It was one of the rare flashes of spontaneity. I didn’t know what my aim was, but I was certain that I had to be there, not only for the sake of being able to set foot in UP Los Banos, not because I wanted to see the famous campus by the forest. My desire tells me it’s more than that.
My organization, UP Kaisa, decided to hold its annual Final Rites for the new members at a private resort in Pansol, Laguna. It was a Saturday, and despite my Saturday classes in UP and a buckload of tasks at work I had to accomplish before the week ends, I went with the group. It was almost 7PM when we arrived, some members were already there. I won’t further illustrate what happened in the FR, but it was definitely a fun experience.
No one slept that night. It was an unwritten rule every member has become accustomed to: that no member should sleep in the FR. Well, some did, actually, and we didn’t bother to wake them up because they tapped us ahead of time. The FR ended around 7AM the next day, and everyone decided to go back to Manila afterwards, but me. I had others thoughts in mind. I decided to pay UP Los Banos a quick visit.
After we left, I immediately scurried to The Twinkle Residence (haha!) at Villa de Calamba to ask for company. Luckily, there was nothing else for her to do that Sunday so she said yes to my request. But I know she just loves me and it was real pleasure for her to spend time with me. Hello, Twinkle. I know you’re reading this.😀
I stayed in college for six years, and in that long span of time, I had already gone to UP Diliman, UP Baguio, and UP Manila. It was a shame that UP Los Banos was still on the list of UP campuses I still had to go to. And so upon arriving in UP Los Banos or more commonly known as Elbi, I was overwhelmed with a solemn sensation. It’s as if the letters in the facade spoke to me in flitting modulation.
Elbi is a paradise that took my breath away. It is so beautiful. I couldn’t help but stare that I forgot to take many photographs.
The cosmos was even cooperating that it gifted me with striking cloud patterns for my Elbi-Oblation-photo background.
You’re not a real Isko if you haven’t heard of the infamous Fertility Tree in Elbi. A very brief background for those who are not familiar, the Fertility Tree is located in the university’s oval. Students and locals would usually hang around there in the day, jog, have picnics, pleasant boring activities. But when darkness falls, people would go there and do things. Uh, pleasant fertile stuff.
We went closer to the gigantic tree and marveled at the grand canopy above me. I looked below to confirm if it’s true one could find elastic contraceptives there but there was none. The Fertility Tree has a certain energy in it I couldn’t pinpoint what exactly, and I wanted to hug it but I was too scared people around would judge me. Hahaha!
We continued wandering. It was a surprise that my company doesn’t know anything about Elbi when she lived in Laguna all her life, so we let our feet to lead the way. In spite of the cloudy skies, it was still a hot morning. But we didn’t mind. The moment was too beautiful to spoil.
We didn’t know what’s this called, we didn’t know what is this for. But it looked Japan-esque so I took a photo.😀
One of the very few photos that have me in it. Note: it was a real bridge. Below is a real river. There is a river in UPLB. There is a freakin’ river inside Elbi! I was so elibs (amazed) and I realized this campus is better than that in Diliman which I graduated from. The place is so holy; it is so organic and enchanting and I’m going to stop now because I can do this the whole day.
You may find the photo blurry because it is so. We took several attempts for a good photo but there were too many jeepneys and cars passing by.
One of our agenda was to find a pole for her to showcase whatever she learned in her pole dance classes. We took this in front of a Christian church I think. Everyone was looking at us and I had no choice but to take photos. Me and my social responsibilities.🙂
It was already 12NN when we decided to leave the campus. We had lunch at the Bonitos bar and restaurant. It was so relieving to stay there for lunch not only because there was aircon and they have Wifi, but more importantly, because I was finally able to dine in a legit Elbi restaurant that one may not find anywhere else. I had rosemary chicken which was okay, Twinkle had some meat I don’t remember.
This is one of the holiest experiences I had, and until now, I sometimes think of Elbi. The whole visit was like an encounter before a presence I have long been yearning. I didn’t feel this way when I went to Palawan, or Cagayan de Oro. Not even in Bukidnon or Misamis. This is different, and I am most thankful to UP Los Banos for its mere existence.
And thanks to the ever supportive Twinkle.❤