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JULY Â 2018

THE CALM & THE CHAOS By Marevick Aguba







By Raymond Barrena




It's been 2 years since the implementation of the K-12 program. For 2 years, the University of the Philippines - Diliman (UPD) was not able to admit thousands of freshmen, unlike in previous years. But now that the K-12 pioneers are done with Senior High School, a huge number of students is about to enter the UPD community. Thus, another huge batch of freshies is about to get lost not only geographically, but also financially, mentally, and emotionally. To help the people in the UPD community, especially the freshmen, in finding their ways inside the campus, the group proposes to make a Lifestyle magazine named “dISKOver”. The name “dISKOver” is a play on words using the the words “discover” and isko which is a commonly used to term to refer to UP Diliman students and alumni. Given this, “DISKOVER” is a publication targeting the UP Diliman demographic, specifically the employees and students. The inspiration for dISKOver was first to create a guide for the newly accepted iskos and iskas. It includes articles about the personal experiences of the authors in the University of the Philippines. However, dISKOver is not limited to the freshmen only. It can also be for other students who wish to explore UP. By reading our publication, the reader will discover the wondrous things that await the new iskos and iskas, or reminisce the unforgettable experiences one had while in UP. Through this publication, the various personalities of the group members will be showcased through their writing. The topics for the articles chosen were also be based on the members’ experiences, which will make it easier for the articles to be written. Most of the group are also comfortable in informal writing, which is suited for some parts of the theme of the magazine. However, since the writers are in fact from UP and this magazine will be about the university, there is the reputation of UP that they can potentially hurt since whether or not it is the intention of the publication it can still show the culture inside the institution. What the writers will write can be read or taken the wrong way if something was improperly written.









PLAY HARD: The Quest for the Best Places to Play Volleyball in UP








MY FIRST UP EXPERIENCE AS A FRESHIE by Ma. Christiana L. Guillermo

As a young province girl with big ambitions, getting into the University of the Philippines (UP) was a dream come true. Although one might think that I would already be somewhat familiar with the UP lifestyle coming from Philippine Science High School, I realized that I was far from ready for what UP has in store for me. In my first day of classes in UP, I was overwhelmed by how enormous the campus was. I felt so small and negligible being surrounded by the monumental buildings, and countless students trying to find their way in the university as well. I had classes in Palma Hall, Math Building, College of Science Library, and the Alumni Center – buildings that were far apart from each other. It was my first time to be in a school this huge. In high school, I already had a hard time going from class to class in different rooms but in the same building. I remember internally panicking, thinking how I could get to my classes without being late, and more importantly, without getting lost. After driving around for a while with my mother, trying to figure out where my first class was, we decided to just ask the people jogging around the academic oval where my building


was. As I was caught up with observing our surroundings, one of my classmates approached me and introduced herself, along with our other classmates. I later found out that almost all of them came from the same highschool, that’s why they already knew each other so well. Our professor finally came, and with him, a bunch of students entered the classroom as well. At first, I was so confused on what the other students were doing until I understood that they were trying to convince my professor to enroll them in our class. I wasn’t familiar with the idea of prerog yet at that time, and I was quite shocked when I found out that not all students in UP are guaranteed a slot in the classes they needed. After a getting-to-know activity and a short discussion, my first class finally ended. My other classes were much more bearable since I somehow got to know my blockmates already and we were practically together the whole day. I was still nervous of course, especially in meeting my new professors, since I’ve been told that university professors are nothing like high school professors. But as my classes ended one by one, I felt a sense of calmness in myself knowing that I wouldn’t be going through this journey alone.

When my first day of classes came to an end, I was so exhausted from all the transferring of buildings that I decided to take a short walk and explore the academic oval. I found that a lot of joggers, strollers, and bikers were also circling the academic oval with me. I immediately fell in love with the huge, towering trees around the academic oval that block the harsh sunlight from passing through the sidewalk. The breeze was cool and the surroundings were relatively quiet. I noticed that there were a few stalls that surrounded the oval where people could buy cheap food. Jeepneys with different colored roofs would stop at certain places where students seem to wait for them in order to get around the enormous campus easily.

I realized how peaceful and serene the campus could be, despite the busy and stressful atmosphere in our classes. Being outside the university buildings made me forget about the tattered and vintage classrooms inside. Instead, I was baffled by the freshness and the vibrant ambience of the academic oval and the sunken garden. Even though it was just a short glimpse of the campus, this adventure was a perfect way to end the day. It gave me a spark of hope and motivation to get through the following days of my life in the university.


UP Sanded My Rough Edges Off Khevin Scott Almario

I thought I was the best in my craft — singing. I thought getting a music degree is a piece of cake. I only did a series of vocalizations in Sta. Isabel College, sang 16 bars of as song of my choice in Philippine Women’s University, and I was offered a scholarship grant in UST. I was accepted in all the colleges of music of other universities therefore I thought getting accepted in UP college of music is a walk in the park. But I was wrong. I found the Theory Exams, and Talent Audition extremely challenging and stressful. I can remember answering a two-hundred-item written exam that I have to complete in twenty minutes. I barely passed it. Then comes Solfège exam, where you sing the notes in a given piece with their corresponding pitches and rhythm accurately. I was only lucky because I got to pick the easiest number from the fish bowl of Solfège passages. But what really shattered my belief of being superior was the Talent Audition. The panel of professors who conducted the Talent Audition were not impressed by my performance despite their passing me. I can recall that because they were not that convinced I could make it, they were at the brink of denying my application; however, one professor told the panel that he will make sure that I get in par with their standards of music majors. My grandfather would only let me take music as a degree if I got admitted to UP. And I did. Back in high school, I was always being pulled out or excused from class to perform in front of all the guests that our school would have because there was no one in our choir group who could do what I do. As early as then, I can already sing while playing the piano keyboard in front of a large audience. I was that confident. I had a lot of compositions — songs about love and despair and hurt. I was able to do those because I was inspired by how my talent is being praised. In our church, I was, and still am, the go-to person whenever someone needs help with their singing technique, or if they need someone to play the organ for them. I admit I became arrogant, proud, and flamboyant until that first meeting with my voice professor. When I started my first lesson in voice, my professor pointed out all the areas I need to improve on if I want to remain in her list of students. I can remember when I went up to her to say that I will join a singing contest Kundiman Sa Makati 2001 and asked her to listen to my piece. And she did. After I finished singing, she asked me to hand her a pencil. She started scribbling on my music sheet. I swear I could have heard the pencil’s lead squeak like a chalk on a blackboard when she wrote all the symbols and instructions on the music score. That was how irritated she was when she gave me her feedback on my performance. She also warned me. “You will win 1st prize. No. You have to. Because if you lose, you better get yourself a new voice professor next semester. I don’t have an anak who could not even win a cheap, unknown singing competition.” I won first prize. She got the news even before I got to tell her on our next lesson. She did not congratulate me the way I expected. She was not ecstatic. She made it sound that it was my obligation to win. She would always compare me to her other students, and I thought that hindered my improvement in my singing technique. She thought I was slacking. Maybe I was. But the truth is I was extremely confused. As a standard, I should be able to produce sounds using classical technique. But all my life I was singing pop, ballad, and I even thought broad-

I played Mr Harty in Repertory Philippines’ A Christmas Carol in 2014

way musicals were using classical technique. I struggled with the sudden change. It did not help also that I was not allowed to use falsetto wherein you use an artificial voice when you sing high notes, and that is what I was good at. Although my classmates seemed more talented than I am, they acknowledged how good my voice sounds. I left the college in 2003 due to unavoidable circumstance — I have to work.

taken at one of my wedding gigs at Nuestra Señora de Garcia Parish while singing and playing the keyboard.

I have to earn for our family when my father got ill. His medication was extremely expensive; hence, us have to help one another to make ends meet. I became a barista for Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, but I also did shows with Repertory Philippines’ children’s musicals. I was given more shows than my alternates because I was a good performer. Then I applied for a call center agent post for a higher and more stable salary. Although I left the theatre for the call center industry, music did not leave me completely. I sang in wedding gigs and other events part-time. My clients were all satisfied with my performance. They said they admired how I interpreted their requested songs, and that I copycat of the original singers. I continued with working as a full-time call center agent and as a part-time singer for 10 years but I realized that I can not serve two masters simultaneously. I wanted to excel in my singing career; hence, after I got my mother’s

blessings and armed with renewed confidence, I left my job and went back to school in 2016 to finish my music degree. I am an incoming third year this August 2018. There are singers in school who are more talented than I am but I have come to terms with the fact that there will always be someone better than me when it comes to singing and performance. I realized that I just need to accept who I am and what I can do as a singer and as a performer. I have become more confident with my own sound, and my own style of singing because I can see that I have my own type of clients. I know I am not the best musician out there, but UP taught me to be humble and to be objective with my perceived competition. UP College of Music is molding me to be a better version of myself and so when I hear a newly accepted freshman sing, no matter how good he or she is, I acknowledge them and get back to focusing on how I can improve myself, for, after all, my only competition is the one standing in front of the mirror — myself.


Calm Marevick B. Aguba

Located in the middle of the university and considered as one the iconic places

within UP Diliman, this place serves as an open space for everyone. All jeepneys and most vehicles pass by this place. People gather here to play, to practice and, to relax. Any person regardless of age treats the Sunken Garden as their breath of fresh air and their escape from the busy world outside it. As a student in the university, I have become accustomed to the stress of the academic load and the duties of my chosen organization. My daily routine includes dealing with the amount of work I need to accomplish within a span of time. Despite years of practicing this day-to-day routine, I still get overwhelmed by everything happening simultaneously. When things get frustrating and get out of hand, I take a break from what I am doing and walk towards the Sunken Garden. I sit down for few minutes, stare at its green grass, and enjoy the breeze of fresh air. In other times, I observe other people carry-out their daily exercises and dance practices, or simply rest on the grass area of the garden. I have always considered the Sunken Garden as my favorite spot in UP. It is such a relaxing place. It helps me calm down from the intense emotions I feel. This place is a reminder that despite the fast pace of life, a place like the Sunken Garden can slow the time down to enjoy the beauty of nature and the calming feeling it gives. In addition, the Sunken Garden also serves as an escape from the deafening sounds of vehicles passing by, and the congested streets in the academic oval. It is a place I feel at ease and relaxed.



On the other hand, if some people think of the Sunken Garden as a calming place, some view it as a place where they feel alive. With its grassy area that is sometimes muddy because of the rain, people consider the Sunken Garden as the ideal place for outdoor activities. People from numerous walks of life and from various age groups all gather here to perform countless activities ranging from workouts, dance practices, and games to concerts and event. During the month of February, the Sunken Garden transforms from a grassy space to a crowded venue for the UP Fair. It is filled with students, faculty, former students, and even outsiders. The UP Fair is a week-long event where every night, mainstream and independent acts showcase their musical talents at a more affordable rate. People go to the said fair to enjoy and have the time of their lives. During these times, I meet up with my friends from other universities and enjoy the festivities together. As much as the Sunken Garden relaxes me, it also reminds me that there is more to life than my tests and problem sets. The contrasting feeling that the Sunken Garden provides is the reason why I like it so much. In times where I feel overwhelmed, the Sunken Garden is a place where I calm down as I let the warmth of the sun touch my face. When I am in that place, I feel that my surroundings slow down for me, that I can accomplish everything that is expected of me. In other times, it is a place where I feel energized. As I enjoy myself in a UP Fair night, the Sunken Garden makes me feel like I am escaping the reality of deadlines and examination dates. Whether it is calming or energizing, the Sunken Garden encourages me to endure the incoming hardships. The Sunken Garden is my breath of fresh air and my escape to reality. It is a place where I feel two contrasting things and it never ceases to remind me that such duality in life exists.

PE Volleyball time, you will be able to play on Play Hard: The Quest for the Best Places to Play Volleyball

the smooth and well-maintained floor of the court. You can dive, roll and do whatever you want as long as you clean your own sweat because everyone is responsible for their own mess. The net is also the most durable and stable of all the courts in UP. It does not matter whether you accidentally slide on the net when spiking or bump into it as long as you do not break any part

Are you bored or stressed because of

of the net. And finally the balls, the round Mikasa

your cyclical academic routine and want to

filled with yellow and blue stripes are caged in

unleash your inner beast through spiking the ball

the box waiting for someone to let them free

hard or dive those balls through off-the-block

during playing time. In using all of these

hits? Then this essay is for you and other

materials for free, you can now experience the

volleyball enthusiasts around UP. UP Diliman is

way Tots Carlos feel when playing in the CHK

the largest campus in NCR and filled with

Gym. Be mindful that you have to handle them

abundant, fresh air producing trees. Therefore, it

with care because these are the university’s

is not surprising that there are many gymnasiums


and courts around where you can spend your free time playing sports especially volleyball. So, come and join me to our trip to the best places to play volleyball around the campus.

Next on our list is the Dormers’ Court. UP is known to be the most diverse university in the Philippines with many of its students coming from distant part of the country and staying in different dormitories across the campus. These dormitories have to provide not only shelter for Definitely first on our list is the College of Human Kinetics Gymnasium or simply CHK Gym. This is the home of the brave and bright fighting maroons like Katherine Bersola. During

the dormers but also some sort of spaces for physical exercises of the students. Some of the well-known dorms with playing courts are Yakal, Kalay and Ipil. However, you cannot just enter

the dorm’s premises without being invited by the

when it’s on their side or hit the people around.

dormers. The dorm keepers are really strict on

Being residential areas, these places are also the

outsiders because of theft-related cases. The court

most convenient to feed hungry players looking

is not as extravagant as the CHK Gym. You have

for cheap and light food after game.

to endure the heat of the sun because the areas are not covered. Bring gallons of water to quench yourself. It feels like summer even if it is December when you play. Be careful while playing because the floor is not as smooth as your regular court and broken pieces are scattered around that can tear your skin anytime. The balls are not that smooth and shiny and the net is a bit lower






Frequently, volleyballs come out of the playing

UP is really conducive for volleyball

area because of short fences unable to prevent

enthusiasts like you. The choices above are just

such accident.

some of the many places where you can spend your day with your volleyball friends and enjoy the pleasure of the sport. The university is not only designed to focus merely on academics but for the holistic development of every student. The courts are set and waiting for someone like you to spread your arms to spike the ball harder, dig deeper and jump higher than you’ve ever been before.

The last but not the least on our list are the courts around the periphery of the university such as the Dagohoy Court, Village B and Maginhawa Courts. Unlike the mentioned places above, you have to pay a fee here and reservations are needed one week before the scheduled play. The floors are well-polished and the net is better compared to the dorm’s ones. The balls are also well-maintained. However, beware of the kids toiling around because they might get your ball


Mary Grace M. Figuracion


ince I was a kid, I was never forced by my parents to achieve things nor dominate among my classes. They never expressed any expectations and always let me work on my own pace. As a result, I became this “chill” student in high school who barely attended classes and submitted requirements late. I didn’t even review for the college entrance and scholarship qualifying exams I applied to, since I wasn’t expecting anything. Yet, I passed all of them. I didn’t have to worry about anything nor exert much effort, but I was able to achieve great results. I’ve always believed that this was because being “chill” kept my body in good shape, as I was never stressed out.

CHILL IS COOL Mary Grace M. Figuracion

So, I brought my “chill” attitude to college. I maximized the allowable number of absences, so I could play card games with the members of the organization I was applying to. And when I went to my classes, I was often asleep. I also crammed doing my requirements and reviewing for the exams. Despite my negligence for academics, I almost became a College Scholar with my grades. I continued having this attitude during the following semester, confident that I’d still survive without taking my academics seriously. However, it was when the semester’s almost over that I figured I was about to mess up my grades. It was when my professors released our pre-final grades that I learned I was about to fail a 5-unit major and a 3-unit GE subject. My face went pale when I realized there was no way out of this situation. No matter what I’d do, it was clear from the records that I’d still get 5.00s from these subjects. And I wasn’t wrong. I ended up failing almost half of my total units in one semester. But the worst part of it was that I was about to lose my scholarship due to my “chill” attitude. So, I did everything I could to keep my scholarship. I immediately took the same GE subject the following midyear term, so I’d only be left with 5 units to pass. Since I knew cases of co-scholars who also failed up to 5 units but managed to keep their scholarships, I made appeals to the office of

DOST-SEI. But unlike these scholars, my scholarship - my only source of financial support – got terminated. I did not know where else I could get help. I had thoughts of filing a Leave of Absence to earn enough money for my school fees and living expenses. I also thought of transferring to PUP while being a working student, since the academic workload would be relatively lighter. I didn’t feel I deserved to be in UP anyway. I felt so worthless and so incapable that I thought it would be better to just leave. But there came a time when my orgmates – the same people I played card games with, instead of going to classes – confronted me because they heard what happened. As students who’ve had more experiences than I, they opened my mind to something – that UP is a prestigious university where failures are very much accepted. They told me stories about how they failed numerous times without getting judged, since failing is a normal thing. Some would even make it a competition of who got the most number of 5.00s. I also learned that the people I looked up to in the organization because of their outstanding skills and personalities, had been staying in UP for so long because they had been failing their subjects. So I thought maybe that’s how they achieved excellence – by experiencing growth after every failure. The following academic year, I received the news that I would enjoy full tuition discount with stipend. I believed I was being given a second chance to prove my worth. And so instead of being afraid of failure, I have thought of it now as an opportunity to grow. This thinking of failure as a positive thing cleared my mind from negative thoughts so I was able to believe I could redeem myself.

I retook my failed major subject and even got a 1.00 on it. The mastery of this subject made me ace the succeeding installations of this subject. I even aced the other subjects thereafter, which made me either a College or a University scholar every semester. And I believe this happened because I remained being “chill”, but this time, by being unafraid of failures. This kind of “chillness” removed all my worries of committing mistakes. This made me go all-out doing all the things I can do outside of my comfort zone. At first, I believed that being “chill” is good because it made me worry less, thus, made me believe that it wouldn’t matter even if I settle for less. But this kind of “chill” only worked when I wasn’t mature enough to have goals in life. Without any goals, exerting less efforts gave me no harm because I wasn’t expecting anything good either. After everything that happened, I realized efforts are very much needed if I want to achieve things. But that doesn’t mean I can’t make use of “chill” anymore. Because iving without the fear of failure as my new kind of “chill” makes everything worriless and being worriless is enough to make things easier to handle as it enables me to go beyond my potentials.

The University of the Philippines By: Dion Adrian S. Centino “The moment you came into my life, I knew that it would never be the same.�

After reading this you would think this is going to be about a person, when I am really talking about the University of the Philippines. This renowned institution is one known to be the best of the best, praised by many, but what exactly about this place gives it such a reputation? One would say that a great institution has great teachers or that the students in the university are already smart to begin with. Although these may be true, there is still something that gives this specific university an edge. Many colleges have great students and professors, it is not something that is unique the Philippines standout above the rest is not just the quality of education, students and faculty, but the culture within the institute itself that makes it a cut above the rest. A set of behavior, beliefs, virtues, values, and disciplines that has come to be known as the UP Culture brought about by the people within it that helps shape and develop the minds of the students that it sends out to the world.

In the University of the Philippines, students come from all the different walks of life. In here people from different upbringings, social background, financial background, attitudes,

opinions, and many more interact and work side by side with each other. This diversity is a result of people from all over the nation applying for a chance to study at what many regard as one the best universities in the Philippines. This prestige and stature the the university has set for itself is one that many people wish to attain. In addition, when it comes to acceptance of their of students, the university does not really hold a bias to any specific school or certain personal background. Their main focus is really how well you have done, in terms of grades, during your time in high school and what you scored in the UPCAT. The university accepts anyone for as long as they passed the entrance test and did fairly well in school before entering regardless of what social class they are from or where the studied and grew up.

Given that the university does not discriminate when it comes to accepting their students, the students that do get accepted come from different backgrounds. Students who grew up in the city their whole life are introduced to students who came from all the different provinces found in the Philippines. People who are very well off in life and enjoy the luxuries in life as well as those who, unfortunately, struggle either mentally, physically, financially, etc. are now interacting with each other through the university that they share. In my opinion, this phenomenon gives the students the chance to know and understand about the different realities of the world. They are able to see first hand how different or alike some people are. In a way, this allows us students to be more understanding and helps us develop this social awareness. When you are a student here, you, will see the huge diverse student base. Despite the students’ different backgrounds, in the eyes of the academe, everyone is treated the same. The university is a great levelling ground for

many students where we are all now starting at the same place and everything from this point now just depends on how you go about your college life. For example, people who studied in a private school and people who studied in a public school are now on equal footing the moment they set foot in the university as students. This helps develop the students' attitude when it comes to work wherein they cannot underestimate anyone because of where they came from. Competition between students becomes a way for them to develop this mindset of treating people as your academic equal and it is now a battle of who is able to work better. You are tested solely based on your skill as a student or worker.

One can really say that UP has its way of changing its students for the better. Students here have their eyes opened to what life can really become. They leave the university with leveled heads and opened minds, able to adapt to a workplace filled with even more people coming from every possible side of life. They learn to compete honorably and perform excellently. This sub-culture of the Philippines that has developed within UP is why, in my opinion, it stands on top of the rest and stays as the number one university. Any university can have the best educational system, but only UP has “UP Culture�.

MEET THE AUTHORS Aguba, Marevick Lourdez B. Marevick is an incoming fourth year student from the UP School of Statistics. She has an interest in creative writing although her course is more inclined in writing academic papers.

GUILLERMO, MA. CHRISTIANA L. Tintin is an incoming fifth year BS Civil Engineering student. She loves writing from the heart and sharing her personal experiences to others through her work. i.

BARRENO, RAYMOND Raymond is an incoming fourth year student from UP Department of History. He does not like doing papers but he loves writing about sports and Korea-related topics. io

MEET THE AUTHORS Centino, DIon Adrian S. An incoming 4th year student, Dion is an HRIM major looking to find a use for both his coffee addiction and love of the night. He plans

FIGURACION, MARY GRACE M. Grace is an incoming fourth year student from the UP Institute of Mathematics. She may not be good in using flowery words, but her huge interest in playing with words and their meanings shows her creativity as a writer. io

Almario, Khevin Scott A. Khevin is an incoming third year student from the UP College of Music. He is a returnee as he was initially enrolled in UP way back in 2001 but left 2003 to work. He is also a full-time wedding singer, and teaches a church choir on the side. io