Monday, March 15, 2010

A Culture Known but Defined by No One

* I was very late for my SOC 130: Social Psychology class. I was a good student and I didn't miss a a single class that semester (2004?). I had no choice, I didn't take a bath and I didn't have time to change. All I did was wear shorts over my boxers and I came to my class on time in my "pantulog" complete with uncombed hair and all. I love UPLB so much. You can come to class in "haggard-puyatness" form and not get laughed at nor discriminated. 

* I always viewed my UPLB college life as one big summer camp. Classes are just like workshops, dorms and apartments are like cabins or cottages, and your classmates are your camping buddies. People would come to class in basketball shorts, jerseys, carrying nothing, eating in silog stands, always looking for the cheapest places to eat, cramming until the wee hours of the morning, walking around campus in the evening, etc. Very poetic. This was UP ELBI, very unique in many ways. "Matatalino naman tayo e", we would say, justifying an attitude, a lifestyle, a culture that's very academic yet, ironically, very laid back.

* We're fans of the ELBI AIN'T MNL project on Facebook. And personally, I think that idea was very cool. The landscape of Los Banos has definitely changed and along with the recent developments, certain attitudes are slowly being altered. 

* Someone on their Facebook fan page commented that ELBI surely ain't Manila, but ELBI also isn't static. That's a very good point. Let's be careful here, we wouldn't want to turn into these "oldies" telling the younger UPLB students, "during our time, wala pang ganyan, ganyan, at ganyan, etc." Because surely, those who are older than us are also telling us the same things! The complexion of Los Banos has definitely changed through the decades! But we have this constant and lingering fear that development might change or threaten our culture. A culture that was crafted by the environment and the people in it.

* In my opinion, it's not completely wrong for ELBI to develop like what is happening right now. What's happening right now is kinda like an economic boom as a result of the increase of consumers, especially the increase of those kids with dough. What is important right now is that we preserve the culture that we believe we have. Because it is us, the older people, who will be the keepers of the culture. We should be the ones showing new residents and students what ELBI is all about. 

* Try remembering what you love most about ELBI and start from there. On our part, memorable moments were made in Kofiholics Anonymous (a now defunct coffee shop where popular canteen, Sulyaw, now stands). It closed in 2005 and a lot of people missed it. I even made a paper about it before it closed. We loved KA and we want to re-create our good experiences through our cafe (although KA can never ever be replicated or copied). 

* The point is, we loved the coffee shop, and this is our way of preserving what we used to love about ELBI. Because this is what ELBI is all about, a collection of experiences made by the people who love the place and the people in it. We hope we'll continue making those experiences real.

* ELBI AIN'T MNL people, thanks for waking us up!


  1. Nice. Share ko sa Facebook ko ha. ;)

  2. nice nice, pwede ko ba ito i share sa FB? undergrad din ako nun may KA eh, may mga live bands pa nga dun, i remember my roomate had a gig there...