awesome advice. thanks to whoever did this. it helped a lot. wish me luck on tomorrow’s exam. :D

UPCAT Day Tips for UP Diliman Test Takers

upcat day tips

If you’re taking the UPCAT in UP Diliman, bear in mind the following tips:

  1. If you want to totally avoid the traffic jam, consider sleeping in the UP Hotel (formerly PCED Hostel).  This is inside the UP Campus, near Ilang-Ilang Residence Hall and Balay Kalinaw.
  2. There will be a lot of Food stands [Jolibee, Shakeys, McDo, etc] around the academic oval come UPCAT so don’t bother bringing lunch.  You’ll just regret it.  But if you want to sample great UP food, try the bbq at the Bbq House just off the Sunken Garden, the roast beef in the U.P. Law canteen, the shawarma from a Babba Shawarma stall at the UP Diliman Oval, the tapsilog in the Rodics canteen found inside the UP shopping center, or the Chix in a Basket in Choco Kiss that is located in the first and second floor of the Bahay ng Alumni.
  3. Don’t hesitate to ask for directions if you’re lost!  Believe me, UP students have grown accustomed to it and nothing is dumber than trying to figure out UP on your own.  Just make sure not to ask co-UPCAT takers or it will be the blind leading the blind.  Oh and get 2 sets of directions [from 2 different people of course] before proceeding to walk; some students get a kick out of toying with obviously lost UPCAT takers.
  4. Don’t just sit anywhere –  especially those little huts with tables and concrete chairs.  Some of them are fraternity tambayans and you might find yourself becoming an instant neophyte. Rule of thumb, if there’s a logo, a corkboard or filing cabinets near where you’re sitting, chances are a student organization or a frat owns those chairs. [tell your parents about this, too]
  5. If you’re running late and still don’t know where your exam room is, don’t panic.  Start from near the Sunken Garden and ask for directions from there; all the exam buildings are generally within walking distance from this location.
  6. Watch out for UP students pretending to be UPCAT takers [yes, some of them have nothing better to do], they might end up having a barrel of laughs at your expense.
  7. Dont oogle over Oble, you might end up looking like a pervert. [and no, the “leaf” does not come off].

Fact is, your genius and all of your preparations may not win you the battle if you don’t take the time to know the battlegrounds beforehand.  So remember Waterloo and scout the territory before the big UPCAT day.

Taking a Jeepney to UP Diliman

There are 4 external jeepney lines (that is, from outside campus to inside campus) inside the Univeristy of the Philippines Diliman.  If in doubt, take a jeepney from any one of these originating points – that is, get to any one of the following places and find the jeepney that will take you inside the UP Diliman Campus.

Pantranco to UP Diliman:

Take the Pantranco-UP Line (green jeepney).  The jeepneys originate from Pantranco (obviously) – that’s right near the San Francisco del Monte – Quezon Avenue intersection.  The jeep will stay on Quezon Avenue, exit to the Quezon City Circle and go through Philcoa into UP Diliman.

SM North to UP Diliman:

Take the SM north – UP line (green jeepney).  The jeepneys can be found in the jeepney and Tamaraw terminal inside SM City North Edsa.  This jeepney will pass through North Avenue, go right to Agham road (passing Philippine Science High School), exit to East Avenue, exit to the Quezon City Circle, take the Philcoa exit on to the University of the Philippines Diliman.

Philcoa Commonwealth to UP Diliman:

Take the Philcoa – UP line (green jeepney) that will take you inside the UP Diliman campus.  The terminal is found at the back of Jolibee Philcoa.

You can also stay under the Philcoa overpass and flag down a Pantranco and SM North jeepney.  You must know, however, that passengers in Philcoa are encouraged to take the Philcoa jeepneys.

Katipunan to UP Diliman:

If you’re anywhere in Katipunan, go to the jeepney terminal at the Katipunan-Aurora intersection to find the red Katipunan – UP line jeepneys.  Be sure to ask the driver whether he is going inside the campus or deliver passengers only up to the gate.  Take the jeepney that would go inside.  Otherwise, you’ll have to walk or ride an Ikot or Toki jeepney (both jeepneys are yellow) inside the campus.


Inside UP, there are two internal jeepney lines (they don’t go outside the campus; they just go round and round inside UP Diliman).  Both are yellow jeepneys although they use different routes.  They are the IKOT jeepney and the TOKI jeepney.   Obviously, the TOKI jeepney’s name is the reverse of IKOT – originally, the two lines went in completely opposite directions.  Now, however, their routes are just different (more different than opposing, that is).

Driving to UP Diliman for the UPCAT

If you are driving or are taking a taxi to UP Diliman to take the UPCAT, read on to learn about the UP Diliman Entry points.

Entry Points for students assigned to UP Diliman testing center:

If you’re coming from the Lagro-Fairview area [north], you can opt for the gate along commonwealth [this is somewhere across Iglesia ni Christo – Commonwealth] or the gate near Old Balara which you can reach by going left in Tandang Sora intersection [under the Commonwealth-Tandang Sora flyover ].  The Balara gate is just accross the Maynilad water treatment complex.

If you’re coming from the Manila area [Q. Ave, Sta. Ana, Recto, Taft, Monumento, etc], be warned that Philcoa will be locked in bumper to bumper traffic at least 2 hours before the exams.  Here are your options:

  • You can go directly to the university main gate (this will take you from Philcoa through the University Avenue to the UP administration building where the copy of Oble stands guard)
  • You can use the entrance accross Iglesia ni Kristo in Commonwealth
  • You can also exit at the “Housing” in QC, pass through UP village to Krus na Ligas, go across CP Garcia, then use the CP Garcia entrance to enter UP Diliman.

If you’re coming from the east [Marikina, Antipolo, C5, Angono, etc] you can:

  • Drive straight to Philcoa
  • Go through Katipunan Ave [which will also be jammed in traffic] towards the CP Garcia or Old Balara Gate.
  • Take the circuitous route through Aurora and/or through Sikatuna Village to get to Krus na Ligas and through the CP Garcia Gate.

If you’re coming from the south, all of the above mentioned options are available to you.

Confusing right?  Just remember this.  It doesn’t really matter much where you’re coming from.  Just get to any one of the following entry points.

UP Diliman entry points:

Main Gate: This is found in Philcoa, right after Jollibee.  Instead of going left to Commonwealth, drive straight through to the University Avenue.

Commonwealth Gate (also known as Central): From Philcoa, take a left to Commonwealth Avenue.  Drive on until before you reach the first Overpass (landmark:  Iglesia ni Kristo Commonwealth at the left side of the avenue), and slow down to take a right to exit Commonwealth and enter UP Diliman.

Old Balara Gates: There are two gates along Old Balara.  One is right across Maynilad Water; the other one is just after the UP Integrated School if you’re coming from Katipunan.

CP Garcia Gates: Just get to C.P. Garcia (either from Krus na LIgas, UP Village, Katipunan Avenue, or by taking the first right along the University Avenue if you’re from Philcoa) and take one of these four entry points:  Assuming you’ve taken the CP Garcia turnoff from Katipunan Avenue, the entry points will be to your left and are ordered as follows:

  • The turnoff to the UP Math building.  This is found immediately after you get on CP Garcia so be on the lookout.  If this is closed, try the next one.
  • The main CP Garcia entry point.  There’s a guardhouse at the middle of two lanes (one for each coming and going).  Take this right and the first building to the right that you will pass is the NIGS building.
  • Another alternative CP Garcia entry point:  After the main CP Garcia entry point, look out for a side-street on your right (it’s a one-way street).  If you follow it, you’ll end up near the UP Registrar’s Office, NISMED, and the back of the Vargas Museum.
  • The last CP Garcia entry point:  This is another two-lane, albeit much smaller road.  You’ll see yellow-roofed jeepneys coming out of this road.  This road is also across the Krus na Ligas playground.