UP Diliman: the calm before the storm

Before 2013 ended I visited UP. It was almost deserted because all of the students were still enjoying the remaining days of their Christmas vacation. In here you’ll see some of my favorite hangouts in the University. Majority of them comes with a personal reason.

 

It was a hot December afternoon; I walked from University Avenue Oblation to Quezon Hall that opens to this field.

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 This is where the graduation ceremony takes place every March and during graduation season the field is always full of sunflowers (synthetic sunflowers of course). This part of the University is also famous for photo-shoots. Some group of people was doing a photo-shoot when I walked down the stairs of the Hall to the field.

 

I walked to the inner circle of the university to Villamor Hall, also known as the UP Theater. It was closed, obviously, but during non holidays especially on weekends there are shows and theatre plays here sometimes it’s for free and most of the time with pay. It’s cheaper compared to the commercial theaters in the city. We used to go here a lot when I was in high school to watch educational plays like Ibong Adarna, Noli Me Tangere and El filibusterismo. 

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My next stop is Abelardo Hall: College of Music.

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For some unexplainable reason, I like this building. Music has a special room in my heart maybe because I was a pianist when I was in High school. Those windows you see with the air conditioner were piano rooms. I once glanced through those windows before and saw students and professors playing piano.

And also, I have a thing music and theatre. I guess those of you who were at the same page as me would like to read all the programs and events that the College of Music has. It’s always posted in front of their gate. 

 

Beside Abelardo Hall is Plaridel Hall: College of Mass Communication

 

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This building could have been my building but destiny has its own way of re-directing your life.

I think Plaridell Hall is the quietest building for me though it has a radio and TV studio inside the building in general is very calm. Mass Comm students are stereotyped as being the loudest and chatterbox students of all students but this building says otherwise.

In front of it were built-in cement seats and tables where students can sit and enjoy free time or do last minute cramming or just to write. I love the quietness of the place and the sound of the wind brushing through the leaves. It makes it easier to think.

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And of course outside Abelardo and Plaridel you’ll see this road covered with branches of trees. 

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I like walking here who doesn’t huh? I like it when it’s sunny and the light of the sun peeps through the leaves of the trees making shadow shapes on the ground. It’s very peaceful and calm. By just walking along it, stress really goes away.

On normal days, late afternoon joggers were doing their exercise here and it’s also famous for bicyclists.

 

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Most of the time dirty ice cream vendors were on the sidewalks. A big ice cream cone costs 25 pesos and it’s delicious. Every time I walk here, if I have money to spare, I buy an ice cream cone. It’s a perfect combination if you want to just walk and observe the surroundings plus the people.

 

Oh! And this is the Bell. It ding-dongs every hour.

 

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Not far from the Bell is the UP Film Institute Center.

 

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UP is most known for campaigning “Freedom.” That’s why students here doesn’t have uniform they can wear anything they want. Nobody cares if you wear a short shorts or a sleeveless blouse or high heels. Even professors are promoting freedom.

Most of the student made films here cannot be shown in the mainstream media because it reflects reality. It contains R-18 scenes and true to life stories that our society chose to ignore. That’s why a lot of indie filmmakers and film enthusiasts chose to showcase their talents in UP.

Across UP Film Center is the “House of Alumni.”

 

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It’s for the people who graduated in UP. Well, I don’t know what’s in there but…let’s just say that someday I want to call myself an alumni of UP.

I walked back to the Inner Circle of the University. I walked past the Bell towards Roces Avenue and just continued walking until I reached Melchor Hall. There’s a pavement with a quote engraved on it that I always visit when I walk here because I find it strange.

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“Hearts beat as one.” Usually it should be names of people, who did something remarkable or donated something for UP, that should be engraved in the sidewalk pavement. One time, I was reading through the names and found this quote. Since then I always visit it. I don’t know why but “Hearts beat as one,” sounds so sweet in my ears. It’s like somebody out there is reminding me that I’m not alone. That someone out there shares the same vision that I have. I cannot say the same for the others who had read this quote but I think they put it on the pavement so that people who read it will not forget to look into their heart and see what really matters.

 

Few steps away from the “Hearts beat as one” pavement is The Beta Epsilon Way.

 

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It’s a short cut to the other side of the street. I can say that this is the loneliest walk in the University. I just observed that people who wants to be alone and those have problems, whether its love, family, or grades etc., always chose to walk and stay here for a while. There’s a tree there in the middle with an old wooden seats every time I walk here I never had seen that seat empty. It’s always taken oftentimes with people who have problems (I know because I often eavesdrop to strangers conversations). Maybe that’s why it became lonely. People always pour out all the hurt and problems in there that’s why people who walk here feel lonely too.

 

The first building that you will see when you cross the Beta Epsilon Way is Palma Hall: College of Social Sciences.

 

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It’s the happiest building for me. I entered Palma Hall a number of times and I enjoy hearing students chattering and laughing. It reminds me of my college life.

And just adjacent Palma is Bulwagang Rizal: College of Arts and Letters.

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If Palma is the happiest building for me Bulwagang Rizal is my third place. It feels home to me. I’ve been inside this building countless of times. And it feels happy to be surrounded by students and employees who share the same interest as me: creative writing, theatre and arts. When I walk through its corridors I feel like it’s my calling to be there. It’s like somebody is telling me, “You should be here.”

Maybe in time, it will happen.

 

A few steps outside Bulwagang Rizal is the famed Sunken Garden. It is sandwiched between College of Education and College of Law and is surrounded by tall Acacia trees.

 

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It is called “Sunken” because it sinks two centimeters every year. It is for group of people who want to do picnic, play frisbee, practice a dance and group of peers who just wants to hangout. It is also for those who wants a solo time just sit under a tree with a book in hand and earphones in both ears. Sunken garden also caters to those lovers who want to cuddle.

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I walked to the Church of Holy Sacrifice. It’s a bit far from Sunken Garden and since it has the nearest open restroom I endured the walk trying not to pee my pants. Heol!

Some people were preparing for a wedding when I arrived. I went to the restroom downstairs. Finished my business and then I saw a newly built chapel.

It’s an Adoration chapel. I entered inside and offered a short prayer.

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And I saved the best for last.

The Football field. 

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This is my own personal place in the University. You can always see a pink sunset here. It may not look like pink in the picture but, I swear, it’s pink when you go there in person.

Sometimes Sunken Gargen can be so crowded that’s why I go here instead. It’s quiet and just enough people were around. Watching the pink sunset and some kids playing football. 

So, that’s it! My UP tour