As we congratulate the new Iskos and Iskas, I am quite certain that thousands of UP alumni are reminiscing about their days in UP. I am. I have eight years worth of memories in the State U - eight if you count the four years in the UP Integrated School. As all memories go, not all of mine are good. Some, I'd rather forget but can't thanks to hecklers I call friends. And these hecklers make many of these memories - mostly good ones - so vivid still.
In Grade 10, we were given a project, something like a quilt on paper where we drew squares and each square was for a specific question. One of the questions was "What are you willing to die for?" I didn't need time to let the question simmer. Of the four answers we were required to write, my number 1 was passing the UPCAT. I can't remember what the other three were though. Karlo asked me what good would passing the UPCAT do to a dead me. Nothing, true. But I'd die with bragging rights. It's funny now. It wasn't back then when it was "UP or nothing." It may have been the intellectual arrogance of relatives rubbing off on me or the brainwashing of my parents but getting into UP was somehow considered a done deal in our family. I also passed the Ateneo College Entrance Test and got into a very good course, BS Management (Honors). But as everyone knows, I chose UP. Well, actually, I was one of a few thousands chosen by UP. And at times like this, I ask myself if I did my University proud.