The University of the Philippines is celebrating its 100th year this year. Naturally, everyone is excited about it and several ways have been lined up to celebrate the event: from regular newspaper features, to car plates, to various memorabilia, to various writing projects, to the setting up of professorial chairs, etc.
Am excited about it too. I will always look back to UP with great fondness and thanksgiving. Not only did it give me a good education (at an unbelievably low price) but it has also introduced me to great friends, super bright students, and the realization that a school does not have to be glitzy to teach you a lot of good lessons.
It may also have been in UP when I started to be proudly Pinoy. I took a lot of electives in Filipino at that time and marveled at the talent of Filipino writers and how rich Philippine literature was. I remember making a term paper on "Ang Babae sa Maikling Kuwento" (Women in Short Stories) and I traced the changing portrayal of women in Filipino short stories through several decades. It was engrossing to say the least.
So to UP on its 100th year, congratulations! To all UP graduates and faculty everywhere, may you live your lives contributing to the betterment of the Philippines in your own little way so that we may all live up to being "mga iskolar ng bayan." (scholars of the nation)