Off to UPLB!

It was a fine Monday and we can’t be thankful enough of the overcast weather because we had to go to UP Los Baños and submit the requirements for Lot’s dormitory application. After leaving our things and the office and the collared shirt I would be wearing for work, Mon and I went straight to the Taft area to ride a bus going to Los Baños. To our surprise, the JAM Liner terminal there did not have any bus departing for Sta. Cruz, the route passing by College, to UPLB. One of the drivers there told us to go to Green Star’s terminal few meters away, and we had barely missed the bus because it was already in the highway, about to leave.

Welcome to UPLB!

An hour and a half, we already arrived at our destination. I was really excited to go there again because I haven’t been to UPLB for a very long time. I have extremely fond memories of the place and seeing the familiar environment brought the feeling back. When we were about to disembark, I remember checking the people online on Facebook to see if some of my friends from Elbi were online. Good thing, Russel was available and I messaged her immediately so we can meet up with her. But we first had to go to the University Housing Services to submit the application requirements.

University Housing Services in UPLB

The University Housing Services is located just behind the College of Development Communication, near the Carabao Park just after the university’s entrance. We thought there was a long line of students waiting to be entertained but they were actually queueing for something else. We just entered that door above and was entertained by the lady in charge after finishing a phone call (and from what I’ve heard, I inferred that it was an inquiry in sending the application via mail). If only we were not hoping to secure a good room slot for Lot, we could have just sent her application via mail as well. However, it was a first-come, first-served application and every moment counts. In less than five minutes, then, we were done with our ‘mission’ and we had to do something else.

I called Russel and she was in a library near BioSci, just behind the University Registrar. So we had to walk from the Housing Services and passed by the Humanities building. We also saw a group of people in the Registrar, looking at two sheets of paper containing information about the wait listing process in UPLB.

Oblation in UPLB, in front of the Humanities building

Flow chart of application for wait list and wait list criteria for UPLB for First Semester 2013-2014


Then just as we reached the parking area in front of BioSci, I immediately saw Russel waving from a distance and I was so happy to see her. =) She was busy finishing her graduate thesis and was hoping she’d finish it in time, thus graduate this semester as well. Good thing the library was quite lax and did not require us to present our ID. After a few minutes of catching up, we eventually left to walk around the campus because of the impending downpour.

With Russell


The nearest attraction was the Pegaraw in front of the Main Library and I wanted Mon to have a closer look at the peculiar sculpture.

On our way to the UPLB Main Library to see the Pegaraw


Pegaraw in UP Los Baños



There were a lot of students walking past and it was difficult to get a good shot with it. We also had to stand behind the sculpture because the sun was shining behind it and we did not want to showcase our silhouette with the Pegaraw. This explains why Mon’s picture below had the bum shown in full detail. LOL

Mon with the Pegaraw - UP Los Baños


We then scrapped our walking-for-leisure pace because we still had to travel back to Makati. We wasted no time going to the Freedom Park to have a look around; and we also had a great time having our pictures taken, albeit quickly. Just an hour earlier, we were so worried that it might rain but the moment we set foot in the Freedom Park, we realized that we stressed ourselves out for nothing. In true UPLB fashion, the weather was unpredictable.

Mariang Banga - UP Los Baños


Mon  and I in the Freedom Park - UP Los Baños


Freedom Park and the Fertility Tree - UP Los Baños


In the Freedom Park, with the Fertility Tree and the  Carillon Tower in the background - UP Los Baños


Mon also wanted to get a good picture of the Men’s Dorm, which we will be showing to his sister. Hopefully, her application to that dorm gets approved, so we can all cross out the accommodation problem out of the list. If that happens, she will be getting an email from the Housing Services and will have a week to confirm her reservation — and we will accompany her back to UPLB. ^_^

Men's Dorm - UP Los Baños



We left UPLB at around 4:30 PM but it took us almost 20 minutes to reach Olivarez again, as the traffic was horrendous. Contrary to what I’ve expected, there were also few buses bound for Manila passing by and we had to wait for 15 minutes just to catch one. We rode an HM Transport bus with ‘Cubao’ signboard and we asked the driver if we could get off in Ayala. But to our dismay, they won’t be stopping there so we just opted for the Magallanes stop. We also paid about Php 95 each, more than what we paid from Taft to Los Baños using Green Star liner (i.e. about Php 73 each). But I guess we were still lucky because the bus driver told us an hour and a half after (yes, the flow of traffic from Los Baños to the entrance of SLEX was ridiculous), just as we reached Magallanes, that they would be dropping us off to Ayala instead. Yay! No more MRT!

Kim n' Chi goodness


We then had a good dinner at our favorite place in Glorietta’s Food Court, Kim n’ Chi! We were so hungry because all that we had eaten during the whole trip was two pieces of butternut doughnuts, a can of iced coffee, a pack of Piattos and a liter of bottled water. I initially wanted to suggest eating dinner in Los Baños but we would have definitely arrived much later given the slow travel back. Anyway, I’m still looking forward to going back to UPLB next week in the happy event that the dorm application turns out well!

Tailor-made: the chop

The last haircut in the salon I had was before the year changed to 2013. From that time until last week, I just go to the barbershop to have the sides shaved again. Of course, the top part will eventually grow out extremely long that my hair just begins to have a life of its own. I had no plans of having it cut today, but as I started feeling uncomfortable, I had to do something.

Getting this mop-of-a-hair chopped

My hair looked like a field of grass blown by the wind

I think that I’m also beginning to take a leaf from my mother’s book. When she goes out, she makes sure that she’ll do A LOT of tasks in a single day to make getting out more fruitful. That was also what I did today. After getting a haircut, I went to the Marikina City Public Market to buy some fabric. I’ve been wanting to have two more pants made from the same tailor who did the two black pants I use for work. I wanted a pair of darker khaki pants (from the one I already have) and another pair or navy blue ones. I think I can use my other pair of shoes, other than the black 8-hole Doc Martens and Red Wing boots if I have these two pair of pants with me. I have no idea of particular fabric names, so I just wore a pair of khaki shorts made from the fabric I hoped to find.

An afternoon in Marikina City Public Market

Khaki and blue cotton twill at Php 190 a yard

In the section selling dry goods, I went to the second floor and approached right away the first stall selling fabric. I asked if they have a fabric in khaki, similar to the shorts I was wearing but they told me that they did not have oxford. So it was news to me that I was looking for an oxford fabric. They only have cotton twill so I left looking for this oxford fabric in another stall. I think most stalls were having their siesta because there was a long row of stalls with no people looking after their merchandise. Then at the far end, I approached another stall and asked for oxford fabric. The old lady responded they have none, so I asked if they have a fabric similar to the one I have, holding out the hem of my shorts. To my surprise, she loudly exclaimed “Eh cotton twill naman ‘to eh!” , so I mentioned that the other stall said otherwise. She then retorted “Ang boba nila kamo!”, which left be gobsmacked. O_O Anyway, I ended up buying a yard and quarter for both khaki and navy blue fabric and immediately left for the tailor.

Where the magic happens --- my favorite tailor in Marikina

The tailor, Mang Joel, getting the measurement of my other pair of black pants

Arriving at the tailor’s shop, he immediately recognized me and asked if I have my fabric with me. I got them out of the paper bag and I told him that he can pattern it after another pair of pants he made for me a year ago, which I also brought with me. I was told that I will be getting the two pairs next Sunday. I paid half of the total price and hoping that he’d nail the pants again. I only trust Mang Joel when it comes to my tailoring needs. I seldom buy from the mall, unless the fabric is exceptional, but for everyday needs, I just have them tailor-made. My legs are quite big and I’m not exactly tall so mall-distributed pants eventually end up being altered. The best thing about this, I spend less having them made than buying them in the mall. For example, the fabric I bought earlier costs Php 190/yard and I always need a yard and quarter for a pair of pants. So for Php 237.50 (fabric) and Php 400 fee for the tailor, I just shelled out Php 637.50. I highly doubt I can find the same price on the mall, which usually needs alteration of the length and that costs me around Php 100.

On another note, I just found out that Mon’s father has permitted Lot to pursue her studies in UPLB! I’m so delighted and I can only imagine how happy Mon and Lot were upon getting this confirmation. There’s no more need to fight our way through for reconsideration! Congratulations, Lot, for being a fellow Iskolar ng Bayan! Welcome to the University of the Philippines and I hope you’ll have a great time being an Iska!

And before I forget, tomorrow will be the first day of comprehensive examinations for the second semester takers! It seems only yesterday when I was also faced with same daunting task to finish graduate school. I’m sincerely hopeful that my classmates and friends taking the first part (of three) will have a calm mind and not panic with the time and pressure of answering correctly (not to mention, ballpens breaking down or hands shaking from hours of writing). I will be going to UP tomorrow to wait for them to finish and give some moral support, and hopefully those who listened to me and actually sought my advice will help others as well in the happy event that they pass. Pay it forward, guys. =) In bocca al lupo!

Food trip to compensate for the ‘lost’ Baguio trip!

We did NOT push through with our Baguio trip. There I said it. However, as it was not that well-planned, it was no surprise for us that we did not continue with it. I only began searching for guesthouses yesterday but all of the people I asked had no vacant rooms. It then took me a few hours to realize the reason for this — it was Panagbenga Festival season in Baguio City now. How did I miss that crucial part? Maybe because I was under the impression that the festival happens on the summer months (i.e. March to May) but I was honestly not that enthusiastic to visit Baguio when there will surely be a lot of tourists around. We could have gone yesterday but decided to just spend the day together and eat, eat and eat. =D We can always go back to Baguio on the latter months of the year, when Ikle will be back in the country, finishing his graduate thesis.

We first got our tickets for our 7:25 PM movie in the fourth floor. Good thing we reserved our seats the night before on SureSeats because aside from the number of people queuing for tickets, all of the seats for Jackie Chan’s Chinese Zodiac (a.k.a. CZ12) were either reserved or sold already. We then went to Super Bowl of China to have our early dinner. We ordered food enough for the three of us, because we always tend to over-order and end up forcefeeding ourselves just not to waste food and money. We had crispy noodles, lemon chicken, steamed fish and fried rice. It was not our first time to order this set because it was our fail-safe choice of dishes. Ikle mentioned that these dishes were much better than the food he eats in China, imagine the irony of that. He had a kidney problem two months ago because of the extremely greasy and salty Chinese food. If his friends were to come to the Philippines in the future, he asserted that he will definitely bring them to Super Bowl of China.

Pa-sweet lang - Super Bowl of China, Trinoma

Waiting for the food

Super Bowl of China dishes

Forty-five minutes before the screening time, we headed back to the fourth floor to eat dessert: crêpes from Café Breton. Ikle had no more ‘available compartments’ in his stomach but I urged him to eat even the simplest crêpe just for the spirit of eating together. At that point, I felt like the witch forcing Hansel to eat. LOL

Menu of Cafe Breton, Trinoma

Somebody fell under the soporific spell of the flash =D

Ikle and I - Café Breton, Trinoma

They have a pretty lighting here - Café Breton, Trinoma

Eden, La Pinay and Almond and Honey crepes from Café Breton - Trinoma

While waiting for the movie inside the cinema, Mon got an amazing news — his sister has passed the UPCAT and got her chosen course of BS Mathematics in UPLB! She was the same sister whose UPCAT test permit I had personally applied for in June 2012! We were so delighted over the news that we got stinkeyes from people sitting in front of us as we were that noisy — sorry for that. In spite of the big news, our mood was temporarily dampened when Mon mentioned that there might be a problem because their father might not be too happy with the prospect of their daughter studying in UPLB. But we dealt on that over coffee after the movie.

Didn't know what this slice of cake was called - KoCCo, Sky Garden, SM North Edsa

A bunch of cakes from KoCCo, Sky Garden, SM North Edsa

So from Trinoma, we went to the Sky Garden of SM North to have coffee and cake in KoCCo. I forgot what KoCCo stands for but it was our favorite place to hang out, before Ikle went to China in August 2011. We then went on brainstorming on how to best persuade their father to permit her sister to study in Los Baños. She can transfer to Diliman after a year, provided she conditions herself to study VERY hard and not be too comfortable there. We just felt so bad over the idea of her giving up her slot and letting the opportunity to be a UP student pass (yes, opportunity). I was also running searches on my cellphone over reconsideration procedures in UP Manila and Diliman. However, based on what I’ve gathered, Diliman does not allow reconsideration, while UP Manila might reconsider her.

U.P. Diliman: 2.2 – no reconsideration
U.P. Manila: 2.285 – 2.5
U.P. Baguio: 2.659 – 2.574
U.P. Tacloban: 2.7 – 2.7
U.P. Cebu: 2.7 – 2.7
U.P. Iloilo: 2.7 – 2.7
U.P. Mindanao: 2.75 – 2.75
U.P. Los Banos: 2.42 – 2.8

Looking at the widely available list above, she might be reconsidered for UP Manila because she was admitted in UPLB, wherein a UPG 2.42 is needed. If their father’s concern is the proximity question, we were hoping that she can hopefully get in UPM and let’s just see what’ll happen next. But the best solution will be for their father to allow her to study in UPLB, so that they won’t have to go through the tedious reconsideration process, which usually takes until the last week of May/first week of June. Not a lot people have patience for that, and other universities might be already starting their respective classes. I think she’ll have a strong case, considering she is an UPCAT passer, asking for reconsideration, contrary to those who did not pass wishing to do so. But who knows? As always, the pain of waiting is indescribable, but nevertheless, congratulations Lot for passing UPCAT!