My trip to U.P. Diliman this week was a like retracing steps I had made long ago. When we were kids, my siblings and I had a "guided tour" from the family’s resident U.P. Diliman alumnus: my dad. But this tour was unlike the conventional walking tours participated in by incoming freshmen during orientation week. My dad’s tour was more personalised. He showed us where he got stuck during a particularly strong typhoon, where our eldest cousin (a nursing graduate) and her brother (a geology graduate) went to class, where the library was, where he hung out for lunch… basically, we had a pretty good picture of what college was like for him.
A few years later, I was once again walking up the stairs of Juinio Hall (where the College of Engineering is located). At the right side of the hall, there were several plates listing the "500" alumni of the college - whatever that meant. My dad’s name wasn’t in the list. Apparently, he didn’t join the "500" alumni group.
On this same trip, I also passed the Biology wing of Palma Hall (was it?). If I had ended up taking Biology in Diliman, I would have called that building "home."
My interest was piqued when I saw an "ikot" jeep, which I understand goes around campus; and a "toki" jeep, which goes around in the opposite direction. Since the campus is huge, I easily got disoriented, and just relied on the sign boards hanging in the jeeps.
On this trip to U.P. Diliman, I felt as disoriented as a new freshman or as an UPCAT applicant searching for the right building. And there was no road map to guide me on campus (unlike in USyd where maps were everywhere). But I had fun, nevertheless.