READ: UP Graduate Shares His Uplifting Story About Having a Steadfast Faith

This uplifting story shared by a UP graduate will truly inspire you.

inspiring up student

We’ve written plentiful inspiring graduation stories in These stories truly inspire us and give hope to those who are about to give up. Either way, everyone needs a dose of uplifting stories once in awhile.

Having said that, this story shared by Jamie Gimena will teach you not to give up easily.

He shared that “it was never an easy 4-year stay” at UP. He recalled that it’s easier to fail than to maintain inside UP. He was an honor student and aced his subjects in high school but struggled to get a passing grade in general subjects in College. He failed several times but he didn’t give up. Rather, he used it as motivation to better his studies.

Yesterday, June 26, after all the hardships, he proudly said: “Salamat sa Diyos, natapos ko sya with flying colours – as University Scholar. Praise God!”

Prepare to be inspired on how you can fail forward by reading his uplifting story below:

Aaminin ko nahirapan ako sa UP. It was never an easy 4-year stay. Totoo talaga, “Mas mahirap makalabas kaysa makapasok”.

Simula palang first year, hirap na ako. From an honor student in high school to struggling to pass his GE subjects. Unang sem palang, dalawa na agad Singko ko, Eng1 at NatSci1. Second sem, sabi ko babawi ako for my parents. Unfortunately, sablay naman ako sa Math 100. 1st year palang sinubok na agad ako. Kinompute ko yung 1st year GWA ko, 3.39 ata. Ganun kalala. Isang sem pa na puro bagsak, baka ma kick out na ako. Those trying times, ramdam ko yung pressure ng college knowing na we are iskolar ng bayan for a reason pero that time, hindi ko feel na belong ako sa UP acads-wise. Dumating sa point na gusto na ako ilipat ng parents ko sa ibang school. That time, nagkaroon ako ng doubt sa sarili ko. Baka nga hindi ako meant for this University.

Ako yung estudyanteng confident in front of class ‪#‎BiboKid‬. As much as possible magre recite ako or magli lead ako ng group work. Kaya akala ng marami matalino talaga ako. Hindi Lang nila alam, halos every night before exams, iniiyakan ko Yung pagme memorize or pagpilit ko sa sarili na maintindihan bawat lessons. Those trying times, alam ko pinepeke ko nalang Ang sarili ko. Ika nga sa meme, “I love to study. I love to study.” pero at the end of the day, nahihirapan talaga ako sa mga acads. Lagi nalang akong hindi ready tuwing exams. I needed longer hours to study kahit sa quiz or short exam.

Hindi naman ako tamad. I would spend 2-5 hours a day para mag aral at mag review ng past lessons and even advanced lessons. ‘Pag labas ng results ng exams, nadi disappoint ako kasi parang hindi nagma match yung effort ko sa exam scores ko. Nagdouble doubt ako sa sarili ko.

There were times, I would pray na matapos na ‘tong paghihirap ko, that time Yun nalang yung prayer ko. Pero God impressed to me through prayer and fasting event that He will be with me. He will not leave or forsake me. “Do not fear or be dismayed” (Deut 31:8).

Naging routine ko na ang papasok-aral-exam-uuwi-aral, yun Lang for so many loooong years. Madalas, brinabraso ko lahat. Always by my own will and strength. Nakakasawa Sa totoo lang. But what a great everyday reminder from Him, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13) My fears of failing exams, failing subjects and even not graduating on time turned into sweet promises of hope and peace. Never ata naging ganun ka gaan yung pakiramdam ko. I was so relieved. I let go of my fears and anxieties, and I put my full dependence on God.

Kala ko after ko I-surrender lahat, okay na. Graduating year-Midyear, nag 9 units ako para makahabol sa “on time” graduation to help my family. Sadly, never na ata nag-stop Yung struggle ko. Kuwatro ako sa Stat101 at kapag mabagsak ko ‘to, malaki ang chance na made delay na ako; salamat sa Diyos, na removed ko naman. 1st sem-2016, kala ko okay na lahat after ng midyear removals. After the first sem,friends be like “physics 10 grades are out!!” Kinakabahan ako tignan kasi I was expecting tres or kwatro as the worst case scenario. Pagtingin ko sa CRS, bagsak ako sa Physics 10, yes GE lang pero hirap talaga ako. From a totally relieved individual turned into a totally devastated student. All hopes of graduating on time seemed to vanish. But I stood up and kept fighting. I was reminded by the story of Jesus and His disciples when they cross a lake then suddenly a storm and waves (on a lake!!) came and his disciples were rattled about it. “And He arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” God allows “storms and waves” in our “lakes” to test our heart and our faithfulness. Challenge accepted! 2nd sem-2016, I had to do extreme time management from my org and council duties, to my thesis, to my 250 hours internship, attend to my 15 more units in the classroom. Every time na pupunta na ko sa repeat subject ko, naiiyak ako at sinisisi ko sarili ko dahil sa pagkakamali ko last sem; may voice na nagre remind sa akin every time na I am failure pero hinayaan ko lang ‘yun. Marami ng 21 units Lang ‘to! My God is way bigger than this!” That’s just in my mind every time I wanna give up during my literally sleepless and restless nights. 1st week of June, grades are all in. Salamat sa Diyos, natapos ko sya with flying colours – as University Scholar. Praise God! I don’t know how would I survive that semester if I just trusted on my own. One thing is for sure, God’s grace and mercy allowed me to survive this UP Life.

I am very grateful how God allowed failures in my college life; I got to know Him deeper during the process. I learned to fully trust Him. I don’t brag about these singkos and failures I met in college but I just wanna testify that it is possible to succeed despite your imperfections. I just realised that those waves during my stay in the university made me a better surfer in life. To those who failed and are failing, I wanna encourage to don’t stop believing in yourself! Keep fighting and praying! I-iyak niyo kay Lord. Seek Him and His plans for you. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33)

This bachelor’s degree will always remind me where I came from and what I have been through but most of all, it will always remind me of the responsibility held on my shoulder — to love and to serve the country and its people. It has been a rollercoaster ride, Lord! This June 26, we will end a chapter and start a new ride filled with Your presence!

Jamie Albert V. Gimena
Bachelor of Sports Science
(1.76!!!, Muntik) Cum Laude
University of the Philippines, Diliman

PS: Hi, Dad and Mama! Finally masasabi ko na rin po yung mga Singko at Kuwatro ko kasi graduating na naman ako hehe Patawarin niyo po ako ????????


Truly inspiring. Thank you for sending us some good vibes today. Congratulations and we wish you all the best.

Evidently, we need to be reminded sometimes. We need to read other stories to inspire us. To encourage us. To motivate us to become a better person.

Remember: “There is a good reason they call these ceremonies “commencement exercises.” Graduation is not the end; it’s the beginning.” – Orrin Hatch

Have you got any inspiring stories to share? Join the discussion here.


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