YR 47 Issue 1 2011
A comedian’s comeback
“Upon the education of the people of this country, the fate of this country depends.” - Benjamin Disraeli

FROM being one of the sought after comedians in the showbiz industry during his time, television and film actor Dennis Padilla makes an unexpected comeback in the Faculty of Arts and Letters (Artlets).

Despite his busy schedule, Padilla’s burning desire to finish his studies took over him as he decided to take his back subjects after 26 years of being active in show business. For Padilla, education must be prioritized for it functions as “a tool to improve one’s living.”

The comeback

It was last June 2010 when Padilla enrolled in the Faculty to complete his back subjects namely the Reserved Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and Thesis courses. A Political Science major, Padilla failed to defend his thesis paper in 1984. “Tapos ko nang isulat, ‘di ko lang na-defend,” he said.

Despite his desire to complete his education last year, Padilla still failed to defend his thesis because of having “difficulties in time management.”

Still, Padilla showed optimism by keeping a positive attitude and expressing excitement to return to school. “At least, thesis
na lang,” he said.

With his endeavor to finish his course, Padilla plans to enroll again in 2012 and hopefully finish all the requirements. Even as an undergraduate, Padilla admitted that he was able to apply the political science lessons he learned over the years especially when he became councilor of Caloocan in 2001.

Nevertheless, he reiterated that the real reason for his decision to come back was because of his principles, and not out of using them for his political interests. “
Iba pa rin ang may pinag-aralan,” Padilla said. He added that there were also times when his children would ask him why he does not have a college degree, a situation he finds difficult to explain.

Padilla admitted that he was really looking forward in getting his diploma so he could finally show his children the real importance of education. “That would do the explanation needed,” Padilla said, anticipating the time to have his diploma framed and displayed in their home.

Short recollections

At a young age, Padilla already expressed desires to become an actor like his father, Dencio. “Since elementary
gusto ko ng mag-artista,” he said. However, he was restrained to become a full-time child actor and was only allowed to attend acting commitments during weekends out of his father’s fear that it might affect his studies.

“Our father wanted us to finish studying,” he said, adding that his father’s strictness eventually paid up. He finished his elementary and secondary education from the Notre Dame of Greater Manila in Caloocan City.

When he was about to enter college, his options were San Beda College, University of the East, and the University of Santo Tomas where he passed all the entrance examinations. “
Nakapasa ako doon sa tatlo pero pinili ko sa UST,” Padilla said, adding that the University’s large environment and refreshing atmosphere contributed in his decision to become a Thomasian. Furthermore, he took Political Science
because of his interest to become a lawyer in the future.

Padilla considers the block system imposed by the University as one of the most remarkable things it offers. As part of a block, he was able to build strong ties with some of his batchmates, with whom he
still has connections until now.

Being active in the show business industry during his college days, Padilla said that he learned how to blend with everyone inside the campus not as a celebrity, but as an ordinary person. However, he admitted that his tapings and showbiz commitments caused conflicts in some of his school activities.

He shared that one of the worst experiences he had back then was the difficulty in juggling his time for academics and showbiz, further narrating that his thesis mates felt upset every time he was not able to contribute in their group work. It was then when he decided that he should set his priorities straight for everyone else’s benefit.

Educational philosophy

Padilla’s perspective towards education is more than just finishing the degree as a societal norm. For him, the real bearing of education is to know how to effectively relate and communicate with people while giving them due respect.

“It trains you how to treat your friends, professors, family, and even your enemies properly,” Padilla said, adding that moral values and good conduct are among the important lessons a person can acquire in studying.

“Anyone can be successful,” Padilla said. “However, being educated makes you worthy to impart knowledge to other people”.

For Padilla, education is not merely a gift for one’s self but also a gift intended for others. It is an opportunity to offer something to the people you encounter in life.

Sa edukasyon, walang age limit,” he said, addressing all Thomasians and noting that it is better to graduate late than never. Padilla also mentioned that every Thomasian must be thankful for they have parents who give them the opportunity to have top-quality education.

Masuwerte kayo na may mga magulang kayong napag-aaral kayo sa kabila ng hirap ng buhay,” he said. He advised every student to make the most out of the opportunity given to them to study because education is a wealth that never runs out. F
Year 47 |  Issue 3 |  2011
Dennis Padilla
Year 47 |  Issue 4 |  2012