a lookback at an academic familiar

It is school opening once more. And with the tight economic squeeze, many are just lucky to be still at school.  Even luckier are those who get to be students of the University of the Philippines. As most Filipinos know, UP gives out subsidies or even free tuition to many worthy individuals. And some of the scholar graduates have already become superstar stalwarts in many different fields, and yet many have chosen to quietly give back to society  – somehow what the University has been encouraging its graduates to do. Some have even opted to work for government and non-government organizations and get paid measely.

I was part of this institution, specifically, UP Diliman for many years – as undergraduate and graduate student of Psychology.  And pretty much everyday, I would passby the iconic sculpture and architectural masterpiece that would welcome all students, teachers, personnel and visitors, getting into this esteemed learning institution at Quezon City.

Admittedly,  just like, I guess, many of the UP scholars, I would take for granted what seems to be familiar to many Filipinos – the UP Oblation and the Quezon Hall created by National Artists, Guillermo Tolentino and Architect Juan Nakpil, respectively. My own personal recollection about this area is limited to me buying my “sablay” in one of those cubicle offices at the basement of Quezon Hall for my Masters graduation, and drinking some Cali Shandy (still remember that) at night with some classmates at the footsteps of the same hall, after a crazy Statistics examination.

As the whole University of the Philippines Community celebrates its Centennial, I make my own little ode through these images to an academic familiar, symbolic of a special place that has given so much to me.



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