Look! I’m from a High School in Lilliput

I come from a “never-heard-of high school in Lilliput.”

My alma mater does not have a Science High surname; thus, I was taught the SEDP way. I had accident-free science lab classes, not because I am an extremely careful person (I am not, I hold the record for most number of beakers and test tubes broken in Chem 14.1), but because I had at most two experiments each for biology, chemistry and physics. My four-year computer subject, excluding WordStar I learned in 1997 and Turbo Pascal in 2000, can be summarized in two words: Microsoft Office. But when somebody asks me the question “Saang high school ka galing?” I never end my reply with “lang.”

I see no reason why I should.

To use one’s high school background as an excuse for mediocrity, I think, is pathetic. Academic excellence may be partially attributed to the curriculum, but a bigger of chunk of it depends upon the student. I refuse to accept that just because my school failed to introduce me to calculus or molecular biology, I could no longer learn beyond what it did teach me. Mind you, there are things I would have not known and experiences I would have not had in a science or an exclusive high school.

Besides, why would I degrade myself in front of other people? So that some airhead obsessed with his or her alma mater could show-off his encyclopedic brain or her Newtonian mind and kick my Lilliputian ass? Sorry, I’d rather be the butt-kicker out to prove that underestimating an opponent is the biggest mistake one could make. (And please, wipe that smirk off your face when asking the follow-up question “Huh? Saan yung school mo?”)

More irritating though are people who use the line “Galing LANG akong (insert name of school here)…” as a prelude to “…tsamba kaya naging Oblation scholar ako.” or “…nagkataon lang na alam ko ang solution diyan sa assignment natin.” Enough with your false modesty crap. If you are exceptional, then show that you indeed are; I would not give a damn where you had come from.

This is not about insecurity, but about self-esteem.

Let us be realistic, secondary education uses up a single line in our résumés. It is not the school, but the student.

I am from a “never-heard-of high school in Lilliput,” and I am proud of — not despite — that fact.


  1. I studied in the same high school with a college education system in it. Until college, I came from that school (thanks to the fact that my mom worked there for a long time and I got in without paying the tuition fee-misc. fees, I did paid).

    In senior high school, my teachers told us students to study somewhere else and not in the college department of our school. An arrogant classmate told me that I would have no future there

    I wished I could have came from a big-shot school like Ateneo, DLSU or UP, but now I realized, it’s not the school, but the person. And I’m glad to say now that I’m very blessed to have studied from third grade up to college-almost for free.

    Hey, that taught me to be my own person.

  2. Hello, Dr. Baticulon! I read your blog again as I was looking for med school inspiration while waiting for our promo boards results. Ngayon ko lang po nakita itong entry niyo about our high school (Batch 2006 po ako, classmate po ni Angelica). Nag-iisa lang po ako sa batchmates ko from “never-heard-of high school in Lilliput” kaya when I entered PLM Med, I really felt intimidated sa younger classmates ko na mga galing Science Highschool and mostly UP Manila. Tama ka Doc, it is not the school, but the student. Maraming salamat sa pagsulat nito kasi mas naging confident po ako. Proud ako sa high school natin. That institution taught me how to balance academics and social activities. At yung institusyon na yun ang nagturo din sa akin kung paano maging isang mahusay na nurse. Maraming salamat ulit, Doc.

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