I do not usually get sentimental with places. Now, I permit myself to be a little bit so.
Narra Residence Hall is no more. I just got the news from an e-group na nasunog sya early this morning at surprisingly, sarado na pala sya since October last year pa dahil beyond repair na raw.
I was a bonafide Narehan from 1995 to 1998. Coming from the province and without much money to go back home every weekend (P12 per hour lang ang sweldo ng student assistant noon), Narra was my home.
I stayed at room 401 that I shared (at least on my last year) with three other guys. One was from CAL, one from Econ, and one from Eng. They were ok enough as roommates. Anyway, we had different set of friends and different set of beliefs, and the only thing that bound us was that square room.
Some of the things I remember of Narra and the years I stayed there:
1. The formidable Ma'am Asprec who ruled the rowdy men of Narra with a firm hand but, most often than not, could just be one of the boys.
2. Si Aling Lina ng Aristocart sa tapat, sa pavement beside Educ, selling rice for P2, mongo for P2, giniling for P3 at spaghetti na may isang slice ng hotdog for P3. If you can overlook the oil and the high-probability of arthritis, makaka-survive ka sa UP just with Aling Lina.
3. Si Mang Bogs kapag gabi at ang masarap na fishball, sandwiches at mountain dew. (Patay na raw sya?). Nakakautang pa minsan kay Mang Bogs at ganun din kay Aling Lina.
4. Ang Narra gauntlet kapag USC elections. One of the most-awaited event kapag panahon ng eleksyon kung saan napag-uusapan ang lahat ng bagay - mula sa mga seryosong isyu hanggang sa mga hindi. Sa isang gauntlet binuo ang Kapatiran ng mga Anak ni Diego - Youth o KAD-Youth.
5. Ang study hall sa lobby kung saan makakapag-aral ka lang in the wee hours of the morning dahil sa gulo ng mga tao. Better ang mga tables in the middle of each hall.
6. Political discussions with my activist friends laluna with Dondon (may he rest in peace) at Vince. Kasama na ang paglalagay ng election posters ng STAND UP at ang pagsisingit ng statements and other prop materials sa pintuan ng bawat kwarto.
7. Ang PA system ng Narra na nang tumagal ay parang laging may sipon ang nagsasalita. Many times, hindi gumagana yung sa hall namin.
8. The communal showers and toilets! (Enough said)
9. The annual Narra Open House when the residents are usually at their most behaved. At least hanggang umalis ang mga bisita.
10. The feel of UP and of college life.
I haven't seen UP, much less Narra, for many years now. Nareha may be no more but I'm still glad that, at least for three years, I was a Narehan and I lived as one.
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