It was a decision that did not take me long to finalize; one day, while on a bus, as I am wont to do, I made up my mind. I am leaving the University of the Philippines this semester and there is no turning back, barring legal actions from UP. Although this seems hardly possible.
I dreamed of going UP to study when I was a starry-eyed, young boy in the province. I studied hard in high school to study in UP, nailed the UPCAT and became one of the top 50 male entrants. I went to college, proved myself, and realized I had to prove myself over and over again, so I did, and I did it in as many times as the challenges manifested themselves. I graduated with honors, and with no second thoughts, vowed to dedicate my life to this university, ignoring offers from multinationals. I love teaching and cannot imagine myself doing a job other than teaching.
UP is a big institution and like big institutions, its tortuous bureaucracy dehumanized and made it impersonal along the way, including the people that run it. I had to fight my every way. I sent letters of complaint after letters of complaint, whose tones ranged from pleading to mocking, to the administration. But I felt not listened to.
I felt alone and lonely.
If only there was enough reason for me to hold on and stay.
I am young. Too young to deserve UP. Probably someday, I’ll go back and serve again this prestigious institution. But for now, I have to move on and see what’s in store for a still-starry-eyed young man like me.