|The University of the Philippines Oblation|
Day 9 which was a Tuesday started out pretty quiet. I stayed home in the morning while Larry went to work, Ninette worked upstairs, and Robynne studied. After lunch, the helper – Vangie, had to go to Ateneo to pick something up for Ninette, so I joined her for a jeepney ride so she could show me where to get off so I could visit my Alma Mater – the University of the Philippines.
The previous entrance when I was still going to school there was beside Vinzons Hall. So when I went through the new entrance, I had get my bearings first. A lady walking beside me asked me where she could find a certain building. I apologized that I could not help her because I myself was no longer familiar with the place. So I started walking down the street (Osmena Avenue?) which I knew led to the tennis courts I used to play in as a member of the tennis team. I encountered some students doing some kind of experiment and a bunch of kids just walking about and one of them asked me for money. This street had a dedicated lane for runners, walkers, and cyclists, which was new to me.
|Jeepney ride to U.P.|
I proceeded to the tennis courts and looked around. A group of 3 guys were hanging out and talking. The clubhouse looked different and I didn’t recognize anyone there. Then I went looking for the College of Human Kinetics which used to be the Institute of Sports, Physical Education, and Recreation. They had moved the building at another location so I had to ask for directions. When I got there, I went to the gym floor. The setup of this old repurposed giant hangar hasn’t changed much except the concrete bleachers were gone. I didn’t see any teachers present so I went out and towards the rear of the building where I found the faculty offices. On one of the doors, I saw a familiar name and I asked one of the staff about her and was told that that person had retired. She used to play guard in the women’s basketball team. Not having recognized anyone, I left the college and walked towards the administration building where I asked a woman who appeared to be resting after a bike ride, to take my obligatory photo while in U.P., with the Oblation. With nothing else to do, I went back to the tennis courts where I met a man who gave me the impression that he was some kind of club pro or at least a club manager. He asked me if I played and I said I couldn’t anymore because I can no longer run due to leg problems. He remarked that I probably still had my stroke, which was true based on my previous Nintendo WII tennis game experience. Anyway, I told him about my playing days in U.P. and the people I used to know. Mind you, this was way back in the mid to late 70’s so he didn’t know the people I talked about.
|Selfie with the Oblation|
I begged my leave and walked back to the gym, saw a group of people playing soccer on the wood floor and a couple of girls who looked like they belonged to a varsity squad. Still not recognizing anyone, I left and went to Molave Residence Hall, a dormitory I lived in during my freshman year. When the security guard asked me if I needed some help, I told her I used to live there. I showed her a photo of my old I.D. and she said she thought it was a picture of my son. She was surprised when I told her it was me.
|Molave Residence Hall|
|University of the Philippines I.D.|
I soon left and found my way to the old shopping center where we used to go to have papers copied or mimeographed. The place is still pretty much the same except for the mimeograph machine. There were various places to eat and what looked like internet cafes as well as school supplies (the Blue Book!) and places that sold clothes. It was on one of those places I found a U.P. tank top which I bought. It felt ok when I tried it on over the clothes I was wearing but upon my return to the U.S., I found it to be scratchy. Anyway, it’s good to have some kind of souvenir since my varsity jacket was long gone.
|University of the Philippines tanktop|
Afterwards, Larry texted me that he was going to pick me up on his way home and to meet me between the U.P. Theater and the College of Music. While waiting, I noticed a lot of people exercising on that same street with the dedicated exercise lane. Larry picked me up and we drove home. I was spared a jeepney ride back home and the probability of getting lost.
Later that evening, I had a hankering for a beer and went to one of the sari-sari stores in the neighborhood. They had run out of San Miguel but had Red Horse which I had never tried before, so I bought one of those which came in a half liter (16.9 oz.) bottle. My first impression was that it tasted like malt liquor. Upon reading the label, I found out that it was brewed by San Miguel and had a higher alcohol content. Well, in combination with the volume and the alcohol content, it certainly gave me a huge buzz. That Red Horse sure had a strong kick. Soon after the buzz and dinner, it was beddie bye time. Regardless that things had changed tremendously and I didn’t know anyone anymore, it was nice to be able to revisit my past haunts during my college years.
|Red Horse beer|