Things to do in Silliman

(The following essay appeared in the 2nd July Issue of The Weekly Sillimanian. It is my first published work in Silliman University)

Things to do in Silliman

  1. Walk around. Not every student in the country gets to have a National Historical Landmark for a campus. Do away with the pedicab as much as you can.
  2.  Look up the past of each of the school’s buildings. Katipunan was were lives started, while Channon was were many of them ended. It will not be difficult to feel like you’re part of history too. But you’ll feel small at the thought of everything achieved by Charles Glunz.
  3.   Know serendipity in the library, and I don’t just mean look it up in a dictionary. There are books you can borrow that could be older than your grandparents. Plus points if you find a book once borrowed by a famous Sillimanian.
  4.     Have humba for lunch at the University Cafeteria. Glorious, glorious humba, so good it’s just wrong. You will wonder how a Christian university could serve such a gratuitous sin.
  5. Do away with the pretentious Englishing, learn the particularities of Negrense Cebuano. If you will mupauli na and you forgot your umbrella, alayon your friend to lend you theirs because it’s about to rain dagway.
  6. Learn. There is no excuse for being ignorant in a university. Read what everybody in Silliman has done and is doing: the latest findings from Apo Island, the works of Caridad Aldecoa-Rodriguez, the latest published works of campus writers Mike Gomez and Arkay Timonera, the contents of the Anthropology museum.
  7. Catch one of the tartanilyas in campus. So what if you’re five minutes late, you get to have a grand entrance into Langheim road.
  8.  Feel the presences of those “not like ours,” Silliman is one of the country’s most haunted schools. The little boy at Katipunan, the sound of chains in Channon, the lights suddenly turning on in Hibbard. If you’re lucky Edith Carson will tour you around the dorm of whom she is namesake
  9.   Make bulong the missing Cunningham portrait, or the stolen Amorsolo landscapes. Silliman, unbeknownst to many, is a treasure hunter’s dream campus.
  10. Fall in love. Anywhere. Silliman has one of the best campuses to fall in love in. Under the Acacias, by the sea in the Boulevard, in front of the Luce – there are many stages for the spectacle of your mutual desiring.
  11. Hold someone’s hand while the two of you are alone in the overpass. If you’re over 18 though, try not to do it with a High School student, that would be corrupting a minor. And Divine presences can be watching nearby.
  12. Hold someone’s hand in the amphitheater too – madahan, not with a preschooler!  They never intended to put cherubs among the stained glass windows of Silliman church!
  13. Stress yourself. Studies, love life, student politics – worry about something, for only the mossed rocks on the Boulevard sands don’t care. It is with stress that you know that you care enough to live. But try to resist the temptation of seeing the possibilities of rope in the campus acacias’ branches, I don’t think Mage accepts anyone who cosplays as a mistletoe.
  14. Look out of Silliman. Dumaguete and Negros Oriental will be a whole world waiting for you to discover. Get to know some Paulinians (if you’re a guy trust me, you will want to know a Paulinian). Check out Foundation’s gorgeous campus. Heck, going to each NORSU campus is a road trip around the province already. And don’t miss out on the food!    
  15. Live the everyday life. You can’t be a Bobby Villasis character every day, you will have to spend much of your time doing normal things: walking to school or riding on a pedicab, attending classes or studying, going out to eat. Only when you leave will you realize that it is in these routines that you will see what it really is like to live in Silliman, in Dumaguete.
  16. Live, and know that you are living. Silliman is a university, and while in it you ought to learn that you are living the days of your life.  
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