Tag Archives: upcat

Enter if you dare: UPCAT

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Tomorrow is one of UP’s biggest events: the UPCAT. Thousands of students from all across the country will go to the different campuses and testing centers, take the exam to try and get into the University of the Philippines.

I honestly cannot remember much about the exam itself, but the events around it are pretty clear. My exam was on the morning of the first day, Saturday. My dad came all the way from Zambales to accompany me, and I was relieved even though my tita was ready to take me.

Pa woke me up at 3:30 AM. I said it was too early, considering that we lived fifteen minutes away. But he insisted, and thirty minutes later we were on our way to a lugawan in Sikatuna for breakfast. He said I had to eat, even though I wasn’t hungry. Good goto though.

By 5:30, our car was parked in the parking lot in front of the College of Economics. Later, Pa told me that the other parents were asked to vacate the parking lot, but since he was early and he wasn’t sitting in the car, he wasn’t asked to move.

A little aside, my dad had years of practice waiting for me to finish stuff. My classes, my taekwondo lessons, JS Prom, hair treatments. He’d just patiently sit there and wait til I’m done. Thanks Pa. <3 Anyway, I was in line to get to the room, but we weren't assigned one. Our permits were plain white papers (not the color printed ones the kids taking UPCAT tomorrow have), and there were no room numbers. Instead, we were asked to line up by permit number and counted off til a room was full. I ended up in a room with a classmate of mine. By then, I was already feeling cold. The room had aircon, but I was the only one shivering. What the heck, I have a slight fever while taking the UPCAT. Can't remember much after that. Monday my classmates and I were exchanging stories about our UPCAT experience. Then everything was forgotten until the results came out. A few years later, I went with my parents to accompany my brother and his classmates for their turn with the UPCAT. Last year, my cousin took it and tomorrow, a friend's daughter will take the plunge. Best of luck to all the people taking the UPCAT this weekend! Good luck with the traffic too. That's the stage one of your test. 😉

UP Naming Mahal talaga

UP Diliman Oblation

UP exam results bring joy, anguish to applicants

Ah, it’s that time of the year again.

I remember when I was applying for UP. I had used up several copies of the application form because I wanted mine to be clean. I also spent a lot of time talking with my mother about what course to pick. She told me to choose accounting, especially since then, I had planned to take up law afterwards. My choices ended up as thus: UP Diliman as the first campus of choice, with Accounting and Journalism as the courses, then UP Baguio with Com Sci and Journalism as my courses.

When the results were released, it was my best friend’s older sister, then a freshman in UPD, who looked for our names. Sadly, she told us that we weren’t on the list. I felt grim at the prospect of going to school in Miriam (no offense meant. It’s just that my mindset has been on UP for so long), as that and DLSU were the two other schools whose entrance exams I passed (I didn’t make it in Ateneo), and goodness knows we couldn’t afford DLSU.

One day, near the end of senior year, I arrived home from school and my tita said, “May sulat ka galing UP.” (You have a letter from UP). Nervous, I took my time opening it. It was a thin, legal sized, dirty white envelope. I was expecting a rejection letter, because what else could it contain? My acceptance letters from Miriam and DLSU were really thick ones, containing information as to what I should do upon enrolment, so I wasn’t really excited to open this one.

Inside the envelope were several folded sheets of paper, mostly mimeographed ones. The single sheet of white paper had those perforated edges with holes in them, and that was the one I opened first.

I still laugh every time I remember those words, as it is probably the most unusual words one could ever read in an college acceptance letter. “Congratulations” would be the most typical. I, however, got this:

“Due to the planned expansion of UP College Baguio, you have been admitted…”

Long story short, I went to UP Baguio. I picked Journalism because… it was bound to have little or no math subjects. Ironically, the jobs I entered in after graduating were in the tech industry.

Regardless of the campus, studying in UP is an experience I will never ever trade for anything. And despite the differences of each campus, you know you’re still in UP when you visit one. I know that’s how I felt when I went to the Diliman, Manila, Los Baños and Visayas campuses.

Congratulations to the new batch of Isko and Iska. Study hard, but have fun as well.

P.S. Urban legend has it that when you have your photograph taken with the Oblation while you are still studying, you will not graduate. Not sure if this means “not graduating on time” or “not graduating at all.” Hehe.