My Ivory Towers, Sayonara! May 2, 2005Posted by kilospup in Uncategorized.
By Lawrence P. Villamar
This first week of May, I’ll officially be an alumnus of PUP. Our university has been my home, quite literally, for four years. It has been the setting of much of the more significant event of my college years, and even of the most mundane conversation with friends. Under its thick-trunked pines, I took lazy afternoon walks out, tired of a day’s worth of education (or just weary of waiting for professors who never showed up on time or never really did show up). I miss those lazy afternoon walk out and the hurried frantic rush in like a mad horse is chasing after you (Well, I sometimes wonder if I’m better off squaring with the mad horse than the professors who don’t actually wait for late students like me with open arms.) Sigh, I just miss those days when I and my friends would camp out in the Mabini Circle talking about love, our different ideologies and who hook up with whom. It makes me dizzy just trying to figure out how many iced tea we drank in those ceremonial rests in Mabini Circle.
We all have our memories to remember and as someone who’ll soon be leaving our university, I can’t help but reminisce on my college hey-days whiled away with optimism that once I am out, I’ll be a dragon slayer. It’s not uncommon for my barkadas to talk about national issues, and ridicule our national officers down to the Barangay Officials in Teresa for sheer annoyance with pedestrian traffic in Teresa. We’re so virile with our knowledge and hopelessly optimistic of how the world goes. Our thoughts are pregnant with the changes we would introduce to the system once we’re out. And I wonder how much of that optimism stems from our overconfidence and endless indoctrination of our professors. I wonder, but the answer seemed so out reach. Just call it idealism or optimism or sheer overbearing arrogant college bull shit. Suit your self, we say. We’ll slay dragons along the way.
I’m puzzled if it’s proper to refer to our university metaphorically as Ivory Towers. After all, we speak of ivory towers as a sheltered place. Were we PUPians really sheltered from the rest of the world? Ah, how impossible that would be. As first years, we were welcomed by the poverty of informal settlers both sides of the railway ( I pity those who had not witnessed the life of trolley boys sweating in the mid-noon heat). We’re not unaware of the plight of Manong driver spitting out his heart on the rising gas price, the oil cartel and the helpless we are against the price increase. Along our way in, we are harassed by the craziness of the world, and are filled with discontent. A Filipina was raped by an American G.I., the Filipino Diaspora, call centers for those who can’t barely speak English
Still, I believe that PUP lives to the context of Ivory Towers in a nurturing way, in a hospital-like way. Once inside, everything seem so simple, reduced to mathematics for a B.S. Math, to the principles of Physics, to the class conflict for a Sociology major, a matter of communication for A.B. English and Mass Communication student, to interplay of interest and power to a Political Science, to life unfolding like a flower, as it should, to a writer… Perhaps, in that essence, PUP comforts us from corrupting cynicism toward progress and suicidal concepts of abandonment and despair. You can do something. We can do something. But how? My Ivory Towers, how? It tells me of the way of general welfare and common good, of nationalism, of self-sacrifice, of altruism and just giving your best to be of service to God, to country, to self. It does not charge us into an epic Tolkien struggle but to just have a good heart and be a good man…
Now it’s time to take up that charge and go out! So My Ivory Towers, Sayonara!