MANILA -- Aspiring University of the Philippines (UP) students are not the only ones feeling the pressure from the University of the Philippines College Admission Test (UPCAT).
Parents are just as nervous. After all, UP is sought by many not just because of its quality education, but more importantly, for its relevance in society as a so-called microcosm of the nation itself.
Students lined up at Palma Hall in the UP Diliman campus even before 6 a.m. Sunday.
When they get in, parents are left to wait outside, anticipating the finish line of the 5-hour long exam.
Among the anxious parents are Leonisa Gulapan who came all the way from Isabela.
Gulapan endured a 12-hour drive to Quezon City to support her son, Jon Emmanuel, who took the test Sunday.
“Kinakabahan po ako, hoping na makapasa siya. Proud po ako and do your best,” she said.
(I'm nervous and hopeful that he would pass. I'm proud and I want him to do his best.)
If Jon Emmanuel passes the exams, it will be a first in the family. For Leonisa, it is a validation of sorts.
“First time po kasi namin na may mage-exam dito. 'Yung pinagdaanan namin kasi iba... hindi pare-parehas tayo ng talino, marami na tao ang nagda-down sa family. May mga mapanghusga. Wish ko lang talaga na makapasa siya,” she said.
(It's a first that someone would take the UPCAT from our family. What we went through is different. We have different kinds of smarts and many people have doubted our family. Some judge us. I just wish he passes.)
In another part of the Diliman campus, Stella Mae Cabeliza was beaming with excitement for her child who hopes to follow the footsteps of her older sister.
“Sabi ko sa kaniya ‘do your best!’ Medyo nape-pressure siya kasi gusto niya katulad ng ate niya na nakapasa. Ito 'yung pinaghandaan niya talaga,” she said.
(I told her to do her best. She seems a bit pressured because she wants to be like her sister who passed the exams. She really prepared for this.)
But it's not just the mothers who share their children's feelings; fathers, too, are hopeful.
For Daniel Marin, he would be fine whatever the results of the test are for his child.
“Kung pumasa, salamat; kung hindi, salamat pa rin,” he said.
(If he passes then I'm grateful; if not, I'm still grateful.)
"Ang kailangan natin magkaroon tayo ng bukas na kaisipan hindi lang sa sarili. Mahalaga ang lipunan," he added.
(We need to have an open mind outside of ourselves. Our society is important.)
Around 100,000 students took the UPCAT for academic year 2020.