My friend Egai, who works in Geoje City, South Korea, was home for a vacation. Along with him were Jung Yup, Joo Young, and Myung Hee. They all went to Tagbilaran City, Bohol together, but the girls had to go home to Korea earlier, while Egai explored Bantayan in Cebu. They had a day left to explore Manila/Quezon City before their flight the following day.
We arranged to meet at McDo Quezon Avenue, but they got stuck in one of the LRT stations due to a fire that day along Taft Avenue. We ended meeting at SM Makati and having dinner at Thousand Cranes Shabu Shabu Restaurant in Greenbelt.
But if there was enough time, I would definitely take my guests for a walk around the University of the Philippines-Diliman.
First stop: Quezon Hall
Quezon Hall houses a number of the administrative offices such as the Office of the Chancellor and the offices of the Vice Chancellors. It is the site of the famous symbol of UP, the Oblation.
About 4 or 5 years ago, Allen and I conducted review classes for college admission tests. We took our students to a tour around the campus and had a group picture taken at the Oblation. I did not know until today, in the course of writing this post, about the superstition that a person whose picture is taken with the Oblation would not be able to graduate. Nakagraduate naman kami ni Joyce. At pumasa naman sina Ryan, Tina, Reinald, at Sean, among others 🙂
Second stop: The Vargas Museum
The Jorge B. Vargas Art Collection consists of oil paintings, watercolors, pastels, drawings, and sculptures. It enjoys the unique distinction of being the only art repository in the country embracing the entire range of Philippine artistic creativity from the 1880s to the 1960s.
For a minimal fee (Php20 for UP students, faculty, alumni, and employees; Php30 for non-UP), one gets to see works by Juan Luna, Felix Resureccion Hidalgo, Fernando Amorsolo, and other known artists at the Vargas Museum.
Third stop: UP Sunken Garden
Site of the UP Fair, the UP Sunken Garden is a place of fun and games. It is ideal for kite-flying, syato, agawan base, luksong baka, luksong tinik, and other outdoor games that we used to play. There is almost always a soccer game played there. My friend Dae Woo was finally able to see where he can possibly play soccer in this part of town.
Fourth stop: UP Shopping Center
For balot, the best tapsilog (Rodic’s!), squid balls and samalamig (Coop), kakanin, UP shirts and other souvenir items (Maroons and Handog), dropping by the UP Shopping Center is a must. There is also Mashita, a Korean and Japanese eatery where M gets her kimchi. D treated us to kimbap and a noodle dish (I forgot what it is called; I will update this post when Chai texts back).
Also worth checking is the UP Film Center where there may be free screenings of Filipino film classics or foreign language films (the Eiga Sai was ongoing when I made the plan with Jung Yup and company).