More college stupidities (2nd of 3 parts)

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By Atty. Antonio P. Pekas

“ But then again, such were the spices of being in the undergrad, every minute of which a student should have enjoyed.“

My college peers reinvented the meaning of “puhunan.”It was supposed to mean working capital in business.
Every semestral break we went home. When we went back to the university there was always the refreshed idea to do better academically. So after some days of drinking as we had some money, hard earned or saved by parents, we were kinda serious with our studies. Before that wore out one should have earned some puhunan by getting good grades in the first exams. Then you could dilly-dally bumming around after the bug of academic boredom set in. Your high grades in the beginning of the sem should carry you through and still get passing marks at the end of the sem.
So when somebody asked at the group’s tambayan, “Bro, hindi ka yata pumapasok a?” The answer would usually be, “Brod, OK lang, may puhunan na ako diyan.”
The tambayan was where you hang out to banter with brods and sisters—how you called your comembers in your respective groups. Aside from enjoying the monkeying around and the attendant laughter, the process served as a free psycho-therapy for those going through some issues, either academic, monetary or personal ones. It is also where you would hear, “tara inom na tayo.” The day then would turn towards a new direction.
It is also where notes were exchanged regarding academics. Who was good in what course? Who had good notes on a certain subjects? Who had old exam papers that can be borrowed for reviewing purposes? Yes, it was double bladed. It could enhance academic performance or the development and eventual enjoyment of vices. Certainly, it was one’s personal call. Choose the positive side or the way of enjoyment or perdition.
There was a group there composed of rich kids of multi-millionaire families in the Visayas. A good number of them were scions of sugar barons. For some perspective, during that time, the latest model cars, especially the expensive or luxury ones were first seen in Bacolod before people in Manila had a glimpse of them. Since they were our allies during fraternity rumbles, we would benefit from them once in a while.
For them, going to school appeared to be just a game. They drank in the more expensive places while we contented ourselves in the ordinary joints. They could afford more expensive drinks while we made do, during bad times, with 4x4s or lambanog laced with kalamansi.
Another game of those rich kids was how to go through exams the easiest possible way. They were preoccupied with courting lady teachers or how to steal exam questions from faculty rooms. I think they bribed janitors or student assistants for this purpose. Once in a blue moon they were successful and they would share the leakage with us. Most of the time though, the instructor got wind of their scheme and changed the exam questions at the last minute. So if you relied on the leakage without reviewing properly, you failed big time. Moral of story, don’t hinge your future with the game of rich kids. He he he. The hard way was, and will always be, the enduring way.
But then again, such were the spices of being in the undergrad, every minute of which a student should have enjoyed.**


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