Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The third year

I see them again, the wide-eyed greenhorns carrying their brown manila envelopes on whose covers are etched the words "Mabuhay ka, Iskolar ng Bayan!" They walk in large groups, usually in fours or fives, telling each other of their degree programs, their plans of shifting to a "more prestigious course" (like BAA), and rushing to the nearest isaw stand. You're never really a UP student until you eat isaw. It's simply the rite of passage, in addition to the famous Oblation Run in December.

All of a sudden, they approach me; their voices with the undertones of respect and awe, knowing that they're talking to an older, more experienced person than they. They hesitate to speak to me at first, but I knew something was coming, a question so common I already have a standard reply.

"Kuya, saan po ang Palma Hall?"

Now they call me Kuya. The years pass by quickly when we don't count them.

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