Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Maia Travels: UP Diliman

One of the best years of my life were the years I spent in college. Those were very enriching and enlightening days in UP. I didn't graduate from UP Diliman though. I am a true blue probinsyana (and will remain to be) who graduated from one of the campuses in the Visayas area. UP Diliman, however, is a campus that is very dear to me because during the last few years of my college life, I got involved with the college publication and the university student council. That opened doors to me building friendships with fellow students from other campuses. And that helped me overcome my shyness and cliched as it may sound also instilled in me a sense of purpose. (insert light bulb) I was in this university for a reason. *cheese*

I've long lost touch with friends I made in UP Diliman but during my single unattached years here in Manila, I would come back to the campus and would sometimes still bump into one of them. But that was a long, long time ago. The last time that I was in the campus was a few months after I got married. The hubby and I went to witness what was to be our last UP Fair concert. That 5 years ago. Wow that long.

When I read Maqui's post about their weekend stay in UP a few months ago, I thought, we can do that too. I miss the fishballs at Vinzons. And the fresh air brought about by the abundant trees sprawled all over the campus. But I just couldn't convince the hubby to commute that far anymore especially with a makulit little girl in tow.

Thankfully when we decided to do the marathon next year, the Quezon City Intl Marathon race date coincided with the week we needed to complete our 13-mile long run. I finally found a compelling reason that he couldn't say NO to.

So Friday night, we (I meant the kid and me) giddily packed our bags and the following day, commuted our way to Quezon City (spell TIYAGA. South to North eh) albeit a half-day detour at Makati Medical Center to get the kid's ears checked as she was complaining of ear pain the night before. (I will probably make a separate post about that ear pain when I find the motivation to write it down). We took the MRT from Ayala to Quezon Ave and took a cab from there to the UP Campus. We got there just in time for check in at the University Hotel. We napped briefly to regain our lost energy due to the unforeseen activities of the day and headed out at around 5pm to find a place to eat. I was also after getting the kid to have a taste of this:

fighting over a fishball stick with her dad. she obviously liked it (sans the sauce, yes she didn't like the sauce) because she didn't want to share her stick. 
We spent a few minutes walking around the sunken garden while enjoying our fishballs but it wasn't long before Mr. Sun started setting. I forgot to pack mosquito patches for the kid so we got a little scared when I saw some mosquitoes hovering over her (Dengue Alert!). I so wanted to get a glimpse of Vinzons Hall (because that's the place I most frequented back then particularly that office down the basement) but since it was getting dark and the kid (who was still slightly feverish) was also a little restless already so we decided to look for a place to dine instead. As I am not a native of the campus, I really have no clue where to go. I tried to recall Maqui's post and remembered the UP Shopping Center. We rode a jeepney and alighted right in front of the shopping center a few minutes after. I was thinking of buying a few Diliman Republic shirts but the shop that sells them was already closed as most of the other shops which I think closes at 5 (or was it because it was a weekend, I forgot to ask). We walked the entire length of the area to scour for a place to eat and with the picky little miss in mind, settled for the safest one - which is Rodics. (Maqui! I forgot where the bookstore was located, nasa taas lang pala ni Zagu! Kainezzzzz)

We also dropped by the UP Coop grocery (which is located right beside the shopping center) to buy our water supply for the rest of our stay (1 big gallon of it) and I couldn't help but marvel at how sustainable this campus is. It provides everything that a student need to subsist. The coop sells fresh produce apart from the usual grocery staples. It saved me a trip to Philcoa since I also forgot to pack us some bananas for our pre-race sustenance. 

UP Sunken Garden, late afternoon.
I wish this place is just near so we can bring the kid here  to practice her kicking skills.
As our race starts early (assembly time at 3:30am) the following day, we decided to call it a day and walked our way back to the hotel which is just a few meters away. I wished we came a little earlier but as the circumstances didn't permit us to, I settled at the recollecting my fondest memories of the times I spent here walking with like-minded friends discussing (**scheming**) ways on how we can positively (or maybe violently) CHANGE the world (and MAKE it a better place, for you and for me...wehehe).

Wherever you are now dear friends, I hope you're all doing well and I hope somehow you too are taking (even if tiny as tiny can be) steps into making our 'plans' happen :)

Paid 2,300 for a triple room. It wasn't the best (yes, I've been warned so I didn't really expect much) but the room was spacious. My only wish is that they gave us room on the ground floor instead having informed them we have a kid with us and knowing we are there because we are joining a race (it was hard climbing the stairs after we did the race)

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