Thursday, January 13, 2005

The Hall

PROLOGUE


My prayer a year ago:

Lord, I trust in You. Give me good
companions, friends who will help me grow in the knowledge of You, and a
comfortable place to stay while I am in the university.





I live in a university dormitory.

It's a great place to live in, but it isn't famous for no apparent reason. These may be intimidating--on second thought, they are actually meant to be that way: you need to produce a lot of earwax to adapt to the noisy atmosphere; a ton--or nine thousand barrels--of guts, too, to survive, and a clean, white set of teeth to flash whenever someone says hello. It's that easy--when you like irony, that is.


There are few moments of
solitude and quietude, too, especially when the clock
strikes twelve, or
when Kuya Myk, our exemplary resident assistant, visits our
room for a
nightly "bed check."

The dorm is the Kalayaan Residence Hall in the University of the Philippines. It caters only to freshmen students, so we, the residents (there are more than 500 of us all over the Philippines), have many things in common: subjects, ideas, friends. It's a great place, so great I wouldn't want to leave it anymore. Kalayaan is a Filipino word which means freedom. It's really a paradox: we are "free" but we are "limited in our freedom." That makes a lot of sense when I think of it... Freedom only comes when you know the limits of your rights. For instance, we have to be in the dormitory premises by 9 pm. Our lives are pretty restricted. Though not all the time.


JASON, MY ROOMMATE, AND LUTHER, THE INHABITANT OF THE ROOM IN FRONT OF OURS. THEY'RE BOTH BS ECE MAJORS.

I live in the great corridor known as the Basement (the Sunken Fortress, as they call it). Right at the foundation of the Hall, it is home to the dormitory's bright minds, exceptional talents and incessant noise.

At night, I would usually visit different rooms. My room is the fire exit of the corridor, so it's situated in the last frontier, if you could call it that. The last place you'll ever set foot on. I share that room with the studious Jason, an Electronics and Communication Engineering major.

Roomhopping is limited (but that's really a relative term.) The noise should be moderate since it is absolutely impossible to stop people from talking. I always visit Jef's room to have a chat. I convinced him to make a blog of his own; you can click on the link if you wish to visit it. I also visit many different people, mostly to ask them about assignments, play charades, debate on nonsense things, and many more. We'd also sing songs.


JEF (MOLECULAR BIOLOGY) , LANCE (THAT'S ME--ENGLISH STUDIES) AND JP (PHILOSOPHY)


It's a great place, so great I
wouldn't want to leave it anymore. Kalayaan
is a Filipino word which means
freedom. It's really a paradox: we are "free" but
we are "limited in our
freedom." That makes a lot of sense when I think of it...
Freedom only comes
when you know the limits of your rights.


No two days are alike. There are always surprises. A co-resident's birthday, a world-class performance of Tara na, Biyahe Tayo, a classic rendition of the Basement's national anthem (or so, we say), Canon No. 4 (the music played in the corridor's favorite movie, My Sassy Girl).


AMIAN (GEOLOGY), LANCE, WELSTER (CIVIL ENGINEERING), REY (COMPUTER ENGINEERING) AND LOISSE (SECONDARY EDUCATION).

The year is about to end, and we all have to part ways. This entry seems rather untimely. But time will come. And it will be difficult.

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