Read UP Baguio Homecoming Part 1
Alumni trooped to the Bulwagang Juan Luna for lunch. There was a program where TABAK did their trademark performance of a day in the life of Juana de la Cruz, bringing back memories of freshman year and various presentations over the years. It was also nice to see some of the alumni joining the presentation.
After lunch, the older alumni had an informal program of sorts where they introduced themselves and updated each other of what they were doing now. During the “roll call” of graduates, we were the youngest, having graduated in 2000’s, while there were graduated from the 80s and up.
We younger alumni listened and just had fun. I felt that we were too young to share anything yet, maybe in five years. Still, it was great to see them, learn about who they are and watch them reminisce about their days in UP Baguio. It was also a learning experience of sorts because you get to hear about how UP was before and what had changed. Everyone seemed to have something to share and that made it really interesting.
Someone was able to identify the picture of UPB faculty that was posted on sayoterepublic before. I only recognized two, and when we learned that one of them was Sir Delfin Tolentino, you could hear the people in our table gasp in surprised amusement.
Towards the end, one alumnus led a rousing rendition of UP Naming Mahal, but it was the English version (the one my grandfather knows). We also heard our manongs from Batch 60+ share a cheer they had way back then.
My batchmates and I were in fangirl (and guys, I guess hehe) spasms with Kidlat Tahimik sitting on the table next to ours. I was really thrilled because he had Sir Rolly and Sir Jawo there too. When they were finished eating, we snagged them for a photo. Priceless!
I finally met Kidlat Tahimik when he went around, asking people to sign the petition against the commercialization of the forest next to the Convention Center. He’s nice, and quite funny too. We saw him around the campus for the rest of the day, and chatted with him too. Got to chat with his wife too, and their youngest, Kabunyan, was also there.
We spent the afternoon just hanging around the “park”, as we called it. Later on, Thet and I went around the campus. I haven’t been to the new College of Arts and Communications building, or the Social Sciences, so we went there.
It’s interesting to note that the CAC and CSS are now at the “bottom”. What was the FA and Court B is now the CAC building, and the HS/Math division is now the CSS. I was admiring the CSS building and even the comfort room, when I spied a tree that looked very familiar. Stepping out, I realized that it was one of the trees we used to hold on to when we’d go down to Court B. As amazed as I was with the new buildings, I can’t help but feel a bit of sadness for the loss of some of the places we used to hang around in. You could even see the lines of the volleyball court.
And I can’t get over the fact that the Mass Comm kids had these brand spanking new equipment that my batchmates and I could only dream of back then. Several batches would have to compete over two V8 video cameras and be creative in taking shots because that was all we had. Nowadays, they had HD cameras with boom mikes, a control for those cameras to switch views etc. No need to rent from outside huh? Lupit!
Thet and I went into the library, still manned mainly by the same people. It didn’t really seem to have changed much, though some of the chairs were now monoblocks instead of the big, wooden chairs that were surprisingly comfortable.
I wanted to ask if I could see my thesis (a copy of which I don’t have), but no one was around the reserved area and I wasn’t sure if I had to go through the usual procedure of getting it (do you guys still remember how to?). So Thet and I went to the second floor and had our pictures taken among the bookshelves. Yay, pasaway.
I tried looking for any of the books that I used to borrow, hoping perhaps that the card there would still contain my name. Unfortunately, I wasn’t successful.
I did see some new books, which was cool. Still, on the overall, it didn’t look like the library changed much. I would’ve loved to sit at the very back and
sleep read like I used to.
Towards the later part of the afternoon, we were debating on whether we’d go join the Torch Parade or just hang around at the campus. Tiki relived his days as SC Chair (2000-2001) by calling for people to join the parade. For some reason, the student who was supposed to do it had an attack of shyness, so Tiki stepped in.
Thet and I went to take some pictures, after we decided to stay behind. On our way to the Oble, someone called my name. Turning, I saw my blockmate Honey, I immediately gave her a big hug, then included Thet in it. We almost got run over by a car too. Then, Honey turned to someone behind her and said, “Eto pa isa o.” I saw Kim (whom Onats christened Kabute way back then), another blockmate and good friend. I would’ve screeched again, had it not been for the baby she was holding. Instead, I carefully hugged her as so not to squash little Raquim (I don’t know the correct spelling though). Since we were not joining the parade, we decided to head back to the booth, took pictures and talked.
Kim had to leave a little later, but before she did, she introduced me to a girl who happened to be the younger sister of our blockmate Masikap. Masi was one of the few who went to Diliman during our second year, and we somehow lost touch over the years. I asked his sister about him and told her to give him my regards.
Our classmate Migs Canilao also dropped by with his brods. I dubbed our photo as a Korean telenovela cast shot of sorts.
The sun had set by the time the parade started. I originally planned to just take pictures as they left the campus, but the lure of the festive atmosphere was too strong to pass up. So I said goodbye to Thet and joined the other alumni who were there.
The walk wasn’t bad because there were plenty of people. The air was chilly and invigorating, coupled with the good humor of the alumni made it a lot fun. There were a few marshals, who looked to be part of the student council. They were giving us instructions on where to go and we jokingly replied, “We know what to do!”
It was good fun.
Since we were at the head of the line, we had to wait a bit before the Oblation Run and the fireworks. I went back to the booth to rest. Turns out our location was ideal because the participants for the Oblation Run would pass behind us. I literally ran with them to the crowd waiting at the Oble grounds.
The spot I got was right behind Oble, next to a few people for whom this was their first time, based on their comments and their shrieks. I stayed put for the fireworks, and with my handy Ixus, took shots of Oble’s silhouette as the sky was lit up. Nice.
There were more people during the dinner, alumni and their families who had just arrived, along with currents students who joined in on the festivities. Kat said later that the number of attendees were way beyond the expected, much to the delight of Ma’am Costina. The audi was so packed; many had to eat their dinners outside. Registration was halted because there were just too many people. Still, that didn’t stop everyone from having a good time.
For the dinner program, it was the alumni who shared their talents to the crowd. Among the night’s entertainment were performances from faculty of the various colleges, a reading of “The Vagina Monologues” from various faculty and alumni (including Ma’am Costina and Angel Aquino), a hula dance number from TAYAW alumni and a very lively performance from Kidlat Tahimik.
The program lasted well into the night, capped by a singing of UP Naming Mahal. We cleaned up our booth and headed home, though I have a feeling that many of the others didn’t go to sleep until the wee hours of the morning.
I went with my sister Otki to school. I introduced her to my friends, then had brunch at the Upper Canteen. Afterwards, I took her around the campus and visited the Human Kinetics Program building. As amazed as I am with the building, I couldn’t help but feel a bit sad that the archery range is gone. There was a small area inside for shooting, but it wasn’t quite the same.
I couldn’t help wonder if they found our lost arrows when they dug up the ground next to the range. If you find any arrows with a pink fletch, that’s mine.
We didn’t do much, and we didn’t really spend it at campus either. We visited Manang Mane and bought our favorite mangga’t bagoon. No price increase! We also visited the student council office, with Tiki and Jang reminiscing about how it was like and how things have changed.
I got to talk to Sir Francis Macansantos, who was my professor in Comm 10. He may not fully remember my name, but he remembered me as the student who loved anime. Well, that counts for something, hehe. He recently won a Palanca, and he told me to go ahead and submit something. Nothing to lose, he said, and you’ll never know.
One last trip around the campus with my sister, while telling stories of what I used to do here and there, then we broke for lunch.
I didn’t get to go back to the campus after that, but spent the rest of the day walking around Session and experiencing the Baguio nightlife (which I never really got to do in college).
Kat said it in her blog entry. We all fell in love with Baguio all over again. In a time when it’s getting overly crowded, these few days of fun in UP made me remember why I love it, and why I didn’t move to Diliman in the first place. It was great to spend time with my friends, and see people who were in UPB way before I was even old enough to realize there was a UP in Baguio.
2011 is UP Baguio’s 50th anniversary. Plans of another homecoming is in the works. Hopefully, my batchmates will be able to go (hint, hint).
Whew, that was long! For the rest of the pictures, you can check them out here, or at my Multiply.