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The True Iskolar ng Bayan

Fellow blogger Jester asked me my thoughts about this comment in one of his recent blog entries. Here’s what I posted on his site as a reply:

It’s true though that most companies prefer graduates from the top schools. Contrary to one of the posts by our favorite new era boy, the university/college is something the prospective employers really look at. Graduating from these institutions is an advantage. I should know because when we screen applicants in my company, it’s one of the first things we look at. Yes, it sucks but it’s a fact of life that we should stop denying.

BUT Elsie’s comment was an exaggeration. Although I know of a certain major company that only hires graduates from UP, Ateneo and Mapua, I have yet to encounter a company or an employer who would blindly choose a mere UP graduate over other more “awarded” applicants. First of all, graduating from a good school may help put in a good foot forward but it’s not the end all. Most job applications go through a scientific process–we have IQ/psych exams, get interviewed and go through the usual six months probationary period.

My company had to “let go” of a UP graduate just recently because of her attitude problem. All of us, her immediate superiors, are UP graduates but school “loyalty” or whatever you call it didn’t come into the picture during her appraisal. Graduating from a good school isn’t enough. A person has to prove that he has the skill for the job AND the right attitude that comes along with it.

The problem I have with some UP graduates is that most of us leave UP with a huge chip on our shoulders. We’re just so “proud” of the fact that we came from UP. I think what some of your readers failed to see in your previous post is that being a graduate of UP doesn’t necessarily make one deserving of the monicker “Iskolar ng Bayan”. The real test is in the real world so to speak–when you get tested in the waters and survive. Alumni sometimes forget that we don’t really have bragging rights–we actually owe the country our education and we are burdened to give back something to it.

It’s a noble cause but I always believed this is what UP really stood for.

Sorry if it’s a bit long. I just had my morning coffee. 🙂

I have a 50-50 stand regarding UP’s tuition fee increase. Part of me balked at the idea that students now have to pay 300 times more than the amount I used to when I was an undergrad. As a National University, it seems unthinkable. On the other hand, I look at my beloved school and see the facilities that need work–it can’t be denied that UP is in need of major upgrades. We are losing good faculty to other schools who can afford to give them better salaries. Teaching may be a vocation but professors are people too–they need to survive. If the government is unwilling and unable to increase UP’s subsidy then the Board of Regents probably had no choice.

The tuition fee increase is seen by some as enough reason for UP students and alumni to stop calling ourselves Iskos and Iskas (a less than average blogger actually sparked a controversy by resorting to flamebaiting. Honestly, how desperate is he for hits?!?).  The staunch defenders of UP rose to the occasion–some tried to debate intelligently while others resorted to insults and name-calling.  Emotional outbursts aside, the most common defense was that UP, despite the exorbitant tuition fee increase, is still subsidized by the government which therefore still makes it fair for UP students to use the monicker “Iskolar ng Bayan”.

If we simply want to reply to new era boy’s rather shallow arguments, then I guess that would suffice.

Jester’s been taking a lot of crap on his most recent post about UP.  He could be bitingly harsh sometimes (admit it sweetie 🙂 ) but he does drive his point home. I took his post as a reminder that we shouldn’t take our education in UP for granted. Fine, we passed the UPCAT and proved ourselves worthy to be in such an institution but that doesn’t necessarily mean it made us worthy to be the State’s scholars. Our education is partly paid by the people’s taxes. Basically, we owe everyone registered in the BIR. Like what I said in my reply to Jester, the real test comes after graduation. How many of us graduates have been willing and able to give back to the State? How many of us were able to keep and foster the lofty ideals that UP tried to ingrain into us year after year?

We were educated by the best school in the Philippines not to become millionaires but to help move the country forward. It’s so cliche but I think it’s the UP dogma.

**This is perhaps one of the reasons why I got extremely irritated at a certain UP graduate I met a few months ago.  For the first time in my life, I actually met an alumni who hated UP. Her reasons: she didn’t like the people and she thought her classmates were too loud. She and new era boy would make the perfect couple. Judging from her actions, I guess UP was too much of a “jologs” school for her polished ass. She gets educated at what is considered as the best university in the country with her tuition partly subsidized by the common tao‘s taxes and she stood there with her nose high in the air and tells me that she hates UP simply because she didn’t have friends there. I didn’t expect praises or for her to burst into “UP Naming Mahal” brimming with pride. I was expecting a little more respect. She displays her diploma and at the same time stabs her institution at the back.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is a fine example of someone educated in UP and who does not deserve the title “Iskolar ng Bayan”.

  1. August 9, 2008 at 1:48 pm

    … and with blogger under maintenance, your well-crafted comment hasn’t been posted.

    (me? bitingly harsh? really? 😀 )

  2. August 9, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    @jester: my, my, you’re getting a lot of threats because of that post. And from “UPians” no less. 🙂

    hay naku…i felt old browsing through all those comments. Generation gap ba ito?

  3. August 10, 2008 at 10:36 am

    Former Pres. Emil Javier had a great idea, which was to lease out portions of the UP Diliman campus for commercial spaces (basically a huge shopping mall). But the CPP NPA shot down the idea, so instead you have several “informal settlements” inside the University grounds that I think are basically among their “liberated areas” judging by the sloganeering graffiti to be found there. No wonder it’s a slum, both physically and intellectually. Ayala and SM set up shop at Trinoma anyway, and UP Students have to spend extra just to go there.

  4. Den
    August 16, 2008 at 12:27 am

    I’m wasn’t thinking about hits when I wrote that post!

  5. August 16, 2008 at 4:27 pm

    @DJB Rizalist: Thanks for dropping by. The mall thing was a hot issue when I was still an undergrad. Student activists were basically against the idea because having a mall within the campus would somehow tarnish the “educational” atmosphere in UP. I guess they’d rather have the university’s assets be used by the “informal settlers” rather than find a way to make those properties more lucrative. I wasn’t really thrilled with the “huge mall within UP idea” but I was kinda hoping that those who protested would actually suggest something instead of just vehemently shouting, “NO!”

    @Den: surprised that you dropped by. although I disagree with you, you’re free to defend yourself which is why I didn’t delete your comment. It’s just my opinion but I think flamebaiting corresponds to blog hits. You may argue that you weren’t flamebating but I would disgaree–again. So we might as well end it here. I don’t really want to give you more internet space as it is. Hope you understand. 🙂

  6. Den Relojo
    September 4, 2008 at 12:45 am

    But you just deleted my comment!

  7. September 4, 2008 at 8:03 am

    @Den: didn’t delete anything. Or is the comment you’re referring to at another post? I just approved it. Just got online this morning.

  1. August 11, 2008 at 8:01 pm

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