UNITED IN PERSEVERING | Grieving the loss of the UP Diliman Faculty Center

UNITED IN PERSEVERING | Grieving the loss of the UP Diliman Faculty Center

As you’ve probably read already, the UP Diliman Faculty Center has been ravaged by a massive 13-hour fire yesterday. Unfortunately, the Department of History where I am a Masters’ student has been obliterated because of the tragedy. Faculty members under the College of Arts and Letters as well as the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy have their offices in the said structure.

Apart from the damaged structure and lost memories, think about what else was lost because of the incident:

1) Original researches from decades ago
2) Books, a lot of those are now rare-to-find
3) Theses, both old and those still in-progress
4) Students’ records, papers, and other related stuff
5) Personal belongings of professors like laptops, antique items, etc.

I will miss everything about FC: The long lines during enrollment, having consultations with my profs inside their rooms, lunches at KATAG in the basement, discreetly passing by my ex’s department (LOL!), and many more.

I’ve been a proud member of the UPD community for almost ten years now and I am optimistic that with everyone’s help, the university will overcome this tragedy.

UP Diliman Faculty Center fire
A glimpse at the UP Diliman Faculty Center after the huge fire last April 1 (Credits: The Philippine Star)

Many past and present professors and students shared their thoughts on the tragedy through social media.
Below are some of those:

Professor Felipe Jocano Jr, Anthropology Department
We cannot easily put a monetary value to what was lost. The millions of pesos worth of damage does not easily describe the manuscripts, books, papers, theses, dissertations, films and videos, monographs and all the material markers of scholarship. Neither can you capture in these terms the memories, of laughter (and not a few tears), the friendships formed (and broken), the long waiting lines outside your office door during pre-enlistment advising, advice on academics (and heartaches), coffee time at the canteen amd more.

But we have our hopes. We have our dreams.
Matisod at madapa ng pitong beses, babangon at babawi ng walong beses.

Professor Clarita Carlos, Political Science Department
I wept as I watched a small clip of our Faculty Center burning early this morning. All the memories of nearly five decades of my life as an academic now gone. While my department has transferred to a new building, “The Original FC” will always be the focal point of all the narratives of my professional life: the hopes, fears, despair, failures, successes, and many joys. It’s a stark reminder of how fleeting life is. I grieve.

UP Diliman Faculty Center fire
Firefighters in UP Diliman Faculty Center (Photo credits: Ronan Li)

Professor Perlita Frago, Political Science Department
Sa mga guro, staff o estudyante ng FC na nawalan ng kuwarto, gamit, dokumento at alaala dahil sa sunog kanina- magpasalamat at isipin ninyo na lamang na mabuti at nangyari ang sunog ng kayo ay wala doon. Hindi nangyari ang sunog habang kayo ay nagpriprepare ng lectures sa inyong mga kuwarto. Hindi nangyari ang sunog habang kayo ay nagpapa xerox kay Jophel.

Hindi nangyari ang sunog habang kayo ay kumakain sa lounge. Hindi nangyari ang sunog habang nag ta type kayo ng dokumento sa office o sa inyong silid. Hindi nangyari ang sunog habang nagpapractice kayong kumanta, sumayaw o tumugtog. Hindi nangyari ang sunog habang kayo ay nagmimiting. Sa isang iglap maaring nawala nga ang lahat ngunit ang mahalaga ay nandito pa rin kayo. Maaring makagawa ng mga panibagong alaala. Doble ingat lamang tayo. Sa mga faculty na kailangan ng kuwarto ay bukas din sa inyo ang room na ginagamit ko.

Propesor Eugene Evasco, Departamento ng Filipino at Panitikang Pilipinas
Hindi ko talaga matanggap. Parang nasunog ang kaluluwa ng UP. Nilamon ng apoy ang mga libro nami’t dokumento. Pati ang mga liham, rekord, sertipiko ng pagkilala, mga tropeo ng serbisyo sa unibersidad, at mga itinatagong pinakamahuhusay na sulatin ng mag-aaral. Iyon ang ginagamit namin sa pagtuturo at pananaliksik. Bawat kuwarto sa Faculty Center ay isang munting library na pinundar ng bawat guro para sa kanyang propesyon. Paano nga ba magsisimula muli? At paano ipagdiriwang ang Buwan ng Panitikan ngayong Abril?

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Mark Pere Madrona

The Filipino Scribe (TFS) is managed by Mark Pere Madrona, a multi-awarded writer and licensed professional teacher from the Philippines. Mr. Madrona earned his master’s degree in history from the University of the Philippines-Diliman last 2020. He obtained his bachelor’s degree in journalism cum laude from the same university back in 2010. His area of interests includes Philippine journalism, history, and politics as well as social media. Know more about him here: https://www.filipinoscribe.com/about/.

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