A short history lesson

A few years ago, I was kicked out of the Ateneo de Manila University. My grade point average did not reach the required mark for me to be able to continue my second year in the Ateneo. So I had to look for another school. (If I had wanted to, I could have returned after a year. But that's another story.)

My parents wanted to send me to Ateneo de Naga University. Yes, the one in Bicol. My brother (eight years my senior) was completing his senior year there, so my parents thought it was the perfect arrangement.

Of course I did not want to go. I didn't know anyone there, except for my brother (with whom I had an issue). And it's another Ateneo school, for crying out loud. Of course I was adamant on not going.

What did I have against Ateneo? When I was a high school senior, the only school I was keen on entering was UP (kahit anong campus, basta UP). I loathed Ateneo because I did not like the attitude of most of the high school graduates it produced (including my older brother). Of course, it was unjust of me to form such generalizations, but for an high school senior about to enter the unfamiliar world of college (no uniforms, co-ed classes, public transportation), I think at that time, generalizations were all I had.

Unfortunately, my mother was hell-bent on me attending another private school for college. She did not want me to attend UP, because according to her, "baka maging aktibista ka lang o mamundok ka na." So after countless arguments, tears, and threats, I entered Ateneo with much misgivings.

Even then, I am able to say that I am not a typical freshman. Even in high school, I already had the impression that our teachers were not teaching us the important stuff, that they were hiding something from us. And that what they were teaching were irrelevant to our lives. So when I entered college, I had already decided that I wanted to seek education outside the classroom too.

This became a problem during the latter part of my freshman year in the Ateneo. I no longer found many of my subjects relevant. I was engaged in something more relevant, more important, more urgent--- the student publication. Here, I found answers to my questions, and then some: It offered an alternative solution. Society does not have to be this way. It could be better.

And so my grade point average went down. And I had to look for another school. And my parents wanted to send me to Naga. Which I was strongly against. So I stayed.

Back then, I feared that the movement I found in Ateneo de Manila is not present in Ateneo de Naga. I feared that I'd go astray. Again.

But now, after Lunduyan in Naga, I keep thinking if I made the right decision. It seems that my apprehension was unfounded. In fact, if I had gone to Naga, I may have been a better person.

And now, I miss the place I almost spent my college life in. Some of the songs I first learned here in Manila I also heard there. And now, when I hear these songs, I'm reminded only of Naga. I'm reminded of lost opportunities. I'm reminded of the people I could have worked with for years. I'm reminded of a possibly better Trina.

Maybe I'll just take comfort in the possibility that in a parallel universe, another Trina is living out this life. She had known Cris Hugo, could have been her classmate. She is trekking the rice fields every month, for her basic masses integration. She speaks Bicol like a local, and her skin color has gone several shades darker. She now looks like the masses she has vowed to serve.


Alec said...

waw...nakasama ka sana namin dito sa naga..sayang man...sobrang sayang..hehe...haay...buti kung may rewing ang buhay 'no?it's not too late naman...pwede ka naman mag-aral uli...hanapan kita scholarship..hehe...

etsapwera said...

Alec? Sinong Alec? Alec Bovic? Hehe, joke lang. ;p

Diyoskopo. Pag-aaralin mo uli ako? Papapasukin mo uli ako ng ala siyete ng umaga araw-araw? Ayoko na gurl. Unless na ang klase niyan e lagi free cut. Hehe.

Alec said...

haha...ok lang yan...basta mabait ka sa teacher, di na kelangan na regular pasok mo..hehe...gawain ko ba...haha...mas gusto nga ni father president na modules na lang dito sa naga...hehe...more time for writing...good!!hehe...balitaan mo ako kung kelan ka uli uwi bikol ha? wala lang..kamiss e...=p

P.S. Aleck bovic un...Alec ako..wahehe...