Were you a victim of TBA?

University of the Philippines Form 5


This was a University of the Philippines Form 5, a student’s proof of enrollment for the term, when computerization of school records were not yet the trend.

Class codes, subjects, and room codes are composed of a whole system of number-letter combinations. Code deciphering was a somewhat tricky task, especially for first-timers, namely the freshmen, or what we Iskolars called them, the freshies.

TBA surely meant To be announced. But when one saw it together with all the other three-letter codes, some freshies surely would get confused and might turn to a senior for reference.

Bogs Paterno, a student from the College of Social Work and Community Development (CSWCD), recounted his experience with these notorious TBA’s. He shared that on the first day of classes during his freshie year, he asked a senior student where TBA was. The guy told him to go to The Bahay ng Alumni.  Bearing the same acronym, Bogs believed what the guy said.  But when he was about to leave Math building then, the guy said that he was joking.

And this became an inspiration when Bogs and his girlfriend, Faye Vera Cruz, both Iskolars, got into business.

TBA logo. Talagang Busog Ako.

Talagang Busog Ako opened last July 7 along the new U.P. Food Street, located at J.P. Laurel St., Area 2, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City.

TBA. Talagang Busog Ako.

“We wanted to serve not just the students, but the whole U.P. community as well,” said Faye. And being an Isko and Iska, they wanted something that could show a part of U.P. life. Thus, the logo showcased a healthy, foodie-type Oble, which was U.P.’s beloved symbol. They even adapted the colors of U.P., green and maroon, as the theme of the place.

TBA milk tea. Talagang Busog Ako.

From PHP 50 – PHP 75. Flavors are Classic, Wintermelon, Dark Choco.

Because the couple loved milk tea, they decided to create their own, something that could satisfy their taste buds. But they said that the milk tea business was not that easy. The booming of the industry also meant a lot of competition, especially that there were already two milk tea stalls within Area 2. Faye also said that another problem arose, which was, surprisingly, the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) permits of the ingredients.

TBA milk tea. Talagang Busog Ako.

FDA approvals of products were important to Faye and Bogs.

Faye shared that even though there were now a lot of suppliers for milk tea products, most of them did not have approvals from FDA. So they really spent time finding the supplier with the appropriate papers at hand.

TBA burrito. Talagang Busog Ako.

Burrito. Only PHP 100.

The couple shared that one of their favorite hang-out places was a milk tea house along Sumulong Highway, which was beside a Mexican food store. So there came the idea of pairing milk tea with pita and burritos.

TBA pita nachos. Talagang Busog Ako.

Pita Nachos. Only PHP 70.

Another problem emerged as none of them was from the food industry. As Bogs was from CSWCD, Faye was from the College of Arts and Letters (CAL). So they invited their friend Noki to teach them how to cook.

TBA Beef-dillas. Talagang Busog Ako.

Beef-dillas. Only PHP 90.

“Ayoko na maging employee (I don’t want to be an employee anymore),” Faye said when asked why she and Bogs entered entrepreneurship during their twenties. The couple shared that they were already tired of working for others so they started something that they could call their own. And this mindset gave them a different perspective when dealing with their staff.

TBA staff. Talagang Busog Ako.

“They were like business partners.”

At TBA, they treated their staff as business partners. They were accepting suggestions from them and even offering them incentives to motivate them at work.

TBA dynamite. Talagang Busog Ako.

Dynamite. Only PHP 70.

So, were you a victim of TBA? To all naughty sophomores, juniors and seniors, now that the freshies were already having their enrollment, instead of telling them to go to the The Bahay ng Alumni or Top of Business Administration, just tell them to visit Talagang Busog Ako, and they surely would not curse you afterwards.

And to the freshies, you are all welcome to visit TBA when the term starts in August. Mabuhay ang matabang Oble! 🙂



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