UP student who failed UPCAT graduates summa cum laude

MANILA, Philippines – A graduate of the University of the Philippines - Diliman admitted that she didn’t pass the UP College Admission Test (UPCAT) in 2018. However, she still finished her degree with flying colors after graduating summa cum laude.

Gia Santos Evangelista failed the UPCAT
Gia Santos Evangelista failed the UPCAT but graduated summa cum laude | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/ UP Diliman

Life is indeed full of unexpected plot twists. For many, failing the UPCAT seems like such a big disappointment. However, Gia Santos Evangelista's story proves that failing the UPCAT isn't the end of the road but an inspiration to do more.

As UP Diliman shared photos of their list of summa cum laude, Gia’s story stood out as she admitted her insecurities and success. Wearing her iconic UP 'sablay,' she couldn't help but look back at how she started her long journey. She shared that she was one of those who failed the UPCAT, which has been one of her insecurities. She soon realized that the exam didn't stop her because she was determined to succeed. Despite the UPCAT being an important factor in entering the university, it doesn't measure one's grit and determination.

She wrote, "I did not pass UPCAT, and it has been my greatest insecurity as a UP student. But being here today, not as an SCL but simply as a graduating student, means that if there's one thing that UPCAT has failed to measure, it's my grit.”

According to Gia, she qualified in the UP Diliman through the Iskolar ng Bayan Act of 2014. It allowed top students from public schools to enter the UP’s scholarship program. Gia said UP has always been her dream school, and failing the UPCAT was something she was ashamed about.

"I was very insecure about it to the point that I deliberately hid it from my college peers, afraid that they will look at me differently," Gia said.

Despite it, Gia finished her Bachelor of Science in Social Work degree as a summa cum laude. She wanted her story to be an inspiration to those who are ready to give up after experiencing failures. Gia said she wants to be recognized for her achievements, not her failures.

"I do not want to be the 'Summa Cum Laude that did not pass the UPCAT.' I just wanted to be a Summa Cum Laude," she said.

"This is for everyone that has failed. Do not let it define you. Let it fuel you. Your time will come," she added.

In the end, Gia said she shares her achievement with those who supported her throughout her journey. She said her success is not her own but, most of all, theirs as well.

“I would like to share this honor with my family, who have supported me unconditionally (though I think they're secretly clueless about my course); my friends, who have made this journey fun and bearable; my person, who has been my constant through it all; and to the Filipino people, to whom I owe this education to,” she wrote.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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