I’m not even including La Salle here. Hehehe… Evil me.

Anyway, I’m quite in a quandary here whether I have to reconsider my views. Well, you may think that since I am affiliated with UP, I will be in full support of the University. Well, quite honestly, being with the university in a role other than a student has made me look at things differently. Politics in the academe is a lot more horrible than politics in a corporate workplace. For some reason, you lose some sense of admiration for some of the bright minds.

But it has also been nearly 7 long years since I’ve been with the Ateneo and I have no authority whatsoever to speak about the internal goings in the tertiary level except perhaps, my own observations on acquaintances who have went through the Loyola Schools.

Sexy Mom reposted her take on the matter. Quite a service too, for those in great mental constipation caused by the tough choice between the two schools. Now on with my own (new?) opinions.

I’ve pointed this out to my English 30 classes in our discussion of how organizations and institutions project their images. Let’s do a bit of discourse analysis here. Visit the UP’s About Us page and compared that to Ateneo‘s.

Here’s what UP has to say in their introductory paragraph:

AS THE ONLY national university in the country, the University of the Philippines System takes pride in being the pioneer in higher education through academic excellence, outstanding research, public service, and modernized facilities.

And here’s what Ateneo has to say:

To understand the soul of the Ateneo de Manila University — what shaped it and where it came from, where it is going and where it can take you — it is essential to understand its motto, Lux in Domino, or “Light in the Lord.”

It is clear how UP foregrounds prestige (though the last bit there on “modernized facilities” is a bit questionable) and how the Ateneo, being a Jesuit school, highlights values. It’s pretty much a given for UP not to highlight anything else other than its status as the country’s premiere state university. And what else do you expect from a school run by Jesuits? Ignore Jesus?

But what do these have to do with choosing between schools?

UP has always been known for its angas. And I have to admit that I ride this wave of angas myself. Being a UP graduate somehow just makes you feel infallible for some reason. That everyone else is a notch dumber than you are basically because you graduated for the country’s top university. Never mind if your grade transcript shows columns of 5s and DRPs (Good thing mine doesn’t).

One of my students curiously pointed out that the way the Ateneo foregrounds values reveals their market – Catholic school boys and girls… and their parents. Yeah, right. Kids going for values. As for the parents, these would be those who have fervently believed that Catholic schools are the best for their children (If only they knew. Hehehe.).

Does image have to do with anything at all? Well, I do believe so. Yes, image has got a lot to do with it. I’ve read a lot of freshmen essays writing about how parents have tried to dissuade them from entering UP just because of how ungodly UP is. Or how dangerous fraternities and sororities are. Or how they won’t be able to drive their BMWs in campus.

What the f*ck! And yes. That! So how about social class? Social classes determine a lot about a school’s culture.

You still think UP’s for the masa and the Ateneo’s for the coños? Think again. It hasn’t really been that way for the past few years. When I was in college, I seriously. I met a few very admirable tibaks who have really stood for their beliefs. But I’ve also f aux tibaks who raise their clenched left fists, fingers wrapped around the latest cell phones.

Looking at how UP has become so burgis today, I begin to question whether, culturally and ideologically, students are becoming more and more like those from across Katipunan and with the Arneow accent, I tells ya. Plenty of times I was nearly ran over by hulking luxury SUVs picking up students from the Faculty Center parking lot. When did that begin to happen? And f*ck them dumb kids who steal faculty parking spaces (I so swear, if I catch one dumb f*ck…). And yes, parking is now a problem in UP! In Diliman, for chrissakes!

I’ve started to ask “Where are the iskos and iskas?” The real talino ng masa to whom I should be imparting knowledge to. And this is probably why I am seriously reconsidering my stay in UP.

So my take on the original question again? If you want a few thousand pesos off in your tuition and classrooms without crucifixes (and a whole lot of other things), go for UP. If you want the real burgis experience though, go for Ateneo.

Hehehe. Jaded ba?

Anyway, my real piece of advice to the young ‘uns is this – Go choose a college that best fits your purpose. For many, that should be the strength of the academic program being offered by these universities. And choose the campus that would provide you with the best environment for you to learn and grow as a person. No matter what decision you make, college is the next big step to the real world. A large part of how you turn out after college is mostly your doing.

Did I just write that? Piff. Hehehe.

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