5 Historic University Landmarks In The Philippines: Oblation, Arch of the Centuries, And More
A good school infrastructure makes a good place for people to study; it can encourage students to have a healthy lifestyle so they could engage themselves in activities that could potentially open doors for them. In the Philippines, many universities feature scenic campuses that students can see in the flesh once the COVID-19 quarantines are lifted.
In the meantime, Tatler tours you around some of the most iconic university landmarks in the country.
1/5 Oblation, University of The Philippines (UP), Diliman
UP Diliman is not only famous because of its picturesque sunken garden and Mang Larry's Isawan, the campus also holds the 3.3-metre original Oblation statue crafted by National Artist Guillermo Tolentino.
It was conceived during the reign of UP President Rafael Palma in 1925. Palma, who commissioned Tolentino, wanted the statue to be inspired by the second verse of Jose Rizal’s Mi Ultimo Adios.
According to Tolentino, the Oblation statue is inspired by man’s patriotism towards his country. “The completely nude figure of a young man with outstretched arms and open hands, with a tilted head, closed eyes and parted lips murmuring a prayer, with breast forward in the act of offering himself, is my interpretation of that sublime stanza. It symbolizes all the unknown heroes who fell during the night.”
“The statue stands on a rustic base, a stylized rugged shape of the Philippine archipelago, lined with big and small hard rocks, each of which represents an island. The katakataka (wonder plant) whose roots are tightly implanted on Philippine soil, is the link that binds the symbolized figure to the allegorical Philippine Group. Katakataka is really a wonder plant. It is called siempre vivo (always alive) in Spanish. A leaf or a piece of it thrown anywhere will sprout into a young plant. Hence, it symbolises the deeply-rooted patriotism in the heart of our heroes. Such patriotism continually and forever grows anywhere in the Philippines.
UP Diliman's official website said that the original Oblation statue is being kept inside the Main Library (Gonzalez Hall), the former site of the UP College of Fine Arts.
2/5 Arch of the Centuries, University of Santo Tomas (UST)
Along España boulevard stands the beautiful buildings of UST. The school features its fabled Arch of Centuries which is located meters away from the university’s Millennium Gate.
The arch, which was first erected around 1680 in the walled city of Intramuros, Manila (where UST was originally established), was able to welcome and send off many Thomasians for years.
The arch is made up of doric columns with the inscription that says, “Gateway to the history of the finest breed of Filipinos". The National Museum of the Philippines declared the arch as a national treasure on 25 January 2010 along with the UST main building, the Central Seminary Building, and the university field.
Tatler Trivia: UST students have an inside joke about the infamous arch; they believe that if you pass through the Arch of Centuries before the official graduation march, it may bring bad luck and even deter you from completing your programme in time.
Read also: Where To Travel In The Philippines: 7 Places To Discover Filipino Heritage
3/5 Areté, Ateneo De Manila University (ADMU)
The people in Ateneo have high regards for contemporary art. In 1960, they have built the Ateneo Art Gallery, which is widely recognised today as one of the country's first modern art museum.
The museum, which can be found at the Arts Wing, Areté, houses more than 500 artworks that include photographs, posters, animation, sculpture, drawings, paintings, and whatnot. The gallery was made following Fernando Zobel’s bequest to the university of his collections that feature the works of Filipino post-war artists.
Read more: Ateneo de Manila University Ranks As Most Impactful University From The Philippines
4/5 Siliman Hall, Siliman University
If you ever find yourself in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, you might want to drop by and see the picturesque campus of Siliman University.
Siliman boasts its Siliman Hall which was inspired by Stick style, the architecture that Americans used in the late 19th-century. The hall has been transformed into an ethno-anthro museum today where artefacts and archaeological discoveries from 2000 years ago are shown.
Because of its wide and quaint spaces, the university ranked 47th on the World's Most Beautiful Campuses. Only three universities from Asia (Siliman included) made it to the list. The other two Asian universities are International Christian University in Tokyo, where Silliman maintains an international student exchange program, and Aoyama Gakuin University also in Tokyo, at rank 49 and 2, respectively.
Related: FEU Ranks 91st Most Innovative University in the WURI 2020 Global List
5/5 CLSU Avenue, Central Luzon State University (CLSU)
The 658-hectare campus of CLSU in Muñoz, Nueva Ecija is always mistaken as a huge vacation spot due to its campus' greeneries. One of the University's highlights is its CLSU Avenue where students could walk under tall and magnificent trees.
The university started as a humble farming ground before it was converted to Central Luzon Agricultural School (CLAS) in 1907. Today, CLSU transformed into a comprehensive university that offers undergraduate and graduate courses. It is also considered as one of the premier institutions for agriculture in Southeast Asia following its breakthrough researches related to aquatic culture, water management, crops, and orchard researches.
Tatler Trivia: In 2018, research from the CLSU (under the National Tilapia Research and Development Program) confirmed that pollen from pine trees may reverse the hormone of Tilapia.
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