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Bob Ong and the Cost of an Education

2012 November 13
by pam artiaga

This morning, I went to LTO to get my Student’s Permit. The place wasn’t as chaotic as I had expected, nor was the queue for licensing as long, but it still took me more than an hour to get to the start of the line.

That hour or so was enough for me to finally finish Bob Ong’s ABNKKBSNPLAko. It’s quite a short book but it took me a while to finish it. Two months, almost ten Trivia Nights, more than a dozen weekends, and a four-day vacation, yet all I needed to finish it was an hour spent waiting at the LTO.

Towards the end of the book, there was a section where Mr. Bob Ong calculated the cost of his education. (More than 150,000 pesos, for those who want to know.) Having nothing better to do than wait for my turn to start with the licensing process, I decided to calculate mine as well. I thought Bob Ong’s 150,000-peso education was a bit costly, but my own education turned out to be costlier at around 200,000 pesos.

Here’s the breakdown:

High school annual fees                                 — 5,000
Total allowance in high school                   — 32,000
Total expense for high school projects   — 24,000
College tuition                                                   — 40,000
Total allowance in college                            — 64,000
Total expense for college projects           — 40,000

I didn’t include the school fees from grade school since I can’t remember ever needing to pay for anything except for the 10-peso Scouting fee. There were probably others, but my estimates for the high school and college fees are more than generous and should be enough to cover for the excluded grade school fees.

So that’s for a grand total of 205,000 pesos. I can get a really good computer, a top-of-the-line laptop, and several gaming consoles for that, with enough to spare for a Harry Potter Boxed Set and the complete DVD/Blu-ray set for the New Series Doctor Who.

Was it worth it? Yes.

Did I make good use of it? I can’t say that I didn’t, but I also can’t give a straight “yes”. Not yet.

Oh, and the book was good. Light, witty, and funny — an enjoyable read.

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