Bisita Eskwela

I went to a street a in Manila where some universities are. The last time I went there was when I was a senior in highschool looking for a place for college. Last Friday, I was looking for a school that offers Cultural Anthropology for summer semester. You’ll ask me why, but that’s a different story.

It took me two rides to reach my destination. I was dropped at the Manila City Hall. To get to the side I should be in, I had to cross the underpass way for the very first time. It was a crowded, dark, and dirty tunnel filled with hurrying pedestrians & stalls of accessories & clothes. One of the goals of an architect is to provide another function of a building aside from its primary function. The underpass was very useful but not pleasing. Crossing streets? More fun in the PH.

The first university I went to is the Philippine Normal University. To find what you are looking for, it will be easier if you ask questions. I asked the security guard about cross enrollment. He made me sign the logbook and leave my school ID without giving me a numbered tag in return. I was worried that he will forget which ID I own.

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I was directed to the Admission’s Office, and then to the Office of the Registrar. I even talked to some Normalians for tips. Upon entry, I almost forgot my real purpose of visit. I was grateful of bringing my Lolo’s Samsung digital camera along. I guess my heritage travel begins…NOW.

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The university is a showcase of the past necessities & trends of Philippine Architecture with an addition of a modern ordinary building on the farthest part of the campus. It was where my Lola, Mama, & Tita went to get a degree in Education. I thought of the possibilities if I’ve chosen to study to be a teacher the way my Lola suggested. Between its walls, I felt comfort & sanctuary. I never expected to step on its antique floors where my relatives once hurried on to get to their classes.

Across the street is the Technological University of the Philippines-the school where I didn’t bother to apply for college because they didn’t do so well on the PRC exams & their fees are not affordable for us. I did the usual business with security personnel. If I were to describe what is what like to be inside their campus-it was alright. I felt normal, just fine. Nothing special. My camera does the job of looking for something interesting. I just have to discover angle techniques of capturing the dull parts & converting them into spots of attention-like the rotting hole in the ceiling, the tablet in the park, & the dark corridors.

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I actually spent most of my time in the CAFA Building. It has a resemblance to the the CEA Building & PUP Taguig. It also possess 4 floors, an atrium, & drafting rooms that are a bit uncomfortable for working. Even my sight from outside of it can just feel the hotness inside. I wonder if there are hot guys, too…or girls. Haha. My acrophobia was activated because the railings guarding the atrium is too short for me. I can pinpoint parts of buildings that are in bad need of repair.

The architecture gives me the Art Deco feels. It still looks intimidating even at damaged level.

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The street walls enclosing the university are filled with painted artworks. I captured every mural on the length of the street. Upon turning the corner, I realized that my work isn’t over. It was another longer street with murals. I felt tired at once and decided to capture the most interesting pieces. I can’t finish them all in one day. I feel unaccomplished though.

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I always remember that Adamson University is a short walk from an LRT 1 station and a bit longer walk from PNU & TUP. The school was Vincentian. Long ago, some classmates of mine said they would feel like a Blue Eagle if they study in Adamson. I guess they just have the feels because AdU is usually themed blue just like Ateneo. In the church in Tandang Sora where I serve as a choir member, AdU must have a real partnership with it. They both patronize Saint Vincent of the Poor. A Falcon bus sometimes was parked on one of its spaces & a co-choir member who is a student assistant of the university work her hours on the parish office.

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It feels weird that a creek is on display on one of the most important parts of the campus. It is nearby the waiting area which also acts as the main lobby. They tried to beautify it with some hanging plants, but it still feels weird. It seems like the creek welcomes the students & visitors. The water is calm but not clear to make it pleasant-looking.

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I went to the Liberal Arts Department to settle my agenda. The interiors were imitations of Roman Architecture-using wood as the material of the baseboards & sashwork. During my journey, I noticed a particular couple in some of my pictures. I didn’t quite mean to include them. It was just amazing that even at the start of my steps in the university, they were unaware witnesses with me until my departure. I also witnessed an evening party in preparation at the courtyard-and I was like: “Tugs! Tugs! Tugs!”

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A while ago on the realization that I just started my heritage travel, I planned on continuing it Intramuros. It was near nightfall and I was very tired of going from place to place to look for something that is almost impossible. I went back to the entrance of AdU and sat on the bench to rest. I felt numb & sore. I felt like not coming on the training at the nearby Luneta because I felt like a flu was coming.

I went out because I decided to take a walk to Intramuros, but I realized it was very far and late already. I don’t want to go back to Adamson either. I just wanted to take a nap but there were no modes of transportation & place for me to stay-and then I saw St. Vincent’s Parish.

Our church in Tandang Sora is called Santuario de San Vicente de Paul. Santuario is ‘sanctuary’ where there can be answers to pursuit & shelter. That day was for one important goal, but I didn’t succeed. I believe God uttered something that if you are tired: “Come to me.” I went inside to pray & regain strength. I was in tears when I told him everything then- such as my pending internship applications, my hanging chance of moving to the next college level, & my hard trial in being a dancer. These were accumulated all at the same time so I made a firm decision. I will surrender everything to HIM-“Kayo na po ang bahala.”

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The unexpected heritage travel made my day accomplishing full. In the end, I didn’t find any summer offering of Anthropology.

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