Let’s go, U.P.!

Hallo folks! Before I start writing entries about my adventures in Denmark and the other European countries I’ve been to, let me talk about a place in the Philippines where I lived for 4 years and 5 months. Those times are a very important part of my life as they serve as the “transition stage” from an innocent, brave girl to a critical, cautious.. well, girl. UP had done a lot to mold me and make me the person I am today. It was where I met a lot of wonderful people–classmates, friends, orgmates, mentors, professors, and every individual considered as “part” of the UP community.

Me standing next to UP's icon, the Oblation
Me standing next to UP’s icon, the Oblation

UP, Peyups, University of the Philippines. My beloved alma mater is home to many talented Filipinos–artists, journalists, educators, scientists, and politicians. Established in 1908, UP is recognized as “the nation’s premier university” as stated in the Senate Resolution No. 276 of the Senate of the Philippines. It also has the most number of Centers of Excellence and Development among universities and colleges in the country.

The entrance leading to the University Avenue
The entrance leading to the University Avenue
One of the several statues along the University Avenue
One of the several statues along the University Avenue

UP is a national university. Hence, it is partly subsidized by the government. All high school seniors can take the UP Admission Test (UPCAT), but only a small percentage makes it to the university. According to sources, for every 70,000 students who take the UPCAT, only 10,000 are admitted. Competitive, eh?

Anyway… I brought my two younger sisters to UP during my senior year, right before I finally left the campus. As part of my graduation wish..es, my father agreed to let my sisters go with me on a fantastic walking tour around the campus on a lovely Sunday morning. 🙂

The UP System has 7 universities in 11 campuses and 1 virtual campus or open university. The one in Diliman, Quezon City is the flagship campus. UPD is the 4th oldest constituent of the UP System and has a total land area of 493 hectares, according to sources.

Graduation exercises are held annually in the amphitheater at the back of Quezon Hall, or the Administrative Building.

The back of the Quezon Hall during the Commencement Exercises in 2012
The back of the Quezon Hall during the Commencement Exercises in 2012
The amphitheater during the Commencement Exercises in 2012
The amphitheater during the Commencement Exercises in 2012

From the Quezon Hall, one can roam around the Academic Oval, or Acad Oval, and see some of the major colleges, schools, or buildings of the university. The Acad Oval is 2.2 kms in length and is divided into 2 sides: one for public jeepneys and private vehicles, and the other for cyclists and joggers. I so love the acacia trees along the oval and the ambiance coming from the people from all walks of life, people you would meet as you trod along.

My youngest sister at the Acad Oval
My youngest sister at the Acad Oval

Inside the campus and along the oval, you will find the Vargas Museum. They often hold exhibitions on particular themes, and it has a nice cafe in its backyard. Next to Vargas Museum is the Faculty Center or Bulwagang Rizal. It also houses a part of the College of Arts and Letters, until the new CAL building was built.A famous feature of the Faculty Center is the Nine Muses. They represent architecture, music, painting, sculpture, literature, dance, painting, cinematography and computer arts.

Just beside the Faculty Center is Palma Hall or College of Arts and Sciences. It is one of the biggest and oldest buildings in the campus. Almost all UP students are bound to have classes in Palma Hall, or AS, as RGEP or General Education classes are mostly held here.

Not far from AS is my beloved College of Education or Benitez Hall. Famous for ghost stories, Eduk is one of the oldest buildings in UPD and the mirror image of the College of Law or Malcolm Hall.

In front of Eduk
In front of Eduk

Opposite Eduk is the General Luna Parade Grounds or Sunken Garden. It is said to sink a few inches every year!

The Sunken Garden, with a view of the Main Library in the background
The Sunken Garden, with a view of the Main Library in the background

Also inside the campus is the PAGASA Astronomical Observatory, which I, unfortunately, never had the chance to explore during my college years. 😦

U.P. Observatory
U.P. Observatory

One of my favorite places in UP is the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice, a dome-shaped church with a 360 degree altar. I was part of the Parish Choir and UP Student Catholic Action, two organizations where I met good friends and learned practical and religious things. I also joined the UPDOST Scholars’ Association and the UP Educators’ Circle, both academic organizations, to create some balance. 😉

Inside the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice
Inside the Parish of the Holy Sacrifice

Another famous landmark is the Carillon Tower, the only carillon tower in Southeast Asia manually played by a wooden keyboard. The tower is 130 feet in height and would play the university anthem “UP Naming Mahal” and other songs everyday.

The Carillon
The Carillon

Going around the campus can be tiring, and I have only mentioned quite a few of the buildings and landmarks there. Lol. But if you need some refreshments, I recommend Lutong Bahay, a small restaurant serving home-cooked meals and yummy shakes! Plus, it’s very very cheap! It’s often crowded, so you might also want to check out Lutong Kapit-bahay just across the street.

Each university in  the Philippines, or maybe in the world, has a mascot or iconic symbol. For UP, it’s the Oblation, or Oble. It is a statue of a naked man with arms outstretched sculpted by Guillermo Tolentino. It symbolizes a selfless offering of one’s self to the nation. Interestingly, there’s a belief amongst UP students that if you take a picture of yourself with the Oblation, you will not graduate on time. Lol 😄 

On my graduation day
On my graduation day
On my graduation day
On my graduation day

There are many activities you can do in UP Diliman. I would suggest you go there on a Sunday, as the Oval will be closed to public vehicles and there are usually running or cycling events you can join. 🙂 

READ: A short trip to the University of the Philippines – Los Baños

Ohkie dokie! I hope you find my post interesting and would consider a budget friendly visit to UP Diliman. PS! There’s also a shopping center in the campus if you are interested in shopping. haha And also a Post Office if you’d like to send a postcard or something to someone. I used to have a box there, and was quite satisfied with the service. 🙂

So see you in my next post!! Thanks and vi ses!

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2 thoughts on “Let’s go, U.P.!

  1. Well, UP must have gone through a lot of changes since I left in 2012. I’ve heard it is continuously being commercialized, and students suffer from tuition and other fees hike. Recently, there was news of plans to shut the Coop market and the CASAA food court down. What a pity. I hope I would still recognize it in November though. Regards to your UPian mom and dad, renxkyoko! And yes, UP can be very messy after a storm! >.<

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  2. We went there in 2014 with my Mom who graduated from same university. But that was like , 40 years ago. My dad too graduated from there. It was messy when we were there… like, 2 days a after a huge storm.

    Liked by 1 person

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