Friday, January 11, 2008

Naked guy gets party started right

Supposedly there was a motorcade participated in by the different campuses. There was also some skydiving involved and tambulis blown. But of course I did not see any of that because for some strange reason, the UP Centennial kick-off was held on a Tuesday. What about us alumni who have, you know, jobs? Anyway, I caught more than half of the concert at Quezon Hall later in the evening. My first reaction was, wow, this place is packed! Never seen the amphitheater that full, even during my university graduation ceremony. Saw some familiar faces from way back. My reaction upon seeing them was, oh my god, you're in your 30s!, or oh my god, you look like a mom! There was no place to sit but where I stood I could see the performers (there were also two giant screens). The UP Pep Squad was a hit. I managed to sneak into the backstage to watch some of the symphony performances, and Ryan Cayabyab's number.

My only complaint that evening was for once, there was nothing to eat! Whenever I visit UP, I make it a point to pig out on street food, usually ubiquitous when there's an event. I had to settle for some fried siomai in front of MassCom and overpriced C2.

Right after the orchestra played UP Naming Mahal, the fireworks started. Pretty good actually. And since this is UP, the event was fittingly capped with -- a rally! At 10 pm! I have retyped here the message in the pamphlet the student rallyists of the LFS distributed, because frankly, it makes sense:

* * * * *

UP Sang(an)daan Patungo sa Sentenaryo ng Tunay na Paglilingkod sa Sambayanan

Today marks the opening of the centennial celebration of the University of the Philippines.

In the centennial celebration, we will be commemorating 100 years of the excellence of UP, as the UP administration's theme (UP, Ang Galing!) implies. UP has been one of the country's top universities and has been producing countless number of brilliant students along with numerous national artists.

But aside from the academic achievements of the university, we should not forget what it stands for in the history of our country and the struggle of the people. Aside from being the vanguard of academic excellence, UP has also been the vanguard of the student movement in the country, always in the frontline of the fight for the people's rights. The major victories that were achieved through the struggle of the students are the lifting of the ban in joining student organizations, publishing the university paper and stopping the entry of the military in the campus. UP was not only involved in students' issues but also in national issues. The students and administration joined protests for the resignation of former Pres. Estrada, for the lifting of the pseudo Martial Law declaration Proclamation 1017 and many more.

This centennial is a challenge for the students and the administration to continue not only the academic excellence of the university but also how we use this to change the rotting system that is plaguing our society.

There are many issues that we are facing today, the continuing commercialization of UP education, the dislocation of the residents of UP communities without relocation because of commercialization programs, the setting up of call centers and science and technology parks in the campus instead of academic establishments, the approval of the new UP Charter that gives way to the said problems, as well as national issues such as the increasing number of unemployed, impoverished and victims of human rights violations.

It is a challenge to continue not only the struggle of the students but also the struggle of the people for we know that we are "iskolars ng bayan" and, as the Oblation statue symbolizes, our foremost task and reason for being is to SERVE THE PEOPLE.

* * * * *

Hell yes, Amen to all that. Hoy! Taga-UP ka! Happy Centennial sa 'yo!

No comments: