"Me Time!"

Yes, there is life outside of work!!! Let's go!

Happy Place

on June 18, 2013

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As I was skimming through my Facebook news feed, I chanced upon an article about my alma mater, U.P. (University of the Philippines).  Today is U.P.’s 105th anniversary.  Aaaah, so many happy memories…

When I was 6, I didn’t understand what the fuss was all about for me to get in U.P.  At 6, all I cared about was playing with my friends in the small playground with rusty swings, super high monkey bars, and creaky see saws.  After school, my friends and I would play habulan (tag),taguan (hide-and-seek), patintero, and agawan base in the little field beside our building.  We collected amorseco seeds, put them into straws and playfully shot at each other’s clothes.  We caught dragonflies of different sizes and colors, put them into glass jars with holes on the covers, and made them into our pets.    We sometimes wandered across the field to the high school building to explore and gawk at the big kids.  When we had money, we bought Twin Popsies, Pinipig Crunch, or ice cream cups from our favorite vendor.  This was our routine up until high school (yes, even tag!).

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As we got older, my friends and I began go a little outside our comfort zone.  We rode the famous Ikot Jeep!  U.P. is the only university with public transportation that goes around the campus so that students could go from building to building for their different subjects.  Our friend’s house was situated within the campus and we often rode the Ikot to her house for lunch and a power nap.  We went to Shopping Center, a one-floor building, which had everything from a cafeteria, a mini-grocery, computer shops, bookstores, dress shops, to salons and barber shops.  Everything we needed, we found there.  But the main reason for our frequent Shopping Center visits is… fishballs!!! and squidballs, and kikiam, and kwek kwek!  (Sorry, I got carried away, but these are just the best street food ever and my mouth is watering as I write).  During cooler days, we walked around the 2.2-km Academic Oval to enjoy the scenery of the buildings and the “Shady Lane” of giant acacia trees.  Sometimes, we went to the Sunken Garden, sat on the grass and discussed school, our crushes, our family lives, and our dreams.

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In college, I met new friends from the different regions of the Philippines with different dialects.  But we all had one thing in common, we loved to “loiter” around campus, and sometimes outside of campus, as there was another jeep which brought us straight to a mall!

Those were the days.

To me, U.P. is not only the Philippine’s top university, it is my happy place.  When I am in a pensive mood or I need to make a life-changing decision, I just drive or walk around campus and everything is fine.  When I feel anxious or worried, I close my eyes and let my mind wander under the shade of the acacia trees.

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