A Tale of Today

There are many reasons as to why people are driven to a certain place with as much eagerness as that of a fanatic, yet there exists no sufficient answer for why such a phenomenon occurs.

My certain place is the University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD). It has always been so, ever since I first entered it nearly five years ago for an Ibong Adarna video shooting project in Filipino. My eyes saw realms of nature that were—and still are—bursting at the seams, incapable of containing themselves, in dire need of sharing life to the polluted inhabitants of this world.

Green, no matter how much I want to puke at the sight of during land travels to and from the province, is a tapestry of art in the broad shoulders of Diliman. I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with the said color, mostly because of my bipolarity towards it. But as always, in Diliman, I am terribly in love with it.

Now, being a UP student myself, I’ve learned to love Diliman not only because it is Diliman, but also because it now houses people I love. (Yes, they made UPD skyrocket in my Bucket List: Location Edition.) Also, I should acknowledge the existence of my seeming familiarity with a place I only go to once a month. Well, if it isn’t obsession, then what is it?

So, I’ve decided to do a little research work for my Comm2 class there. (Why wouldn’t I, when our libraries in UP Manila are horribly limited and medically-exclusive?) And this is where the story of Today begins.

9.30 am: Supposed meet up with Roi at Tumanaa place in Marikina where there exists a terminal with jeepneys heading to Balara which is two pedestrian lanes away from UPD. I was having breakfast with Mom in reality.

10.00 am: Still at home, and bombarded with text messages of “Sa’n ka na? (Where are you now?)”. Hello, punctuality.

10.45 am: At Tumana, greeted with the sentence “Hi, cute,” which deserved a snort for a response.

11.00am: Arrived at Balara. Scared out of my wits for someone might’ve already been upset with my incredible unpunctuality. (An hour late, for Pete’s sake.)

Moments later: Roi, Rus and yours truly were to be found in the very welcoming College of Arts and Letters (CAL) Library. I must have conjured the homey sensation, though, for I was being seized by the illusion of being its tenant. Well, I’m a prospective CAL student after all, after periodically drooling over BA Creative Writing’s curriculum on its website. As if that would breeze me through the shifting process.

Anyways, so much for digressing! Back to Today, I was rapping on the keyboard of the computer designated for OPAC (now, what does that stand for again?) with words like, “counterfeit”, “footwear”, “economy”, “piracy”, etc. I was in search for elusive resources that were to provide the answers to the imprisoning questions of my research topic. After a couple of minutes and a few scrawls on my notebook, we left CAL to anticipate the arrival of Sherwin, a fellow Manileño.

We waited in FC (Faculty I-don’t-remember-what-C-stands-for), where it was undoubtedly cold. Rus mentioned a theory of a Diliman student on the matter, which states that “It is cold in FC for it is filled with negative energy.” I still don’t understand how negative energy is associated with the cold.

Sherwin arrived, finally free from the tediousness of Civil Welfare Training Service (CWTS) that we Manileños are faring this semester. A little chitchat, then we were on our heels again and off to Lutong Bahay (LB) for good food. (I have to mention here that Rus was too lazy for a jeepney ride towards the aforementioned place, despite its considerable distance, for it would decrease the worth of the experience. i.e. the epitome of an Iskolar ng Bayan is walking.)

Beneath the scorching sun, our feet scuffed and shuffled on the crunchy concrete and/or fresh grass (I was walking on the grass half the time). And then there it was, the famous LB in Diliman (or at least I think it is famous), crowded but superficially wide, due to the mirrors that lined up on the wall.

I had Dinuguan with rice for lunch, although my stomach was practically effervescent with the remnants of my 930am breakfast. Done with the good food, we headed to Iskorambol, Rus’ latest infatuation, but unfortunately, it was nowhere to be found. (Even though the aforementioned guy was continuously muttering “Have faith!”.)

Research time was a mouth hollering at me, spewing impatience like saliva. An IKOT ride later, we were finally within Gonzalez Hall, UPD’s Main Library. My first thought there was, Cost-cutting? with the dark rooms and all. But then again, Budget Cut, you’re doing such a good job at being evil.

Inside the General Reference section, it was hot. Did it even have proper ventilation? Or maybe the government really didn’t care if its people gasped for air. As we frequently do, literally and figuratively.

Nevertheless, Roi grabbed a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not book, and Rus settled for pages spilling with facts. Sherwin and I, having Comm2 this sem, proceeded to book-hunting. I circled the room, which wasn’t really big, once again embarked on a journey for right answers that might’ve been resting between the pages of those books. Finally, I stopped when I saw a book on Globalization, nodded when I read a few paragraphs on Copyrights and Intellectual Property and finally decided to use it as a reference.

Back to the varnished table, Lyndon finally arrived. An addition to my fleet. He needed paper to write on, so I lend him my notebook. My written words and shameful drawings had to be exploited for a few seconds first, before he finally settled on doing his job at the back of my notebook.

Having typed a few paragraphs on my laptop and having experienced the feat of citing (NO TO PLAGIARISM!), I connected to the readily available Wi-Fi, and drifted to Twitter. Well, Page Was Not Found; also, Facebook’s. Tumblr’s worked though, so, hello to the copyright-bending act of reblogging. Honestly, I still don’t know how Tumblr co-exists with Intellectual Property Rights.

Rus took over my Tumblr dash, while Roi and I observed intently. (The post with the Harry Potter characters cracked me up. This.) P.S. If you’ve seen ‘…’ on my posts, bear in mind that I wasn’t the one typing.

The hours quickly ticked away to 4pm, and it was time to leave (the Main Library). Here’s where I resume the time frame:

4.00 pm: We were headed to somewhere Lyndon could take artistic pictures of us for his Creative Writing 10 homework, which was to write a few paragraphs about photographs. On the way to somewhere, we saw Benedik, who was wearing his org shirt (UP Kustura’s). He was dripping with creative juices, so he participated in the creation of Lyndon’s homework.

4.15 pm: Finally at somewhere. Lyndon began taking his shots, first with me and Rus walking. And well, good luck writing something about that, friend. Next shots were of Roi and Sherwin, whose pictures exploded with subliminal text had they been in words (i.e. “Sexual innuendos”, as Dik labeled them).

4.30 pm: “Home is where the heart is.” Home, it is never really fixed. It is mobile, for it is a collection of people itself. People who are rarely localized, who are always moving from one place to another. And as always, the case with leaving home is none other than homesickness.

A jeepney ride to Tumana, a walk to KFC (I did not eat with them! Sad!), and a tricycle ride back to my Mom.

And that is it for Today.

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