Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila

The Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila subscribes to the educational philosophy that focuses on the development of the total person: his intellectual growth, his physical well-being, his social consciousness, his moral and spiritual enhancement…

Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng MaynilaI can’t help but smile everytime I notice the obvious “integral” philosophy of my alma mater. I just wish I paid more attention when I was in college, but I was so busy studying, reading, commuting in the flood, and who knows what else I was doing during those days.

I have mixed feelings whenever I look back at my college days. Sure, I did have pressure and fun, but I feel nostalgically bitter whenever I’m reminded of how poor my college was, and how many poor students were not getting the education their above-average intellect deserved. During my time I ranted (quitely) about how inadequate the basic facilities were, how our classrooms were furnished by dilapidated blackboards and chairs, how our library was full of ancient dusty useless books, how our restrooms smelled, how our professors sucked (some of them), how the security guards were a bunch of jack-asses, and how our computer rooms were too cold just to keep those minicomputers running their stupid Assembly and COBOL programs. Anak ng…

But before I degenerate into old-fashioned self-pity, I also remember how dedicated the students were; how they studied hard and rose above the challenges in spite of the lack all around them; how they hungout in pagodas along the Kanluran building having fun while doing their homework; how patient and understanding most of our teachers were; how we went to Bon Jovi concerts with our cool professors; how me and my classmates exchanged notes, shared books, helped each other with our thesis; and how we patiently awaited in the school canteen and computer rental shops just to have a glimpse of our collective crushes.

Looking back, it wasn’t really that bad. I had the cheapest (and high-quality) college education in the country and the opportunity of growing up with the best minds of my generation. What more could I’ve asked for? [note: just to give our First World neighbors an idea — the total cost of my 4-year college education converted to dollars (at current exchange rate) is approximately $800 (including daily allowances). and i was only a half-scholar.] So my unsolicited advice to all those who feel they’re not getting the education they deserve, please look again, do something if you feel like it, but never lose hope. I understand that each of us have our own challenges. But if a bunch of college students from a Third World country can do it… I rest my case.

Happy 39th Anniversary my dear alma mater. I hope you and your children are doing much better. You have one very grateful child here. Maraming salamat.

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