i woke up early in the morning today for some weird ceremony thing.
said weird ceremony thing occurred in a place that’s an hour’s drive away, and it’s something for the scholars of the country’s department of science and technology (DOST). essentially, it’s a two-hour program that’s meant to inspire you for the future, and you’re presented to a government official—the secretary of the DOST—so that the guy knows that the government is putting their money into your education.
it’s a rigorous thing. more than 25,000 students throughout the philippines applied for it and took the qualification exams, and only a rough 3,500 made the cut. 3,100 of these people are those who are poorer than poor and probably literally eat dirt for food, which is a good thing, because that means our country is prioritizing those who have less (or nothing) so that they can have an education. the other 400 are those who are better off, and can sort of pay for their own college education, but they’re so good the government wants to shell out cash for them, anyway. i’m using the internet right now in the comforts of my home, so obviously i’m part of the 400. i’m not trying to brag or anything. it just is what it is.
i can’t really put into words how i felt standing (and sitting) there in a semi-large auditorium with a bunch of other people who qualified, too (and are most likely way smarter than i am). it was a bit of a nerve-wracking experience. take into account the fact that the thing was televised and some guy who personally knows the president was there, it kind of built up the pressure. i even had to step on stage, which is weird enough, even without the tv camera pointed directly at my face.
as far as i’m concerned, i have no idea how i got to qualify for the damn thing, but it’s cool. my parents won’t have to spend so much on me, and it must be a relief because aside from myself, they have 4 other children to think about.
they didn’t discuss the real nitty-gritty of the scholarship itself; the ceremony was pretty much just this celebratory thing, but not quite. it’s like a knighting ceremony, but instead of turning people into knights, they acknowledge you as an official iskolar ng bayan (ee [as in bee] skaw [as in flaw but with an ‘sk’ sound] lar [as in bar with an ‘l’] + ng [like ‘mung’ from ‘mung bean’ except it starts with an ‘m’] + ba [like the ‘baa’ for sheep] yan [like yam, with an ‘n’ at the end instead of ‘m’]. iskolar ng bayan roughly translates to scholar of the country. it’s an honorary title. or something.
on the fourth of may they discuss the real details of the scholarships, the grades i have to maintain, the rules, the amount of money they’ll give out, etc. but today was interesting.
i also read harry potter fanfiction on the way to the venue which i conveniently saved onto my phone ohohohohohohohoho