Join me as I take a walk down memory lane and relive some of my remarkable adventures from my thrilling but yet meaningful college days in The University of The Philippines-Diliman. Well, since I already created a blog site, why not share this stuff? Those who want to enter UP after high school might learn something here (hopefully). From the memoirs planted deep down in the catacombs of my creative mind, I will just be concise with my points and lessons from this wonderful journey. And as an added bonus, I will also mention some of my memorable classmates and professors as I go along the blog.
I am not an UPCAT passer, but how did I qualify to march down the graduation lanes at Quezon Hall last April 23, 2006 to receive my cum laude medal? The answer: talent and determination. Yep, I became an official UP College of Fine Arts Student by passing the talent test sometime April 2002. Complementing the exam results are my high grades from my Freshman year at the University of Santo Tomas (yes, I am a transfer student). My gratitude goes to UST of course because I was able to furthermore hone my drawing skills during my first year which eventually became an advantage in taking the UPCFA Talent Determination Test (And big thanks to UST too, I was exempted from the ROTC program in UP, but I miss ROTC somehow). After hearing the words “Congratulations, you’ve finally made it here”, from Mr. Leo Abaya (the college dean, back then), I had smiled from ear to ear knowing that I am officially a student of the most sought after university in the country. My first day in UP was filled with the get-to-know-your-classmates stage and a free tour around the biggest campus in the country. When formal classes began, it was there that I had realized that I still had plenty of rice to eat in order to be one of the top dogs. There were many talented artists in my college: Rommel Joson (Mr. Magna Cum Laude), Jethro Razo, Jay David Ramos (who’s a colorist in Glasshouse Graphics Studios), Joseph Manuel (the future animation king of the Philippines) and Hari Lualhati are some of the popular ones. I must admit that I was intimidated by their talent and if ever you ask my batchmates about me, besides saying that I am one of the good looking guys, they would probably describe me as snobbish introvert (DURING COLLEGE, but I am a complete changed person now, well, somehow), had my own world sometimes and I had only “regular” talent skills. That was were my determination to excel came into play, no matter what grades I got during the course of my first year up to the last semester of my fourth year, I always told myself that I would always give my 100% and always exceed my previous submissions. There were times that I would surprise my classmates with out of this world plates but mostly the masters always took the spotlight during submissions. Looking back at the growth of these magnificent artists from our freshman days up to our senior years, some are really “gifted” that no matter what kind of task was given to them, they were always a cut above the rest. When it came to the general education subjects in UP (which was like a food buffet type of variety, you know, you choose the subjects you want to take) I did excel in most and even made a strong bind with some of my non-fine arts classmates. My most favorite subject of all is Sociology 10 under Mrs. Dionisio (the best professor ever!!!). It was also in this subject where I met the most amazing cheerdancer of the UP Pep Squad, Ms. Frances Diaz. She helped me in making our mini comic book presentation for our group report (budget-wise nga lang). I was still able to include her photo in this blog which I saved from the Ondoy tragedy (thanks again for the remembrance). There was also the Humanties 2 class of Mr. Fernando Dakila a.k.a Sir. Daki, where I learned to appreciate the history of arts (local and foreign) literally. Sir. Daki by the way is a well traveled man, he is the shaman of the arts and he also has an impressive passport(padamihan nalang ng mga napuntahang bansa, walang tatalo sa kanya). I also liked my P.I. 100 class, which was about Jose Rizal of course. I inserted a wallpaper of my theater groupmates in that class.
Going back to my major course subjects, how can I forget VC 137? It was a great honor to attend the class of the celebrity professor himself, Mr. Marlon Rivera (director of Ang Babae sa Septik Tank, starring Ms. Eugene Domingo, and he’s also the Julius Ceazar of Publicis), and his parlance was simply unmatched. I really learned a lot from him and how to look at advertisements in a psychological fun way. My thesis class with Mam. Mitzi Reyes was also a remarkable one, where I really started strong in the first semester and then ran out of gas in second semester (sad but true). It was really in my thesis class that I really maximized all of my artistic talents and understood the world of hearing impaired students; from the research paper up to the actual product output; sweat (medyo mainit summer kasi nun), blood (nasugatan ako nung nagsusulat ako one time) and tears (nakaka-iyak yung gastos) were involved.
I would also like to take this opportunity to give praise to one of the underrated celebrities of our college (back then, and I think up to now), Ms. Gayle Dizon. She is really into music and she really sings from the heart. Even though she fell short in winning the “Star In A Million” contest of ABS-CBN, in my eyes, she is a star. Just keep up the passion and fire, sweetheart! Rock On!
That’s about it! I hope most you learned something from my short tale of memoirs from the State University. What makes UP unique in my humble opinion is that it gives its’ students freedom on how to start and end their journey in the university. Every semester is an adventure and every year is a new chapter. Interacting with different people and discovering different cultures, all in one action packed university, what more can you ask? Many other UP stories have been written and will be written in different blog sites, newspapers, magazines and in Kule (formerly known as The Philippine Collegian) all with different twists and flavors. I think though that one’s journey doesn’t end in receiving the college diploma, because it continues outside the university, where one makes his/her mark in the path he/she has chosen. Life is all about the journey, not the destination.