The University of the Philippines. It is in a league of its own. It is a state learning institution, secular, free-thinking, and liberal-oriented. Many of the country’s leaders have come from UP – those who have led it to shame, and those who have led it to honor.
Yet still it stands, and still produces leaders and workers and servants and artists and intellectuals and lawyers and writers and sportsmen and all those in between.
It doesn’t have the gung-ho “school spirit” hype that other universities have – no indoctrination, no elaborate and drawn-out teaching of hymns and school cheers. You take the UPCAT (UP College Admission Test), you pass, you show up for orientation on the first day of school, and that’s it.
You will not be spoon-fed with information or be told what to do. At UP, you find things out for yourself. You might get lost a couple of times and come in late to class as a consequence; you might miss a homework assignment or two because you didn’t know where to find this or that obscure reading on the list; but you will learn things on your own. You are expected to.
Your professors will not baby-sit you. They will not pander to your enshrined beliefs, inculcated in you from babyhood in whatever sphere you come from. Instead they will shake you up and spin you around and turn you about and they will open to you new worlds you never even knew existed. They will teach you facts, yes, but more importantly, they will teach you how to think, and how to think free.
You are supposed to learn how to be independent and self-sufficient, to work and study and create with the barest minimum of resources that you have to scrounge from here and there. You are supposed to make do or do without, or refuse to do without and to somehow find the wherewithal to do it.
You are expected to do the impossible and do it brilliantly.
And because of your UP education, wherever on this planet you may find yourself in the future, you will be able to produce what is required of you with nothing but spit and string and a bent safety pin – and by the deadline.
This is something few others can do. UP will confer this ability upon you, and you will not know or understand whence it comes. It just will, if you stay long enough, and if you open your mind and heart and soul. And that is the angas of UP, the confidence in one’s intelligence and ability that translates into work and action.
This shirt is by Diliman Republic and is available at the UP-Diliman Shopping Center. Yes, I have one.