Tuesday, November 06, 2007

More on Bullshit

Some time ago, I wrote a little piece about bullshit and how the University of the Philippines wallows in it like a scat porn star. One of the comments I received was this:

Anonymous said... November 6, 2007 12:50 AM

dear dear.
your entry here sure hurts the UP community.

I just wish that you didn't state UP as a "bullshit generator".
UP has given tons of contribution to our country.
It's really, really offending for the UP alumni who studied so hard and sacrificed a lot to help our dear country wholeheartedly, and then just be thought of as "bullshit".

I'm not mad or anything. This is your site, your blog, your opinion. You have every right to write about anything you want.
I'm just expressing how i felt when i read your entry.=(

My reply is worth a whole new post here so I'm going to go and do just that.

Dear Anonymous:

I'm writing based on experience. I came from UP. When I was a student there it was somewhat de regeur to look down on all other schools. From what I observe in UP students nowadays, this is still the case. Professors tolerate-- nay, promote-- this kind of attitude. They also promote the illusion that UP alumni will find employment more easily than the graduates of other schools and that UP graduates are paid more simply because they're from UP. What these professors fail to impress upon their students is that a bloke doesn't become successful in his career because of his school's reputation-- that in the real world, a person works to earn respect. The result is arrogant UP graduates who think the entire nation owes them respect just because they came from a reputable school. I come across a lot of UP graduates in my line of work and many of them are genuinely talented. But a lot aren't. They're just banking on UP's reputation. They talk big but when it comes down to the actual exhibition of skill and talent it becomes painfully (and embarrassingly) obvious that they're just full of hot air and nothing much else. This is the reason why more and more companies are refusing to hire UP graduates. Not because of any personal animosity but because a lot of UP grads are simply more trouble than they're worth.

Look, you obviously come from UP too. From the way you express your opinion and the fact that you got to this blog by way of a Friendster group discussion thread, I strongly suspect you're still a student. Let me tell you something about a good friend of mine who's earning a six-figure salary every month. She's not earning that because she came from UP. She's earning it because she's damned good at what she does.

UP is not a bad school. In fact, it's a great school that promotes critical thinking. Its culture pushes you to have your own opinion. But not every graduate it produces is a genius. A lot of the people coming from UP are mediocre shmucks who have more attitude than talent. As I wrote in the article: a lot of times, UP bullshit overshadows the talent.

Lose your illusions, honey. It's actual ability that'll get you places. Not your school's reputation.


PS: Oh and I hope you're a hot young chick because if you turn out to be a dude I'm gonna feel really strange for calling you honey.


  1. A lot of UP students are cocky. But based on experience, they're not as special as they think they are. Some are talented, but most of them are just like the other kids or even less skillful. Your school doesn't really mean anything.

    I can relate to "looking down on all other schools". We had the same mentality during high school.

  2. Just don't say that out loud in front of a UP graduate or, even worse, a UP student. A lot of UP people are terribly rabid when it comes to defending the honor of the school.

  3. Case in point:


  4. I graduated from UP too, and looking from the outside now, I think UP has become more style than substance. I'm still proud of UP, but I'm prouder of what UP was, especially during Martial Law. Back then, it was all action. Now it's just all talk. And as the cliche goes, talk is cheap. You look at the 300% tuition increase, the Cris Mendez case and you realize that UP hasn't been doing anything really significant these days.

    Before I started working, I was told that companies are becoming more and more apprehensive when it comes to hiring UP graduates because they demanded higher salaries. UP bullshit right there. We all start at zero, don't we?