Joenilo E. Paduhilao, II is this year’s top student of UPVTC

imagePaduhilao has always thought that his UP education did not just taught him academic excellence but it also gave him a weapon to face reality. His UP education is so important to him that it instilled endurance, strength, and integrity to survive life. “It taught me to be aware of my surroundings and eventually, strive for a life in service for the Filipino people as one of my core principles. UP education is not just a mere education to me. It became a fragment of my life that taught me honor before excellence, always.”

He said the the university prepared him and gave him ammunition needed to win battles in life. Perseverance and grit - ammo to counter frustration and exhaustion. Integrity - an ammo to conscience. To succeed in UP, one must exhaust all of his/her resources and utilize them in the best way. “Temptations may still arise but UP has taught me to remain honest in everything even if all seems unending. There is also love - an ammo against depression and uneasiness. Love not only for oneself but also for others and the little things is I think vital for my survival in life. I could not have done things alone. UP never made me a loner or an elitist. UP made me into a student who appreciates vulnerability for growth and strength during hell week.”

Learning was always compounding because of the different teachers that taught him in the university. “A teacher who puts effort on his/her lecture and makes us appreciate the lessons despite its difficulty is a good one. A teacher who challenges students at the right pace also inspired me to have the thirst for learning and not just work for good grades. These teachers triggered a fire in my heart and gave me the drive to learn and appreciate them without getting tired. A teacher who has mastery and passion for teaching gave me the vibes to do good and eventually made me excel in class without putting too much effort. A teacher who has the passion to teach students with effort gives rise to undeniably excellent student,” he enthused.

Of the many experiences he got from UP, there are those that are really memorable. “Dinners every after exams would allow us to vent out our frustrations after the exam during our 1st and 2nd years. One of the best memories I have was the experience of being the topnotcher in my first-ever exam in UP.” He has also realized that cramming is not healthy. “I have experienced it once and has made me so desperate despite being informed at the end of the day that I was the topnotcher of the exam. I told myself after this, “never again”.

In his stay as undergraduate student of UPV Tacloban College, Paduhilao learned that college is like a battlefield. That there is a constant clash between one’s own self and reality. “To survive and make the most out of college, use your time wisely in gaining ammo,” he suggested . “You can gain so much from learning but never give all of your time studying and meeting all the requirements because it may exhaust all your drive and motivation to do good in school. Consequently, do not devoid yourself from student movements and school events but also never dedicate your entire stay in UP to extracurricular activities. After all, a general in war is usually successful in battle because of the power and skills gained from a life-long training. Always think that it’ll be your last time doing a certain activity so you have to give your best - may it be a quiz, a presentation, or an exam. When you feel outnumbered with the waves of assignments and requirements, never forget how the three hundred (300) Spartans overcame their war. Take time to build yourself and never rush in. Learn to love the things that you do, learn to enjoy, learn to rest, and learn to never fear regrets.”

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