I graduated with a degree of BA Political Science from the University of the Philippines, Diliman, back in 2003. I started working in June 2003. That means, I’ve been in the workforce for 11 years. So, I decided to look back at my yuppie story and share it through this blog. This can be a pretty long series, so I hope you join me in this ride.
Part 1 is here: Into the Unknown
As early as my second year in College, I knew that Law School wasn’t for me. My personality and temperament didn’t suit it. Besides I heard a joke somewhere that there was only one slot for lawyers in heaven and somebody has probably beaten me to it.
I told that joke to some of my classmates. They didn’t buy it. After all, most of them already knew what they wanted to do after College graduation. It was easy, really. Go to Law School. A lot of them already took and passed the UP Law Aptitude Exam. Those who didn’t, planned to go to San Beda. Still, there are those who planned to go elsewhere then try their luck at the LAE again after a year or so.
But that didn’t prevent me from at least trying my hand at the UP LAE. Towards the end of 2002, I filed my application for UP LAE, although it was already late. I had to know for sure if I had any chance of taking law. Problem is, I was halfhearted in taking it. Not surprisingly, I didn’t pass.
The door to Law as a career closed forever in my mind.
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
After graduation, while packing my clothes and putting my books into boxes, I found myself considering my options.
If I stayed in Manila and looked for a job, I had a better chance of landing a job that pays well. I’m from UP Diliman, after all. Yeah, we’re mayabang like that.
But what kind of job?
You know the problem with BA Political Science?
If you don’t proceed to take up Law, or get into policy and politics-related work. It is a pretty useless degree.
Don’t get me wrong. The training I had in terms of research, recitation, and even the defense of my ideas in class do matter. But it is not a one-track degree. Unlike Computer Science, Engineering, or Accountancy, it’s difficult to know what type of job you’ll do with a degree like mine.
In the lull periods between last minute reunion with friends and endlessly chatting about our options, I knew that I wanted to change the world. It was nothing earth-shaking, really.
The plan was simple. Go back to our province, make my mark and change the world.
I’m not really an activist. I joined a rally only once when I was a freshman. My desire to help change the world stems from the perspective of faith. I am a Christian and helping others is an expression of that faith.
Becoming rich and aiming for lots of money just didn’t occur to me at that point. Thankfully, my sister was studying at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines. There was no pressure for me to help out with the family finances.
Unemployed, but not for Long
I bid goodbye to my University and Quezon City, which became my home for the past four years. I’ll miss a lot of things — isaw, fishball, the pot-pot monay with a small piece of cheese inside, the hallowed halls of A.S. aka Palma Hall, the afternoon walks at Sunken Garden, late night stay at the UP Main Library, and most of all, friends and acquaintances who made college life bearable and fun.
Thankfully, mobile phone usage was on the rise and Friendster was on the rise. Somehow, it was easier to keep in touch with friends. But I knew, too, that my friends would pursue their own goals and calling in life. Back then, I thought that it would be years before I saw them again.
As I boarded my bus bound for San Mateo, Isabela early in May 2003, I remembered a friend of mine complain about our identity as new graduates: “We’re no longer students preparing for the labor force. We’re not employed, too? So what are we? We’re unemployed.”
I was unemployed. I didn’t know what kind of job awaited me back home. But I knew that I’m gonna use my training and make a difference in the world.
And so, as the bus moved out into EDSA and into the North Luzon Expressway, I closed my eyes and anticipated the trip through the mountains of Nueva Ecija and Nueva Vizcaya, and into the valley and endless rice fields.
I’m going home.