I AM A LASALLIAN! A Lasallian from the South<whappak!> By “from the south” I mean, I call De La Salle University – Dasmariñas my alma mater! Hail! Hail! Alma Mater. And although there are a number of Lasallian schools/universities in the country, we are the ones who proudly hold a big machete instead of a bow and arrow.
A few weeks ago, I was tagged in a picture on Facebook by a good friend that the Associate Dean of our college, the College of Business Administration, the Home of Achievers, is requesting our presence in the college’s alumni home coming. I gave it some thought, then said YES since I was not able to attend last time and can’t recall when was the last time that I visited my alma mater. I’m not sure if I was there last last year around March or April, although I am pretty sure it was a summer. Boy, that was a long time indeed. I expected there would be changes already since there were areas in the school where that were under renovation, where old buildings were being remodelled and others demolished to make way for new ones. The ultimate goal for all of these changes higher standards! Heck yeah, were moving up!
You might be wondering why was the associate dean wanted us there. Well, we were part of the previous student council officers some 5 years before. And we needed hers and the deans signature to get our projects done. Plus, we considered her a good friend who never failed to give us guidance and a good conversation.
I was excited the night before to finally get to visit my alma mater plus get to see familiar faces of classmates, batch mates, and professors plus the places within the universities that are memorable. By 1:30 pm I left our house anticipating the traffic. It normally took me 1 and a half hour to 2 hours to get to school before. Surprisingly, it took me an hour. Time was 2:30 pm when I was on a 5 minute jeep ride and since I still have time, I got off the jeep at the 3rd gate of our school. I smoked a few minutes to brace myself for the changes. When I got my bearings as well as my alumni card, I walked through the gates.
I first saw this big counter that counts down the days to the 100 years presence of La Salle in the Philippines which would fall in June. The guards of the 3rd gate were the same ones as I remember. Signed in the log book and I was in. Now the first thing that you have to face from this gate is an uphill walk to get to our gym which now has a fresh paint over its walls. This hill made me catch my breath since I just smoked or I was not in shape. Well, maybe both <smirk>. There is a walkway from there leading to the schools biggest parking lot which was next to the grandstand and track which was also in front of the school farm. No changes yet. Although I noticed personalization of clay tiles along the walkway. Might consider getting one of this tile to add to the bunch already installed. This particular walkway is the longest one in school and was the one which we took normally since this was the nearest gate for our building. Rounding the end of the walkway, I was our college’s building. Still no changes but it brought a smile to my face for no particular reason. Since maybe I finally saw it again or I was just happy to approach it again. I deliberately slowed walking down as I looked at the facade of our building. There was no changes but I was just the way I liked it. The building in front of the CBA building was MTH (I honestly don’t forgot the meanings of the acronyms.. heheh) which housed the CBA SC office during our time. T’was already painted new. Not much changes too. A few meters ahead, is the CEAT building in front of the Administration building, VBH next to a big batibot( this is a raised area where student can spend their free time chatting with friends, eating, etc). This was where I normally stayed for lunch during my first few days in DLSU-D(loner much?) next was the Square Canteen, where different concessionaires have their food stall on 3 sides of the square. The last side of the square was left open so that people dining would see the Lake Park where most of the events were held before we had the grandstand. This was also the place where I first hosted ever so it was really memorable for me. Turning left you would see the main road which passes by the schools dormitory, the school museum, the chapel plus the big fountain in front of it, the lake, the botanical garden, and the newly finished SBC canteen and book store. The biggest shocker ever was the new College of International Hospitality Management building.. Really cool with its tall windows matching the Spanish design. This was the venue for our alumni home coming. Inside was a spacious area where tables were set as well as a small stage behind this cute fountain creating soothing sounds of water. Relaxing. I was like a big hotel. The familiar faces of friends and professors followed. There was a lot of chatting, his and hellos, and how are yous. I really appreciated each face that I saw and the conversations that was made. As in really. It was like being in school again during our free time. The only change was we were older and more mature and we were just visiting.
After the program, our group went around our campus again to drench ourselves with much wanted nostalgia of what happened to us. We went to all the buildings, shared stories and took pictures as we were not sure when we would be able to visit again.
Being back in my alma mater reminded me of who I was then: a student who wanted to graduate with a degree, a leader who was involved (well I think I was), a friend who cared, a person who wanted to be successful, a CBA student who was an achiever, and a Lasallian with green blood (yes green in more ways than one).
I would say not much has changed in me. But my time in DLSU-D definitely prepared me for life outside the corners of our university.