University of the Philippines remains a dream school for many not just because of its remarkable efforts in the academe (shoutout to its COVID-19 initiatives, we see you) but also for the “unique” college experience it offers. TBH, it’s a pretty vast term, so we decided to dissect what the Iskolar ng Bayan faces every day: classes.
Were we disappointed? Hell nah. On the list of UP’s hundreds of classes, there really are choices that would make you want to relive IRL schooling. These subjects abolish our perception that classes are too boring and serious—and discussions just travel from one ear to another.
We tried finding out the most unusual classes across the UP System, with some stories from the students and alumni themselves. Some are up for dibs this academic year, while some took a backseat (we’re blaming you, Miss ‘Rona.)
Good news for K-Drama loyalists this quarantine—your brain might be ready for class. Just last weekend, we found out that UP Diliman’s College of Mass Communication now offers an elective where you can dissect K-Drama.
Aside from stable internet and required apps, students are required to watch “Crash Landing on You,” “Chicago Typewriter” and “Misaeng: Incomplete Life” for “Special Topics: Analysis of K-Drama Series.” Can this class play as an extension of your fandom’s FB group? Maybe. Just make sure you won’t sleep on important character arcs.
Walking for Fitness
Hearing the word “PE” might sound like a horror film buildup for some and that’s valid. For those who are still starting their thrilling muscle saga, you might vibe with UP Diliman and UP Los Baños’ walking for fitness class.
Adding to the list of odd PE classes is bird watching. Though a source of laughter, UP Baguio alumnus Bella* describes this subject as a full-package experience. Students get to hike, go places and even practice photography. “For nature lovers, I think it’s interesting lalo na they get to do it in Baguio,” she says.
“For nature lovers, I think it’s interesting lalo na they get to do it in Baguio.”
In a study that reports the byproduct of bird watching in Baguio City, a thorough documentation revealed 90 bird species in the city. Kids, we see those bragging rights.
Mito at Alamat
UP Manila’s Mito at Alamat subject isn’t just special for its focus on homegrown narratives. In former students’ war flashbacks, a certain professor reigns in their memories.
“Weird siya in a way kasi ‘yung professor may mga rituals siya. I think na-share pa niya sa class namin one time na na-feature siya for performing a ritual,” Mayka*, a UPM alumnus shares. “May pagka-unusual lang din siya then naalala ko ‘yung sem-ender project namin sa kanya was to look for a myth or sumulat ng myth.”
Bee*, a UP Los Baños alumnus, regrets not being able to secure a slot with her friends at laughter for yoga class.
It’s a blockbuster PE thing, and we know why—we all want some healthy, guilt-free, voluntary laughter. Imagine doing this gentle, intimate exercise right after a killer math exam? Sign us TF up.
Sex and Culture
Offered in UP Mindanao, Manila and Diliman, this class aims to be a “comparative survey of sex phenomena in their cultural context.” For a UPM alumnus, it’s an interesting college experience.
We talked about our fetishes openly.
“We talked about our fetishes openly,” Seth* says. “Maraming discussions sa origins of fetishes and ‘yung M2M sex in the Philippines. I remember when our professor disclosed to us how to spot for a pay hookup in Robinson’s Midtown area.”
UP Visayas alumnus Amelia reveals that their social recreation subject is—pretty obviously—peak fun. Who would’ve thought you can play tong-its, pusoy dos, mah jong and even hit 100 at videoke as a requirement? Normally, you’d be sent to the office for doing these in a regular class. The universe truly has its favorites.
Fun fact: UPV also has camping. With the university’s picturesque location, we just want to warp ourselves there.
“Nag-walking class kami from Faura to Manila Bay then to Paco and U.N. Avenue, kasi nasa streets na raw ‘yung history.”
Though history subjects are automatically given in college, UP Manila students have experienced learning about it beyond the four corners of the classroom—with a little “fuck books” energy.
Meanwhile, history 1 became a peculiar rite of passage for Elysia and Red because of their quirky professor. “Dahil alam niyang ako lang [ang] nag-iisang 4th year sa klase ng freshies, he made me wear a handmade raincoat na gawa sa Zest-O, only for me to find out na may ipis sa loob. [One time,] ayaw niya sa classroom magklase kaya sa may construction site sa tapat ng College of Allied Medical Professions kami nag-’class’ she recounts,” Red shares.
For Elysia, a short trip made her freshie year special. “Nag-walking class kami from Faura to Manila Bay then to Paco and U.N. Avenue, kasi nasa streets na raw ‘yung history.”
*Names have been changed as requested by the interviewees.