Lara Francheska Beldia, my apo, a recent grade 12 (with honors) graduate of Miriam College (Quezon City) truly deserves a heartfelt commendation and congratulations for having been admitted to the UP College of Fine Arts in Diliman, Q.C

The young lady is majoring in painting following the footsteps of her uncle (Nubbin) who, incidentally, was once a winner in a national painting contest sponsored by the Metro-Bank Foundation.

Due to the pandemic, UP cancelled the UPCAT (UP College Admission Test). Instead, applicants were made to submit artworks for the Round 1 screening and evaluation. According to her Mom, Vanessa, Lara’s portfolio (which by the way, filled a whole balik bayanbox) consisted of her paintings, sculptures, prints and photography. Lara said all applicants were made to sign an affidavit of authenticity… “baka may mag submit ng ‘fake’ at hindi nila ginawa yun” “Sa interview umiyak ako, especially during the part when I mentioned that my Papa, who is my most avid fan and supporter, already passed away.”

The instruction next was for us to check the internet to find out if we made it because our student member will be encoded there.”

“I texted my family to ask for prayers because I was so nervous and feeling depressed already. But Tate Twink’s immediate answer made me laugh! Don’t worry na Cheskits… I already made “kulit” the young saints in heaven like Maria Goretti, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, Dominic Savio, Philomena, Pedro Calungsod and blessed Carlo Acutis. Ha Ha!”

It was half an hour past midnight when Valenlen (Erika) texted me. “Lara made it!”

From Vanessa: “Wala na gani ko magtulog binantay sina!” Praise God and thank you.”*