Just Dropping by at the Philippine Congress

Batasang Pambansa - The Philippine Congress Main Hall

It was one Monday rainy afternoon. I was in a mission: To drop by at a Congressman’s office for an official endorsement. I have been to Malacañang, the Senate and the Supreme Court, but I haven’t been to The House of Representatives or locally known as Batasang Pambansa-that’s the legislative center of the Philippine Republic.

Yup. The area I guess most of us know as the center stage of the State of the Nation Addresses (SONA) of Philippine presidents, and as some critics would say, “The Crocodile Pit.” The Batasang Pambansa is where the Philippine assembly of legislative representatives from all over the archipelago, converge and make laws for the republic. Given the bicameral nature of our government, The House of the Representatives is the “lower house” while the Senate (which is in Pasay City) is the “upper house.” However, the said lower house is composed of influential people coming from the local governments.

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The Legendary Isawan of Mang Larry’s at Peyups

In the late afternoons at the sprawling UP Diliman campus in Quezon City, the iskos and iskas ng bayan gather at a vacant lot in front of Kalayaan freshie hall and beside UP Post office. A simple barbeque stand under a few scantly trees is where the people assemble in line, ordering that one delectable street food that is one of my favourites—isaw. The place where I’m referring at—Mang Larry’s Isawan! And I say, parang box office hit ang pila dahil patok na patok sa mga estudyate ang isaw ni Mang Larry!

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The Miracle of EDSA: The Road to Freedom

Epifanio de los Santos Avenue or EDSA for short spans around 24 kilometers. Named after a Filipino historian, it was once known as Highway 54, it forms a semi-circle road which links the cities of Pasay, Makati, Mandaluyong, Quezon and Caloocan and considered to be one of the busiest thoroughfares in Metro Manila (with about more or less 200,000 vehicles per section everyday!). Also called C-4 or Circumferential Road 4. I know that this wouldn’t be my last post about this very interesting road that we have at the heart of Metropolitan Manila.
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Flight of the Fireflies: UP Diliman Campus at Night

UP Diliman Oblation by Night

UP Diliman Oblation by Night

After that isaw sessions at Mang J’s near Kalayaan dorm, my blogger friends and I decided to go tour the campus by night. Walk the academic oval towards Quezon Hall where Oblé is and chill there and talk everything under the sun and the clouds.

UP Diliman’s Academic Oval is bustling with people jogging by night. Health buffs, lovers, students, barkadas and the like. Even though my campus at college is at UP Visayas, seeing these really brings back memories of those happy go lucky days as a university student. Different campuses have different characters but something really binds all UP campuses in my own opinion. I felt home and comfortable, as if UP Diliman campus is an oasis of calm and expression amidst the sea of chaos of Metro Manila. Continue reading Flight of the Fireflies: UP Diliman Campus at Night

Reminiscing UP Diliman

UP Diliman Oblation

I myself is a graduate of the premier state university and I dearly miss my college a lot. The days when brewing ideas clash with personal perspectives. Liberty was our battlecry and being “iskolars ng bayan” we did fight for our right to be educated fair and square. Yeah, I am a UP alumnus, but not in this campus, but down south.

I had a chance to take my summer courses in UP Diliman in 2004. Called by some of our professors as “Imperial Diliman,” this is the flagship campus of the University of the Philippines, the country’s premiere state university, after they’ve transfered majority of their schools from the old Manila campus (still houses College of Medicine, College of Nursing and others) sometime after World War II.

The first thing you’ll ever encounter in every UP campus is the symbol of “the iskolars ng bayan”, the Oblation. Well, we were taught once that it is a symbol of the “isko’s” selfless service and sacrifice towards humanity and his countrymen. Popularly they’ve said that Oblé as we call it, was the father of the late movie actor Fernando Poe Jr., but some it was believed to be that of a certain Fernando (?) Caido…more or less still it was an obra maestra of Guillermo Tolentino. The original statue is now housed at the Main Library (at the 4th floor ba yun, its in the Institute of Library Sciences).

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