UP Tacloban Survivors Trying to Survive the Holidays

More than a month after Haiyan, the survivors are now starting to rebuild their lives. It’s a tough road ahead but they are not alone. Filipinos from all walks of life have reached out to the survivors be it through financial assistance, food and clothing donations, prayers, while some have volunteered services. The Filipinos are also very grateful of the outpouring of help from other countries.
Pen, Moi, Yo, Boris and Mom not in the photo: Junella

Pen, Moi, Yo, Boris and Mom
not in the photo: Junella

Last Saturday, my colleagues and I visited the UP Tacloban students who relocated to UP Diliman who won’t be going home for the holidays. These students will be spending Christmas and New Year in Diliman because they’ve lost their homes in Eastern Visayas and for some, even their families. Kalayaan and Molave Residence Halls are their temporary homes under the supervision of Sir Gerry Lanuza, the current head of the Office of Student Housing (OSH). Female students are staying in Kalayaan while guys are in Molave. They take their meals together though: breakfast at Kalayaan, lunch at Molave and dinner at Bahay ng Alumni.
kalay sign

Mr. Joseph Torrecampo, a faculty of the Department of Psychology (CSSP -UP Diliman), together with his wife who’s a professor at College of Arts and Letters, are organizing tutorials and non-academic activities for the students while the they are on holiday break. Mr. Torrecampo approached us thinking we were from McGraw-Hill Education. McGraw-Hill, as known here in the Philippines, is the “encyclopedia company.” Our parent company is McGraw-Hill, but we are from the other side of the fence, McGraw-Hill Financial, to be specific: Standard & Poors. Anyway, he explained that they need materials for the quasi-remedial English classes. They need books, journals or magazines with content that they can use for the tutorials.

Mr. Joseph Torrecampo and some of the student survivors during tutorials

Mr. Joseph Torrecampo and some of the student survivors during tutorials

I know we are all busy with the Christmas preparations and we may have drained our budget with buying gifts, but if you have books and other literature you can share with these students, they would really appreciate it. You can also donate money and Mr. Torrecampo and his wife will use the funds for the materials.

UP Tacloban students

UP Tacloban students

If you’re willing to donate, you can reach me at:
+63-906-487-3234
7pmtrain@gmail.com
facebook.com/jobetisonthetrain
twitter.com/trainrides

Thank you in advance and happy holidays.

Note: All photos taken by Ma. Junella Gazmen.

’09 to ’13: Ordinary People Part 2 of 3

So let’s step back a bit and catch up with the group. They had brunch at Chocolate Kiss at Bahay ng Alumni, one of the lovely buildings in Diliman famous for its stained glass windows.

UP Bahay ng Alumni

UP Bahay ng Alumni

Stained

Stained

Let’s do some unnecessary plugging for Chocolate Kiss. Their house blend iced tea is a must-try. Honey is served separately so you can choose how sweet you’d want it to be. Calamansi is also available. It’s refillable for just Php 70.

Chocolate Kiss Iced Tea (House Blend)

Chocolate Kiss Iced Tea (House Blend)

Devil’s Food Cake is one of Chocolate Kiss’s famous desserts. Chocolate lovers would greatly appreciate this. The marshmallow icing is sinful.

Devil's Food Cake

Devil’s Food Cake

If you’re tired of chocolates, try their cake sampler. It has four small slices of cakes: carrot, orange, dayap and kahlua. Kahlua won’t disappoint you. The carrot cake is moist and bestest there is in town. Orange is orange is orange is awesome. And dayap is refreshingly good. Life’s sweet with this sampler for only Php 95.

Cake Sampler

Cake Sampler

After the indulgence at Choco Kiss, the group crossed to Art Circle. It used to be Old Manila then Odd Manila or was it the other way around? Anyway, they sell paintings, knicknacks and they have a coffee shop. Their quesadillas are highly recommended. Too bad the group could no longer indulge lest they risk implosion.

Art Circle Entrance

Art Circle Entrance

AC k and me

The group then headed upstairs to check out the stained glass wall. There was an unfinished painting lying on the third floor.

painting

Also, on the way up, some people just could not resist the urge for the contemporary art known as bathroom photobooth.

bathroom pics

Heading out, crossed the street to Film Center where a sorbetero stood guard near the driveway entrance under the merciless sun. Quesadillas the group could resist but will crumbled at the sight of dirty ice cream. Do not judge this people unless you’ve been in their shoes. And if you have, then bets are on that you had done the same.

Dirty Ice Cream

Dirty Ice Cream

Walked to the Carillon Plaza, which is shamelessly plastered with names of the donors. The bells looked lonely up there in the tower while down at the ground, Betty Go Belmonte et al probably gossip about UP selling out. No judgement. Swear.

Right across Carillon Plaza is the lagoon. Here, the group took a group photo, which could easily pass as the season premiere poster of How I Met Your Mother or Awkward or Mula Sa Puso.

Soap Opera

Soap Opera

The following is a study of trees. Seriously. No? Okay.

Compare and Contrast

Compare and Contrast

Did you spot the difference?

Did you spot the difference?

The group then split, Karen, Pen and I went to FC (Faculty Center of College of Arts and Letters) to drop by (unannounced) at my friend who apparently occupies Room#

yayo

Unfortunately, he wasn’t there at the time. The other half of the group, Met, Lester and Ryan, spent the time with the latest cultural phenomena known as camwhoring. Check out the priceless faces.

This is them making faces.

This is them making faces.

With their normal/default faces.

With their normal/default faces.

Please stand by for the finale of the (mis)adventures. Ciao!

’09 to ’13: Ordinary People Part 1 of 3

On the 3rd of the 11th came the 7th. This was back in ’09. It was a diverse group who would become writers and editors.

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Just like any other group, this one consists of the populars, the introverts, the geeks, the common enemy, the outcast, the leader and the clown. There were subgroups, too. Two things bound them, food and the common enemy.

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Then as days went by, people left and the group became smaller and smaller. Work schedules limited their time together but did not break the bond that had been forged.

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And on the 9th of the 3rd, they agreed to have brunch. And then maybe, karaoke. From Rockwell in Pasig to UP in Quezon City, the group was about to roll.

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It was a sumptuous meal filled with hearty laughter and retelling of history, capped by Chocolate Kiss’s famous cakes.

Chicken Barbecue

Chicken Barbecue

Chicken Alfredo

Chicken Alfredo

Fish Kiev

Fish Kiev

Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff

Chicken Kiev

Chicken Kiev

Devil's Food Cake

Devil’s Food Cake

L- R: Carrot, Orange, Dayap, Kahlua

L- R: Carrot, Orange, Dayap, Kahlua

With bellies full and hearts warmed, the group then headed to the lagoon.

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And the next part of their adventure unfolds in the next post. Laters!