The Two Pillars of Learning

Melchor Hall: U.P. College of Engineering

I’ve been riding the Ikot jeepney most of my life. Sometimes, when I manage to get out of the University and then come back in through a UP-Philcoa or UP-Pantranco-Highway-MRT jeep, I ask myself whether I should get off at the University Avenue checkpoint since it’s the first stop and along the quickest route to my home, via jeep.

But whether it’s dark outside or still early in the afternoon, I tend to hesitate getting an Ikot there. Most of the time I prefer the longer “tourist’s route” starting at Vinzons. I spend as long as forty-five minutes on Ikot rides and I tend to relish the time I have on it. (As well as the 6.50 I paid for.)

Last Friday evening I was glad I didn’t get off too soon because of two things.

I passed by a noisier-than-usual AS parking lot, which instantly reminded me of the annual car-stuffing event held by the Upsilon. I joined as part of CURSOR the last two years (you obviously know why). The thought of it was scary at first, but it was a rush every time. Fortunately nobody has farted inside the poor Toyota Corolla, but the car that was used last year had the back window shattered (not our fault). We almost broke the record. Almost. But we enjoyed the free Starbucks and the larger-than-life view of the fireworks.

Car Stuffing was also the first sign that Eng’g Week would soon begin.

Second, as I got off the Philcoa jeep and on to an Ikot, there were rallyists lined up along the center of the road. I’ve never really seen a rally in the evening, and in front of Vinzons Hall at that. As we, the passengers of the jeep, waited for more of us, a guy from the crowd appeared at the side of the jeepney and gave a short lecture on what they were fussing about. It wasn’t the Kule issue but the even more alarming tuition fee increase by 300%. Of course you would expect the “left” side of UP to oppose such tragedy. I agree with them in that respect. UP is UP. The University of the Philippines deserves better, if not the best treatment possible. That said, I guess the BOR has been driven into a corner on this one. War or no war.

He handed out leaflets and repeat their campaign to boycott classes on November 23. The crowd chanted to the drivers to honk their jeepneys as they passed by. I would have hated to see anybody contradict the cheeriness of both these students and the non-students that were around despite the graveness of the matter. Our jeep honked along.

Neither of these two events was the the thing about UP that I miss the most. But both told of it.

The pillars of Melchor Hall photo was taken using the Engineering Web Team’s Olympus C760UZ. I miss that camera. Car Stuffing will be held this December 5. Good luck to y’all (at the very least, to the Eng’g orgs that will join).

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