“Do Not Go to UP.”

I am sharing this story as a student. This is my story that I will never forget because never in my wildest dreams that I thought or even imagined to experience this.

There was one fateful day in my fourth year high school day that I felt really humiliated in front of my classmates. Up to this day, I consider it as the day I almost lost it and cried (if not punched my teacher) out of humiliation and anger.

Flashback: Advanced Algebra class, February 2010, board work. I was not able to answer correctly the math problem assigned to me on the board. I did my best, I promise. I got a, “Wag ka na mag-enroll sa UP, ibigay mo na lang sa iba yung slot mo.” as a remark. Followed by a comment that I should just pursue my athletic career somewhere else. As much I want to be a better student as I am a good athlete, there are really people who would throw all the mud at you. I am sure that my teacher meant what he said that day.

Be the better person they said. So I did. I still pursued my UP. I may have not graduated with honors, but that feed back gave me the grit to finish school with my chin up. My math teacher still ended up in the acknowledgement page of my undergraduate thesis for motivating me to become the best version of me in college. Sounds bitter? Sure. But I sure did find my way out of that stigma – that athletes are just people of the tournament and class. Oh hell, no.

Though I still thrive to be a good example of a future to my future students, I am sure not to let words out of my mouth that will ruin my students. I have experienced that and I know that it does not make me a better teacher if I do that to my students. Not ever. Not in this lifetime.