My Experiences During the Enrollment Process at UP Population Institute

On Thursday, I went to UP Diliman for enrollment. Prior to this, I have enlisted online one three-unit subject as a penalty course for master's degree. This academic year will be my 6th year in master's studies. As per Graduate Program rule in the University of the Philippines, any graduate student who fails to finish graduate studies within five years should be enrolled in a 3-unit subject as a penalty course. In addition, he or she should request for an extension of one academic year of residency. 

So I filled out a form requesting for extension and stated three things there which would be the basis of approval. First is that I have already finished the requirement number of academic units for my program with no INC (incomplete) grades. I actually completed all academic units in one academic year only (2006-2007). Second, I have already defended my thesis proposal before the faculty of UP Population Institute in 2008. And the third reason is that I need to enroll in a penalty course either on the first semester or the second semester. I opted to enroll this first semester following the advice of the office.

I went to the Graduate Office of the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy located at Palma Hall to submit my Form 5A and the letter of request for extension addressed to Dr. Michael Tan, CSSP's dean. The Graduate Office told me that they still need to submit my letter and wait for the approval of Dr. Tan. It was afternoon so I need to go back to UP Diliman a day after (June 10). I decided to go back to the Institute because I have many questions regarding certain policies on graduate studies and about my thesis.

On my way to UPPI's office, I met Dr. Grace T. Cruz, former director of the Population Institute and my thesis adviser, and I told her that I will enroll this semester. To my surprise, she advised me write a letter addressed to Dr. Josefina N. Natividad, the newly-appointed UPPI Director requesting for tuition support. Wow! I really didn't know that the Institute has this kind of stuff. Well, it was UPPI through The David and Lucile Packard Endowment Fellowship that shouldered all my tuition and other authorized school fees since 2006 (by the way, I got a scholarship from UPPI for my program). She also invited me to attend Dr. Mercedes B. Concepcion's birthday and a sort of get-together for UPPI students, faculty and staff, and alumni, and friends. Dr. Concepcion is the former Director of UPPI and the newest National Scientist of the Philippines as per Proclamation No. 1980 issued by Malacanang on 2010 for her contributions in the field of demography. I thanked Dr. Cruz and I went to UP Shopping Center to write a letter. Ate Nea advised me to wait until the next day if my letter will be approved by Dr. Natividad. 

So it was June 10, Friday. I went back to UP Diliman to get some updates on my two requests: one from UPPI Director for tuition support and another one for application for extension of residency from CSSP College Dean. And God is great! Both requests were approved!

It was 3:00 in the afternoon. Many prominent individuals of the UP Population Institute attended MBC's birthday celebration. It was also during this time that they will be discussing things in preparation for the 50th anniversary of the Institute. I was worrying that I might not finish the registration process that day. I went to the Office of the University Registrar for assessment. I arrived at OUR around 3:30pm. Many students were crowding at the entrance gate and a student assistant told us to go back on Monday (June 13) for assessment because it was already cut-off. This wasn't my first experience in UP. That's why we call UP sometimes as 'University of Pila' because of long lines that you need to go through just to get enrolled. Anyway, I told the SA that it was my second day of absence in the office so he let me came in and wait for the long queue. At 4:45pm, my name was called and my Form 5 was given to me. The actual school fees are P3,008.50 to be paid by UP Population Institute. I hurriedly went back to UPPI for adviser's signature and I went to Dr. Nimfa Ogena's office. Dr. Ogena is one of the best professors in UPPI and the new Academic Coordinator. She replaced Prof. Maria Paz Marquez as Academic Coordinator. Dr. Ogena is the sister of the new President of Philippine Normal University (PNU) and the current Director of the Science Education Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), Dr. Ester B. Ogena. I asked several questions to Dr. Ogena about my thesis and she willingly provided her insights and suggestions.

At 5:05, I went back to OUR to submit the other copies of Form 5. It was a tiring day but I was happy. I met my former classmates, professors, and staff of the Institute. I prepared 4,000 pesos for my tuition fee (one 3-unit subject) and my tuition support is really such a big blessing to me.

I am looking forward for this semester for new experiences as a student of Dr. Jonathan David A. Flavier (son of former DOH Secretary Juan Flavier). He'll be teaching "Emerging Issues in Population" every Saturday.

I promise myself to defend my master's thesis successfully this year and be able to wear my sablay again on April 2012 during the Commencement Exercises.

Thank you, Lord, for your goodness! Thank you, UPPI, for your unending support to your students!      

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