The Hound of the Wolf

For the strength of Pack is in the Wolf, and the strength of Wolf is in the Pack -Rudyard Kipling

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Thirty days before liberation

It was March of 1999 when Mrs San Miguel, our highschool coordinator, approached me to show a page in inquirer bearing my name as one of the "lucky" passers of DOST RA 7687 scholarship program. Two of us in the school made it. Without thinking twice, I signed the contract. I am not concerned about the lack of research and development (RND) personnel in the Philippines, the main rationale of the government's S&T scholarship program. The thought of having an absolutely free college tuition and a regular monthly stipend overshadows any form of doubt. Snippets of events of being a DOST scholarship recipient:

1. All passers will gather in the DOST Bicutan office together with a parent or legal guardian. Judgment day. Passers will be given a choice to sign the contract or not. Obviously, I signed the dreaded pact.

2. If the scholar decided to avail the offer, he will need to repay it via service contract. The number of years of service is similar equal to the number of years.

3. Incoming freshman scholars will have a two-month summer orientation and enrichment program (SOEP) before the start of classes. We did our SOEP in UP Diliman on the summer of 1999. I was placed under the Bartlett section. Not Josh Bartnet of MMA but former UP Pres. Bartlett. Prof. Augie Hermosilla was our faculty in algebra. I can still recall that Saturday morning class when Prof. Hermosilla is dripping wet. It is as if he took a bath in one of the showers in Math building.

4. In my whole stay in college, I only got a single 5.0. A red flag for DOST scholars. A good recipe for suspension. Fortunately, I was able to make a concoction: a reasonable appeal. The rest is history. Scholarship completed in four years, college degree completed in 5 years.

5. Day 1 for the service contract was April 1, 2005 although I am already working before this. For the three international flights (KL, SG, Penang) I did during the duration of service contract, I have to ask for temporary lifting of my name in the Bureau of Immigration's black list. My status is no different to hardened criminals and suspected/confirmed terrorists who have been in that very same list.

6. On April 1 2009, I will be cleared from the said list. I can't imagine the feeling of being freed from the contract. Thank you DOST for enforcing the virtues and values of being a Filipino in my already nationalistic system.

In a nutshell, the contract will still be "in effect" since I do not have any intentions to leave Philippine for employment opportunities abroad. I wouldn't be joining to the "go abroad and seek greener pasture" bandwagon. Sorry multinationals. But don't worry guys, my team will be forming something similar to what you're doing soon.

Here are the things I intend to do after the liberation:

1. Be an active member of, offline and online.

2. Sell my mabuhay miles points. Infuse the earnings to ventures that are gaining passive income.

3. Train, train and train not just to have a six-pack abs but also to embrace better sense of discipline and focus. I hope be a disciple of Yaw Yan in the future.

4. Ignite Trim Tab Tech's business engine. It's time to put theories in actual practice.

5. As a former "ex-convict" having served a total of 8 years in contract by then, I need to guide a new convict in the person of Austin. It'll probably be 10 years for him though.

6. I need to graduate from UP Open University this year. I need to rub off this commitment soon. Until I finished my MIS degree, I consider myself as a failure.


This post in PMT is really an eye-opener. This saddens me but it's very true. An essential reminder to every Pinoy out there.