The University of Texas at Austin wordmark
Small handwriting sample of Eman's First-Year Student Journals, link to journals home page
Eman at the Texas Union Underground

Eman detail

Bowling pins


Name: My legal name is Emmanuel and is the name that appears on the official university enrollment database, but for the sake of maintaining my childhood nickname, everyone who knows me calls me Eman. Now pronouncing my name…that’s another story.

Major: I am currently categorized as undecided in the McCombs School of Business. However, it is my intent to enter the Business Honors Program my sophomore year and graduate with a dual major in Finance, I think. The great thing about college is you can change your major as many times as you like. Now it’s not practical, but that’s beside the point.

College/School: McCombs School of Business

Hometown: Friendswood, Texas

High school: Pearland High School

Facts about your family:
I am a part of a large extended family separated by two continents. My Mom, Dad, and two sisters (one younger and one older) live in Friendswood, Texas. I owe much of who I am to my Mom and Dad; they have helped mold me into the person that I am today. When we’re not fighting, my sisters and I are usually pretty close. All my relatives in my Dad’s side live in the US, whereas almost all my relatives on my Mom’s side live in the Philippines, the country where I was born and raised for the first six years of my life. I consider myself lucky to be part of such two diverse cultures, allowing me to use two perspectives to guide me in life.

Why did you choose to attend The University of Texas at Austin?
Even when I was in elementary school, I had always wanted to attend The University of Texas at Austin. I even remember an essay in fourth grade in which I wrote that the reason I wanted to attend UT was because “burnt orange was a cool color” and “the football team kicks butt.” Clearly, I was a UT student in the making. However, as years passed and the hype of Ivy schools and big name colleges crammed my head, UT became the “backup school,” if I didn’t make it to Harvard, Columbia, Northwestern, Yale, Princeton, or Stanford. But as reality set in towards the end of my junior year I found myself shortening the list of colleges to apply to. What started as a list of seven colleges, six being Ivy League schools and UT being the only public school on my list, ended up as applications sent to only two schools, The University of Texas at Austin and Stanford University. It took my senior year to clear myself of the “Ivy League frenzy,” to really evaluate the colleges I wanted to attend. And in the end, when I was faced with an acceptance letter from UT and a waitlisted letter from Stanford, I chose to decline the further pursuit of acceptance from Stanford’s waitlist and instead embrace my future at The University of Texas at Austin. With one the nation’s highest ranked business schools and current distinction as one of the nation’s best values in terms of its cost, the quality of the education, and commitment to its community, this school’s merits can’t be denied. Yet despite all that UT had to offer academically, what made UT even more special to me were the people I meet, the vibrant yet languid atmosphere, and most importantly, being able to make Austin my second home.

What do you want to do when you graduate from the university?
I eventually want to attend law school and pursue a career in the legal field. Furthermore, I want to be able to actively participate in the effort to halt the spread of AIDS in Africa and perhaps pursue a career in the political field with the future goal of becoming our nation’s first Asian American Secretary of State.

If you could choose one personal object to represent you (an item you brought to campus with you), what would that object be?
Not being a very sentimental or materialistic person, I had to think long and hard about this question. I finally came up with the empowerment tags that I purchased to help support ending the apathy and lack of awareness surrounding our society’s response to the AIDS epidemic. The tags represent all that I believe; mainly you can’t live life without a cause, a goal to achieve, and a dream to believe in. My cause is to spread awareness about the global AIDS pandemic, my goal is to inform one person at a time, and I dream of a future free of AIDS.

If you had to choose one thing about yourself to share with the university’s Web audience, what would it be?
I was born on December 26, 1986. Yes, my birthday always seemed to be forgotten between Christmas and New Years, but that’s beside the point. Being fairly open to the believe that birth signs are often fairly accurate descriptions of ones character, I believe it is important for people to know that I am a Capricorn and, according to the Chinese Zodiac, I was born on the year of the Tiger governed by the elemental sign of Fire. Now, if you really want to know more about me, just look up the various Zodiac signs and you’ll get a pretty good idea of who I am. This is a very complicated issue for me, because I am one to believe that you make your own destiny, that you decide your own fate. Yet, I can’t deny some uncanny semblance of truth when it comes to what my birth signs say about my character.

Who are your heroes?
Growing up reading comic books, I can honestly say that some of my heroes were Spider-Man and the X-Men. Peter Parker, also known as Spider-Man was an inspiration during my gawky adolescent years. The story about a socially awkward teenager who constantly struggled to fit in and to find confidence in himself suddenly being transformed, after a bite from a radioactive spider, into a superhero who still struggled to fit in and find confidence in himself struck at the core of my being. I think that despite how often we idolize our heroes, what we frequently tend to forget is that our heroes are all too human, with human faults, weaknesses, and daily struggles to survive and to come to terms with themselves. The mantra that haunted Spider-Man, “With great power comes great responsibility,” helped me understand and put into to perspective the nature of responsibility and how to apply it to my decisions as I stumbled through my early teenage years. And besides, being able to crawl on walls is really cool. Now, if you’re wondering why the X-Men are my heroes, blame it on growing up watching the X-Men cartoons every Saturday morning. To this day I can still remember the opening tune. If you watched the show you know what I am talking about. The story about a group of outcasts, primarily due to mutations that gives them their powers, striving to live in a world that fears and hates them is universal in application. I think that the struggle to fit in is the ultimate story of our lives. We constantly struggle to fit in, to find our place in this world, to seek comfort and solace in others acceptance. Even now, I still remember dressing up as Cyclops for Halloween, or when my little sister and I used to pretend that we were secretly mutants and would imagine fantastic battles against the evil forces that wanted to destroy the world, mainly our older sister. To this day I still think my little sister is secretly a mutant, born with the uncanny power to constantly annoy me.

If you could travel to one spot anywhere in the world, where would you want to visit?
I have always wanted to visit Italy and immerse myself in the rich culture and history that defines the small country.

What are your current favorite books? What books would you recommend to someone you just met?
I have to say, that when it comes to books, I’m not to picky about the authors, just as long as the content captures my attention. Some of my favorite classic authors are Toni Morrison, Joyce Carol Oates, Ernest Hemingway, and John Steinbeck. Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden are some of my personal favorites. And being the self-proclaimed nerd that I am, I would have to recommend a few comic books just for fun. If you liked the classic X-Men and Spider Man stories, check out the recent Ultimate series, which retells the origin of the popular super-heroes while maintaining the original intent of each series. I also would have to recommend Tuesday’s With Morrie and Shogun. I have to warn you, as you read Tuesday’s with Morrie be prepared to start bawling like a baby towards the end of the book. Finally, I’ve been told that I haven’t truly started living unless I’ve read the recent Harry Potter installment and Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

What pushes your buttons? What are your pet peeves?
One of my biggest pet peeves are people who have no ambition, no drive, no intent to move on with their lives. I consider myself a very driven person, thus it irritates me when people just don’t care about anything, when people are content to be passive spectators in life. Also, I don’t like it when people take my things without asking. I guess you could say I am a possessive person, and besides I never did to well at sharing when I was little.

What music are you listening to currently?
What am I not listening to? When it comes to music, I’m a blank CD. I’ll listen to anything that sounds good, modern or old, rap or country (well… not too much country), mainstream or indie. You name it, I’ll listen to it. Some artists I’ve recently been listening to range from Incubus, Green Day, Alicia Keyes, The Postal Service, Don Mclean, Billie Holiday, Destiny’s Child, Counting Crows, Bob Marley, Coldplay, Crossfade, Culture Club, Elton John, Eisley, Beatles, Eminem, Omarion, John Legend, Rhianna, Kanye West, Joss Stone, Kaiser Chiefs, etc. If you have any suggestions for some good music, tell me about it, that’s the only way I’ll find out.

Favorite colors?
I like different shades of blue and dark, rich red. Being a Longhorn fan, it is also obligatory for me to say that I like orange, mainly “burnt orange” (Go Horns, Hook’em!).

Favorite Web sites? Why?
Lately, I find myself visiting very often. It’s a good tool in college to help you stay connected with old friends and the new friends you make.

Favorite foods?
I have been called the “bottomless pit,” and for good reason. I’ll eat anything and everything. I think I may have been a goat in a previous life. But, I do have to say that I like my Dad’s spaghetti and my Mom’s lumpia.

All-time favorite movies? Why?
Hi, my name is Eman and I am a movie addict. Now with that out of the way, I feel better already. If you haven’t seen Million Dollar Baby you’re missing out on one of our generation’s greatest movies. Directed by Clint Eastwood, the movie will make you laugh and cry at the same time. Being a fan of comic books I would also have to recommend Spider-Man 2 and X2: X-Men United. I’ve also enjoyed watching Empire of the Sun, Batman Begins, The Matrix, Kill Bill: Volume 1 and 2, Shrek 1 and 2, Monster’s Inc., Snatch, Zoolander, Meet the Fockers, The Usual Suspects, The Incredibles, Lilo and Stitch, and Finding Nemo. I think the one thing about all these movies that really caught my attention was their originality, their ability to make me laugh, cry, or both.

Favorite artists?
I am being very liberal about this question and will include in my definition of “artists” actors and musicians. Who can argue that what they do is not a form of art? One of my favorite “artists” would have to be Angelina Jolie. Her beauty is more than skin deep. Her philanthropic efforts to spread awareness about global issues such as, poverty, landmines, and AIDS by using her status as a celebrity, speaks highly of her character and her motives. In a world plagued with apathy, Angelina Jolie’s art goes beyond her skills as an actress (watch Girl Interrupted, and you’ll know what I mean) but includes her skills as UN ambassador. With her actions she paints a brighter future for those who are less fortunate, through her efforts she orchestrates and galvanizes relief in areas most forgotten. And besides, she’s hot. My second choice for my favorite artist was chosen on a whim. I have to take the time to spotlight fellow Texan, and the one true American Idol, Kelly Clarkson. Her voice is inimitable and her down to earth character makes her that much easier to love. She’s the only American Idol winner who has managed to “breakaway” from the slump that followed the other American Idol winners. Everytime she sings, she amazes me with her talent. And besides, I voted for her, so of course I have to support my “home-gurl” (did you catch my weak attempt to be “ghetto”).

Favorite academic subjects? What are you interested in studying in the future?
Right now I am very interested in my Contemporary Modern Philosophy class, which is taught by Professor Bonevac and encompasses many of today’s moral dilemmas. Being a former Speech and Debate competitor in high school, not only did I have the privilege to be the butt of numerous “Master-Debater” jokes, but also developed a deeper appreciation about learning about the events that affect our world. Bonevac’s class just takes what I’ve learned about our world and makes me reexamine each situation in a different mindset. Not only am I interested in studying more about different philosophies and philosophers and how each has impacted our society, but just as a side note, I really want to learn how to play tennis and I am very interested in taking salsa dance lessons.

Favorite spot on campus?
The great thing about this campus is that I have only yet to scrape the surface of what this campus has to offer. On Mondays my favorite spot on campus is the Union Underground, where a large group of my friends and I hold our weekly Guys vs. Girls bowling tournament. What started as a small group of friends has really grown in size, and I can honestly say that I’m not a bad bowler… when I’m not bowling gutter balls. My roommate and I also try to make it a habit to wake up at 6 AM to go work out at Gregory Gym (I know, we’re crazy), which is by far one of my all-time favorite places on campus. There is just so much to do at the gym and it is right across from Jester dorm. On any given day you can play racquetball, basketball, attend the Step class (yes, I attended Step class, and it kicked my butt), lift weights in the weight room, go rock climbing, play table tennis, etc. And to add to the existing facilities, an indoor and outdoor pool is currently in construction and will be finished shortly, adding swimming to the repertoire of things to do in Gregory Gym. One thing you’ll find out about me is that I am a health freak and I love being active. Not to mention, I am also very competitive, sometimes to a fault.

Favorite places to go in Austin? Favorite things to do in Austin?
I am currently in the process of exploring what Austin has to offer. There is so much to do, sometimes I find that it takes me longer deliberating about what I should do than the actually task itself. I want to go visit Barton Spring and take a dip in its freezing waters. Also, I love visiting 6th Street, there’s just so much to do. Not to mention everywhere you go in Austin you’re surrounded by a “devil-may-care” vibe that emanates from the very people that you meet in Austin. It’s no wonder Austin is considered one of our nation’s greatest college towns.

Favorite free-time activities?
I like to work-out, sleep, read a good book, watch a movie, and sleep some more.

Interesting facts about you:
I have just been recently introduced to “Family Guy,” and I have to say that I am addicted.

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