Thursday, December 1, 2011

To UPCAT or Not to UPCAT

How it started

1: To UPCAT or Not to UPCAT

Hi, my name is Francisco Lar II. My childhood friends call me Kiko. But the nickname that really stuck was the one that my grandma used to call me. Isko. Stinks, doesn't it? It's not that I am not proud of my name or anything, it's just it's an old guy's name. My grandfather was the original. I am what you call a junior. But my parents decided that Jr was way too boring and opted for the roman numeral thing. It makes getting an I.D. frustrating but it's my name. I have no other choice.

My grandpa was a frustrated agriculturist. He almost get into UPLB, that's University of the Philippines Los Baños for you and me, but his parents feared that he would become some kind of baby NPA and had opted to keep him close at home. He always said that he would have his own farm by now had he been allowed to go. He always said that passing the UPCAT and not going because his parents didn't want him too was the biggest mistake he ever made. He knew he wouldn't be a rebel although you wouldn't think he wasn't going to when you heard him talk about politics every time he drank with his friends and my uncles.

He was thrilled when I told him that I was going to take the UPCAT. He was told me that he didn't want me to study in the big city. He wanted me to go to UPLB because I wouldn't be too shocked since it's also in a province. He had winked that if I wanted to I could have a farm of my own someday. 

But I shook my head at him and said, “I already grew up in a province, shouldn't I study in the city just to be able to experience new things?”

The air would be cleaner for one. And your cousin went there. Didn't she look healthier than those from her batch who studied in Manila?” My mother butt in.

If I am going anyway, might as well go to the flagship campus, right?” I marked UPD with my pencil. My mom had a pen.

There it was, in ink, First campus UPLB. Second Campus UPD. I plan to transfer when I already can. But don't go around telling my parents and my grandparents. I am still young enough to get grounded after all.

One of the reasons why I didn't want to go to UPLB is because my cousin went there. She said that Math 11 almost turned into Math 22 for her. Mathematics is not my forte. And the place was near a mountain. It felt like I was going to go hiking everyday just to get to class. I was not good with mountains and forests. When I was a kid my family and I went to a mountain and they claim I was lost for a week. I never really believed that. I think it was just a story that my mother tells me so that I won't go anywhere that she doesn't deem safe.

But I am seventeen now and I am a guy for Balagtas' sake. I am entitled to some fun, aren't I?

For as long as I can remember, I had loved stories and making them. I thought that the best thing to do was study something related to literature. I could teach it someday if I don't make it as a writer. I had wanted to take that in Diliman. But since my first campus was UPLB, I had to choose the closest one to that. It was Communication Arts. My cousin said that the math subjects were near optional. So I think I won't have such a hard time. The BIG downside was that most of the guys there were of the LGBT persuasion. And so she warned me not to move to the PINK side. In my town the gays were those in parlors, entertainment, the teaching profession and fashion. So my world was going to get up-ended if I ever pass that course. Just for good measure and assurance I won't get into UPLB, I put Veterinary Medicine as my second choice.

My cousin told me that the girls in the CommArts course were usually witty and pretty. That was a good motivation, if ever I have to spend a few months studying there.

The image of my long-time crush flashed in my mind. “Nah. Loyal. I am loyal.” I smiled when I remembered that we were both going to take the test on the same day.

I thought about trying out for other schools. But my parents and my grandparents had full confidence that I would get in. They allowed me to take an entrance exam for another state university. They knew I didn't want to study in Batangas so they chose the one that was almost right next door to our house.

I had to pass the test. Because if I didn't, I would spend the next four years not having a normal college experience. No exercise on freedom and no new friends. I would be stuck in dreary old Batangas where my talents would be wasted amongst a sea of mediocrity.

I have to hit the books then. 


1 comment:

  1. I admire him for the courage and the determination to surpass whatever hindrances that may come along the way to reach his dream. I hope he will pass the exam


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