Posted by: nastypen | January 9, 2008

U.P. Kong Mahal

I woke up today with stiff shoulders and I can barely lift my arms. It felt like I had concrete arms. I guess running around with a backpack filled with laptop, camera paraphernalia since 7 in the morning yesterday turned out to be one of the longest work out sessions in my life.

But I am ok and the pain will lessen with salompas and patience. I don’t mind it because I did this for the love of my alma mater that will turn 100 this year.

The night before the kick-off, I was contacted by the department chair asking if I could document the event via photography. I said yes but was still stunned at the last-minute nature of it all. I was just finishing the slideshow presentation for the ceremony. So, I had to take pictures of the thanksgiving mass at the UP PGH Chapel at 7am.

So, I was snapping away schmaltzing with UP’s first lady president (“Pres. Roman, may I take your photo with the priest/staff/students/professors?”) and taking pics of those who went. I had misgivings of starting out the centennial celebration of a university brazenly known for its secularism with a mass. But judging from the full house of the chapel, I am in the margins. At least, they invited a Muslim student to say a prayer for thanksgiving. Nice touch.

My hair stood on end when the College of Medicine choir sang my favorite mass song (yes, I have one) Paghahandog ng Sarili (Rough translation: Offering yourself) which is a testament to my Jesuit education background and enriched further by UP’s rallying cry to its students. the arrangement was what I heard and fell in love with from Ateneo Glee Club’s Album back in the 90s.

After that there was a ceremony at the Science Hall organized by the department I am in. There was Balagtasan of the first work ever written by Hoseng Batute. I found my tears streaming down my cheeks when a couple of guys did poetry performance of Rio Alma‘s poems. I had to stop taking pictures and sit down and wipe my tears. There were dances that expressed the country’s rich history and call for nationalism.

The highlight of the show was when UP Manila Chorale sang the school hymn U.P. Naming Mahal. Everyone stood up and sang. The alumni sang it with such passion that I found myself shaking from emotion as I took photos.

I did rest for a couple of hours thanks to the motorcade from UP Manila that snaked from Philippine General Hospital to the flagship campus of UP Diliman. In that motorcade, representatives and students from the other UP units joined us from the cradle of UP’s history to the campus that redefined the concept of university here in the country.

I’m glad I joined this. I wasn’t feeling very well and decided earlier just to cover the activities at UP Manila. Well, I thank my love for this school that I pushed through and was made part of this truly once in a lifetime event.

I took photos, of course. And I always rely on the UP Community to make this a truly lively spectacle. There was a party atmosphere. Balloons being waved, students and teachers dancing in the streets, paratroopers, some of the alumni brought their kids. My sister later mentioned that she was smiling at my texts I sent her during the event. She mentioned that I am so overcome by pride and happiness which is quite uncharacteristic of me. hahahahah

Some highlights:

The College of Fine Arts students, of course, were the most colorful.

Hey, UP can afford to hire paratroopers with banners?!

UP Manila hired an Ati-atihan “troupe” consisted of homosexuals to start the parade! To close the parade, there was a marching band with marjorette from Malabon! Sosyal! Production values from German Moreno School of Entertainment, is that you?!

The contingent from NCPAG were the most fun. they hired a band that played swing tunes and their favorite was Can’t Take My Eyes of You. The chorus “I love you , baby” was changed to “I love you, U.P.” Corny but fabulous nonetheless. The marchers were dancing to it!

When UP ROTC marched, I felt like hurling expletives. But decided not to on account of the centennial celebration.

I never knew UP Pres. Emerlinda Roman to be a statuesque woman! I want to have her hairdo when the time comes!

I saw Sen. Richard Gordon near the College of Mass Communication. I didn’t take a photo. I didn’t want to waste memory.

UP Manila had the largest contingent of campuses outside Diliman. We had balloons and screaming students, the best combination for a parade!

On the way to Diliman, the clouds were gray and heavy. People were expecting rain but when we arrived, it was just too damn hot! The sun was making me move closer to skin cancer! But had I brought my umbrella, how on earth will I take photographs?

At the College of Music, a small child ran up to me and stared at my stomach and said, “Wow, that’s big!” I thought he was talking about my tummy….he was talking about my camera.

UP Baguio had students do an Ifugao dance. Some of the bahag were not tightly worn and I saw some peek-a-boo’s! I do love their bit though. Foreign students danced with them in the street. And their cool factor shot up for dancing barefoot across UP’s Acad oval!

The torch relay was started by a UP Alumnus who turned 100 last December! I don’t think I will even reach 50 and the guy is still sharp and does not need a walker. He was looking for his classmates though. Spirit of the glass, anyone? I wonder who will be the torch-bearer for UP’s bi-centennial in 2108?

This was yesterday’s best streamer:

True words! True words!

However, at late afternoon, I can feel exhaustion slamming me. I just had to go home. Thank goodness my sister and brother-in-law were in the area to pick me up. There I was with my coteachers and friends all smiles from this joyous event. Then I heard the carillon play. I stood there looking at UP’s bell tower play. I have never heard it play. The carillon has been silent for 25 years and yesterday, it sang.

And everyone cheered.

And it was fantastic.



  1. this entry merits one kleenex hahahah! nostalgia hits me while reading this one and i dunno but i feel kinda proud again that i graduated from that uni heheheheh…
    nacurios naman ako, sa statuesque pic ni roman…
    btw, sino na dean ng up-cas 😛 andyan pa ba si ilao hahahah
    am not sure kung may kilala ka sa DPSM eh….
    ermm ….asan dito yung mga nakabahag na tied in a very interesting way?

  2. grabe. nagka goosebumps ako sa ending mo. heheh. narinig ko lang yung carillion kanina sa youtube ni jovan.

  3. @berger: Grabeh no? Ang ganda pakinggan! Sana di mapabayaan this time.

    @aoisoba: Hehehe. Si Rio Alma ata ang dean ng CAS now….yung mga interesting bahag bits, mejo di ko nakunan at napa-pause ako sa bouncing balls! wahahahahah. But I will check my files at baka merong nakunan!

  4. hahah hinahanap ko nga sa you tube ang carillion…grabe sobrang tagal na ………… 🙂

    Ay nde ko sya kilala na hahahah! naphase out na yata mga kilala ko dyan eheheheh

    fair enap, syempre nagkaroon kasi ng element of surprise nde napindot ang shutter, pero kung makakita ka ng glimpse sa pics, share the beauty of the pics ha!

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