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Opisyal na lingguhang pahayagan ng mga mag-aaral ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas, Diliman

STRIKE! Editoryal page 2


Bigwas ng balangkas 5 kumpas ng RPHER sa pambansang unibersidad Balita


Besieged by fire In the midst of the Zamboanga crisis Lathalain


Linya ni Lean Awit at Galaw ng Buhay at Pakikibaka ni Lean Alejandro Kultura





STRIKE! There shall be no classes on September 20. Once more, UP students shall walk out of their classes and join other universities in a show of strength against an administration that condones corruption while abandoning even the most basic of social services like public higher education. Staying safe within the comforts of our classrooms is no longer the viable option. We may no longer remain silent and untroubled when the national university is besieged by an impending P1.43 billion budget cut, and when 78 other state universities and colleges face the same fate. As we march towards Mendiola this Friday, we join the nation in outrage at the Aquino administration’s shamelessness in delaying justice to the people whose rights and welfare are undermined by this government’s perverted logic—there are unlimited funds at the discretion of corrupt officials who remain free, while public institutions suffer from lack of resources to sustain their very existence. Before the spate of massive people’s protests across the nation, President Benigno Aquino III—who presumes


PHILIPPINE COLLEGIAN 2013 - 2014 Punong Patnugot Julian Inah Anunciacion Kapatnugot Victor Gregor Limon Patnugot sa Balita Keith Richard Mariano Patnugot sa Grapiks Ysa Calinawan Tagapamahala ng Pinansiya Gloiza Rufina Plamenco Panauhing Patnugot Piya Constantino Margaret Yarcia

to be an advocate against corruption—had only allotted an even higher Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) than his predecessor Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, whom he highly criticized for corruption.

Editor’s Pick

The Philippine Collegian republishes distinguished photographs from its past issues that captured its YEARS tradition of critical and fearless journalism.

UP students and professors marched along the academic oval to condemn the P1.39 billion budget cut on September 21, 2010. Three years hence, the UP community will once again walk out of the classrooms and go on strike against corruption and the Aquino administration’s neglect of basic social services such as education.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY Photo by Ma. Macrose Pascual September 24, 2010

Until now, Aquino refuses to decisively abolish the PDAF and other pork barrel funds amid the nationwide call against PDAF. In fact, P1.3 trillion worth of funds in the proposed 2014 National Budget remain under Aquino’s discretion. Instead of prioritizing social services especially education, Aquino’s administration only further adds to the burden of the youth. Within the borders of our campuses, the government’s neglect manifests itself in the high cost and inaccessibility of education, marking the highest number of loan applicants this year—even as the Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program claims to ensure each UP student pays tuition according to his economic capacity. Further neglect for proper funding for UP is evident in the commercialization of UP lands, most recent of which is the UP Town Center. The inadequate funding for UP which needs a budget of P17.1 billion—a far cry from the P8.1 billion 2014 budget for UP—also shows in the declining performance of UP in the recent world ranking of universities. The Aquino administration could counter these protests

Mga Kawani Mary Joy Capistrano Ashley Marie Garcia Kimberly Ann Pauig Jiru Nikko Rada Emmanuel Jerome Tagaro

with the proposed P2.2 billion increase for the education budget for 2014. However, Pinansya Amelyn Daga this nominal increase serves only as a farce smokescreen for the government to show Tagapamahala sa Sirkulasyon Paul John Alix that it does not abandon its duty towards the education Sirkulasyon sector. This increase is clearly Gary Gabales not enough to benefit all SUCs, Amelito Jaena 79 of which are to experience Glenario Ommamalin budget cuts including UP. With the ongoing antiMga Katuwang na Kawani student policies, the youth and Trinidad Gabales student sector shall utterly Gina Villas reject the option of apathy and docility. We have already shown Kasapi the government what it must UP Systemwide Alliance fear from those it attempts to of Student Publications and Writers’ fool. Just last week, the UP Organizations (Solidaridad) community marched towards College Editors Guild of the Philippines Katipunan to join neighboring (CEGP) schools Miriam College and Ateneo de Manila University Pamuhatan in a noise barrage that boasted Silid 401 Bulwagang Vinzons, of almost 2,000 protesters who Unibersidad ng Pilipinas, Diliman, braved the rains. Lungsod Quezon This Friday, we shall once again heed the call to strike— Telefax to hold answerable a corrupt 981-8500 lokal 4522 regime which thrives on Online oppression and deception, to take to the streets where our collective voice shall be stronger in our united and just cause. ∞ Ukol sa Pabalat Dibuho ni Rosette Abogado





UP community: Rechannel pork funds to social services Franz Christian D. Irorita MEMBERS OF THE UP COMMUNITY have called for the abolition of the pork barrel and the rechanneling of the funds to basic social services during the UP Diliman (UPD) Student Summit at the UP Film Center on September 11. The student summit served as a springboard to a series of protests which will culminate to a march to Mendiola on September 20. More than 500 students, faculty and officials of the university, including UPD Chancellor Caesar Saloma and Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Ma. Corazon Tan, attended the summit. UP students have the responsibility to ensure that the country’s taxes are used to provide basic social services to people, said Tan in her opening remarks. “We call on all of us to join forces in the demand to abolish the presidential and congressional pork barrel system now, and to allocate greater funds to basic social services.” The Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), commonly known as pork barrel, is a lump-sum, discretionary allocation for the country’s lawmakers. The pork barrel system, however, extends to the unprogrammed funds under the president’s discretion such as the Special Purpose Funds.

The discretionary nature of the funds makes it vulnerable to corruption as in the case of the P10-billion pork barrel scam allegedly orchestrated by lawmakers and Janet Lim-Napoles, said University Student Council (USC) Councilor Neefa Macapado. The pork barrel funds could have been used for basic social services including education, added Macapado. For 2014, the Aquino administration proposed a higher allocation for the PDAF at P25.2 billion. Meanwhile, the Department of Budget and Management proposed cuts in the budget of 79 state universities and colleges (SUCs). UP alone could suffer a P1.4 billion cut from its budget. The government’s refusal to provide full state subsidy forces UP to impose high tuition fees to its students making it inaccessible, said Macapado. Also, a lower budget allocation for UP could force the university administration to implement cost-cutting measures that lower the working benefits for UP employees, said ALL UP Worker’s Union chairperson Felix Pariñas. Yet, the budget cuts to education affects not only UP, said USC Councilor Erra Mae Zabat. “Usapin na rin ito ng milyon-milyong kabataan sa labas na pinangakuan ng maayos na edukasyon, ngunit patuloy na ‘di nakatatanggap nito,”

she said. Budget cuts for social services are unacceptable, especially since the people’s money are pocketed by abusers through the pork barrel system, said Tan. On August 23, President Benigno Aquino III already announced his administration’s a plan to supposedly abolish the PDAF. At the same time,

however, Aquino announced a new scheme in distributing the pork barrel funds to lawmakers. From the UP Film Center, students, faculty and administrators who attended the summit then took their calls to Katipunan Avenue. The UP community joined other students from Miriam College and Ateneo de Manila University in

a“tripartite alliance” to push for the genuine abolition of the pork barrel system. “We support the call for greater rechanneling of public funds to basic social services, particularly education and health care, so that public investments promote inclusive growth and long-term human and social development,” read a joint statement of the presidents of the three universities. ∞

DOJ ruling ‘another injustice’ to Burgos case Johnwyn Ace Fornal HUMAN RIGHTS GROUPS HAVE denounced the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) resolution acquitting six former high ranking military officials from the abduction of activist Jonas Burgos. In a September 13 protest, human rights groups Karapatan Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights and Families of Desaparecidos for Justice criticized the DOJ ruling as “another injustice” to Burgos, the son of press freedom icon Joe Burgos. Burgos was abducted by eight military officials at the Ever Gotesco Mall in Quezon City on April 28, 2007. Six years hence, the Armed Forces of the Philippines has yet to surface Burgos. According to Burgos’s mother, Edita Burgos, the suspects behind the enforced disappearance of his son are Lt. Col. Melquiades Feliciano, Brig. Gen. Eduardo Año, Lt. Gen. Romeo Tolentino, Lt. Gen Alexander Yano and former AFP Chief of Staff General Hermogenes Esperon and former Philippine National Police chief Avelino Razon. In a September 3 resolution, however, the DOJ absolved Feliciano, Año, Tolentino, Yano, Esperon and Razon from charges of arbitrary detention, obstruction of justice and murder for lack of evidence. Meanwhile, the murder charges against the military officials were dropped because the death of Burgos cannot be ascertained. The DOJ only recommended the filing of charges against army major Harry Baliaga Jr., who was then a 56th Infantry Battalion officer. A witness positively identified Baliaga as one of military officials who accosted Burgos in the Quezon City mall. “I think the whole resolution of

the [DOJ] on the [Burgos] case was bastardized in the sense [that] there is strong evidence presented in court since Jonas was abducted, that links the top honchos but the DOJ simply disregarded that,” said Karapatan Secretary General Cristina Palabay. In 2007, a security guard of the Quezon City mall where Burgos was abducted gave a statement to the police that he saw four men drag and shove Burgos into a Toyota Revo with the plate number TAB-194. The plate number was later traced to a vehicle impounded by the 56th Infantry Battalion. An investigation by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in 2011 implicated the military in the abduction of Burgos. “The enforced disappearance of [Burgos] had transpired and that his constitutional rights to life, liberty and security were violated by the government,” read the commission’s report. The Supreme Court subsequently upheld the findings of the CHR when it ordered the military to “produce [Burgos] and show cause why he should not be released from detention.” "Nakakagalit na sa kabila ng mga ebidensiya at testimonya na inihapag ng pamilya Burgos ay hindi pa rin mapanagot ang mga may sala sa pagkawala ni Jonas. Saan pa kami lalapit at magrereklamo para makakuha ng hustisya kung ganito ang nangyayari?” said Desaparecidos Secretary General Lorena Santos. Burgos’ case is only one of the 206 cases of enforced disappearances during the nine-year regime of Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo, according to Karapatan. Despite the signing of the Anti-Enforced or Involuntary Disappearance Act of 2012, 17 new cases have since been reported under the presidency of Benigno Aquino III. ∞

UNITED FRONT Photo by Angerica Hainto

The UP Community marches with neighbors Miriam College and Ateneo De Manila University along Katipunan Avenue on September 11. The three schools signed a statement of unity demanding the abolishment of the controversial pork barrel fund.

Land reform advocates nabbed in Hacienda Luisita Jul Mar Esteban THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE (PNP) have detained 11 land reform advocates, who were conducting a fact-finding mission at the Hacienda Luisita in Barangay Balete, Tarlac on September 17. The lone representative of Anakpawis Party-list, Fernando Hicap, was arrested along with his staff Karl Mae San Juan, driver Rene Blasan, Sister Patricia Fox of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines and a staff of human rights group Alliance for the Advancement of People’s Rights on grounds of malicious mischief, illegal assembly, direct assault and trespassing. The police also held members of peasant groups: Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas Secretary General Antonio Flores, Alyansa ng mga Manggagawang Bukid sa Asyenda Luisita (AMBALA) Chairperson Florida Sibayan, Unyon ng mga Manggagawa sa Agrikultura (UMA) staff Kerima Acosta and Anakpawis leader Danilo Ramos. Cultural worker and former Collegian literary editor Ericson Acosta was among those arrested. The military have previously taken Acosta as prisoner in San Jorge, Samar on

February 13, 2011 for illegal possession of explosives. The Department of Justice and Regional Trial Court Branch 41 in Samar, however, dropped the case early this year. "For 24 hours since the peasant advocates were arrested [on September 17], no formal charges, no names of complainants and no hard copies of blotters and complaints were presented to them. This is illegal and arbitrary detention," said Anakpawis Party-list President Rafael Mariano. The arrest came nearly a month after the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) distributed the hacienda among farm workers in accordance with the Supreme Court’s ruling in 2012. The group was conducting a factfinding mission on allegations of fraud and harassment during the distribution of lands to the hacienda’s farm workers. "The land distribution process of DAR in Hacienda Luisita is a sham. DAR is not implementing land distribution in Luisita as directed by the Supreme Court decision. Everything about DAR's land distribution process in Hacienda Luisita is fake and anti-farmer," said Mariano. From July 18 to August 21, DAR distributed 4,099 of the 6,435 hectares

of the hacienda among the 6,212 farm workers through a lottery. The random distribution of the lands drew flak for undermining the lands, which the farm workers have already cultivated prior to the high court’s decision. The presence of police and military, however, marred the farm workers’ protests against the distribution process, according to AMBALA. Following the issues arising from the distribution process, UMA and AMBALA initiated the conduct of a fact-finding mission in the hacienda previously held by the Cojuancos and Aquinos. The group just came from a dialogue with the military officials on the military camps set up within the hacienda when members of PNP-Tarlac made the arrest. “The illegal arrest and detention show that the Aquino government and the Cojuangco-Aquinos do not hesitate to use force even against the supporters of Luisita’s farm workers. The Cojuangco-Aquino family’s continued exercise of their power over the hacienda is further highlighted,” said Kilusang Mayo Uno Vice Chairperson Lito Ustarez. ∞





Last batch of STFAP results out

Students may now claim refund, appeal for lower brackets Arra B. Francia THE NEXT ENROLMENT PERIOD is barely two months away, but UP Diliman (UPD) students who applied for the university’s socialized tuition program have only started settling their final brackets and tuition payment for this semester. About 40 percent, or 1,634 out of the total 4,124 students who applied this semester for the Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP) had to wait until August 28 for their final bracket assignment. The STFAP categorizes students into brackets based on their capacity to pay for their tuition. Students have to renew their brackets every academic year. The results are

released in batches, usually a month after the deadline of application. This year’s last batch of results, however, were delayed after the Office of Scholarships and Student Services (OSSS) extended the deadline of application until July 3, said OSSS Officer-in-Charge Aristeo Dacanay. During the enrolment period, applicants for the last batch were temporarily assigned to Bracket B to pay P1,000 per unit pending the release of their final bracket assignment. The registration period already ended when the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs released a memorandum allowing students to use their previous bracket for the assessment of their tuition and miscellaneous fees.

A number of students, who were temporarily assigned to Bracket B, had to apply for tuition loans with a six-percent annual interest, according to the UPD University Student Council (USC). With the release of the last batch of results, students who applied for tuition loans may now apply for a refund at the Office of the University Registrar (OUR) should their final bracket assignment warrant them, according to the OSSS. The processing of refunds, however, may take two to three weeks. Students must first secure a certification of their final STFAP bracket from the OSSS and submit it to the OUR, along with their Form 5. In the case of students who availed of tuition loans, the refund is automatically

THE PEOPLE STRIKE BACK Photo by Angerica Hainto More than 4,000 students and members of other sectors launched another protest action in Luneta on September 13, calling for President Aquino to abolish the pork barrel, including his own presidential discretionary funds.

submitted to the OSSS for the clearance of the loan. The remaining amount and a 6-percent annual interest must be paid before student-borrowers are allowed to enrol in the next semester. Renchel, a second year Civil Engineering student, is one of the students who applied for a tuition loan after the OSSS temporarily assigned him to Bracket B. While he may finally settle his tuition loan, Renchel said he still has to appeal for a lower bracket. Renchel originally applied for free tuition under Bracket E. In the last batch of STFAP results, however, he was assigned to pay P700 per unit under the Bracket C. “Panibagong documents at process nanaman ang kailangang daanan para lang mapatunayan na hindi kaya ng pamilya namin magbayad ng ganoon kataas na tuition,” said Renchel. More than 200 students have already submitted appeals for lower brackets as early as July. In 2011, one in every 10 STFAP applicants in UP Diliman appealed for lower bracket. The University Committee on Scholarships and Financial Assistance (UCSFA) will not convene until October 16 to deliberate this semester’s batch of appeals for lower bracket assignment, said Charlotte France, head of the UPD USC Student Rights and Welfare Committee. “The number of appeals for lower brackets shows that many students remain unsatisfied with their bracket and that this socialized tuition scheme is nothing but a short-term remedy for the financial woes of the Iskolar ng Bayan,” said Eduardo Gabral, National Chair of the Katipunan ng mga Sangguniang Magaaral Sangguniang sa UP. ∞

Ika-15 tagumpay sa UAAP Cheerdance

UP slips in world universities ranking Hans Christian E. Marin WITH THE GOVERNMENT PROVIDING only half of the national university’s budgetary requirement, the UP System has dropped anew in the 2013 World University Rankings by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). UP remains on top of only four Philippine universities included in QS’ list of top 800 universities in the world released on September 10. UP however fell 32 places this year to 380th from 348th in 2012. Meanwhile, UP placed 67th out of 300 universities included in the QS University Rankings for Asia. QS, a London-based education network, ranked the top 800 universities based on six criteria: 40 percent for academic reputation, 20 percent for facultystudent ratio, 20 percent for citations per faculty, 10 percent for employer reputation, 5 percent for international students and 5 percent for international faculty. The lack of research citations and international faculty contributed to the lower world ranking of the Philippine universities including UP, according to QS. The national university only obtained 2.3 points in the international faculty criterion and 2.5 points in the international students criterion, which are only good for 751st place and 770th, respectively. UP would really rank low on indicators such as international faculty ratio and international student ratio because of the limited slots available for students in Continued on page 11

UP Pep sumungkit ng ikalawang pwesto Hans Christian E. Marin MULI NA NAMANG NAGPAKITANG gilas ang UP Pep Squad na nagkamit ng 620.5 puntos para sa ikalawang puwesto matapos magparaya sa National University (NU) Cheer Squadron na itinanghal na kampeon sa iskor na 696.5 sa ginanap na University Athletics Association of the Philippines Cheerdancing Competition (UAAP-CDC) Season 76, ika-15 ng Setyembre sa Mall of Asia Arena. Bigo mang maikasa ang four-peat at maangkin ang ika-siyam na titulo, nangako ang tinaguriang “Pep Squad ng Bayan” na babawiin nila ang tropeo sa susunod na taon. Napahanga naman ang may 20,830 manonood—ang pinakamarami sa kasaysayan ng CDC—sa temang “party” ng UP Pep Squad. “Arabian” naman ang napiling tema ng NU, habang “military” naman ang sa De La Salle University (DLSU) Animo Squad na nakakuha ng ikatlong pwesto sa iskor na 596.5. Nakabibingi ang sigawa’t palakpakan ng mga manonood nang simulan ng UP Pep Squad ang kanilang anim na minutong routine sa pagindak gamit ang mga disco balls sa saliw ng “Make Luv” ng Room 5. Ipinamalas din nila ang kanilang makapigilhiningang pyramids, buwis-buhay na stunts, magkakasabay na backflips, at ang inaabangang trademark Oblation stance.

Hindi naman naging hadlang ang tatlong pagkakamali sa stunts at pyramids ng UP Pep Squad upang tuluyan nilang makopo ang ikalawang pwesto, ayon sa kapitan ng koponan na si Lian Melegrito. “Mataas talaga yung difficulty ng stunts namin this year and if we base sa scoring, even with yung tatlong falls, talagang mataas pa rin yung hatak dahil sa difficulty at sa linis rin at technique,” ani Melegrito. “We are very proud of them. They work hard and did their best. Complicated ang mga routines nila kaya hindi maiiwasan ang errors,” ani UP Diliman Chancellor Caesar Saloma na nasa mismong venue rin para manood at suportahan ang UP Pep Squad. Pinagbatayan ng mga hurado ang criteria na tig-100 puntos para sa tumbling, stunts, tosses, at pyramids at 400 puntos para sa sayaw. Pumangalawa sa lahat ng criteria ang UP Pep Squad habang nanguna naman sa lahat ang NU Cheer Squadron. Napabilang naman si Aya Casim ng UP Pep Squad sa tatlong nominado bilang Samsung Stunner of the year, habang si Anna de Leon ng DLSU Animo Squad ang pinalad na magawaran nito. Nabigo ring maidepensa ng UP Pep Squad ang kampeonato sa Group Stunts, matapos ring maiuwi ng NU ang unang puwesto ngayong taon. Pumangalawa ang University of Santo Tomas Salinggawi Dance Troupe, habang ikatlong puwesto naman ang Far Eastern University (FEU) Cheering Squad.

Nakopo ng dating ikalawang pwesto na FEU Cheering Squad ang ikaapat na pwesto sa temang “Tron” habang ikalimang pwesto naman ang dating huling pwesto na Adamson Pep Squad na may temang “Burlesque.”

GRACIOUS FINISH Photo by Kimberly Pauig

Ikaanim na pwesto naman ang University of the East Pep Squad na may temang “on fire,” ikapitong pwesto sa temang “Egyptian” ang may walong titulo sa UAAP-CDC na UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe. Nasa huling puwesto ang

Ateneo de Manila Univeristy Blue Babble Battalion na may temang “sports.” Maliban sa mga medalya at tropeo, nag-uwi ng P200,000 at mga gadyet mula sa Samsung ang UP Pep Squad. ∞

The UP Pep Squad delivers a spotless pyramid finale in its party-inspired performance in the 19th UAAP Cheerdance Competition held at MOA Arena on September 15. Three-year defending champion UP bows down to first-time title holder NU with a final score of 620.5 and 696.5, respectively.





Bigwas ng balangkas 5 kumpas ng RPHER sa pambansang unibersidad Hans Christian E. Marin Keith Richard D. Mariano Illustration : Rosette Abogado Page design : Jan Andrei Cobey

Pagkaltas sa badyet Sa unang pagtapak pa lamang ni Benigno Aquino III sa Malacañang bilang pangulo, naging malinaw na ang daang nais niyang tahakin para sa mga pamantasan ng bayan. “We are gradually reducing the subsidy to [state universities and colleges] (SUCs) to push them toward becoming self-sufficient and financially independent, given their ability to raise their income and to utilize it for their programs and projects,” ani Aquino sa kanyang budget message noong 2011. Sa unang sipat, tila nalihis sa sariling landas ang gobyerno nang maglaan ito ng mas mataas na badyet para sa SUCs ngayong 2013. Mula P25.9 bilyon noong 2012, makakatanggap ng higit 44 porsyentong dagdag ang mga pampublikong pamantasan, o higit sa P37.1 bilyon ngayong taon. Ngunit sa mas masusing pagsusuri, malayo pa rin ito sa may P54 bilyong hinihingi ng mga SUCs taun-taon—alinsunod pa rin samakatuwid sa kumpas ng RPHER, ang balangkas ng administrasyong Aquino sa pagreporma sa tersiyaryong edukasyon sa bansa.

Nanganganib maranasan ng pambansang unibersidad ang pinakamataas na tapyas sa badyet nito sa susunod na taon. Mula P9.6 bilyon nitong 2013, tanging P8.1 bilyon ang nakatakdang matanggap ng unibersidad sa ipinanukalang badyet ng Department of Budget and Management sa 2014. Nang tanungin sa Kamara kung ano ang dahilan ng pagkaltas sa badyet ng UP at 78 pang pampublikong pamantasan, tuwiran ang ang sagot ni Commission on Higher Education (CHEd) Chairperson Patricia Licuanan: ang Roadmap for Public Higher Education (RPHER). Mariin mang hinaharangan ng mga estudyante, guro at kawani ng UP ang pagpapatupad sa roadmap, na unang inilatag noong 2012, kusa at tuluyan na ngayong tinatahak ng administrasyon ng unibersidad ang mapanganib na landas na inilatag ng RPHER.

Pagkalap ng sariling kita Sa ilalim ng RPHER, inaasahan ang SUCs na magkaroon ng kakayahang kumalap ng sariling kita upang punan ang kalahati ng kanilang mga pangangailangan bago matapos ang 2016. Kaakibat ng repormang ito ang pagpapaigting sa mga income generating projects sa mga pampublikong pamantasan. Isa ang UP sa unang 22 SUCs na magpapatupad ng mga repormang nakasaad sa RPHER. Ngunit bago pa mailatag ang roadmap, ito na rin ang daang tinatahak ng unibersidad. Sa pamumuno ni Emerlinda Roman mula 2005 hanggang 2010, sunud-sunod ang pagpapaupa sa mga lupa ng unibersidad sa mga pribadong kompanya gaya ng Ayala Land, Inc. sa UP Diliman. Wala namang pinag-iba ang palisiya ng kasalukuyang administrasyon sa paglikom ng sariling kita. Sa isang panayam sa isang peryodiko, nagbahagi pa si UP President Alfredo Pascual ng ilang payo sa ibang SUCs sa pagpasok sa income generating projects upang punan ang badyet mula sa pamahalaan. Gayunman, aminado ang administrasyon ng UP na hindi kayang punan ng sarili nitong kita ang malaking bahagi ng pangangailangan ng unibersidad. Maaaring mapunan ng sarili nating kita ang ilang pagkukulang sa badyet na mula sa pamahalaan, ngunit nasasakripisyo ang ibang proyekto gaya ng rehabilitasyon ng mga lumang gusali, ani UP Diliman Chancellor Caesar Saloma.

Pagpapatupad ng ToFI, STFAP Nakatakda ring ipatupad sa lahat ng SUCs ang isang socialized tuition scheme na mabisang paraan upang tustusan ang kanilang mga gastusin nang hindi umano nalilimitahan ang access sa edukasyon ng mga mahihirap. Nakabatay ang nasabing scheme sa Socialized Tuition and Financial Assistance Program (STFAP) ng UP, na unang ipinatupad noong 1989 kasabay ng pagtaas sa tuition mula P40 tungong P300 kada yunit. Sa gitna ng patuloy na pagbabawas sa badyet ng UP, muling itinaas ang tuition at iba pang bayarin sa unibersidad noong 2007. Binago rin ang istruktura ng STFAP upang tiyaking magkatumbas ang socio-economic status ng isang estudyante sa halaga ng matrikulang dapat niyang bayaran. Gayunman, lalo lamang bumaba ang bilang ng mga estudyanteng may libreng tuition matapos ipatupad ang mga pagbabago sa STFAP. Mula 52 porsyento, bumaba sa 6 porsyento ng STFAP applicants ang napabilang sa non-paying brackets noong 2007.

Paligsahan sa badyet Alinsunod sa RPHER, kalahati lamang ang subsidyong ibibigay ng pamahalaan sa mga SUCs. Ibabatay pa ang pamamahagi ng badyet na ito sa mga pampublikong pamantasan sa tinatawag na “normative funding.” Sa ilalim ng iskemang ito, hahatiin ang 110 SUCs sa tatlong pangkat batay sa ilang performance indicators. Makakatanggap ng mas mataas na badyet ang pangkat na may malaking bilang ng mga nagsisipagtapos, nailathalang journals at patents, at propesor na may masteral at doctoral degrees. “The strategy is to concentrate public resources in a few institutions in order to achieve critical mass and create appreciable impact,” ayon sa RPHER.

Pagsasala sa mga kurso Isa pa sa mga batayan ng CHEd sa pagbibigay ng mas malaking badyet sa SUCs ang pag-aalok ng mga “specialized programs” na naaayon sa “pambansa at panrehiyon na pag-unlad.” Alinsunod ito sa nakatakdang pagsala sa mga kursong inaalok ng SUCs. Sa UP, kabilang sa mga hakbang ng administrasyon upang umayon sa RPHER ang “streamlining” ng mga kursong inaalok sa mga constituent universities nito. Sa kasalukuyan, nasa 200 undergraduate programs at 400 graduate programs ang inaalok sa unibersidad.

‘Internationalization’ ng UP Bago matapos ang termino ni Aquino, layunin ng RPHER na tatlong SUCs ang mapabilang sa hanay ng mga nangungunang unibersidad sa mundo. Sa kasalukuyan, tanging ang UP ang kabilang sa mga listahan ng nangungunang unibersidad sa mundo. Upang mas lalo pang matugunan ang pandaigdigang kumpetisyon, nakabinbin ngayon sa Board of Regents, ang pinakamataas na tagapagpasyang lupon sa UP, ang panukalang isunod ang academic calendar ng unibersidad sa iba pang bansa sa Timog Silangang Asya. Pahihintulutan ng panukala ang mas mabilis na paggalaw ng human resources sa rehiyon na kinakailangan para sa nalalapit na Association of Southeast Asian Nations Economic Integration sa 2015, ayon kay Pascual.





Besieged by fire In the midst of the Zamboanga crisis Miriam Miciano

She stared at her little son, lying still at her feet before reality sunk in. The mother knelt down and cradled her child’s head, which was bleeding profusely from a stray bullet. She searched his face for any signs of life, but his eyes were shut tight. She wept gently, in chorus with the explosions and sporadic gunshots that can be heard from the outskirts of Zamboanga City. For the past week, government troops and hundreds of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) guerillas were locked in a violent standoff. The crisis comes almost a year after the signing of the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB)—a “landmark” agreement which until now has yet to deliver the age of peace it has promised to the people of Mindanao.

Catching fire The Moro people’s struggle for independence began way back during the Spanish and American rule, when they successfully fought Christian and foreign rule. In the 1970s, however, the Homestead policy opened Mindanao to Christian settlers, a majority of whom came from the Visayas. The influx of settlers turned Mindanao into a meeting place of groups with varying cultures and beliefs, who were seldom caught in violent clashes. However, local landlords, businessmen and politicians were soon embroiled in power struggles. In the 1960s, the country saw the peak of the people’s clamor for sovereignty, when 68 Filipino-Muslim military trainees, believed to be part of an upcoming rebellion, were murdered in Corregidor allegedly by members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. In response, former UP Professor Nur Misuari formed the MNLF, seeking the establishment of a Bangsamoro nation through armed revolution. The government then waged an allout war against the rebels until the

1970s, due to international pressure to reopen peace negotiations. In 1989, the Government of the Philippines (GPH) conceded with their proposition, and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) was born. However, under the leadership of money-hungry politicians, the ARMM remained underdeveloped, and was consistently ranked as the poorest region in the Philippines by the National Statistical Coordinating Board.

Fanning the flames The establishment of ARMM brought about a serious rift in MNLF leadership, leading to the formation of a breakaway group in 1977 which was formally established in 1984 as the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). A minority group then, the MILF wanted a purely Muslim region in contrast to MILF’s thrust for a region of Moro composition, meaning of people born in Sulu, Mindanao, Palawan and Sabah regardless of religion. In 2000, the MILF began battling the GPH after then President Joseph Estrada abandoned peace negotiations, which were originally agreed upon by the previous administration. As it drew support for its war, the MILF began to overtake the MNLF in terms of influence, and was later seen by the government as a bigger threat. Political analysts deem this to be the reason why President Benigno Aquino III decided in 2012 to negotiate with the MILF instead of the MNLF. Explaining that the ARMM was “a failed experiment”, Aquino presented the FAB as an “amended” option, Critics, however, argued that the government rushed the signing of the FAB without studying fully the implications. “How do you sustain a Bangsamoro Framework entity when there are armed groups like MNLF

who might feel sidelined? Let’s just hope the government and MILF will not repeat the mistakes of the government’s 1996 peace pact with the MNLF,” said Prof. Julkipli Wadi, Dean of the UP Institute of Islamic Studies. Wadi was referring to the Final Peace Agreement of 1996 which was crafted by the GPH and approved by the MNLF, to end the latter’s rebellion. Indeed, MNLF has long been criticizing the government on the said pact: “We really want our freedom back. The government was not really sincere in implementing the peace agreement it signed with us. We want our freedom and we want independence,” said Abdulkadil Imdani, one of Misuari’s supporters. Furthermore, the MNLF opposed the Bangsamoro agreement, claiming that it will water down the gains of MNLF’s own final peace accord. According to the FAB, the MILF will get 75 percent of the total revenue of Bangsamoro entity, while the other minority groups, including MNLF, were not mentioned. Leaving out stakeholders in this issue has its share of bad consequences. Bayan Muna Representative Carlos Isagani Zarate argues that today’s “armed conflict is an off-shoot of a divisive peace policy that excludes other stakeholders in Mindanao, like the forces of Misuari. It should not leave out a legitimate group just to appease another group. This is no way of talking peace in Mindanao.” The region’s gross underdevelopment has since been cited as the root cause of the war. Rizal Buendia of the De La Salle University’s Political Science Department explains, “The lack of power-sharing due to the concentration of political powers on the few ruling elite either from the center in Manila or Mindanao’s regional centers has been a constant source of discontentment and frustration for people in the periphery.”

Setting ablaze Since the founding of ARMM in 1976, the MNLF, has been relatively quiet. That is, until September 9, 2013 when a faction (see sidebar) seized more than 100 hostages in Zamboanga City and raised the flag of the Bangsamoro Republic, a state which declared its independence earlier in July to denounce the FAB. Similar protests by the MNLF have been largely tolerated by the Aquino regime in the past, but not this latest. Instead, Aquino ordered a siege against the MNLF fighters, in complete disregard of the welfare and safety of the civilian residents in the area. “We are optimistic that our operations are effective and that we are delivering a significant blow to our enemies,” military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Ramon Zagala told AFP. As Illustration : Karl Aquino of press time, government Page design : Jerome Tagaro troops have killed 43 rebels

while 19 others had been detained, Zabala adds. Zarate, however, warned that “such an approach could only escalate to other parts of Mindanao and inflict more violence to hapless people.” It’s the collateral damage cannot be ignored: amid continued clashes, 53 AFP soldiers and 4 civilians dead, more than 70 wounded, and some 62,000 city residents have been evacuated as of writing.

Extinguishing the fire The war that rages on in Mindanao is deeply rooted in a struggle to regain the historical sovereignty of the Moro nationstates, which had been misgoverned by different regimes. And it is apparent that the government’s militaristic approach is doomed to fail.

As Antonio Liongson, spokesperson of the Moro-Christian People’s Alliance (MCPA) explains, “Aquino must conduct a comprehensive and genuine peace policy with the active participation and involvement not only of the MILF but also of other legitimate stakeholder organizations that include the MNLF of Prof. Misuari,” Truly, the answer lies not in divisive and exclusive policies and broken promises, but sincerely hearing the demands of all stakeholders, and implementing the right policies accordingly. Only then can true and lasting peace be achieved. Numbness enveloped the woman as she lifts her child and car papag and stared into the gunpowder-filled air, wondering how this catastrophe would ever end.

Key actors: Second Faction

Third Faction

by Nur • Led Misuari, the

by Habib • Led Mujahab

by former • Led Cotabato

MILF • Against negotiations

MILF • Against negotiations

MILF • For negotiations

First Faction

Misuari Breakaway Group

original MILF leader

Islamic Command Council

“Boghdadi” Hashim

City Mayor Muslimin Sema





soldier. Nanay Blessie shares, “Ang dahilan [ay ang] kagustuhan niyang makatulong sa iba, lalo ‘dun sa mga nasa malalayong lugar.” She must have felt deeply for the poor and unfortunate, because she knew where they are coming from. “Kaya talagang ang sipag niyang mag-aral. That was her coping mechanism. Umaasa siyang makakaahon kami sa kahirapan,” she adds. That was why they rejoiced when she passed the UPCAT. “Pakiramdam namin, nanalo kami sa lotto,” Nanay Blessie related. At the time, it seemed like the ticket out of their piteous plight.

The bitter taste of truth

Epilogue Kristel and the STFAP six months after

Andrea Joyce Lucas The Tejadas warmly welcomed me to their home, smiling kindly as I scrambled for pen and paper to jot down the details of Kristel’s life. Both of her parents were wearing a shirt with her picture on it, beside the words “Education is not a privilege. It’s a right.” Sitting down, I was seized with a sudden compunction: need I make them relive the whole episode again? As if reading my mind, Nanay Blessie assured me, “Masaya ako kapag nagkukwento ako tungkol kay Kristel. Sa tuwing ginagawa ko ‘yun, para bang nandito ulit ang anak ko.” And so, they let me in on their memories: from the better, early days to the days of grieving, coping with loss, and seeking justice. As I listened, it dawned on me that this story is, in a way, mine too. The path that drove her to desperation, is not so different from the road that stretches before today's struggling Iskolar ng Bayan.

A glimmer of hope

Kristel was just like any other UP student, it seems. She loved to sing and draw, liked to share little nothings with the people she was close to. Her parents even laughingly recounted her obsession with the movie Pitch Perfect. She would watch it again and again, they said. But it seems she has been through more challenges than most of us have at the age of sixteen. While she was in high school, Kristel had expressed her desire to be a doctor and a

To pursue her dream of studying in UP, Kristel had to appeal for STFAP. “Napakahaba ng pila, at napakaraming hinihingi. ‘Yung oras na sana ginagamit para matugunan ang pangangailangan ng pamilya, nakokonsumo pa ng paghahagilap ng requirements,” Tatay Chris recalls. In the end, Kristel was assigned to Bracket D, where she had to pay 300 pesos per unit. Her mother bitterly asked, “Taxi driver na nga ang asawa ko, pero bakit Bracket D pa rin kami?” Their appeals to be reassigned to Bracket E2 were refused, because they were unable to submit supporting documents. Left with no choice, the Tejadas availed of a loan to cover Kristel’s tuition. After her death, her parents shared stories of how she struggled, of how she would sometimes go to school without having eaten. There were even times when she could not go to school at all, because she had not enough money for her jeepney fare. But she was determined to prove that financial problems are not a hindrance to education. Prof. Andrea Martinez, her mentor, would often ask her if she was alright. And she would always reply with a chipper “Kakayanin ko ‘to!” Last March, however, Kristel faced the reality of the uncertainty of achieving her dreams, and chose to end her life. “Hindi ko inakalang aabot sa ganoon.” The professor shook her head. Kristel had probably come to the conclusion that when her life ends, so would her parents’ problems.


Her passing sparked massive outrage against the University’s officials. Former Student Regent Cleve Arguelles said, “The case of Kristel Tejada was not a suicide. She was killed by the system—a system that refuses to recognize that education is a right, that

life is measured in your capacity to pay.” In agreement with Arguelles, Kristel’s parents argued that the system is not pro-poor. During our interview, Tatay Chris lamented that education, which should have been a right, has become a privilege. He had been so incensed over his daughter’s death that he wrote a letter to President Alfredo Pascual about the injustices of the University Code. President Pascual answered, stating the courses of action that the University is taking to address the issue. In his response, he promised that no student shall be barred from a good education because of financial difficulties. In addition, he said that students will be able to borrow 100 percent of their tuition fees and that sections 330, 430 and 431 of the University Code will be revised. The said sections of the code tackle the matriculation policies of UP as a system. Section 330 stipulates that students who have yet to pay for their tuition shall not be admitted to class, while sections 430 and 431 state that a student who fails to settle their dues may either have his grades withheld or be barred from enrolment. The provisions are admittedly hard to reconcile with the UP charter, which declares that "No student shall be denied admission to the national university by reason solely of age, gender, nationality, religious belief, economic status, ethnicity, physical disability, or political opinion or affiliation." President Pascual also said that STFAP will be restructured, admitting that he knew the policies are flawed. Tatay Chris and Nanay Blessie shrugged. “I appreciate the sentiment,” Nanay Blessie said. “Pero hanggang pangako pa lang ang lahat ng ‘yon, hindi ko masasabing sapat na ang ginagawa ng administration.” Mariz Zubiri, UP Manila's USC chairperson, also thinks the admin response is inadequate: "They haven't scrapped the no late payment policy yet; they just settled for temporary solutions. However, until the policy is scrapped, there is no guarantee that the university will stay relatively lenient." UP Manila has allowed delayed payments and case-to-case full loan grants, but the proposed revisions to the UP code have yet to materialize. *** A lull came to our conversation. I asked, “Birthday po niya last week, 'di po ba?” Tatay Chris smiled sadly, “September 8. Dumalaw kami noon sa puntod niya." He brightened up as he told me of her friends who had also come to visit, flowers in tow. “Iba kasi talaga 'yung kabaitan ni Kristel." Kristel’s younger sister Krizia, a Grade 8 student, then stepped into view. I asked her, “Gusto mo rin bang mag-aral sa UP?” “Kung makakapasa.” she shyly answered, with a laugh. Tatay Chris then intervened. “Talaga namang prestigious na eskwelahan ang UP.” He hugged Krizia, then turned to me and muttered: “Kapag nabago na ang sistema.

Photo : Jiru Rada Page design : Jerome Tagaro





Da Sawi Edishun! HALLOO DER MGA VAKLUSSSSH AT VEKILUSSH! Na-miss niyo ba ang nag-iisang echusera ng unibersidad? Alam kong medyo Bitter Ocampo pa kayech sa cheerdance kaya nandito ako, ang nagiisang reyna ng bekilandia, para pasayahin ang madlang pipol. Ready na mga beks, go go go gorabells! Kwenow No. 1 May na-sight ang yours truly na isang beki na tumabi sa isang macho fafa while riding TOKI. Grabehan ang baklush na itech! Umavail ang impaktita sa natural resources ni Enrique Gil kalokalike. Earthquake ang peg ng jeep when dumaan sa Physics rocky road. Si bekibels binumpcar ang binti ni Koya! Winner Monsod much Di kinaya ng lola niyo nang nag-Janno Gibbs si fafa ng barya kay beks. Talagang ginawang moment for life ni bekilurr sabay haplos sa kamay ni Koya. Kaunting push na lang, bakler! Di knows ni beks na nag- Eiffel Tower ang inside ng kaniyang pants. Lumayo si Koya sabay buba. Sawi si beki! OK lang iyan beks, marami pa namang yum burger sa tabi-tabi. Hanap hanap din pag may time. Kwenow No. 2 Dahil Petronas Towers na ang taas ng mga bilihin at tuition sa UP, si gurlaloo from the Pirata School of Business ay abangers much sa mga free pakain ng iba’t ibang orgs. Lahat na lang ng pubmat ng org sa fezbuk na may nakalagay na “free” at “pakain” ay nilalike ni ateng! Proud kuripot ang peg! Ganyan talaga pag Gaylight Savings. Mas mataray pa sa budget cut ng UP! OK going back, so akala ni gurl may libreng pakain after ng rally sa Katipunan with the Arneyow pips. Pork daw kasi ang

theme. And she likes pork, as shown by her figure. Pero na-disappoint ang bruha nang nalaman niya walang free pakain! Stress drilon! Medyo sumakit ang bangs ni ate! Sawi ang kumakalam na tiyan ng gaga! Sabihin mo pala sa iyong bunganga na magpa-demure. Kwenow No. 3 Havey na havey ang dalawang beks na kumukungfu fighting at lumalapel sa amphiteather. Grabehan rin sa paghahabulan at di kanais-nais na mga words na lumalabas sa kanilang bungangelsh. Ang rason: ano pa ba kundi ang birdie ng isang fafa. Kaya wala nagawa akech kundi mag UN Peace Corps! Taray. Eto lang naman ang aking bonggang deal: idaan ang World War 3 sa isang beki danceoff. Siyempre go na go ang dalawang baklita. At more dumating pa ang fafa! Nag-play ang music at gumiling na ang mga baklush. Lumipas ang 48 years hindi pa ran umaawat ang mga gaga! Siyempre may naisip akech na plan. Tumugtog ang Crazy in Love, at rumampa ang mga bekilush ala Beyonce. Gamit ang aking superpowers, ni-flying kick ko ang mga ambisiyosa sa may bangin near MBB. Kabogeraugh! Kawawa ang mga sawing baklita. And for me? Namanage kong mabingwit si koyang hunk. At least may happy ending. Bongga! Oh ayan mga beks, stop na muna ang iyong lola. Medyo nakakaPagoda maging Joker Arroyo. Basta wag nang malungkot. Spread your legs and prepare to fly, for you have become a bekifly. HAHAHAHAHA. Oh last ko na yon, mga mars, fly na ang iyong reyna. Mwah babush.

Ano sa tingin mo ang dapat na tugon ng gobyerno sa mga nagaganap na demolisyon? sa palagay ko ay may punto ang gobyerno sa pagdedemolish ng mga properties at bhay na wala sa tamang lugar ngunit dpat nilang pag-ibayuhn ang pagsasagawa at conditions ng relocation. Dapat isipin ng gov’t na ang tao ay tumitira sa isang lugar na accessible sa mga amenities at services tulad ng kuryente, tubig, communication at telephone lines, trabaho at edukasyon :-D 2013-05869/ Andeng/VSB BS BAA

Ano ang masasabi mo sa mga MRT fans ni Kris Aquino? Kang pplastic nila, if they just took the time to let the presidential sister how hard to ride the mrt everyday it would be much better than psosing with her. 200996872 Bakit kailangan i-highlight ang pagsakay niya sa mrt? May mas importanteng bagay na dapat tugunan, people! Pag ako sumakay dapat ma-media na din ako. Pati yung mga nagsisiksikan sa mrt. 2013-70023 ‘Guys,stop this nonsense’,sabay facepalm! Post na rin kayo ng selfies niyo sa MRT tapos magtweet din kayo. 1101517

Comments anong nangyari sa Kule dis term? bakit laging late labas ng diyaryo???? 2011-0XXXX

CONTACT US! Write to us via snail mail or submit a soft copy to Rm. 401, Vinzons Hall, UP Diliman, Quezon City. Email us at Save Word attachments in Rich Text Format, with INBOX, NEWSCAN or CONTRIB in the subject. Always include your full name, address and contact details.

Next week’s questions Continued from page 4

UP slips in world rankings which Filipinos are prioritized, explained

UP Vice President for Public Affairs Prospero De Vera. “There is no way that the university could rank well amidst continuous state abandonment through decreasing state subsidy, lack of facilities, and neglect for faculty and student welfare,” said UPM University Student Council Chair Mariz Zubiri. For this year, UP proposed a total of P18.4 billion for the administration of the UP System’s seven constituent units and the Philippine General Hospital.



However, the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) approved only half of the proposed budget, or P9.5 billion. UP may even suffer its highest budget cut of P1.43 billion next year, as the DBM only recommended to the Congress barely half, or P8.1 billion, of the university’s proposed P17-billion budget. “UP should be provided with the means and resources necessary to become one of the truly great universities,” said UP Diliman Chancellor Caesar Saloma in a statement. ∞

1. Kung ikaw si Janet Napoles, kanino mo isusuko ang sarili mo at bakit? 2. Ano ang mensahe mo para sa UP Pep Squad sa nalalapit na Cheerdance Competition?


Overheard: Ang Iskolar. Ang Kwento. UP SPECA proudly presents a night filled with laughter and tears in Overheard: Ang Iskolar. Ang Kwento. Members of UP SPECA will be staging Oral Interpretation sets adapted from stories posted in the Facebook group, “Narinig ko sa UP (Overheard at UP).” Admission is free so save the date on September 20, 6PM at the Teatro Hermogenes Ylagan, Faculty Center. For inquiries, please contact James at 09154829179. You can also send an email to or send a private message to UP SPECA’s Facebook page, http://

Hanggang ideality lang ba ang Chem 16 grades mo? Huwag mag alala, Ippressure namin kayo, para pati pagtaas sa Chem 16 grades niyo, real na siya!

Gunitain ang alaala. Ipagdiwang ang kabayanihan. Ipagpatuloy ang kanyang sinimulang laban.

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Inihahandog ng UP ASTERISK Asosasyon ng Kabataang Artista, Kritiko, at Iskolar ng Sining at Kultura - UP Diliman ABISO: Ciento Cincuenta ni Supremo Isang Kultnight para sa ika-150 Anibersaryo ni Andres Bonifacio September 20, 2013 6:30 N.G. Crystal Ship Bar Loft Deck, Anro Bldg., 22 Matalino St., Quezon City Tampok ang: ∞ Plagpul ∞ Ciudad Tribu ∞ Atthismo ∞ Gazera ∞ The Jeffrey Zulueta Experience ∞ Bossband ∞ Alay Sining ∞ Ugnayang ng Manunulat (UP UGAT) ∞ Artists in the Social Sciences Towards Enhancing Potential (A.S. STEP) at marami pang iba! Text nyo: 09166839427 09276623375

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Join the DLRC Chem 16 LE3 Review! ∞ New Sample Exam ∞ Free tutoring ∞ Open to all UPD undergrads WHEN: September 21, 2013 (Saturday, two days before Chem 16 3rd LE) SESSION: AM - 8:30 AM - 12:00 NN PM - 1:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Gusto mo bang kumain ng UP food pero with something unique? Kana! Punta tayo sa Grand Pakain ng UP Lawod! Tikman ang ilan sa mga delicacies na mula mismo sa Masbate! TILAW! The Grand Pakain September 19, 2013 | 12:00NN | Kamia Residence Hall Parking Lot

Bring back the kid in you as the CS Network presents GeeCS 6.0: return 90’s, a cartoonfilled celebration this coming September 24 to 27! Brought to you by the CS Network

Just two weeks left and CS iCon is here! Confused with what course to take in college? Soar with us and familiarize yourselves with the evergrowing field of Computer Science this coming September 23 at the Engineering Theater, UP Diliman! Pre-register now at http://www.! This event is open to all junior and senior high school students. See you there!


Alan P. Tuazon

Photo by Angerica Hainto

FLEETING HOME. As Labor Day protesters march to Mendiola, a child sits leisurely beside his mother’s wooden cart that makeshifts into their home along the empty streets of Loyola in Manila at night.

THE SEA OF FLAILING ARMS that clutched banners of “Hataw UP” in this side of the arena rippled in sync with the drummer’s beat. The crowd’s cheer drowned all noise. The disco beat boomeranged around the arena which signaled the start of the UP Pep Squad routine. UPians rose in high spirits, cheering on their favorite team, anticipating nothing less than victory. Though slightly disappointed with the chosen party theme, I nonetheless joined in. After a seemingly flawless routine came the unexpected fall that came all too soon. UPians cheered even louder. All the while you were clutching my hand as my heart was undulating to the thumping music. It was actually my nth time to enter the arena, but it felt like the first time because you were there. Yes, your mere presence enthralled me the way my favorite book’s scent would do. If it weren’t for you, I probably would have just snuggled under the covers that rainy Sunday, thinking of what best words to fill out this space again. Unfortunately for me, just a single text message from you would, without any hesitation, have me put on my best pair of jeans and my new perfume. This side of the crowd froze with the second major fall that had the crowd doubting for the long-expected victory. Outside the arena, scalpers still sold overpriced general admission tickets amounting to as high as P800. Then came the third fall. UPians continued saluting their team. Deaf from all the noise, I scanned the vigorous faces of my fellow UPians who braved their way to the arena even with the rain falling like daggers from the sky outside. Would these same faces be as vigorous to be the same faces occupying the streets of Mendiola on Friday? As our bargain for accompanying you to this event, even you will be coming. ∞


How the mighty fall

Philippine Collegian Issue 13  

Issue 13 Friday, 20 September 2013 | 12 pages

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