Ten public and 9 private high schools around Naga City sent their high school seniors to UP Ibalon Bicol’s UP Orientation-UPCAT Review held at Fernando Hall, Plaza Medica, Naga City, last Saturday, June 14, 2008. UP Ibalon Bicol is an organization with worldwide membership composed of alumni of UP Ibalon, a 34-year old organization of Bicolano students at the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman campus. Last Saturday’s event launched a bigger project by UP Ibalon Bicol that aims to help Bicolano students augment their capabilities to pass the University of the Philippines College Admissions Test (UPCAT).
Naga City Science National High School sent the largest delegation with 51 high school seniors. Other participating schools were: Ateneo de Naga and Universidad de Sta. Isabel that sent 18 each; St. Bridget School Buhi,17;Sta Monica Academy Baao,12; Sta Clara College Tigaon,10; Pili National High School and Naga College Foundation, 5 each; Tinago High School, 4; St Joseph School, Calabanga National High School, Leon Mercado High School Pacol, Carolina National High School, Cararayan High School and Concepcion Pequeña High School. 2 each; Arbor Vitae Plains Montessori Naga City, Hope Christian School and St Michael Academy Oas Albay, 1 each.
According to Alaine Alberto-Fornoles, Invitations Committee chairperson, UP Ibalon Bicol hopes to expand the project to include high school students outside Camarines Sur. She apologizes to late responders who had to be turned down because of limited resources and venue, adding that the organizers were surprised by the huge turnout and that this was just a launching event and more of similar activities are to come.
The first set of speakers for the morning session introduced UP to the participants and included
UP Ibalon Bicol’s President Jose (Butch) Robredo who gave the welcome remarks;
Project Chairperson Annaliza A. Mariano who introduced the participants and did the leveling of expectations;
Jake Rupert T. Tabora who shared his experiences at the state university and gave the future UP students a glimpse of what to find there;
Dr. Ronaldo S.P. Elicay who delivered a Powerpoint-backed lecture on Choosing Your Career that engaged the participants;
Michael V. Padua who, in his Testimony of a UP Graduate, related how he developed his expertise in weather forecasting and gave the participants idea on how to get into UP by way of transfer from another school, bypassing the UPCAT ;
and Edna C.Balaquiao who lectured on Scholarships and Financial Assistance. Ms. Balaquiao, talking out of first-hand experiences, expounded on the tricky Socialized Tuition Fee and Assistance Program (STFAP), more popularly known as Iskolar ng Bayan Program, designed to make studies at UP more affordable.
Sieg Borromeo-Bulaong was the master of ceremonies.
In the afternoon session, Clarine Tobias, a UP Ibalon alumna and owner of Memorecall, talked on test taking strategies and the UP Predicted Grades (UPG), a contentious aspect of UP admissions requirements. Memorecall also conducted special diagnostic tests on Language & Reading Comprehension and Mathematics & Science, giving the participating high school seniors a taste of UPCAT-like exams.
Sarah Jaye Coros Oliva, of St. Joseph School, Naga City, topped the English and Reading Comprehension Diagnostic Test. Others who made it to the top ten in this test, in descending rank, were De la Cruz, Mara Erika G.(Naga City Science High School); Felix, Trixia Mae G.(Naga City Science High School); Ayo, Fidel Nestor N.(Ateneo De Naga University); Monasterio, Jose Llandro G.(Ateneo De Naga University); Maraño, Rebbekan Grace G.(Naga City Science High School); Semeniano, Claudine Joyce D.(Naga City Science High School); Garcia, Klarika Angela C.(Ateneo De Naga University); Tapel, Anna Dominica A.(Universidad de Sta. Isabel); Gutierrez, Alfred D.(Naga City Science High School).
Two high school seniors from Pili National High School topped the Mathematics and Science Diagnostic Test: Jarid Ross Contante Clasio (1) and Cezar John Aman Estrada (2). Others in the top ten, in descending rank, were Oliva, Sarah Jaye Coros (St. Joseph School, Naga City); Esguerra, Bennyvic Joyce J.(Camarines Sur National High School); Avestruz, Darren Ramon C.(Naga City Science High School); Nacario, Redmund Godoy (Naga City Science High School); Romero, Maria Rosa M.(Naga City Science High School); Servino, Edel Acayen(Pili National High School); Medalla, Irenele T.(Naga College Foundation); Gutierrez, Alfred D.(Naga City Science High School).
Dra. Eden Borja-Fernando, a UP Ibalon pioneer and owner of Plaza Medica, gave UP Ibalon Bicol free whole-day use of the Fernando Hall for the project launching.
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