- UP History Major graduated summa cum laude—the first woman to do so
- She is also the department’s fourth summa cum laude
- She actually did not plan on achieving any honors but only wanted to do her best
MANILA, Philippines – On its Facebook page, the University of the Philippines (UP) History Department proudly congratulated Julia Catherina P. Agoncillo as its first-ever female summa cum laude.
Agoncillo, holder of a BA Kasaysayan, graduated with an impressive general weighted average (GWA) of 1.1222. In doing so, she also became only the fourth summa cum laude in the history of the UP History Department.
The three others were Zeus A. Salazar (1955, AB History), Alfredo C. Robles, Jr. (1976, AB History), and Ariel C. Lopez (2007, BA Kasaysayan).
The UP History Department also mentioned Guadalupe Fores, another graduate who finished summa cum laude in 1929 with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Education (BSE), Major in History.
In an interview with ABS-CBN, Agoncillo—“Chiqui” to her friends and family—said she actually wasn’t planning on achieving any honors in the first place.
“The conscious effort to graduate with honors came late. Entering college, the only real plan was simply to do my best, and watch what happens,” she pointed out.
Now that everything’s been said and done, Agoncillo shared her secret to being a good student.
“I doubt there is anything special about the way I study, but efficient time management is everything,” she said. “If you make it a point to pay close attention in class and take decent notes, you won’t have to set aside much time to study after classes. It also pays to be organized.”
Agoncillo added that one should also take some time off to relax so as to stay sane and refreshed.
“Finally, stay sane by finding other things to do than just study: pick up a hobby, enjoy a drink with family and friends, indulge in your favorite television series” she said.