Education Society & Culture

Ateneans can’t help being “elitists” in the same way gay people can’t help being gay

It’s the predictable outcome following an athletically “underdog” university going up against a school with the resources and priorities to breed championship basketball teams. Alumni of the University of the Philippines (UP) go to the games to cheer their Maroons then watch as they get routed by the Blue Eagles. Then alumni of the Ateneo de Manila congratulate themselves and suddenly they are derided as “elitists”.

Well, when you go up against the Coños de Manille, expect to be whispered about when they retreat back into their gated subdivisions outside of earshot of the Political Correctness Police. At the end of the day, these are members of a tiny ultra-elite clique of people and families very few Filipinos can even begin to understand.

While the Filipino public at large shaped their perceptions of the rich on a diet of telenovelas and Star Cinema romcoms where the chi chi classes are almost always portrayed as the villains, these true elites grew up knowing exactly who they are and what their place in society is. And, really, there is nothing wrong with that.

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As much as that noble puso (heart) went into the “fight” the UP Maroons threw into their game, the Ateneans won because, well, they were raised to believe in an entitlement to and to aspire for nothing less than the top of the social pyramid. This is a community where one’s only real important choice growing up is to take or leave the Great Parental Expectation.

Many did and many left. But most made their choice after the education up The Hill. That is an upbringing that many would like to casually slap the “elitist” label upon. But to those who live and breathe it, it just simply is what it is.

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