How I passed the UPCAT

Lozarie, Dean - UP Diliman - BA Journalism
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Results of the University of the Philippines College Admission Test or UPCAT, which I and my batchmates took last August, were released today. Although results are still unavailable online due to technical difficulties with Globe Telecom’s connection, I was told I qualified for admission to UP Diliman’s Journalism program, praise be unto God!

To qualify for UP is probably one of the most coveted achievements a high school senior can hope for, and although Journalism was my second course choice (Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accountancy being my first), I’m still shocked that I even passed the UPCAT. I remember how dizzying I found the Mathematics and Science portions of the exam to be. Certainly, I passed the UPCAT not because I have the smarts but because a Higher Power willed it.

Here is my secret to passing the UPCAT.


If you live in the Philippines and watch a good amount of local news, you will probably remember that the Iglesia Ni Cristo (of which I am a member) held massive gatherings in different locales around the country and the world in celebration of its 95th founding anniversary. What fewer people know is that beginning one month prior to the celebrations, we held daily devotional prayers (panata in Tagalog) for the success of our celebrations. Beginning June 22 (if I’m not mistaken), I made the daily ride to church right after school. Although congregational prayers in our locale were scheduled for 7.30pm nightly, I sometimes had to hold my own personal devotional prayers whenever I had UPCAT review classes to attend and couldn’t make it to the congregational prayers. Of course, I prayed primarily for the success of our celebrations (that was the reason for our panata, after all), but I also prayed that the Lord guide me during the UPCAT, that He bless me with a bright future if He so willed, and that above all, His Will be done. I asked Him to allow me to pass UP so that I wouldn’t have to enter a secular university in order to earn a proper education (INC members are highly discouraged from entering secular schools). I so prayed every day for more than a month, even after our July 27 celebrations, in the days leading up to the August 1 test date.

When I took the UPCAT, I felt my prayers were answered, inasmuch as I felt His presence and guidance. Sure, I found the test difficult, but I didn’t feel threatened (if that’s the right word). The moment I finished the test, I knew that I had been granted victory, the results notwithstanding.

Last week, in anticipation of the releasing of the results, I decided to hold another weeklong personal panata, this time asking that He give me the strength and wisdom to accept His Will. I asked Him to teach me how to use the outcome of the test, whatever it may be, to better serve Him.

Today I found out that I qualified for admission into UP. He heeded my prayers. He didn’t leave me alone. Praise be unto God.

I am fortunate to have been brought up learning to place my trust in the Lord. I was always taught by my parents and my elders in Church that no one and nothing in this world can be trusted, that my trust should be placed in the Lord, in the Lord always, and in the Lord only. I was always taught that He will never turn a deaf ear to the prayers of His chosen people so long as we never turn away from Him.

Today I once again saw that He has never deserted me and will never desert me.

This victory is not mine but the Lord’s. Praise be unto God!


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