Undergrad nostalgia photos

I received an email earlier from the department that the graduate office was asking for a copy of my 2nd semester/AY 2009-2010 Form 5. I had no idea where I had placed it and since it was last used three years ago, I was ready to bet that I have already lost it.

I was very eager to immediately go home after work because I wanted to search for it in all of my boxes of trinkets. As expected, I did not find it. However, I was happy to see several things associated with my undergraduate life in a shoe box I have stashed inside my drawer.

Nostalgia photos - ticket, notes, classcards and Form 5 - UP Diliman

In one of the binders with Cattleya fillers, I have several tickets and receipts in the cover. It has Mariah, Alicia Keys concert tickets, as well as the ticket for the first time that I’ve watched the UAAP Cheerdance Competition in 2003. I remember that it was sold to me by my PE instructor right that Saturday morning, and I dragged myself to Araneta to watch it in that jampacked Upper B section. After that event, I was more than determined to try my luck to be part of the team.

I also found several notes for my language classes. I even found a yellow pad paper with a French translation exercise given by a visiting professor — translate Nina’s ‘Love Moves in Mysterious Ways’ into French. It was a peculiar exercise and we couldn’t believe that we were made to translate that song. Turned out that he liked the song so much that he asked all of his assigned classes to translate it. But the paper that I found really funny was the one with my notes for our Latin class. I barely remember anything from that class except for “Mulus gemit” (The mule groans) and “Sumus agricolae” (We are farmers). It was my lowest numerical grade ever (at 3.00, I barely passed the class) but I was most happy to get that grade. Latin was excruciating.

And then, when UP used to issue tangible classcards (they now release them online through CRS), we had to sift through a pile of classcards and look for our names. What was embarrassing about it was that other students/classmates would be able to see your poor grades while looking for their own. News about who got a failing grade would readily spread out. Looking upon my classcards in my box at home, I saw my two INC classcards, one for English 11 (literature something, where I had to endure the extremely soporific” The Iceman Cometh“) and the other was Kas 1 (Philippine history). I was wondering why I did not tear nor throw them out.

Lastly, my first ever Form 5 in Diliman from 2003, containing my basic French classes and the badly spaced schedule of classes. I had classed from Monday to Saturday (except Wednesdays) and the breaks were quite long that I even had time to go to SM North and loiter before going back to school. Also, it was my most costly semester ever, at Php 6,266.50 when it used to Php 300/unit in school. Of course it was a different story nowadays when the tuition for undergrad drastically increased. I remember peeking at the Form 5s of the students I was with in the queue for payment and it was not strange to see theirs marked with Php 25,000 and up. Eeeek! That can already about 5 semesters during my time.

I counted the wrinkled and yellowed Form 5s from my undergrad and they were all present. Imagine I have kept each and every single one, including the summer classes but I managed to lose one of my graduate school Form 5. Some things do really change over time and one of them was diligence. LOL

My first backpack in years

If you take a look at the things I own, you can immediately identify the absence of a backpack. But why on earth I didn’t have one? It was a very interesting story because I used to be backpack-only type of guy — well that was when I was in grade school until college.

The last backpack I owned was this red Nike backpack (which I dug out of the bowels of my closet for picture’s sake. It literally has cobwebs on the bottom):

My old Nike backpack from college

It was what I used to carry because I also had everyday training and it was very easy on the shoulders for the weight was pretty much distributed evenly. Unfortunately, when I was on my way back to UP for training with the squad and as I passed by Philcoa, a little, dirty girl stood in front of me and grab my legs. I was of course taken aback and was trying to get out of her embrace. A few seconds after when I was about to pay the jeepney back to Aldaba Hall, I’ve noticed that the front pocket was open. It felt like being doused with cold water because upon first sight, I knew right away that my cellphone (a Nokia 3230) was stolen. That was my bat signal to curse the backpack for eternity and I have gotten a big, slouchy messenger bag from American Boulevard in SM North a day after.

Tracy's leather satchel backpack from Hairspray movie

(Screencap from the movie ‘Hairspray’)

Years went by and I still wasn’t convinced that I needed a backpack. I forever associated it to being prone to stealing because a person is definitely blind when you have the bag at your back. However, when I first saw Tracy (Nikki Blonsky) carrying the leather satchel backpack in the opening sequence of Hairspray, I realized that it might have been time to reconsider having one. I think the one in the movie is similar to the type of bags that Cambridge Satchel does, and I highly doubt if they did not issue a backpack-type. But as I was already disenchanted by the price of a Cambridge Satchel, I was just confronted with the idea of having even just one backpack.

Louis Vuitton Monogram Montsouris GM backpack - Manila, PhilippinesAs the old adage goes: NEVER SAY NEVER. First of all, I’ve said before that I’m already growing out of my monogram phase. But can you resist something that suddenly comes up without a warning (i.e. a good deal) for an insanely significant fraction of the retail price? When the Louis Vuitton Montsouris GM backpack was initially released, it was sold at US$ 1,300. I see that a lot of online sellers selling it at an average of US$ 500 (and Luxury Exchange even sold one for US$ 910!) Can you fault me for getting it in a snap because the seller offered it to me for an extremely reasonable price? đŸ˜‰ I bet you would even beat me to it if you can!

Kanye West with his Louis Vuitton Monogram Montsouris GM backpack

(Photo from Fashionphile)

My knowledge of Louis Vuitton, albeit limited, is sufficient, especially when it comes to monogram canvas and epi leather. However, I will not assume that I know a lot so even when I was inspecting the bag, I was secretly Google-ing “Montsouris GM” because I was not really sure if the style in that size was made. The initial search results was of Kanye West carrying the same bag from Fashionphile. Okay so the style do exist, but I needed to inspect every hardware, date code and heatstamp to make sure that everything was okay.

Louis Vuitton Monogram Montsouris GM backpack - leather straps and vachetta bottom - Manila, Philippines

I still cannot believe that I got a good deal for this bag! Of course, it was not perfect, with minor issues such as that ‘stain’ near the heatstamp by the back, and I had to clean some parts of the canvas with a damp cloth, but nevertheless it was in excellent condition. What bothers me the most, however, was the amount of vachetta the bag has, especially at the bottom. I never owned anything that has this much vachetta, and I’m afraid that it might get ruined under my clumsy hands.

ITALIA Jacket, brick skinny pants, Louis Vuitton Monogram Montsouris GM backpack - Manila, Philippines

I’m only 5’6″ and the bag doesn’t look small, so that’s a good thing. But Mon and I agree that he’s going to use it for our trip back to Seoul. (Yes, I can’t stop talking about our Seoul trip because I’m extremely excited!) As much as I want to use it there, I’d just stick with a messenger because I’ll be most comfortable with it than this bag that I’m still not used to. =)

It was a wonderful day for thrifting!

Raberly Ukay Center - SM North Avenue Station

(Sorta ‘Mecca’, if only the air-conditioning was functioning well)

I previously mentioned that our momentary and impulsive move to visit the Ukay near MRT SM North Avenue did not yield favorable results to Mon but instead, gave me surprising finds. We were about to leave because they did not have winter boots in Mon’s size, but a pair of wonderful lace-up caught my eye. When I picked it up — it was Prada!

Not-So-Black Prada Leather Laceups - Manila, Philippines

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