When I decided to write about Tatak UP, I felt it right to ask what my dad thought of it first. He, and all of his siblings, graduated from UP. I asked my dad what he thinks of Tatak UP, what makes one an iskolar ng bayan, what makes one with tatak UP different from anybody else. He said that tatak UP means having self-confidence but not being arrogant and “Nag-iisip bago bumanat!” and then he said “Look around you, anak, then look at the mirror. What do you see?”
What do I see? What do I see? Does everyone I see have the tatak UP? I don’t think so. I think having it means to earn it first, experience it first, and welcome it first. Having it means being intelligent and smart, being able to fight for what is right even if it doesn’t meet the standards of society. It means being ready for whatever life has in store.
Tatak UP means bravery; bravery in the sense of being ready, not charging to whatever feels like it. It means having the ability to do what’s necessary but also have control. It’s a commitment and a job to take on for a very long time.