Anna and I had were in luck. The reason we went to Diliman was to watch the UP Singing Ambassadors' performance at the Bahay ng Alumni. The event was sponsored by the University of the Philippines Experimental Democratization Scholars (UP XDS) Association. Ate Liza bought the tickets (thank you!) and we were joined by Ate Eleanor, Jon, and Matt.
The UP XDS is a group of scholars admitted into UP Diliman from 1977 to 1981. At the time, according to Ate Mayang (one of the recipients of the scholarship), the university was plotting ways to ensure that the different regions of the Philippines were represented in the studentry (hence the policies governing UPCAT today). She also mentioned that given the right training and support (aside from passing the qualifications for college freshmen), the university believes that students from the provinces or rural areas would be able to compete with those from the cities, particularly Manila.
Three decades later, the former scholars formed an alumni association that shares the same beliefs. To them, it's time to pay back. Currently, the association has seven scholars from different parts of the Philippines and plans to add more scholars in the coming academic years. Hence, the UP XDS held a dinner event called "Salo-salo sa Pasko para kay Isko", with the UP Singing Ambassadors as the main performers. Proceeds would go to these scholarships.
It's a good undertaking, especially with the high tuition fees (even in UP). I'm happy to have met members of the association who are eager to give better futures to the scholars, as the university had done to them.
|Anna and Ate Eleanor with XDS alumni and Dr. E. Roman, the current U.P. President|