Tag: college

Pontifical Universtiy of Santo Tomas

After eight long years, there I was standing in front of the majestic buildings and old trees, paying tribute to the statues of academic friars that see and welcome everything. Yes, I came back to revisit my beloved alma mater, the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas. I was like a kid on her first field trip excitedly taking everything in, noting the changes, looking for old familiar sites and even faces. Actually, it was no social visit, I was sent by my institution to be a part of their summer training. It was a good treat actually, I’ve been meaning to come back but really can’t find the time nor had the inclination to make time before.
There were a lot of changes. The Colayco Park that used to be our hang-out at the back of the central library with its collection of plants and  trees as well as the mini pond with the bloated fishes is gone now. The pond and gazebo were replaced by a huge dancing fountain, and the plants and trees are surprisingly a refreshing wide space now. It kinda reminds me of Luneta Park where Rizal”s statue is minus the guards and Rizal. But I’ve got to admit that new set up added more to the old Spanish feel and distinct European appeal of UST. I was kinda imagining Italians or Europeans passing by the side of the main building while I was there. The UST Hospital look smarter now with its newly renovated façade. I miss the statues near the Dapitan entrance in front of the central library that witnessed my mini marathon every afternoon just to make it to class on time. I heard that they were given their walking papers to give way to the construction of the building standing on that very same spot now. And of course, who would’ve have miss the three level parking, with its row of restaurants—McDonalds, KFC, Dimsun Dumplings etc. inside the campus. Unbelievable! During our time, we would just eat out at Janet’s, a bowl of ice cream, at Almers their infamous spareribs with mashed potatoes or at SR Thai cuisine. I guess now, they would just have to take a pick from these usual fast food restaurants. It was like a mini-mall. I guess that’s the administration’s way of keeping up with the times.
It was a heady feeling going back there, visiting the college of Arts and Letters which is still as controversial as before with its collection of artistas, basketball stars and gorgeous gals and guys. I could still see us walking to the chapel using the botanical garden path just so we could tease the monkey on our way there, us hanging out at the grandstand watching the dusk settling in, my friends and I sweating it out in the middle of the soccer field for a game of volleyball during PE. Jenie, Sally, Anabel and I feeding ourselves and the bloated fishes of food from the coop(this one gone now too!) in the pond, and sometimes, critically looking at these fishes and wondering what the hell are they doing there. I remember our rented apartment in Dos Castillas Mansion with the cute medicines guys loitering the halls even in the middle of the night (If you’re feeling lonely, you just have to open your apartment door and there they are…sunshine in the middle of the night, sitting on the floor engrossed in a med book). I love staying there.:) I remember also Don Quixote Mansion where we transferred because the building was new and we wanted freshly painted walls and  its diverse tenants. I swear every night there was a party going on…
It was nice going back, it was nice reminiscing. While I was there, I felt proud of the way the campus evolved. It speaks of the success that UST achieved these past years and is still achieving now. I am particularly proud of the Thomas Aquinas Research Center where we had our seminar, it was a dream come true for the academic community of UST and the Benavides Cancer Institute that aims to cross boundaries in cancer treatment and research.
I would forever be a proud Thomasian…Go TIGERS!!!!!

College Friendship…

Recently my daughter celebrated her 7th birthday…she had a party and all the special people in her life and my life came to celebrate this special moment with us…I was thrilled to have finally see again two of my dearest friends from college…I haven’t seen them in years, the last time I saw Jenie was during Bianca’s christening when she stood as one of her ninangs and Sally, well I last saw her some two years ago, we were supposed to see each other last Christmas but typical of her, she didn’t make it on time and just totally missed us…These two friends are very special.Why, I’ll tell you why…

During our college days, I belong to this huge group of friends but around third year college, this group split up for the majoring. In our group the three of us chose Behavioral Science as our major.That was the start of us hanging out together most of the time.In UST, when you reach 3rd year, expect the class schedule to be so crazy, we would have classes at 7 a.m then the following schedule would be around 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.so most often we would hang out at Colayco Park making fun of the people around us, swooning over some guy, gossiping about other people or pigging out on something but most of the time, we would just go to my rented apartment in Dapitan buying inihaw na liempo on the way for our lunch.In class, we would make fun of our computer teacher whose name I completely forgotten already or would talk about how Sir Bong of Labor Lawinspired us so much or how our teacher in research confused us with her contradicting statements and highfaluting words.We would spend afternoons lying all around my place talking, from silly to profound things.We would tease each other, tear each other up into pieces or boost each other up.The friendship that we had, it was fun.Laughter and food were always there as much as quiet conversations. We did our thesis together.We were so yabang, we volunteered to be the first to defend the thesis among all fourth years but the truth is we were just afraid that the panel might find a lot of loopholes in it after seeing and hearing everybody’s thesis. That is why it was actually for preventive measure.Hahaha.Up until now, I still can’t believe that we got 1.00 in the thesis, the only ones in our batch, I guess the preventive measure worked.It was crazy coz three days before the defense we were pretending sleepless nights in Jenie’s house completing it and, the night before the defense we were there in SM North Edsa till closing time buying the right outfit for the defense.  The night before our scheduled defense, the 5 minutes nap time when we reached my apartment turned out to be a 12 hour sleep.The day of the defense, we woke up at 10!Screaming and shouting for the defense was at 1pm. hahaha!!!!But we nailed it because I believe it was the three of us, we know it by heart and sweated over it over lunch at SR or Almer’s.

Jenie was the loud one.She laugh the loudest, talk the loudest and shout the loudest.She was the pretty girl with the brains.She is naturally a leader.She is all cheerful, merry and bright just like a Christmas tree.Everybody is her friend and everybody wants to be her friend.You can count on her if you want an honest to goodness piece of advice.Well after giving you an honest to goodness paglalapastangan first. Well, as for Sally, she is, if a may say so, a character (from Disney..Hollywood..LVN..Regal shocker or Viva you name it she can be one of those).She would come to class and final exams when the teacher is about ready to wrap up the class and the amazing thing is she often got a way with it (well, with daggers look from the teachers I swear!).She takes her own sweet time in just about anything for she believes that she has all the time in the world and the world literally waits for her. In short she is always late!But if you strip her (pimpled) layer, she really is quite deep, you will be surprised that she has all these profound (insane?) ideas inside her brain.

I remember one lazy afternoon while hanging out in Colayco Park, looking at the bloated fishes there, we out of the blue talked about our plans after college.Jenie shared that all she wants after college is to get married and just be a plain housewife, me I said I never want to get married ever, I probably will try to climb the corporate ladder, and Sally said she still don’t know but claimed she would like to try working like in UNICEF doing volunteer work.It amazes me how life has its own funny way of charting our courses not according to our plans and wishes but according to where we are really destined to be.Jenie, well she is still single and is the one climbing the corporate ladder and making big waves in sales right now.Me, I did try climbing that same ladder until I simply got tired of it and finally found my niche’ in teaching and, two years after college, I found my man and got married.As for Sally, well she was like a drifter passing through the great walls of the Pontifical University of Santo Tomas. Never really intending to make a mark in the world as human resource practitioner but as a nurse, she just graduated last March with a Nursing degree and will make true of her plans to do volunteer medical mission in the remote malaria or dengue infested provinces (well, sabi nya!).

Seeing them and being with them brings back so many great college memories.We’ve grown much in lines, sizes, experiences.So many things happened and we’ve had so many other friendships in between those years but everytime we meet, it was still just like college days when we were just over twenty.Teasing, throwing candid insults, finishing each other’s sentence, knowing what’s on the mind of each other, laughing, giggling…I am so blessed to have friends like them, friends that you don’t need to call often, friends you don’t need to see often, friends that you don’t have to always reassure…friends that you know are just there and will stick around…oh by the way, I stand corrected, Sally didn’t make it on the day of Bianca’s party, she came late actually, the day after the party.See, I told ya.:)