I conceptualized this project a few weeks ago when I was in UP with Marie. She was preparing for the UP Diliman university graduation, and it got me reminiscing about my time there. I think it’s appropriate that my 1st random thing is about my time there.
TLDR version: I paid for my thesis with drug money.
So before I get targeted by some riding-in-tandem duo and killed in the streets, let me make it very clear that I was neither a drug pusher or a drug user. I was simply teenager in my final year of university with very limited money. I hardly had any money to eat, so the idea that I would have to pay to edit, print, re-edit, and re-print my thesis multiple times over was very worrying.
One time, I was walking in the street on my way to school, I saw something on the ground that looked like rolled up paper with an elastic band keeping it together. When I opened the roll I freaked out. It was six 500 peso bills. 3000 pesos was a huge amount at that time. At first I was shocked, and then when it finally sunk it, I felt sad. Because it was huge amount of money, all I could think was that someone might have lost their family’s food allowance for the month, it might have been their rent money, and stuff like that.
I looked around to see if there was anyone who looked like they were looking for money they had dropped. There was no one around. I sat in the center island near the bus stop for almost 30 minutes just in case someone would come back for the money. No one came. I also contemplated asking people nearby if they had dropped any money, but figured that wouldn’t be very smart because hello, who would say no. After half an hour, I really needed to make my way to school or else I’d be late, so I left with the 3000 pesos.
I was feeling really guilty, so when I got to school I told my friends what I found. I remember Marie saying OMG you have to give the money to a church or something so that the money can be used for good. I seriously thought about doing that, but like I said, I really, really didn’t have much money, and the first edit of my thesis was due for submission. So I said a prayer, I said sorry, God, but I really need this money right now, and I just hoped that the karma wouldn’t be too bad.
Well, karma did come. I did manage to pay for most of what I needed to do for my thesis with the money, but I went through lots of sh*t during my defense because my thesis adviser was having a spat with one of the panelists (his ex-gf in college). I almost didn’t graduate on time, but after my Mom went to my thesis adviser and cried in front of him, he stopped being such an asshole and things got settled.
So how did I know that the rolled up money was drug money? A few months later when I was already working in a sales company, a colleague was telling me how one of her clients paid for a very expensive home defensive system in cash… using rolled up peso bills tied together in elastic bands. She thought it was a bit weird, so she asked the folks in that neighborhood about her client and it turns out that her client was a known drug lord. So though I technically don’t know if the roll of peso bills I found was drug money, I’m almost 90% certain it was. But thank God for that 3000 pesos otherwise I don’t know what I would have done to get the money I needed at the time.