Monday, January 12, 2009

My Memories of UP (1978 - 1982)

My life is like a rosary – and my UP days belong to the joyful period. When one is young, pretty enough to have a string of boyfriends and a good number of admirers, friendly and sociable enough to be part of a big barkada and three student orgs, and smart enough to get good grades all the way till fourth year – how can she be anything less than happy? Part of that joy came from having bested thousands of other applicants and be a student in one of the country’s top universities.

My memories of UP include the following:

U- felt pride if you were a UP student because that meant “may utak ka”

N-on-stop dancing of swing to the tune of “Back in Your Arms Again”, “Souvenirs”, “McArthur Park”, “Last Dance” and the disco joints like Where Else were filled with college students

I -kot jeep was 25 centavos per trip (just like the Blue Book)

V-ery long queues especially during registration (and so I joined the Registration Volunteers Corps and got the schedule and teachers I wanted)

E -ducation par excellence! (I believe I got much more than the P300+ tuition fee my parents paid per semester)

R-ubick’s cube, game watch, pacman, and Space Invaders were the craze

S-tudent orgs, frats and sororities abounded and AIESEC, UPJMA, and IBA are the ones I joined mainly for socializing purposes; my 30-person barkada (of ex-Ateneans and Maryknollers) was called Kappa Pi Pi Fraternity and N.P.N Sorority (NPN stands for “Napagod Na”…sa kapapaypay)

I-nduction balls and fundraisers for orgs such as premiere nights (I remember AIESEC sponsored "Empire Strikes Back" and it was shown in the then very new PICC)

T-he Oblation (where else in the world does a naked man welcome all visitors with open arms?)

Y-ucky, smelly CRs (toilets were always clogged and did not flush but when nature called I just had to go!)

O-bsolete computers (those humongous ones using punched cards, remember?)

F-ashion included the Annie Hall look (about the only time in UP history when women wore long-sleeved blouses to school)

T-rees lining the Academic Circle were a welcome shelter and refreshing sight to all

H-ard exams so I studied well (my studies were my priority in the midst of all the sosyalan and campus romances)

E-nvironment was conducive to studying – despite the occasional frat wars - and in my time, the students took their studies seriously even if there were a lot of extra-curricular activities going on

P-olitical rallies were “non-existent” to me because I was apolitical then like many Martial Law babies (that does not mean I do not love my country but I allowed myself to be deceived and brainwashed by you-know-who…forgive me)

H-arrassment (particularly sexual in nature) was unheard least, it did not reach my ears and I was never a victim

I – felt right at home because I could mingle with both the upper income students and the less affluent ones…despite the image of our barkada being “burgis” (because we made tambay on the A.S. steps and spoke fluent Taglish), we were not

L-antern Parade, Christmas programs, Mutya ng BA (with men posing as women contestants), Metallic Dance Contest, swing contests, quiz shows, intrams, fun runs added excitement and enjoyment to school life at UP

I - and other students treated our teachers and professors with respect; only the really terror and funny ones were the butt of jokes

P-rofessors of Spanish: the longer the family name, the more
“terror”; and the shorter the surname, the more lenient like Prof. ______ who taught everything under the sun except Spanish (I remember he taught us the “double-barrel look” as part of his “The Art of Flirting” lesson)

P-ersonalities at that time included future beauty queens (Dang Cecilio), senators (Kiko Pangilinan), Cabinet members (Prof. Winnie Monsod who taught Eco)

I – graduated top of my BSBA class as magna cum laude …an achievement I will forever be proud of and always wins the admiration of people to this day

N – ot so many airconditioned rooms yet and fewer buildings than now (the Eco building and Faculty Center were among the relatively new ones then)

E -very new schoolyear meant a new boyfriend for me but come second sem, the romance would be over...No matter how intense, painful or turbulent, I never let my love life affect my studies (To all my exes...thanks for the good times!)

S-oooh many other beautiful and happy memories!

Thank you very much, UP, for the wonderful four years you gave me!


  1. UP has been a valuable experience for me too. Your views are so inspiring, thanks Tita Nimia!

    P.S. Wow! Nakilala nyo talaga sila Winnie Monsod and Kiko Pangilinan. Astig! :D

  2. Salamat ha? Kahit pinilit kitang magcomment para lang macheck itong comments box ko.

  3. Hi Ma'am! :) Ayan, sana lumabas na itong comment ko. Anyway, ang saya naman ng UP life niyo. Mine's about to end this April and I must say my UP life is so boring compared to yours.

  4. Well, you still have a few months left. Get a life! he he...But the important thing is you learned a lot of things, made friends, had happy memories. Congratulations!

  5. I can totally relate to most of what you wrote...more or less, half to the rest but totally NOT on one point...being Magna cum Laude...being Summa was more like it for me...Summa-ma sa barkada / boys :-)but i managed to get my UP Diploma and despite the rough, often-maligned, controversial start, managed to be a functioning, productive adult. Thanks to UP.

    Love your writing Nim! :-)

  6. Thanks for taking the time to comment and compliment.

    Kung summa-ma ka sa barkada/boys, does that make you a _______?

    What kind of a name is "anonymous"? he he

    Please do visit again and tell your friends to do the same.


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