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Friday, March 28, 2014


"What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist. - Salman Rushdie"

In this day and age, some academic institutions have the so called "Overheard" Facebook page. This is where the current students and its alumni share their respective experiences in the University or college. Some share the conversation they heard from fellow students re: variety of topics. More often than not, the posts are about humor. Some are inspirational while some are posted by trolls.

There is now an off-shoot of the "Overheard" craze. This is called the "secret files" page. This is where the students of a particular university or college would post just about anything that their mind would think of.
Mostly, the students would post about their affections towards another student. The "adventurous" ones would post about their sexual experiences. The students loved the concept of the "secret files" because of its "anonymity".

Those who would like to share something would fill up a google form and it will be recorded into the Google docs. The admin of the 'secret files' page would post the story that the anonymous sender would like to share. After the admin would post the said story, some of the subscribers would now guess who posted that entry. It arouses curiosity among them. It is like gossip. It will spread like wildfire.

Even San Beda was caught up with the trend.

However, unlike other secret files pages, the secret files of San Beda is filled with rants, violent reactions to various school activities and worst of all, personal attacks against the professors.

This is probably due to the stress that each law student encounter on a daily basis. Stress + technology is a bad combination.

Even with the passing of the CyberCrime law, the posting of rants and personal attacks remain undeterred. The law students love the anonymity so much that they tend to be careless.

I think the students used the "secret files" platform to level with the institution. The students know that the school administration would use their opinions against them. "secret files" is a sort of release of their inner frustrations.

The problem is the school administrators are also into social media. They also check the post in the 'secret files'. They even comment on some of the post.

The disadvantage of having "secret files" in law school is that once a student rants about a particular professor, it can be easily determined who is the professor that the student is referring to. Well that is because there are only a few number of professors in law school and such professors have particular habits. So by process of elimination, the professor in the said post will be easily pinpointed.

Now, once the school administrators detect a negative feedback from their students, they will see to it that the students will experience a very firm rebuttal from them.

The entire class and not only the student who posted will experience the wrath of the professor.  Actually, the situation got out of hand that the entire student population is now affected by the negative feedback posted in the 'secret files'. The students now have less bargaining power from the professors. It is now harder for the students to get a favorable request from the administrators of their requests.

The worst case scenario is that the admin of the 'secret files' will be investigated by the student tribunal subject to disciplinary actions from the school. There are now rumors that the school officials will tap the services of the NBI to locate the Facebook user who created the "Secret files" page.

Personally, I like the "secret files" page. It makes the students aware of the controversies in school. It helps them to be vigilant or observant in their surroundings. It helps them to be aware of their actions because someone might see their wrongdoings and expose them in the secret files.

However, what I do not like are the posts which are just manufactured with no ounce of truth. The 'troll' posts.

Hopefully, the Secret Files will continue to be the avenue for where the students discuss some legitimate issues among themselves. The students would not do anything stupid like launching a rally to impeach school officials. They just like to blow off some steam so to speak. That is why the school officials must not be worried by the sudden interest of the students in the page. They must let their students be.



As a student, I find it hard advancing from second year to third year.

It all started during my High School days,

I was a member of the star section during my freshman and sophomore years in HS but I was relegated to the 2nd section during my junior year. During that time, I was determined to go back into the star section.

Long story short, I was able to make it back to the first section during my senior year.

Fast forward to college...

During my 2nd year, I flunked Stat1. This was my first taste of 'singko' or 5 (first of many haha).  This was probably the year I develop the unnecessary vices like drinking during the weekdays, weekends, holidays (Hint: everyday). I devoted a lot of 'man-hours' for computer games. A whole lot of those were allotted for NBA games (haha). My second year to third year was like 90% non-academic activities and 10% academic activity (go to classes and cram for exams).

Long story short, I graduated from UPLB with a degree in Agribusiness Management. I thank the Lord for His guidance and the continued support from my mother in order to earn that elusive diploma. However, I don't regret the hours spent for procrastination and leisure. It helped me made wise decisions later on! talk about maturity, epiphany and more! hahaha

Fast forward to the present...

San Beda College of Law is notoriously known for having QPI (maintaining average) for students.

I barely passed my first year with an average of 78.4 (QPI is 78 for 1st year in order to advance to 2nd year)

BUT when the grades for my second year came out. I was well-off the cut-off rate. My average is 76.8 (QPI is 79). As pinoys would describe it... "Malayong-malayo sa katotohanan"

Long story short, I was forced to transfer to other law schools. After some talk with my mother and weighing other options, I took my talents to the south of Manila. I am fortunate that Dean Ulpiano "Ulan" Sarmiento accepted me in his school.

My college blockmate once told me that he likes my confidence. It seems that nothing fazes me and that I'm full of positive energy.

Those words didn't describe my demeanor when I transferred in San Beda College Alabang School of Law. My confidence was shook. My game plan was not to enroll the full load per semester. I planned to finished all my back subjects and those which I haven't taken yet.

Right now, I think I am fully acclimated in the SBCA atmosphere. Because of the lesser academic load, I am fully prepared during the exams. No backlogs and I have enough time to read the exam coverage for the 2nd time. Gradually, my confidence is rising up as a result of the positive results of my exams.

Hopefully, I would be able to pass all my subjects this school year.

And  I am really hoping that just like in High School and in College, I would be able to overcome all my struggles in order to graduate in Law School and successfully pass the BAR!...