Friday, January 17, 2014

College Apps, College Apps, College Apps...

Hi y'all,

So just two days ago, I submitted my last college app. Woot! Woot! Honestly though, I thought I would feel a pang of relief once I clicked the last "submit" button and got a note that says, "Congratulations, your application has been submitted!" but frankly, I don't feel any less stressed and exhausted than I did when I first started this long, grueling process. Gosh, I can't believe I'm graduating...Anyway, speaking of colleges, today, I decided to unearth some college apps I wrote over break and came across this one short answer.

Please tell us what you found meaningful about one event that you attended within the last year.

I won't tell you which college(s) asked this question (I even reworded the question) but I thought you might enjoy my response. So here it is: 

Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) a.k.a. the cheapest university in Asia.

On the second day of our three-week Philippine tour, we were scheduled to perform with PUP’s musical groups at their main campus in Manila. Mind you, we had just performed for the President of the Philippines and had our largest show at the prestigious Resorts World. So, driving past PUP’s dilapidated gate was kind of a shocker to all of us.

Group picture with all of the PUP performers
The university’s interior didn’t impress us either. The ceiling was moldy. There were no toilet seats, soap, or toilet paper. I guess we were pre-judging the pending performance of our PUP partners, partly due to our high-browed American standards…and because we were “stars.” What we didn’t realize was that we were in for a big surprise.

As the upbeat opening music blared, wave after wave of young PUP performers entered the stage dressed in colorful costumes. Jumping, singing, dancing and smiling joyously throughout their performance, their infectious energy lit up the stage and electrified the ecstatic audience. We were all in awe! I had never seen any performance as beautiful and engaging as theirs. The choral group was dynamite while the folk dancers got everybody stomping in their feet. And the “Banda Kawayan’s” performance was - Wow, out of this world!
While our performance that day supported the PUP robotics team’s competition in Singapore as well as the performer’s new costumes, in reality they really didn’t need us. They made this performance a success all by themselves. Truly, one should not judge a book by its cover. And as this experience showed us, great talent can be found everywhere - in elite universities, in posh financial districts, in a poor man’s hovel deep in the slums of Manila…or even in the cheapest university in Asia.  

Sierra Jamir

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