I was waiting for a Katipunan-bound jeepney at the UP Arts and Sciences waiting shed early this afternoon when the drizzle turned to rain. Thankful I was not running late for my meeting, I sat down and folded my slacks so that they would not get wet. I stared into the greens and relished the sound and smell of the downpour. And then I remembered why I loved UP.
I am from Ateneo, and I only spent a year as an "Iska" -- freshman year in law school. But for the longest time, I have always been in awe of the sprawling campus, the aggregate brain power of the students milling about, and the lack of pretense of it all.
Today I had a distinct memory, from when a Quezon Ave-Campus fare was P2.25. I am inside a jeepney and the Eraserheads' "Overdrive" is playing loud on the radio. Entering the campus, I am greeted by trees lined up leading to the oblation, and also when you turn right and then left to the campus proper. I think: beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. I wonder how differently things would have turned out had I decided to register in UP for my undergrad, instead. (I got into the journ program of the College of Mass Communications.) But I tell myself, these are roads we take and we should stand by our decisions -- else we would be unhappy.
Even now that I am a professional already, I still love going to UP if only to interview sources or just to pass by to get to other destinations. I get the same feeling every time, especially when it rains.
And when the rain stops -- like it did soon after I boarded the jeep this afternoon that brought me to my appointment in Katipunan -- one feels a certain freshness, a renewal, an optimism. It's like a windshield has been wiped clean, and the road ahead appears in high definition.