Ever had the experience of asking a casual question and then the answer makes you fall off your chair? I didn't exactly fall off my chair but I certainly jumped out of it a couple of days ago when I asked a colleague, who was operating, when was the last time he was in UP Diliman and he said he was there the other weekend, in the afternoon of September 28. Which just happens to be the exact same date and the exact same time that I was there, too. I thought that was just so incredible! Except that we didn't bump into each other there, as the campus is quite big and at some point he went to visit the current chancellor, Gerry Cao, who is an old friend of his and who was my dormmate in Molave, too. We had such a fun time reminiscing the good old days in UP and before we knew it, surgery was over.
Here's a collage of stores at the UP Diliman Shopping Center that have been there ever since the time I was a student there. As in, that was around 30 years ago! The rest of the stores there have transformed into internet cafes and photocopy shops.
Handog is a gift shop that has changed its facade and logo. That was a favorite 'let's pass by this store muna' place. They had such cute little thingies, books and trinkets that we liked to LOOK at. Yes, look only, no buying.
Jurozen's dresses. It used to be a dress shoppe but I'm not sure what it is now. There's a sign that says 20 pesos per hour and I think that is the internet fee.
Rodic's was a restaurant and still is.
G.Miranda and Sons was a bookstore and still is, too. I have an unforgettable vignette with this store. One afternoon during my freshman year, I was walking along the shopping center enroute to the Church of the Risen Lord to hang out with friends. When lo and behold, there, come rushing down the aisle, were several men wearing NOTHING at all. I can't remember if they had hoods or masks or rubber shoes or slippers. I was just frozen cold to the spot. When the first naked being whizzed by, I saw more were coming and the thought came to me that if I didn't run away I was going to be annihilated. Or turned into a pillar of salt, at the very least. I dashed to the right, right into the open doors of G.Miranda and Sons and sought solace there among the unopened notebooks and blank pad papers.
When the nude parade had passed, and the people had stopped gawking and had gone back to what they were doing, I slowly released my death grip on the bookstore shelves. On wobbly knees I finished the long trek to CRL, secure in the thought that my friends would nurse me back from state of shock to health.
When I got there, they greeted me, "Why are you so pale?"
With whispered words and quivering voice I told the gory tale.
Did they comfort me? Did they say hush hush?
No! They laughed at me as pallor turned to ash.
Next time, they said, the free show I must avail.
I decided then it was a pretty good time to wail.
Ooopps! I didn't mean for those last lines to be like that. They just sort of formed themselves that way. Guess I've been reading too much ancient poetry with rhyme schemes and all. Couldn't resist it. ;-)
What happened was anti-climactic. I thought my friends would comfort me and reassure me that everything would be alright and that those UP people were really out of their minds for doing what they did. Instead they laughed at me and gave me this advice: next time it happens, I shouldn't hide but look. That made me burst into tears. :'-(