To Plaridel Hall, we walked along this stretch I have later known as Ylanan Street alongside my mom. This same street is where friends and orgmates now walk along when there isn’t enough money to pay for the jeepney.
The freshman orientationthen was to be held at the Media Center. This place which I called in the past as home was brimming with lights and noises. Now, I realized it is a place actually far from home. New and fresh faces entered, shocked and blank of the good things awaiting for them in the next years.
My first day in my home college was well – not too Mass Comm. Everybody from the audience during the orientation program was quiet and somber.
“Bakit ang tahimik niyo?!” one of the hosts exclaimed.
As if being quiet was a sin in the college – when in fact we were among the best and the most active in class during high school.
Beside me was a little girl in glasses who never brought out a piece of paper when the host told the audience there will be a quiz. Of course it was a trick. But I brought out one, as well as this guy seated on the other side. The girl in glasses is Zarina San Jose, now running as president of the Union of Journalists of the Philippines (UJP – UP), and a friend of mine.
Then this guy in front of me towering in height when we were going out of the studio was impossible not be noticed. He looked indifferent, probably filled with culture shock but with sparkling expectations. Who wouldn’t be when promotional videos of different organizations were shown to entice us – with sexual themes, outstanding shots, and upbeat music. That was our dream.
The guy is Eunille Santos, now Vice President for Internal Affairs of the UP Journalism Club.
Like it was only yesterday when freshmen were unaware of better things in the college. Everybody was high in energy during the block handling activity, only to eventually learn happiness and high energy shall go together at the right time.
Some of my friends and classmates from the smaller classes called G.E.’s and the rather monotonous but consequential Journalism history class are now either running as officials in one college organization, elected officials of the organization, and department representatives in the college council.
Some people whom I have only had a small talk inside a jeepney, a restroom, and during awkward moments in class are now holding titles, either academic or social titles – whatever the latter is.
Life in UP is never complete without an organization. It becomes your haven, your retaliation, your barracks, and your home.
I was at first hostile to any UP organization. Parents could not distinguish an organization from a fraternity/sorority group. The UP stereotype called for it, that’s why.
And now, I am continuously growing, prospering, and learning with my organization, the UP Journalism Club, for over a year already. There are more things I never anticipated to happen. UP is home for relationships and friendships more than they meet the common eye. At some points, the bonds are even tighter than family connections.
There are stories and secrets I have shared to friends my family does not even have a hint of. And it makes everything different.
I have made a bounty of sacrifices since I went into it. The sacrifices were mostly unthinkable and unimaginable.
Now is to reap the seeds sowed. It is of my knowledge I have more to do and accomplish, more challenges to face but I could say I have learned how to control, by far.
My friends might say I was only their classmate who kept on sharing things and reciting in class, the workaholic classmate restless when idle, the bibbo kid.
Now I am elected as Academic Committee Head of the UP Journalism Club.