JETT Manuel looks forward to June when he is set to graduate at University of the Philippines with a degree in civil engineering.
The UP Maroon said he is excited in the coming months as he is on his way to finishing his college education, more so since only a few college basketball students have taken up civil engineering in the state-run university.
“As of recent memory, ako pa lang ang gagraduate (sa team) ng civil engineering so medyo exciting for me,” Manuel admitted.
Manuel said it has always been tough to balance academics with athletics, especially since he is studying in UP that's known for its strict academic requirements.
“People really overlook how difficult it is to balance it. I’m not saying na hindi ako bumagsak. Sabi nila, it’s normal lang daw for engineering students to fail, but I’m proud of myself that I’m actually graduating,” said Manuel.
Manuel shared that he took up civil engineering because of his parents, who owns a business related to the cement industry where he was exposed early on.
“I got exposed early sa construction. So I thought of making something where I can take a license. I thought to myself if I want to specialize on something, might as well get a license out of it,” Manuel said.
Early in college, Manuel said he has witnessed for himself how UP has no special treatment toward its student-athletes.
“In terms of balancing, I have to balance a lot of things to keep up with my education because walang special treatment sa UP especially engineering. I have to the study like the other students,” said Manuel.
After graduating, Manuel said he is not done with studying. As part of the requirement to play for UAAP Season 79, Manuel is planning to take up either a Masters’ degree or a second course. He, however, is not taking a course just for the sake of it.
“Possibly something related to accounting or economics kasi it’s something I didn’t take up in college,” he said.
When asked why, Manuel said he is also preparing for life outside basketball as he also plans to take up the civil engineering board exam next year. He also owns a Holcim Hub in Visayas Avenue where an accounting or economics degree will help him manage the business.
“If I’m going to take something else, might as well take something that I can learn from, instead of something na I won’t use. Opportunity na rin to learn something that I can use,” said Manuel.
“I really learned a lot from my parents. They are guiding me. Personally, having a business is something that I want to go to also aside from being a basketball player and hopefully make it to the PBA or even Gilas if I work harder,” he added.