Erik Santos proudly says education is the foundation of his career

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"Tiniyaga ko talaga na makatapos kaagad," says Erik Santos about his decision to go back to school. He recently graduated with a B.S. Psychology degree at the Centro Escolar University.


"Ang sarap ng feeling na tapos ka na," said Erik Santos about his recent achievement as a college graduate. The singing champ just got his B.S. Psychology diploma at the Centro Escolar University last Tuesday, April 13.

The Pinoy Prince of Pop initially took Dentistry in the same school. However, he decided to shift to Psychology when he returned to school after taking a break from his studies.

"Eventually, nagustuhan ko na rin siya kasi it's a very interesting course, e. You study people, people's behavior. So ako, parang nagagamit ko sa trabaho ko. Ako, I meet a lot of people every day, napag-aaralan ko ang mga moves nila–bakit ganito, bakit ganito ang ugali nila. So 'yon, ang laking tulong talaga, pinag-aralan ko talaga 'yong effect ng fame sa behavior ng isang artista," Erik said at the launching of Star Records' inspirational album Sa 'Yo Lamang yesterday, April 14.

When did he make a decision to finish college?

"Actually, na-invite ako sa isa sa mga programa sa school namin. Kasi siyempre, kapag nag-i-invite sila, I always say yes lalo na kapag may time naman. 'Yon, na-convince ako ng dean namin na ipagpatuloy. [Sabi niya], 'Why don't you continue your studies? Tutulungan ka namin. I will talk to all your teachers na i-accommodate nila kung anuman ang available schedule mo, then we'll work it out.'"

Did he do well in his studies?

"Ay, naku, with flying colors!" he joked. "Hindi, siyempre, since nandoon na ako, kinarir ko na rin 'yong pag-aaral ko."

Does Erik have plans to practice what he learned in school?

"Actually, 'yong pag-practice ng course ko, hindi ko pa masyadong napag-iisipan," he replied. "Pero my professors, kumbaga, they're convincing me na mag-graduate school pa ako. I'm still thinking kung ipe-pursue ko pa 'yon. As of now, gusto ko muna mag-focus sa career ko bilang singer."

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SACRIFICES AND SUCCESS. Erik also admitted that his decision to finish school caused him to lose some projects.

"May mga sacrifices talaga," he said. "May mga projects na hindi naoohan kasi nga may defense, hindi naoohan kasi may final exam. Pero 'yong mga professors ko from CEU, they were so considerate. Napaka-kind nila to accommodate 'yong available schedule na mayroon ako. For example, may tour ako abroad, nakikisama po sila doon. Pero kahit na may tour ako abroad, talagang nag-aaral pa rin ako kasi ine-email nila sa akin ang assignments ko or 'yong dapat kong gawin."

Erik did not worry too much about his career even though he was more focused on his studies.

"Nandiyan naman ang Star Records and Backroom, Inc. to support me. So, hindi nawala 'yong pagkanta ko ng theme song sa teleserye, ng movie. 'Yong album ko [The Jim Brickman Songbook], maganda rin naman ang sales. Kasi before ako nagpatuloy, kinausap ko 'yong manager ko," he said.

Erik also mentioned that it's possible for a celebrity to get a degree in college as long as they have a strong will to do it.

"Kahit naman gaano ka-busy, kaya naman kung gugustuhin," he stated. "Ako naman, education-oriented ako na tao. Before kasi, noong hindi pa ako sumasali sa mga singing contest at wala pa ako sa showbiz, I was doing well in school, e. Hindi dahil sa matalino ako, kundi dahil masipag ako mag-aral. Sa tingin ko, 'yon ang foundation ko para maging matagumpay ako, e. So, hanggang sa naging busy ako, naging celebrity ako, naging singer ako, hindi pa rin nawala 'yong hunger ko, 'yong willingness ko to finish my studies."

Erik also considers his diploma as a bigger achievement than the recognitions he got as a music artist.

"To let you know, this is more than all the recognitions, all the awards I've been receiving doon sa seven years ko sa showbiz. Ito na 'yong pinaka-sweet, pinakamatindi sa lahat na hindi mananakaw ng kahit na sino. It's a cliché na hindi mananakaw ng kahit sino, pero inuulit ko, hindi talaga siya mananakaw ng kahit na sino. Kasi, ito 'yong bagay na pinagtrabahuhan mo, pinaghirapan mo, not only for the money.

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"Alam mo 'yon, kasi minsan sa showbiz, ang tingin parang, 'Talented lang 'yan, guwapo lang 'yan, maganda lang 'yan, pero wala namang laman.' Doon nagkakamali 'yong iba dahil mostly, lahat po ng mga artista, ay matatalino talaga at nakapagtapos. And I'm proud to say na isa ako doon sa mga nakapagtapos."

At the end of the interview, the newly-grad singer left an advice to fellow celebrities who want to finish school and work at the same time.

"Kaya nila kung gugustuhin nila. Medyo mahirap, may mga bagay na isa-sacrifice, may mga trabaho na hihindian, pero it's all worth it. I mean, kapag nakasampa ka na ng stage, narinig mo na ang pangalan mo as graduate of 2010, parang lahat ng nawala sa 'yo na booking or projects, okay lang."


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