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Political Dynasties in the Philippines: In My Opinion

Next year’s Philippine midterm elections are fast approaching and it paints an all too-familiar image once again: candidates that are ei...



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JR Lopez Gonzales 3:27 PM 0

I have often felt in my life that I am an underdog.
The underdog College of Law has to stand up, collectively.

Not that I expect myself to lose, but I’ve often perceived of myself as one who needs to do more. Through scrutiny, I’ve felt that in many ways I lag behind.

I was born in a quiet town in South Cotabato, raised by educated parents but nevertheless without a silver spoon in my mouth. Educated at public schools for all of my life up until law school. I remember when joining competitions, I often felt shrinking in the presence of my rivals who comes from prestigious (and private schools). Yes, at times, I did not falter; yet the fact remains that their education and affluence gave them edge over me.

At a young age, I was made aware of disparity between social statuses; I refer to this as my own class consciousness. I even lost interest of studying at UP when my father told me they can’t let me study there for insufficient funds.
After my graduation at MSU-IIT, I entered the college of law packed with a dream. As a full-time working student on my initial year at this institution, I’ve had my shares of difficult times especially in balancing my job and studies. Now, one my second year (turning Third Year next semester), my underdog mentality has always been taunting me. Full time workers can surely relate to this predicament, too.
But despite these, I’ve persisted; the underdog sometimes is being looked down or worst, ignored. Is being judgmental just part of the human psyche? If you’re a Mindanaoan, chances are, you’ll be labeled somebody you’re not by, say, the Manileños.
My brother, who also happens to be a law student in an admired private law school in Pampanga, would share to me stories such as that of the recent Bar Ops which have made me realize how different the life of a provincial bar examine is vis-à-vis a Manila-based bar exam taker is. How contrasting and I’m not telling who’s getting the better slice of the pie.

Coming from a provincial law school like ours  has been a challenge; much more when we expose ourselves outside the country. This had been our dilemma The mere fact of being a Filipino seemed to make us feel underdogs.

And what message can we infer out of this realization? I share this sense of belittlement with most of us at the college. Atty. Mylene Macumbal definitely gave us a whiff of fresh air and a deep sense of delight for the MSU College of Law. She is an epitome that an underdog can win and succeed.
The year 2008 was the college’s heyday thanks to Ma’am Mylene. Yet years after, what are the challenges at hand? I think, instead of having underclass musings, it should be underpinned by a collective achievement. 
We need to cut through layers of dormancy get to the very heart of what it means to be a prestigious law school. This is a collective dream to achieve together, not only as individuals and certainly not in conflict with others.
The best thing for us underdogs to do is to become optimist and really strive hard.  We aren’t going to pass the greatest test of our lives by being anything else.

There is a lot of work to be done. And once we have achieved this, then the substance we crave to feed our pride of coming from the MSU-College of Law-Iligan Extension will come naturally.

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