As most people close to me (who really know me can attest), I am a war-freak and people who demean anything or anyone I care about are going to get their asses kicked, especially when they use baseless and unintelligent arguments to prove their point. Shameless.
Recently, last year’s Bar exam results came out and it sparked a lot of controversy here and there. The center of all these controversies was of course my beloved UP. I will no longer summarize what the controversy is all about here as most probably already know what it is. Now, I don’t really love Malcolm (a.k.a. the UP College of Law) that much but these people were attacking UP (which I love) as a whole not knowing that the two are in reality functioning as different entities. Trust me, most of the UP undergrads that went to the College of Law say exactly the same thing. Almost everything that applies to UP does not apply to Malcolm (for brevity). But anyway, that is a whole different story. Let us discuss here what most ‘ignorant’ people are commenting about the recent Bar results.
The most common ones are:
- The reason why there is no topnotcher is due to rallies and how students are too focused on rallying;
- UP is “malaswa” (for lack of a better term) because all we know is “mag-hubad”. I guess they would be referring to the Oblation Run;
- Sayang ang taxes nila because our education is funded by their taxes; and
- All we know is to protest against the government branding us ungrateful due to the fact that we are sponsored by them.
Fallacies. Why? Let me debunk those notions right now one by one.
UP students have been in the forefront of rallies ever since the time of the late President Ferdinand Marcos. We have produced top-notchers and more than a decent passing rate ever since then. If rallying is the reason why none of the batch got into the Top 10 then why were we able to land top spots before even with all the rallies we have in the past? Certainly, there is a flaw to this logic. And let me point out that this year’s passing rate from UP is our highest ever since the time of the Martial Law. We must have done something good then to get that far.
For all those who mock UP students because we rally against the government only cast dishonor on the people who once suffered, were lost and killed during the darkest times of our nation. If it wasn’t for students who led the protests that time then we’d still be under the administration of a dictator with our basic human rights still abused by a ruthless leader. Again, in EDSA 2 which was also led by student leaders, it was made possible to oust a proven plunderer from the highest position in the land. That was because of the rallying you people loathe so much. Thank you and you’re welcome.
Much to the misconception of people, the Oblation Run is not organized by UP or any UP based student organization. It is organized by the APO fraternity who has members not only from UP but also from other universities including this year’s top university, the University of San Carlos. It is participated by the male pledges of the said fraternity as part of their initiation into the fraternity and also as a tradition to commemorate the 1st Oblation Run where they protested against the old Martial Law regime by shocking the senses of many (i.e. running butt-naked on the streets, not just in UP but anywhere). Now they only do it in UP since this is the only place where they are allowed to do that at present. So it is not even a UP sanctioned event and not all that participate are UP students. It is equated to UP merely because it is held here not because it is actually a UP event. I personally know of one USC student who participated in the oblation run in UP Cebu when I was still in the undergrad. So what gives?
But shifting the blame to APO is not the point I want to make. The point is that people only see the ‘nudity’ and do not even look into the context or purpose of the event. It is a tradition, a commemoration, at the same time a protest. People say it’s “kalaswaan” well how dirty can your minds get? When it was held before, the first time, it wasn’t seen as “kalaswaan” but a form of effective protest at a time when the freedom of speech was all but nil. Those times even have more conservative notions than what we have right now so what changed? We certainly did not become more conservative than we were back then as evidenced by the current media proliferating right now but we became blind to the true meaning of the event. We forgot what it was really about. Ultimately, rallying and the Oblation Run were before exalted as true forms of freedom of speech but now it is demeaned and mocked by many who do not understand what it really is for. We forgot. That is what changed.
If you think that UP students are totally getting the benefit of your taxes for our education then you are dead wrong. Many of the students in the University pays for more than 27,000 pesos per semester and that does not even include reading materials, other fees and expenses. Our parents or the students (if they are working) pay good money for the education of the current UP students. Those who have free education are either scholars of some organization, governmental institution or come from really low income brackets. These students are but a few in UP now thanks to the Socialized Tuition System that we have which makes us one of the most expensive State-sponsored University in the country. We are so expensive that families with a lower income choose to send their children to other state schools with lower tuition fees such as PUP or PLM. Sayang taxes niyo? Sayang nga kasi hindi naman talaga yan napupunta sa amin kundi sa bulsa ng mga kurakot na opisyal ng gobyerno.
And to top it all up, I previously mentioned that Malcolm is functioning as an entity different from UP itself. When it comes to tuition, most of the students in Malcolm pay full tuition. There are only a handful of those in Malcolm who actually enjoy free tuition. I once did during the time of Yolanda but not anymore. When I say a handful I mean literally. You can just count them in one hand. As to why, that is an entirely different story.
Coming from the discussion above I would like to say this: what on earth should we be grateful to the government for? We have the highest tuition among all SUCs that we even rival a private college in our tuition fees. Also, the government is not the one sponsoring us, it is the people, the citizens of this country. They are two different entities and we are “Iskolars ng Bayan” not “Iskolars ng Gobyerno”. Besides, it is a citizen’s duty to continue to check and recheck whether or not the current government is doing what it should to better the lives of the citizens, give them what they are due and respect their rights. It is a constitutional right of a citizen to protest things that he or she sees to be wrong. If using a basic human right is ungratefulness to you people then what the heck? Why am I not surprised that you don’t know a thing about rallies?
There are so many other things that I want to say about the recent influx of hate-comments towards UP just because the batch failed to get into the Top 10. Like that even matters to a law student. After wasting 4 and a half years suffering and agonizing every day a law student would only wish for things to be over sooner or later. A spot in the top 10 is a mere cherry on top or frosting on the cake as one may say. It is not essential. I guess none of those avid commentators would understand because they have not yet experienced the life of a law student.