In our first day in school, we were taught to be proud (or guilty) of being counted among “the cream of the crop.” Perhaps for convenience, what UP President SP Lopez said in the past, we believed as unshakeable truth.
We still haven’t shirked what we went through. We still recall the joys and pains of being students in a campus which brings the highs and lows of a tide, each time the semester ends and the grades become known.
Pass, fail, or drop, we hadn’t completely outgrown our need for each other. In those harrowing times, there was desolation. The protective cushion conferred by the herd in UP Ibalon was helpful. We were like the lions which stay together to lick wounds and share food, making survival possible in the wild.
That’s why Andy Gimpaya says we’re too valuable to waste. Having weathered UP, he speaks of us who’ve achieved some successes as professionals. He thinks we’re a throve of talents which needs to be tapped. He knows we can contribute something to our community.
It appears the Bicolanos today don’t have a fair shot in UP which has turned into an enclave of the rich. Just as Bicolanos have learned that education is a smart investment, they come face to face with hardships.
We hate to know their numbers are falling, a vanishing breed in Diliman campus. Some Ibalons are thinking of helping them break the glass ceiling, so they too, can be “iskolars ng bayan.”
But how can we help if we say hello too often and say goodbye too soon? Is this what happens when UP Ibalon attempts to work together? Don’t we need a stronger glue to bind us, a better music to make us dance in a line, a greater inspiration to keep us hopeful? Would we need a little more of our drive to help and make the bayanihan spirit light up in our soul? I think these queries deserve some thought.