Philippine Embassy Cites Rising Number of UPCAT Passers in Kingdom
Dinan Arana & Francis Salud, Arab News
DAMMAM/JEDDAH, 11 April 2006 — A total of 43 Filipino students in the Kingdom passed the University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT) for the coming school year, which will start in June.
In the UPCAT lists of passers obtained from the Philippine Embassy in Riyadh and Philippine Consulate in Jeddah, the total number of qualifiers showed an increase of 10 percent from 39 passers last year.
Records from the embassy also showed an increasing trend in the number of passers from the Kingdom over the last six years. From only 16 passers in 2001, the number rose to 25 in 2002, 34 in 2003, 37 in 2004, and 39 in 2005.
Of the 43 qualifiers this year, 18 are from Jeddah, 17 from Riyadh and eight from Alkhobar and Dammam combined.
The other passers from Riyadh were:
• Palm Crest International School (PCIS): Jan Sergio Arato, Kevin Carlo Gamba, Kristine Marie Liberato, Ariel Joseph Zulueta, and Neil Angelo Sael;
• Second Philippine International School (SPIS): Arthur Galapon Jr., Ronald Ryan Marasigan, Mitchellina Rafael, and Nikki Pauline Toledo;
• International Philippine School in Riyadh (IPSR): Roman Franco Rafael and Jameela Velasco;
• Nour Al-Maareef International School (NIS): Kirstin Leigh Lopez and Jonathan Velasquez; and
• Millenium International School (MIS): Dave Gabriel Poblete.
-The much awaited news that broke out two years ago and I wasn't aware that we were featured in the Arab News. I had nothing left to do the other night after the usual checking routine so I tried to search for articles that had my name in Yahoo search and the news above was what I got. I remember our former school principal telling our class that it is not UPCAT passers but rather qualifiers. Honestly, I don't care. I got in!
College life was one of the turning points in my life that I really dreaded. I had no idea of what was waiting for me here in the Philippines since my parents brought us back in Riyadh after my second year in high school. Other than UP, the only university where i took entrance exams was in La Salle Dasma. Since i know that our finances are at stake if i go to La Salle, I chose UP even if its in Iloilo. I just told myself: "Ok lang, experience din naman yan. Totally independent ka pa." Though i have relatives in Iloilo, it still feels like total independence. They don't care that much. They just worry when I go home late, that's all.
Looking back to those times only made me realize that God has a plan for me and I'm really thankful that He brought me there. Every single day was a battle for me, its either be good or be bad. Within that short span of time, I know that I've grown and I got over some of my fears. Every experience that I had made me what I am today. I met people and they were the ones who helped me learn a lot, not just the positive side of life but the negative part of it as well. I learned principles which I know will definitely be applicable to the challenges ahead of me. I have changed but I believe that its for the good.
Time is fast. One day I will wake up a degree holder and a successful man not because of the books I've read and the exams that I passed but because of the experiences I had. From the daily conversations with my friends, group discussions, forums, and criticisms that was thrown at me by the people that surrounds me. Above all these, God.
The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to the society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals...'We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education. The complete education gives one not only power of concentration, but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate.