I WAS a dropout from the Cebu City National Science High School, the school I chose to enroll in over the old Cebu School of Arts and Trade (CSAT), where I earned a scholarship, and the popular Abellana National School. That didn’t mean I lost after that my appreciation for science and mathematics, my favorite subjects in my elementary days in Cebu City’s City Central School, when I transferred to Southwestern University.
Indeed, when I went to college, I took up a Chemical Engineering course after flirting with Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. I thought I could combine my love for science with being a wage earner. Until activism drew me away from realizing my childhood dreams. When I was in third year, I shifted to a Bachelor of Arts course, realizing I could not combine joining rallies with attending to my laboratory subjects.
I took up Political Science, which I eventually found to be far easier than taking up ChE when you are an activist. I remember taking up a Pol Sci subject under lawyer Rodolfo Golez. One of my classmates was a guard of the Associated Labor Union (ALU) compound in Pier 1. I think she was already in his 40s at that time, so naturally he became a butt of jokes. Golez would tell him, “Unsa man ning imo, Noy, pang-lapida?”
That came to mind years later when, under “rehabilitation” by my military captors in the late ‘80s, I was allowed to go back to school. I quit school when my participation in the struggle against the Marcos dictatorship intensified and when I felt my security in school was already compromised. But a college degree wasn’t important to me at that time. It was when I went back to the mainstream of society and rebuilt my life.
So I went to “Southwe” to gather my transcript of records. While doing so, I met former acquaintances who had gone big in the academe. The prospect of taking up subjects under them and of being the old one in my classes made me recall that ALU guard and our jokes. Would I be asked, “Unsa man ning imo, Noy, pang-lapida?”
No, there was another more important reason why I let go of the plan to go back to school then, and it was related to the predicament I was in at that time. But had I proceeded with it, chances are I would already have become a lawyer now. No, I would have been a teacher in college, a better option, I thought, than becoming a lawyer.
Actually, when I thought of the prospect of going back to school at that time, I looked at myself in the mirror. Did I really want to be a lawyer? Looking at that time now, I can say that my hesitance to take up a course in law was prompted by the same reason why I don’t want to become a politician. Yet every time I hear reports about the results of the bar examinations, I always end up asking myself, “What if?”
Anyway, I congratulate the University of San Carlos College of Law for finally achieving what every other law school in the country wants to achieve: produce a “Top 1” in the bar exams. Hopefully, this would challenge other law schools in Cebu like the University of Cebu, University of the Visayas, University of San Jose-Recoletos, SWU, etc. to also rise up in the rankings.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on May 05, 2017.
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