. I was anxious whether I made it or not.The exam itself was a battle. I was unsure if I was ever going to finish it alive. It fried my brain out and wrecked my nervous system; clock was ticking as I flipped each part of the exam. It was one hell of a college entrance exam that I would never forget, because it was my gateway to the many opportunities I had in front of me.

With the Data Privacy Act blocking the public from accessing the list of the passers this year, I had to wait for my underclass friends to update me whether they made it or not. Others were announcements of joy, while of heartbreak. They wanted UP as a choice for their tertiary education because there is nothing like being in the premiere state university.

Believe me, it was truly a worthwhile experience. We were exposed to many issues where we were forced to think for long-term solutions that we could eventually use when we get out of the corridors of the university. Not all understands this concept that we have to give back to the country for paying for our education for the past four or five years. There are also those that brand us “anti-government.” Tell me, how can we bite the hand the feed us? We are against a messed up system, not the government per se.

This is what the public doesn't understand. Just because we rally and become activists doesn't mean we are ungrateful. We are just critical thinkers and know how to air out our sentiments. Of course we want the best for our country, the country that has raised us to be these smart individuals. But UP is still home - home to the "iskolars ng bayan" who will be nurtured with the truth and reality with no sugar coats so that we when finish we are ready to fight the battle for the country.

We are in a pandemic and we haven't even resolved how the classes shall go about. There is too much discussion on blended learning and the issue of access to internet. Whatever the decision is, I hope the students will not be robbed of the opportunity to have a school life that they will remember as they age. Being in UP is great, because nationalism prevails in all the teachings and we put it to good use.

My only message for every Iska and Isko who will be taking in the plunge for the next school year: take this as a challenge to be part of the solution to the already messed up system.

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