C3 – BSIT
Essence of Life
Froi (Froilan Santos), Renz (Renz Fontamillas), and "Arvin" (Arvin James Abril) are three engineering students who share a room in a hostel at the Imperial College of Engineering, one of the best colleges in Singapore. While Froi and Renz are average students from modest backgrounds, Arvin is from a rich family. Froi wants to become a wildlife photographer, but has joined engineering college to fulfill his father's wish. Renz on the other hand wants to uplift his family fortunes. Arvin is a wealthy genius who studies for the sheer joy of it. However, Arvin's passion is for knowledge and taking apart and building machines rather than the conventional obsession of the other students with exam ranks. With his different approach Arvin incurs the wrath of dean of college, Professor James Estelapia (Jolo). Arvin irritates his lecturers by giving creative and unorthodox answers, and confronts Jolo after fellow student Nickie hangs himself in his dormitory room. Joy had requested an extension on his major project on compassionate grounds his father had suffered a stroke but Jolo refused, saying that he himself was completely unmoved by his own son's accidental death after being hit by a train. Arvin denounces the rat race, dog-eat-dog, mindless rote learning mentality of the institution, blaming it for Nickie's death.
Threatened by Arvin's talent and free spirit, Jolo labels him an "idiot" and attempts on a number of occasions to destroy his friendship with Froi and Renz, warning them and their parents to steer clear of Arvin. In contrast, Jolo model student is John Bryan Medina (silencer), who sees a high rank at the prestigious college as his ticket to higher social status, corporate power, and therefore wealth. Bryan conforms to the expectations of the system. Arvin humiliates Bryan, who is awarded the honor of making a speech at an award ceremony, by substituting obscenities into the text, which has been written...