As a kid, I was very very insecure. It wasn’t my parents’ fault, it wasn’t anyone’s fault, actually. I guess it was because as a middle child, you can’t help but be insecure when you’re an average-minded kid sandwiched by intelligent siblings. But even when I was insecure, I still had a strong relationship with my family, especially with both of my sisters. I have looked up to my eldest sister, Ate Gail, basically my entire life. She was kindhearted, really smart, sometimes really peevish but she embodied, in my eyes, the type of young woman I should be. So when she got into UP four years ago, it was only natural for me to want to go to the same university as well.
Since then, we’ve had this family dream of the three of us siblings having our UP sablay(s) displayed along the staircase of our humble home. It was a family joke that we all looked forward to. It was a dream we all shared but deep inside I was afraid that I’d be the one to break it because that would mean I became a disappointment again.
Little did I know that that would come true. But instead of being a disappointment, The Lord maneuvered the course of my life and showed everyone that He was with me and that He was going to bring me to His greener pasture.
The CET results came out in December 2015. I thought I would not get into my supposed dream college but The Lord allowed me to pass. I got into UP Baguio and to top it all off, the Lord also allowed me to get into the Ateneo with my first course choice. I couldn’t believe it and nobody could believe it, either. It was impossible for anyone to comprehend how an average mind like mine could actually have a chance of getting into the top 2 universities in the country. Everyone knew that it was The Lord Who answered my CETs for me and I was beyond grateful.
For the entirety of the time, my parents were sure they were going to send me to UPB to study for a year then to transfer to Diliman, just as my Ate Gail did. I was okay with everything at first but the problems started to arise when I began to feel hostile towards UP. I didn’t even understand why I felt that way but I started to not want to study there anymore. It bothered everyone in my family, including myself, but my parents naturally still wanted me to pursue our plan A.
My parents choosing to not let me enroll in any college is even more plausible that them choosing to enroll me in the Ateneo, or any other university for that matter, when UP was in the equation. I knew that by heart and so, I obeyed my parents and asked The Lord to help me be grateful to Him under all circumstances. And so, by His Grace, I was able to wholeheartedly obey my parents.
And because The Lord was and is good, He did something that was beyond my imagination. In April 2016, I received an email from UP Baguio. They informed me that because of the small number of qualifiers who confirmed to UPB, we were all getting absorbed into UP Manila. To top it off, we could choose any course in UPM and we’d get in.
I thought that getting into UPM was so much better than having to live a thousand kilometers away from my family. I thought that UP Manila was a much better option than anywhere else. But even then, I was wrong because God proved to me that He was The God of the impossible when He manipulated all circumstances just to bring me to my land of milk and honey.
After parking our car in Robinsons Manila for my medical exam, my mother, my little sister & I began walking to UP-PGH. I was ready to enroll in UPM and experience the Manila life. We were even going to rent out a condo unit at Studio 87 on that same day. Everything was all set.
That was until while walking along Taft avenue, a random man suddenly stole my mother’s earrings. He cursed at us while doing that but he came in so swiftly that we had a hard time comprehending what was actually happening. I had my pepper spray with me and even got to spray him with it but he got away with the earrings anyway.
Haly, my little sister, and I were petrified. I started to get teary-eyed like the annoyingly sheltered little girl I was, even if I was already 18 years old, but my mother decided to just let everything pass. “Earrings lang naman ‘yun,” she said. And so we continued walking. But when we were about five steps away from the main gate of UP-PGH, a group of policemen stopped us.
A series of events occurred but through the experience, we learned about so many frightening incidents that happen on an hourly basis in that area. I’d rather not get into details but to make the long story short, my parents decided that UP Manila was not the university for me. After this incident, my mother decided to drop by UP Diliman and see if we could do anything about my college situation.
At that moment, I had no college to go to. The confirmation period for the Ateneo had passed for about a month already and since UP Manila was out of the question, I had no college to go to. But a spark of hope in me believed that I would, at long last, finally get to go to Ateneo. Actually, it wasn’t hope. I was begging The Lord to just let me go to Ateneo, instead. It became my first option. I realized that I did not want to go anywhere else but there.
And so, by some miracle, everything in relation to UP became hazy paths. Basically, if I didn’t enroll in UPM then I wouldn’t get to study in UP at all. My parents finally decided to give Ateneo a try. Despite being fully against the said university under all circumstances, they finally realized that The Lord was pushing for me to get there. When my parents paid for my confirmation fee and later on, my tuition fee, they were surprisingly happy and proud of me anyway. They all knew that God’s mighty hand was at work and that He brought me to where He wanted me to be.
So here we are, a few months past. I’m an official Atenean with an Ateneo ID and everything. Even I can’t believe it, to be honest. I never would have thought that I’d ever even want to be an Atenean.
Here’s the thing, the greatest lesson I learned from all these things is the fact that no matter where you are or no matter where you want to be, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be at this exact moment. God is always working behind the scenes to bring you to His greener pasture. Just keep that in mind when you start to feel like all else is failing. I didn’t but God proved Himself faithful to me, anyways.
So to all seniors out there who are worried about what college you’re going to, just ask The Lord to guide You and He will always prove Himself faithful anyways. It doesn’t matter what school you end up getting in. Sometimes, you get to have the best things in unexpected packages.